FNG from Houston TX

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Apr 16, 2007
Houston Texas
I sure hope I'm posting this in the right place, I posted this yesterday and someone told me it was in the wrong spot.

Nice to meat yâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]all! Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve been lurking for some time and before yâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]all start joking, Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m not originally from Texas, but I got here as soon as I could. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m an Oregonian and grew up smoking salmon and steelhead, not to mention Jerky, Elk, venison and beef. I got into making sausage about ten years ago and have been making corned beef, bacon and ham for a couple of years now. I love dry brined and box cured anything, and I have about stopped pickling pretty much altogether. I make my own Instacure (s) from kosher salt, sodium nitrite, and red food coloring. (Blue if Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m adding potassium nitrate to make Instacure 2). Chemistry is an interest and beer brewing, pyrotechnics and distilling are old hobbies. I stopped drinking a while back and after 9-11 the damn government has put a serious crimp in hobby fireworks, so that leaves meat curing as my current primary passion. Most of my smoking is done in a Texas style vertical smoker with a gas burner and an iron spider to hold wood chips. I have used “real fire†before, but I have a hard time controlling the temperature that way. I also have a 1952 Frigidaire metal sided refrigerator Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m converting to a smoker with a remote firebox, but that project isnâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t completed as yet. I used to do a lot of canning too, mostly smoked salmon and regular vegetables, pickles and the like but there are no salmon or cheap fresh vegetables here in Houston. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve always liked food prep and doing anything from scratch. But enoughf history, Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m going to try making some Canadian bacon (piecemeal?) from some loin I bought at the HEB yesterday. I though I would use my standard dry brine bacon formula and add some bay leaf. Normally I horse my bacon (and jerky) but this loin is pretty big so I though Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]d try rubbing it down and sealing in a vacuum bag for a couple of week in the fridge to cure. I was reading on here where somebody was doing that? Never tried it before but it sounds like a good idea. Also from what I read in “The Sausage Maker†(my bible) Canadian bacon isnâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t smoked, but it sounds like most of yâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]all are treating it just like “belly bacon†and running it through the smoker? Also yâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]all seem to be getting it pretty toasty at 145-160 internal temp? Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve been cold smoking my regular bacon at less than 120 and relying on the frying pan to cook it. Am I doing something wrong there? It taste good to most everyone that way. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]d welcome any tips yâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]all can give me, it will be a couple of weeks before this loin will be ready to smoke, or not? Somebody clue me in here will ya? And good to get to know y'all,
Wecome to the forum. Please feel free to offer your suggestions and to draw from the advice of some really nice folks. Don't worry about posting in the wrong spot. Posting is like smoking...a learning experience.
Glad you found the site, can't wait to see some pics..........you are gonna take pics right?! Good, I knew you would!

Your not doing anything wrong if the people you cook for love it. I tend to smoke anything & everything. It's just more fun outside w/a smoker than in by the oven.
Warm and smoky thanks to all of y'all. I'm jus lurking here at work and chewing up some jerky from my last batch. Pictures you say? I think I can Handel that one once I figure out my way around this website. I did start the loin curing last night in my regular bacon dry brine with some bay leaf added and a shot of pure maple syrup just because I couldn't resist before closing the bag. My problem was the "food saver" vacuum bagger wanted to such all the juice out before it could draw a full vacuum on the bag. So I guess I wasted the bag material when a regular zip Lock would have done the same job.
Welcome to SMF Navionjim, as to your post yesterday I think what Deb was getting at was that you would have a better response at being properly greeted by having your own Roll Call thread.

A tip on the Food Saver- if yours doesn't have a 'moist' setting, cut your bag a little longer and then take several layers of paper towels and fold it lake a fan and place in the top of your bag just below where the sealer is on the Food Saver. Seal the bag and the paper towel will abosorb the moisture before it gets pulled out of the bag. Place the strip with the paper towel ABOVE the sealer strip and just seal the bag again-no need to vacuum it out (might have to hit the seal button a couple of times) and then trim off the sealed paper towel above the new seal.
Damn! thats a great idea, I'm an engineer and I never even thought of trying that. It makes perfect sense, now why didn't I think of that?
Welcome to the SMF. I hope you enjoy your stay. Sorry that you have had to modify some of your lifes pleasures.
i had to re-read your original post cuz something wasnt clicking until i did..lol


real canadian bacon is not smoked, its called peameal bacon, cured and rolled in cornmeal...i miss eating it, i use to eat it all the time when i was at home...
Thanks but that's what happens in life, truth be told, I miss the camaraderie and social aspects I found in the brewing / distilling hobbies, but not the alcohol itself. Sometimes we have to readjust our lifestyles. Glad to meet a new set of friends in what may be a healthier industry.
Wow Thats just the information I needed! Now I'm not sure if I want to smoke this bacon or not. I guess I'll try it both ways. Thanks a million.
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