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What should I smoke first?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by atcnick, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. atcnick

    atcnick Smoking Fanatic


    Just threw together a cinder block smoker about 4' tall and 24"x32" inside.  Stick burner.   Planning on using it to smoke sausages and maybe bacon and such.  Any suggestions on what I should try first?  I'm thinking maybe a pork loin for canadian bacon.   What is buckboard?  I've heard this mentioned a few times, not sure what it is.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  2. reichl

    reichl Meat Mopper

    I would say start off with some ribs!  Buckboard bacon is a boston butt that has been cured then smoked.  There are recipes and step by step instructions to making buckboard bacon if you search.  Good luck with your smoker!
  3. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Buckboard bacon is bacon made from the pork butt. Some like it a lot better than slab bacon as it is leaner.  Pork butt or chicken is good for a first smoke. Pork butt is more forgiving and can handle temp spikes better. Chicken is fairly inexpensive, so if you do screw it up, you're not out a lot of money.

    How are you going to fire up your brick unit?  Post up a pic so we can see what you did.
  4. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    Oh, so much food and such little time!
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I agree  100% - this is the way to start
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  6. atcnick

    atcnick Smoking Fanatic

    Here's a few pics of the smoker.  The wood fire will be on the ground in front of the "tunnel" leading to the smoker.  I'm going to use dowel rods to hold the meat and use plywood to cover it the top.   About smoking in it, I guess I should have mentioned that I'm not planning on BBQing in it.  Going to try my hand at smoking cured meat at lower temps, sub 200.  Like bacon, sausage, etc.    Need some input in that area.   I just googled buckboard bacon, wow, that looks good.  Im going to have to try that at some point.  Since Im going to be using dowel rods for my smoker Im going to need some sort of netting to hold the meat in to hand from the rods.  Any suggestions on that?  Maybe bacon hooks?  I've seen recipes with cure#1 and then other recipes with tenderquick.  I know that they are not the same thing but is there a general consensus on what produces a better finished product?

    By the way, I got the idea for this smokehouse from Meat Smoking & Smokehouse design by Stanley Marianski

  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    look in the wiki section at the canadian bacon wiki.  Very easy cure and a great finished product.

    I have 2 butts in the freezer now for buckboard bacon . Just got thaw them and get to cureing.

     Also if you have a favorite commercial sausge , get some of that and hang it in the smoke for a while .

     We love this for sausage sammies for lunch.
  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Nick,

    I agree, Canadian Bacon would be a good start.

    I got some real easy "step by steps" in my signature "Below".

    Click on any of them to check them out.

    I try to make them as easy as possible to follow, so it's easy for me each time I do them again.

  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm going with Dutch also on this one and say Pork Butt is one of the best to learn on. After all it's pretty darn easy and it is very forgiving and it takes a longtime also so you can learn how to keep a fire at temp an all. So make your butt and then while it's smoking you can cure you some Buck Board Bacon too. Then you can smoke it next week too.
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    In the OPs reply he states that he is wanting to smoke at temps Below 200 degrees. The only thing i'd smoke at less than 200 would be something that has been cured

     Looks like he is wanting to use this  as a  smoke house .
  11. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    IMO, if everything is done right, they are equal in quality. I learned on TQ, which is mainly why I use it almost exclusively. It is harder to "screw-up" with TQ than with the other cures (IMO). I would find it hard to evenly distribute 1 ounce of #1 cure on 25 pounds, so you would have to mix other things (salt & sugar & various seasonings) in order to be able to cover that much meat. TQ is already mixed with salt, so all I ever mix in my dry cure is brown sugar. Also many people worry about TQ being too salty, yet I have never had a batch of anything being too salty when using TQ. The only time I ever had to soak & soak & soak anything to get the excess salt out was with a Pre-Mix I bought for Buckboard Bacon.

  12. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would suggest, chicken, ribs, fatty and ABT's. These are all easy and forgiving as you learn how to maintain temps in your new smoker.
  13. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    First thing is I would run a dry test and see what temps you get from the smoker. You might run to hot for a cold smoker or not hot enough for a hot smoker.
  14. atcnick

    atcnick Smoking Fanatic

    For smoking a butt for buckboard bacon or a loin for CB, what would you recommend if I dont have a rack?  A bacon hanger or some sort of ham netting? 
  15. I would suggest chicken or ribs. If you do chicken, make sure that you brine it first. It makes all the difference.
  16. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    This should allways be the first step w/ any smoker .Especially a home built one.

    Either one would be fine for a loin .The netting makes it easier w/ a deboned butt.  
  17. atcnick

    atcnick Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks eman.  Is there any particular type of netting I should use?  Im looking on the sausage maker website and I see quite a few different ones.  Also, does cure#1 go bad?  I have some leftover from January.
  18. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another vote for the dry run.  Then decide what to cook.  Butt is about as forgiving as anything I can think of.
  19. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looking forward to seeing that puppy in action!!