I’ve just finally smoked my first batch of Buck Board Bacon.

 

I used a pork shoulder roast and cured it with Hi Mountain Buck Board Bacon Cure, following their directions.

At the end of the cure I soaked the product for two hours changing the water every ½ hour.

After that I let it rest for an hour or so, dried it off and placed in my PG1000 and smoked it until it reached 140 degrees internal.

 

The next day I sliced some and fried it.

I was pretty disappointed as the smell and taste of bacon was just not close and it was quite salty (not enough soaking).

Later I mate a BLT sandwich with some and found it to be acceptable.

 

So is there any way to get closer to real bacon taste and smell without using pork belly or do I just need to make real bacon in the future?

 

TNX,

MM

Original Post

I think you can make shoulder (buckboard) bacon taste just like belly bacon (side bacon), providing it has enough fat.  First of all, I have sworn off hi mountain products, especially their bacon cure.  I can make the same stuff (but better) for pennies a pound green weight as opposed to nearly .34/lb at the time I was using the hi mountain.  If you're making buckboard bacon, I like to start by finding a fatty porkbutt.  Then de-bone it and then cure it. 

To cure it I use 1/4 percent Instacure #1,  two-percent non-iodized salt and four percent dark-brown sugar mixed very well.  All these ratios are by weight so if you're curing 100 pounds of meat, you use 4 ounces of instacure #1,  two-pounds of salt and four pounds of Dark brown sugar.    Make a little extra than you need and hold it back.  Rub the meat down good on all sides.  Take the extra mixture you held back and mix it with water and inject a couple of ounces in the center of each butt, in the thickest part.  This will ensure the cure goes all the way to the center and does not gas-off too soon, causing a grey-spot in the middle of the meat.  Note, the injection is only for very thick pieces of meat like butts and whole ham muscles.  Put the meat into a non-reactive container and let set in the fridge a couple of weeks, turning every so often. 

When your time is up, pull the meat out and rinse it good then put it inside some ham netting or tie it tight where it forms up nicely.  Hang it from ham hooks inside your refrigerator for as long as you can manage.  (I've went three months before)  Remember, the longer you hang it, the drier and more flavorful the final product will become.  You can do a before and after weight to see how much moisture loss you've accomplished.  I've had 37 percent before which produced a product that was essentially shelf stable.  After drying, smoke it to an internal temp of around 150 and return to the fridge to equalize a week or two.    Slice and enjoy.  

Below are some pics of Buckboard Bacon (we refer to it as Arkansas Bacon) made from Boneless porkbutt.  In the refrigerator shot, the buckboard is the smaller balls hanging higher, the lower ones being whole hams.  I like to shop my meat supplies at waltoninc.com.  They have the instacure #1 as well as the versa-netting for the hams.  This stuff tasted just like side bacon to me.  Also, if you are one for frying bacon to a crisp, substitute the Dark brown sugar for light brown or even part turbinado (sugar in the raw) which does not burn as bad or lower the percentage of sugar.

 

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