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Buckboard bacon on the smoker

bladeguy

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Reading on this forum motivates me to try all kinds of things, and a week and a half ago, it was buckboard bacon. I dry brined it with cure #1, kosher salt, and brown sugar. I didn't measure the brown sugar, just tossed in a couple from finger fulls. Threw them in vacuum sealed bags in the refer for the last 9 days, and pulled out last night, rinsed and back in the refer to dry. Threw them on the smoker about 45 minutes ago. I fry tested last night, and the wife immediately approved......so this is a good sign.

Thinking I will smoke for about 6-8 hours. It is unseasonably warm here, and very windy, but I'm holding right around 60 degrees. The only thing I'm not sure about is if I cut the pork butt right. I've never done buckboard bacon before, and I used a boneless butt I purchased. I wasn't sure how to cut it up, so I just made various chunks about the same thickness. The grain on different pieces runs different directions. Worst case,I figure if it falls apart while slicing, it just won't look as pretty.

Here it is on the smoker, forgot to take previous pics. Will be back to update when I pull it off. Seems most suggest put it back in the refer a few days before freezing, so I will take that advice, after proper quality control samples have been taken, of course.

 

redheelerdog

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Sounds and looks good. Would love to see post smoke pics. 
 
 

SmokinAl

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Great start!

Al
 

bladeguy

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So this is the first time I've cold smoked meat. About four hours in, I decided to do a taste test, so I sliced off a thin piece and fried it up.......um, a little bit of bitter creosote taste. Not terrible, but also not something I want to eat on a regular basis either. So I decided to pull it all off, and try a slice from the middle of a piece to see if just the ends are bitter.......the verdict? Better, but still can taste the creosote just a little. I read about possibly rinsing them off really good or even soaking them might help, so that's what I'm going to do now.

I used an Amaze N Smoke tube with hickory pellets. I don't have a mailbox setup, so I put the tube in the chip tray. Couple of questions.......do you think the flavor will subside or mellow after sitting in the fridge for a few days? Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong? I let it sit overnight in the fridge prior to smoking, but it never did develop much of a pellicle as you can se from the pics. Hopefully rinsing, soaking, and a few days in the fridge save the batch, but I'm wanting to learn for next time. Is it a must to build a mailbox setup to avoid the creosote flavors when cold smoking?

Fry shot looks great, but on the shot of the meat you can see no pellicle......maybe that's the issue? Advice would be appreciated.

 

dirtsailor2003

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You need to let it mellow a minimum of 3-4 days before eating it.

Right out of the smoke it will be a bit harsh.
 

bladeguy

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Thanks DS.....even though it was edible, I don't know that my wife would have eaten it....of course my kids, well, they will eat anything smoker related faster than I can make it if I let them. I am already soaking some of it in a salt brine. That shouldn't hurt anything, but I will get them all out and get them in the fridge. I can always brine and rinse a little later if they end up needing it. 
 

disco

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You asked earlier about the grain on buckboard bacon. As the grain runs in several different directions, it is almost impossible to get a slice that is all against the grain and I have never had any one complain as it disappears.

Something I have noted using the A-Maze-N Tube smoker is that anything directly above it tends to get a little bit of creosote type flavour from the direct smoke. I put a foil pan upside down over it to prevent direct smoke. Anything that prevents a direct flow of the smoke onto the meat seemed to solve the problem. You will really see what I mean when you take the foil pan off after the smoke. There is a layer of tar type residue on the pan.

The problem was solved when I switched from my Bradley to my pellet smoker. I am able to put the tube to one side and quite far from the tube but is still forms a residue on the smoker directly above the tube.

Disco
 

bladeguy

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Thanks for weighing in Disco. I setup some metal that I had laying around between the meat and the smoker for that very reason. The smoke had to travel around that metal to get to the meat. I'm wondering if I should break down and setup a "mailbox" for my smoker for cold smoking as I've heard some here say it eliminated the taste of creosote, and even cheese was edible right out of the smoker.

In the mean time, I let the meat sit on racks overnight and all day today, so I just did a quick slice and fry test......I could strain to taste and smell the creosote, but it wasn't very noticeable, just a slight aftertaste, and if I didn't know it was a there, I don't know if it would bother me. That said, I will let it sit another day and try again.

