Capicola time in Tennessee

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pignit, May 10, 2009.

  1. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Once again Ron has introduced me to one of my now favorite things. This Capicola is off the chart. I started out with a nice boneless butt that had been netted.


    Mixed up a batch of TQ brine per instructions. 1 cup of TQ to 4 quarts of water. Worked out just right in the container I used. Covered it nicely. I first pickled this baby with the brine. Used a cheap injector needle I found and ground a few more holes in it. Worked great. Into the fridge for 3 days.


    After three days I did a pan fry test to make sure it wasn't too salty. It was fine the way it was but I rinsed it well and put it back in the container with fresh water to rinse the TQ off of it. Left it like this while the ribs I was smokin had their time in the smoker. I pulled the capicola out of the water bath.... dried it off and rubbed it per Ron Mans instructions with Cayenne pepper and Spanish Paprika. I added a few red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch.


    I pulled it at 155 and let it rest until it cooled enough to put it in the fridge. I waited until the next day to slice it up.


    This is the first of many of these I see in my life. I can't beleive this is a boston butt. The flavor is outstanding. I sliced it nice and thin. I just can not find words to describe how dang goooood this stuff is.


    If you haven't given this a shot.... you need to. Very simple but the results are fantastic. I smoked this with apple and maple. Got it all sliced up and put it in vacuum bags and into the freezer. What a pile of eatin for 10 bucks.


    Couldn't resist one more closeup. Thanks Ron...... your the man.


    Thanks for checkin out my qview. This was fun and tasteeee and a definite do again. As a matter of fact..... Red is wantin to know when I'm gonna do some more already. And we all know what Red wants Red gets.
  2. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice tutorial post. May have to give this a try.
  3. cajunsmoke13

    cajunsmoke13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dang Pig, now that is some good looking stuff. Nice job
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    That looks great definitely going on the "To Do List" thanks
  5. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yessir, that's a keeper! Thanks for the Qview.
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    that look awesome and ready for sammies to come. What capicola?? I'm really confused and what's in the brine (TQ)? Ok give me the whole story please. [​IMG] please
  7. irishteabear

    irishteabear Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds and looks great, Dave. It's still on my to do list. [​IMG]
  8. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Capicola is what you get when you cure a butt and season it with paprika then smoke. There are lots of methods of making Capicola and this is by far one of the easiest and fastest. In Italy they would probably burn you at the stake for calling this Capicola but in all fairness it is a very simple form of Capicola. I'm far from an expert but through my own research this is the conclusion I have come to.

    TQ is the abbreviation for Tender Quick. TQ is a salt based curing agent manufactured by the Morton Salt Company. The act of putting a piece of meat in a brine solution to cure is called pickling. One of the reasons for using this method to cure meat is it dramatically speeds up the curing process if you inject your brine solution into the meat. This causes the curing agent to cure not only from the outside in but from the inside out as well. All methods of curing give you different results. You just have to experiment to see which one you like the best and what you have the time for. A butt injected with cure and set in a brine can cure in as little as 3 days where a dry cure on the same butt will cure at a rate of 1/4 inch per day. On a butt that can mean 14 days. You can add things to your brine if you like. I used a simple curing brine with water and TQ.
  9. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Fantastic post pig! Man that looks good!
  10. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Beautiful looking pork. Points for the awesome explanation you gave to mballi3011. That will help lots of us to understand.

    So if you were to just dry rub this in TQ and then guage the 1/4" per day method to get all the way through the meat, would you then have a dry aged (what I know more as traditional) capicola? Would you then have to cook the meat with heat beyond this?

    Thanks in advance
  11. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dude... I'm honestly not a capicola expert so I don't know that I'm really the one to give you advice on traditional capicola. I've done some searches on it and have found that there are a number of ways to make capicola. One is using Prague 2 instead of #1 and cold curing. It's a very time consuming process that takes weeks to complete. Sometimes the difference in what you end up with after a cure is totally reliant on the seasonings you use. Try doing a google search on making capicola and you'll see what I'm talking about. I think the definition for traditional capicola has a lot to do with the person you ask or should I say the family that you ask. Traditionally Italian.
  12. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks so good. Such an excellent job, as always.
    I have tried to get TQ around here and nobody carries it. Looked on the Morton site and they were out of stock and ebay has it but the shipping is ridiculous.
    There are so many things I would have made with TQ but even if I had it this would be at the top of the list.
    Points and Bravos and all that for such a great post and such excellent Q.

    *So the post looked so great I had to try it. I decided to order some TQ since no place anywhere around here carries tender quick or tender cure.
    Anyway, I went to order it from the Morton site and it was a 2lb bag for $4.49
    Not bad but when I went to check out the shipping was $8.75! That's a bit excessive.
    My question to you fine folks is do any of you know a different source I can order TQ from or anyone able to ship me some for not such an outrageous shipping price?
    If anyone can give me any links or help on it I would be so incredibly grateful.
  13. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I found it at a Local butcher shop.
  14. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    good looking capicola!!! i may have to give that a shot myself. i know RonP been doing it for a while but your pics may have tipped the scale... speakin of scales,
    [​IMG]thks for sharing those great pix bud!!!
  15. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I didn't even think to ask our "local" butcher.
    I say "local" because it is actually about a 30 minute drive to the nearest true butcher.
    Thanks Ron, I'll give them a call tomorrow and ask.
  16. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice tutorial from a non expert. Points Man!

    Wikipedia explaination of Capicola.

    I especially like how they pronunce It. Capicola = Gabagool.
    However awareness has increased due largely to frequent mention on the popular TV series The Sopranos. It was also mentioned in the classic film adaptation of the Godfather. In both appearances, it was pronunced with an Italian-American accent as "Gabagool" from Neapolitan dialect ).
  17. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow great stuff. Now I want to make one too. Never cured before, but I'm sure I can find some TQ around here. How much do you put in the container of water you soaked it in? Thanks for your help!
  18. OMG that looks great another thing I must try
  19. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is a brine recipe that comes with it but I can tell you it is 1 cup of TQ to 4 cups of water.
  20. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks great PignIt....great job!!

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