From Boston Butts
Buckboard bacon is one of those things you hear about on all of the forums and websites but for some reason seems difficult to new smokers. Its Not!
Iím going to take you through the process step by step with photos so youíll have no doubt what you need to do and how simple it really is to make Buckboard Bacon Ö
Step one: go to the store and get yourself a big ole Boston Butt! They look like this:
A big ole hunk of pork with a ďTĒ shaped bone in one end.
Step Two: Open the package and cut out the ďTĒ shaped bone by inserting a long narrow bladed knife along the bone and cutting it away. This can be tricky because not only is it "T" shaped but is curved. Here are two I just removed this morning.
To remove the bone look at the meat and youíll notice you can slip a small filet knife or a long bladed paring knife right up along side the bone and cut it away. If you start at the long end itíll give you more room to work. Then just follow the bone around cutting away the meat until it hangs free.
I hate fat so I go back and trim away most of the fat cap before brining, itís up to you if you like the taste of fat leave it on.
Here is the trimmed Butt:
Three: Mix up you brine
water in a large bowl, throw the meat in the brine water and inject the meat
with the brine water every few inches all the way around the meat. Today I got
lazy and made a simple brine of:
1 gallon ice cold water
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon Cajun spice
*Prague powder #1(by meat weight * NOTE:† this is what gives meat that pinkish color and prevents bacterial build up while smoking for long periods at low temperatures. If you plan to smoke you should use it!)
** If you donít have or donít wish to use nitrates† you can use Ĺ ounce of cream of tartar per Ĺ gallon of brine to help maintain that pinkish color in brined meats.†††††††††††††
Place the meat in a large Zip-Lock bag and pout the brine water in on top of the meat. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.
Iíll let this soak for about a week in the fridge or in a cooler with ice. This time I used a Zip-Lock bag to hold the meat and brine and just set it in a Sterile-lite shoe box I bought at Wal-Mart incase some of the brine water leaks out.
Plastic shoe boxes are a perfect size for holding Boston Butts!
Every few days turn the bag over in case you have an air bubble in the bag to make sure the whole thing is submerged. Wait a week to 10 days before smoking Ė timing is not that critical.
Step Four: Remove the meat from the brine water. Dry it off with paper towels and tie it up like a roast.
You donít have to tie it but with that bone removed it gets kind of floppy so I tie it up and it cooks together making slicing easier and nicer looking slices.
Hereís the butt all rubbed up and sprinkled with course ground pepper ready for the smoker!
Step Five: Smoke the butt at 200įF to 225įF until a internal temperature of 140įF is reached. I spray my meats with apple juice every hour or so throughout the smoke. I like the flavor. Some use Captain Morganís Spiced rum in their apple juice spray. Again Ė itís up to you!
I smoke pork with at least† hickory and apple every time. I will also add other woods such as pecan, cherry, and for this smoke I tried peach for the first time.
The woods you use will sometimes be determined by the area you live in. Up here in Connecticut I can get Hickory and apple pretty easily and I like it so I use a lot of it. I also love pecan and cherry but thatís got to be purchased online so I use it sparingly.
Once youíve reached the desired temperature, let the meat cool some wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it over night before slicing to let the flavors meld and the meat to firm up. It will be a lot easier to slice cold.
Step Six: Slicing! Okay youíve made your Buckboard bacon, and it chilled, firm and ready to slice. Hereís a few things to consider before you start slicing:
If you want the meat to taste like Bacon slice it thin.
If you want the meat to taste like ham slice it thick.
This meat will give you two totally different types of meat to eat itís all a mater of thickness. I like to slice it both ways Ė half for bacon and half for hams steaks.
Either way its great fried with eggs and home fries!
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© DJx2 2007