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Prelude to Canadian Bacon NOW WITH Q-VIEW

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mdboatbum, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Long story short, I have about a 3lb piece of pork loin in a brine waiting to be transformed into back bacon. No pictures yet, because it just looks like a bag of meat in brown liquid at the moment.

    The Brine:

    32oz. Water

    1 cup Morton's Tenderquick.

    1/2 cup Molasses

    1/4 cup BBQ rub. I used what I had left over from my last smoke, pretty basic SPOG with smoked paprika, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon.

    1TB red pepper flakes.

    The plan:

    I injected the loin and placed in the brine earlier this week and will smoke it this weekend, probably Sunday. I would like to cold smoke for 4 hours then very gently get the temp to 145˚. I want it cooked but I don't want any browning or drying out.

    Only trouble is, I don't have a cold smoker.

    Being the resourceful type, I made one out of a coffee can. Basically I removed the top and saved it. Then I used a punch type can opener to punch holes in the bottom and sides. On the test burn,  I added 2 lit briquettes to the bottom of the can, placed the metal top I'd removed from the can on top of the briquettes, and filled the can with pecan chips on top of the lid. This worked astonishingly well. It generated very little heat, and produced quite a bit of clean, thin, blue smoke. For about an hour. Then the whole thing burst into flames. I think it would be fine if I added another can top on top of the chips to reduce the oxygen. However, being a bit of a hothead, I chucked the whole thing in the trash before I thought of that. It was no longer burning, don't worry. However, I did note that the briquettes burned for close to 4 hours. I may have to revisit that design.

    But, here I was today with Canadian bacon almost ready to go and STILL no working cold smoker. So I did what any man of vision might do, I borrowed Todd's idea for the tube smoker. Now, I do feel a little guilty, and I do intend to order one from him as soon as our business starts up again. (about 95% of our business comes from Gov't employees and when they're out of work, so are we) But, like time, Canadian Bacon waits for no man.

    So here it is. Total investment---$4.99 for the mesh. The rest I already had:

    The mesh is a gutter guard. I believe it's aluminum.

    I made the charcoal basket for the mini out of the same stuff and it's held up remarkably well.

    The tube is about 12". Should have used shorter rivets, but those are what I had on hand.

    I rolled the ends to hold the pellets and to reduce the chance of the sharp edges snagging my digits.

    Left one end a little more open to facilitate loading.

    As soon as I get my hands on some pellets, I'll do a test burn. I think there's a hardware store over in Alexandria that sells them. If I had more time, I'd order from Todd, but I don't.

    Stay tuned.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Are ya smoking yet?  Show q-view!

  3. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Got a Tractor supply store handy?  You can get a 40lb bag of corn cob pellets (BestCob Brand) for $8.99!  Should last at least 1.5 lifetimes!
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Went to several stores last night with no luck. One guy said they had 40 lb bags of Traeger mesquite pellets for $20 but then couldn't find any. I think the nearest TSC is quite a distance away. Looking like I may be hot smoking at as low a temp as I can get. Pics later today.
  5. Academy Sports has pellets. Looking forward to seeing some smoke[​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Found them at a small hardware store in my old neighborhood!! No academy near here, but tried Dick's and no dice. On the way home, remembered the place in the old neighborhood. They had apple, mesquite and hickory in 20lb bags. Traeger brand, for $19.99. Hadn't really planned on that much, but I'll take what I can get. Got the apple ones, figure it'd be good for pork. Fired up the tube in the apartment a few mins ago, works like a charm. Taking it outside here in a few minutes. Pics to come.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  8. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Lit both ends to try and get more smoke in a shorter time . This thing is working like a champ. The smoke, while fairly heavy, is blue and sweet smelling.
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Down to a nice TBS now. Hope it keeps up.
  10. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's. Close to 90 in the grill. Didn't bring the whole mini, just the grill. Should I be worried ?
  11. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Now at 100. Still nice smoke though. Maybe I'll go get the tamale pot so it's a bigger area.
  12. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, I guess I can say I've made Canadian Bacon now. It's pretty terrible. The texture and color are good, but it's way too salty and way too smoky. And way too expensive. For what I spent on all the odds and ends to do this, I could have gotten a nice rib roast and smoked it. Live and learn.
  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Sorry to hear that the CB didn't turn out the way you'd like it to be. I'd try Pop's brine, I use about a 1/3 cup salt in his mix and have found that to be towards are salt liking.

    I'd take the expense of your new tube and pellets out of the cost for your calc of this being to expensive. These items will get used again for other smokes correct?

    You can now use the tube and pellets for other cold smokes, cheese, belly bacon,etc. The tube will even work in a gas grill. I have used my tubes in the Mini-wsm for cheese and have had great results. I would say use the pot next time if you are cold smoking.
  14. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks Case! I'm not really all that upset about it, it's a learning experience. And you're right, the tube and pellets will be used for other things. Hell, with 20lbs. of pellets, I'm pretty much set for life.

    I did go get the pot and that helped to regulate the temp. As for the lessons learned, I won't light both ends of the tube again. Too much smoke and too much heat. I think with one end lit the temp would have probably topped out around 80˚ and it would have given the perfect amount of smoke.
  15. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Yeah when I use the tube in the mini, I light one end and make sure that all of my vents are wide open! I even take it one step further and go double decker!

  16. Great color on that back bacon!!! I used MTQ one time and it was way too salty for us - I've still got nearly a full bag of it but I use Cure #1 and Pop's Brine. Glad you tried it though!

    Any can without a "lining" and a soldering iron work great as a cold smoker too! 

    Nice "spur of the moment" invention though. Just an FYI - Traeger pellets are also meant to generate heat as well as smoke, so that could have been part of the temp problem. 
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Boatbum, just a suggestion, give it a day or two....... My first attempt at "Back" Bacon was what I considered a horrible failure. Seriously! I told Disco how bad it was and said next time I was going step by step by his recipe/Q-view. My Sis came over a couple a days later, dug it out the reefer, sliced some and never stopped slicing while ranting and raving how good it was. They ate it ALL! To my bad, I had wrote it off as a learning experiment, so I didn't take notes <sigh> I know my bad. Now I have done 3 more whole loins and can't get back to that bad one again.......LOL I am thinking I might have spilled the Maple syrup in that brine....ROFLMAO

    I have learned here to temper my opinions with a few days resting. The same with bacon, it needs a week's rest to "mature"?

    Personally, your bacon looks pretty dang good to me. Throw that on an english muffin with an egg on top, I bet ya could sell 'em all day long.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  18. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good idea Foam!! I'll give it a few days and try it. Might be good!
  19. jdwalker

    jdwalker Newbie

    I've found resting is key. its not ruined until at least 10 days after the smoke.