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Ref; I have an Addiction to bacon curing

Discussion in 'Hot Smoked Bacon' started by TomKnollRFV, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Having just finished some Back bacon/Canadian bacon. <In my mind, back bacon and Canadian bacon are still different. Canadian bacon is much leaner, and true Back Bacon is not. Some day I'll get the cut to make rashers!>.... I'm already doing Buckboard Bacon.

    Since I had to go to Walmart..I had to of course go down the meat section and I saw bone in tyson pork butt for about 1.74 a pound or round abouts. So I got a big ole butt <think it was close to 10 pounds>. I plan to debone it and start curing tommorrow..it is why I recently got a 4.5 or 4.4cubic ft mini fridge for my room. <Also nice to keep my insulin in on the sides>.

    Not sure if I'll try to do a double smoke or not, I do intend to inject one piece with maple syrup that I'll be flavour enhancing with maple flavour you'd use in baking after asking Disco about this.
  2. That sounds cool! This is all still beyond me. I need to settle in with a good book on bacon making and meat curing to get a grip on all of it. But, I also know that requires a meat grinder... and a stuffer... and a slicer...

    You might be able to order the cut of meat you want from online somewhere. There are places online that deliver authentic British meats, i.e rashers, but I don't know what an acceptable price would be. You could also look at farm co-ops and local farms to see if you can order the cut of meat you want and even go in on part of a whole hog.
  3. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Of those I have exactly two. A stuffer..and remember I was doing sausage at first with a jerky pistol from fleet farm for 20 bucks, still got it, still plan to use it for it's actual purpose..and I got a meatgrinder, which I used twice, and realized it was junk. Stuff like bacon requires nothing special for equipment...I do want a Slicer.

    If you look up oldfatguy canada..that is Disco, his blog has nice instructions for buckboard bacon, and he's pretty darn active here and on youtube if you got questions! The biggest thing is finding Pink Salt 1. I ordered a 2 pound container off amazon, oughta last me a good long while! I believe bear does his bacon with Tenderquick. Which I've used in snack sticks and is more readily found <at least it was by me.>

    I believe you gotta take the plunge and show off your bacon now Kris ;) It's not all that scary, but I totally think using a vaccum sealer to seal the meat in bags is a good idea when curing; just so the chance of it leaking is minimal.
  4. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Just got them finished up and in the curing fridge!

    First one is Maple bacon <I didn't use brown sugar, added a healthy dose of maple extract to the syrup I used>.

    Second one will be kept as plain ole bacon..

    The third ended up with more sugar then it shoulda, because I totally spaced it. I'm hoping it turns out okay..but since I intended to make it a spicy pepper one the sugar if it doesn't ruin it, will help tame the heat for others I hope.

    I plan to just do a 14 day cure to be on the safe side. I also am never buying a bone in pork butt for this again. For me it's worth dropping 2 dollars a pound for the pre boned stuff. Now people are asking me to step up on my jerky ...gonna have to figure out a good place to go for cheap beef to use for that. Not gonna spend 4+ a pound on beef I might ruin entirely.

    Attached Files:

    KrisUpInSmoke likes this.
  5. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Just wondering from our more experienced members..if I just cheated and bought a boneless butt; would it really matter to the end product? I can get one for about 15 cents more a pound. Just google has given me conflicting information on if it is a different cut or not and I'm just curious about that. I've seen them rolled..and what just looked like a big hunk of pork butt, sans bone.

    Suffice to say, I don't think I'm ever going to truly master being a good butcher. I'll just play one on TV like Andrew Zimmerman would say ;)
  6. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    boning out meat becomes pretty simple, once you do a few, and pay attention to the bone shape/location etc...

    then after that, they are all pretty much the same.

    For a butt, use a SHARP knife and just SLOWLY follow the bone, trying not to cut deep at once... shallow cuts and move slowly along, between the meat and bone. when you hit a hard spot, that is the horizontal aspect of the blade. Just lift the meat, and look at how the bone rises to the skin side.... slowly move you knife along the bone...

    once you get it nearly out, put it back in and roll the meat back to its original location and study how it looks and sits.

    after you learn to read the orientation, it will become second nature!
    You'll master it in no time!

