BBB - What is best smoker temp and internal temp to get result closest to regular bacon?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by hkeiner, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. What is the recommended smoker temp and internal temp for BBB if  you want it to turn out as much like regular 'belly' bacon as possible? More specifically, I want to be able to fry it up crispy like regular bacon. 

    I understand that BBB will never turn out exactly like belly bacon, but I am thinking that the smoker temp and the internal temp may have some impact on how crispy the final result can be fried up in a pan. I have read that slicing the BBB thinly gets it to be more like bacon, but I have found that this just results in a thinly sliced ham (which is great as a smoked ham by the way) but it still does not fry up crispy like bacon. The BBB I have made so far has been smoked at 180 to 200 degrees smoker temp and pulled from the smoker at 160 degrees internal temp. Should I use a lower smoker temp and pull it sooner? Am I asking the impossible?

    Any advice for getting more crispy BBB will be appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    hkeiner, evening... there will be a bacon expert along soon....  Store bought bacon is injected with cure and brine using a series of needles under pressure....  the percent pick up (in weight), depends on the maker... usually 5 - 20% liquid....  the bacon usually sits overnight then into the smoker and steamed and smoked to an internal temp of about 130-140 deg F, not sure about the exact temp....  

    Most of the bacon recipes here are more in line with "older recipe" bacon from the 1800's to the 1950's....  If you have never had slab bacon, skin on from the old world bacon makers you are missing a real gastronomical delight.....  bacon that does not shrink in the pan, and you usually had to add fat to the pan to get it to fry...  there are a few manufacturers still making it.... runs about $10 a pound and worth it if you don't make you own.....

  3. gersus

    gersus Smoking Fanatic

    I am certainly not an expert but my two cents is that 180-200 is way too hot. There seems to be lots of variation in temps but I have smoked BBB to 145 before and it was more done than store bought bacon.
    My most recent batch I didn't even check the IT. I smoked it at 100-120 for 8 or 10 hours, I can't remember off hand. It was really close to "normal" bacon. I always fry it so I wasn't too worried about bringing it to 145.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is one topic that comes up all the time. The name Buck Board Bacon, unfortunately, leads many to think, after weeks of careful Brine/Curing and many hours of Smoking they will have BACON. The reality is what you end up with is miles closer to Ham than it is to Bacon in both texture and especially flavor. Understanding that, when it comes to Belly Bacon, what gets Crisp and contains most of the flavor is the Fat. The Lean Meat when severly dehydrated from extensive cooking and being cut extremely thin will Snap and Crumble in a similar manner. For good eating similar to pan fried Canadian Bacon, Smoke the BBB, at really any temp or progression between 150 and 250*F to an IT of 145-150*F. It is now Ready to Eat or you can cool and slice to desired thickness then Fry until Golden Brown and still juicy. If you want Snap and Crumble, you need to use a Slicer to get it very Thin and then cook it over Med/Hi heat in a Saute pan or 400*F Oven, until it is Bone Dry and Crumbley...BBB is awesome and has great flavor but it is not quite Bacon...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  5. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    all i eat is BBB and i bet you would not even notice that it was NOT belly if i used the right cut. if what you want is for BBB to be like bacon you will have to do a couple of things and you will be very close to belly. first is you need to get a butt with a good fat cap, debone and butterfly it and cut off the top and use the bottom for sausage or pulled or what ever you want. square up the top so it is nice and neet and then cure it. once it is cured, you will have to cold smoke it.......period, no getting around this part. if you don't have means to cold smoke you are S.O.L. and you need to call todd up and order one of his a-maze-n smokers........don't need a smoker just a box and his cold smoker to git sum BBB workin'. smoke it for 10-12 hrs and then vac-seal it overnight. if ya ain't got a vac-sealer then ya need to get one but a zip lock or plastic wrap will work. now, you are ready to slice.....i don't care if ya do it by hand or on a slicer but ya need to cut it across the grain makin' sure ya get plenty of fat in each slice and you will get reeeeealy close to belly. i use a little olive oil to help it render and then i use the fat to cook my eggs............delish!

    here are some BBB batches:





  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  7. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i started doing BBB cuz it WAS 1/3 the price as belly.......since then it is about 1/2 the cost of belly depending where ya live and the other reason is availability.....not everyone can get belly. me, i just like it since it is more meatier.
  8. Chefrob,

    I will follow your advice the next time it make BBB. The way I was making BBB before was a lot different and explains the reason my BBB was turning out the way it was. The pictures also helped me see how to best prepare/cut up the butt for smoking. I look forward to seeing the different (better) results. I have an AMNPS, meat slicer, and vac-sealer so I should be able to follow your instructions closely. Thanks.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  9. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    no problem............holler if ya got any questions, i plan on getting some in a cure this afternoon.
  10. This Looks Awesome!!!! [​IMG]   Better than any store brought bacon I have seen!!  One of these days I am going to figure out how to cold smoke and get the right equipment and make me some of this!![​IMG]
  11. Hmm Looks great Chefrob ... But I am not understanding how you slice the butt ... I must go examine [​IMG] how to butterfly a butt [​IMG] Yeah I am being a smart butt .. .. seriously curious tho .. I don't believe I have been able to find one at my local market may have to go to BJ's < like sams and costco
  12. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With proper curing and smoking, I can get my BBB to taste like Real Bacon, but it has the texture more like ham.  I tend to take too much fat off, and end up with a leaner slab.

    Next time I make BBB, I'll pay more attention to ChefRob's method.

    I've tried both cold smoking, and smoking up to an internal of 145° or so,  Personally, I prefer cold smoking for 12 hours.  You know it done, when you get a red/bronze color to the meat.

    When you trim the slab, keep the smoked ends and pieces separate.  I use them for beans or in other dishes for some smokey bacon flavor, without the excess grease.

  13. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     all ya really need is a cardboard box and one of todd's a-maze-n's really that simple as far as smoking goes.
  14. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     here is a link on how to debone and butterfly a butt........
  15. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    I do my BBB using BearCarver's step by step bacon guide.  In it he uses belly bacon, but I found it works fine with shoulder.  Just search step by step bacon and you should find it. 

  16. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i like the look of yours martin...........
  17. Ahhh ..Thanks ChefRob .. Makes sense .. I did look at the market today .. all they had was close trim butt and also they look like they have been tossed through a tenderizer or something  .. [​IMG]   I really need to find a better market or something ..
  18. Great thread and links,esp the butterfly the butt link is most helpful.Todds toy will arrive here in a couple days,then its cheese,then bacon,cant wait!

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