A couple of things I think may have hurt me.....I didn't let the meat form a nice pellicle prior to putting it on the smoker, and the meat was probably 45 degrees while the smoker was 65, potentially causing some condensation. For future reference, I will be patient and let the meat form a pellicle in the fridge, and I will warm the meat up more prior to adding smoke. Also, I will think about whether to do a mailbox or other mod to allow for cleaner smoke. Glad it looks like the bacon will be very good. I have an excellent recipe, now it is a matter of getting my process down.
 

bladeguy

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Forgot, regarding slicing, there are some pieces where there is just a little of tissue along a line holding the meat together. Thinking it will fall apart while slicing. I guess with buckboard bacon, it doesn't need to be clean slice......pieces will eat just as well as slices!
 

disco

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Thanks for weighing in Disco. I setup some metal that I had laying around between the meat and the smoker for that very reason. The smoke had to travel around that metal to get to the meat. I'm wondering if I should break down and setup a "mailbox" for my smoker for cold smoking as I've heard some here say it eliminated the taste of creosote, and even cheese was edible right out of the smoker.

In the mean time, I let the meat sit on racks overnight and all day today, so I just did a quick slice and fry test......I could strain to taste and smell the creosote, but it wasn't very noticeable, just a slight aftertaste, and if I didn't know it was a there, I don't know if it would bother me. That said, I will let it sit another day and try again.

A couple of things I think may have hurt me.....I didn't let the meat form a nice pellicle prior to putting it on the smoker, and the meat was probably 45 degrees while the smoker was 65, potentially causing some condensation. For future reference, I will be patient and let the meat form a pellicle in the fridge, and I will warm the meat up more prior to adding smoke. Also, I will think about whether to do a mailbox or other mod to allow for cleaner smoke. Glad it looks like the bacon will be very good. I have an excellent recipe, now it is a matter of getting my process down.
Having the meat too much colder than the smoking chamber can result in an "acid rain" condensation that is a bad thing. Also, you may be right about the lack of pellicle. You don't need to really see anything, the meat just has to be dry and tacky to the touch. Any moisture can result in an ashtray type taste. I used to put my meat in the fridge overnight uncovered but now I have an oven that I can set at 145 F and has a good airflow. I put the meat in at 145 F uncovered for an hour and get a great dry surface. You can do the same thing in your smoker without smoke. Just set the temp at 140 F and no chips and let it cook for an hour and it will dry the surface. Then cold smoke away.
 

bladeguy

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Thanks again Disco.....learning all of the time! So much fun, though....just don't tell my wife.......
 

disco

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Thanks again Disco.....learning all of the time! So much fun, though....just don't tell my wife.......
I hate to tell you this. She knows. They have a way of knowing. It is why we love them.

By the way, if you remain unhappy with your buckboard bacon, send it here. I will take care of it for you. It is the least I could do!

Disco
 

bladeguy

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She knows, I know she knows, and she knows I know.....but I'm still going to pretend like it's slave labor to smoke meat :th_roflmao:.....oh, and thanks for looking out for me by being willing to take my throwaways......what a guy! :beercheer:
 

mdgirlinfl

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Great info bladeguy. Thanks for sharing. I'm new to makin bacon and am on my third go at belly. Hoping to try buckboard (if for no other reason it is a cheaper cut here)
 

bladeguy

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This is my first attempt at buckboard, but I did do a belly in the past. The belly was a wet cure, I did a dry cure this time, and I'm sold on the dry. Maybe I did something wrong on the belly, but all I know is this buckboard bacon is far superior. Now I need to try this process on a belly, but $1.29/lb vs $2.99 for belly, there ain't nothing wrong with buckboard!!!
 

mdgirlinfl

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I think I'll try a dry cure bbb next based on your experience. Did you post your cure?
 

bladeguy

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Well, cut it all up and into the freezer. Wrapped in cling wrap and then vacuum sealed with a little bit of an extra long bag for resealing.....got that from someone on here. Overall, very satisfied. Not a 10, but at least a solid 7. Plus I learned a little bit, so a pretty cheap education......at least that's my story.:biggrin:

 

bladeguy

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I think I'll try a dry cure bbb next based on your experience. Did you post your cure?
I did not but I used the appropriate amount of curing salt #1 for the weight (1/5 tsp/lb), twice as much salt (2/5 tsp/lb.) and I just threw in a couple of finger fulls of brown sugar.......probably had about a 1.5 tsp / lb. I could have had a little more sugar if I wanted the bacon sweeter, which is really good sometimes, but as it sits, it has a slight touch of sweetness, which is very good. I vacuum sealed it and put in the fridge for 9 days....my thickest cut was 2", and I believe Bearcarver said go 1 day per 1/2" thickness, and add 2 or three, so a week would have been fine, but with the right cure/salt/sugar ratio, I don't know if one can go too long (outside of the 30 days #1 is good for anyway),,,,,,it isn't going to take on more saltiness than what I have in the bag. I think the longer you go, the more "even" the cure will be throughout.....of course, at some point more time does not benefit, but less time could mean the cure didn't penetrate deep enough. Anyway, I will look forward to your buckboard bacon post!

Bladeguy
 
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