    1) Sharp knife
    2) shallow slow cuts
    3) notice how the bone/meat sits
    4) repeat a couple times and you'll laugh at how easy it has become for yiou!
    5) make MULTIPLE boneless butt products!!

    for a real challenge, find a whole pork neck, and try to debone that one vertebra at a time!
    Once you learn that and can debone a neck without leaving meat on the bone.... you'll rank with the Masters!
    I could never get the technique down prefect, but saw a Master Butcher do it blindfolded, and there was so little meat left on the vertebra that it all went to soup bone.
  7. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Jeeze...that..is impressive! I have some squick factor dealing with bones in poultry, I have -no- idea why, but I find bone in poultry so revolting I won't actually eat it. There has to be some thing from when I was much younger and don't clearly remember, but I suspect it has to do with undercooked poultry.

    I do need to pick up a de-boning knife; we simply lack the proper tools here. Not to surprising given that no one in my family ever got into this curing stuff!

    I also ended up smoking the bone and what was attached to it, for my dogs. I didn't give them the bone, just stripped the meat off and mixed with kibble.
    nanuk likes this.
  8. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I recomment this:

    and get yourself a basic medium smooth "steel" to bring the edge back up.
    Steels don't sharpen, but just straighten the edge that gets turned on the bone.
    a steel that has a matte look and feels like very fine wet/dry sanding paper works well.
    find one locally at any knife store.
    Stay away from diamond, or course ones... they wear out your knives faster, and don't do anything better.

    and find a shop/guy that can sharpen your knife, and learn how to do it yourself.
    You'll be AMAZED at how nice and easy it is to cut/bone meat with a SHARP knife... it really is effortless.

    When I was taught sharpening, we had to be able to "PUSH" our knife through an inside round roast to cut steak without ANY sawing motion! That was the only way to get a pass mark in the "sharpening" module of the course.
    learn to do that, and it will amaze your friends and cures cancer!
  9. Braz

    Braz Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I am terrible at boning but my wife is good at it so I will probably never learn.
    I am good at sharpening though, after a lot of practice. I find sharpening a very relaxing, almost zen-like activity. I am also a straight razor shaver and had to learn to sharpen razors as well. Knife and razor sharpening are totally different skills.
    nanuk likes this.
  10. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    When I worked up north, a knife maker started to sharpen my knives, as he saw we used a belt sander to sharpen.

    our reasoning was, even though his method made the sharp last 3X as long, we'd still need to sharpen every couple weeks.... and He'd wanna charge us, and our store manager wouldn't pay.

    So the belt sander was used once a week at least. But once sharpened, a good steeling would keep them usable for the week.

    IIRC, our knives had a 25* included angle edge, whereas a razor would be FAR MORE finer edge, would it not?
    you'd need a specialized belt unit to sharpen them, or a jig and a waterstone or arkansas type stone??
  11. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I was going to smoke this on Saturday but I might hold off till Sunday. Any reason not to let it sit in the fridge after the rinse and soak for 2 days?
  12. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Alright I got them out of their vacc bags and into my fridge here on some cooling racks..I'm not sure if they'll form a proper pellicle in the little fridge, so that'll be interesting to find out actually. I'm still working on getting it just where I want it temp wise too. <When I put in the summer sausage and bearloaves, the temperature just took forever to get back down.>

    I'm not sure if it's overly visible; but the one with the toothpick in it I injected with maple syrup+maple flavouring extract. I have no idea how it'll taste, so that'll be interesting to find out if I over did it or not..

    Attached Files:

    KrisUpInSmoke likes this.
  13. Can't wait to see how they turn out! And, it's going to be especially fun to see how the maple turns out.
  14. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Well I have a feeling it definitely will taste of maple! If it is to overpowering of maple I can slice it and freeze it and mark the packages solely for baked beans!

    Thanks for following along Kris! :)