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Charcuterie 101 - The Silence you hear is the meat deliciousifying...

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Posts

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Ended up getting a cheapass Master Chef brand Smoker (you see this brand in Canadian Tire) last year, cost me about 75 bucks. (http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/outdoor-living/bbqs-smokers-accessories/smokers-accessories/masterchef-vertical-smoker-0851013p.html)
    I recommend it for a "my first" charcoal smoker. Before getting this thing I mainly used propane barbeques for any sort of outdoor cooking, so getting use to charcoal and how it works took a few times (and likely some wasted briquettes) after getting a charcoal chimney, my coal starting woes have completely ended.

    I mainly do pork ribs and pork shoulders in the smoker. The tempature gauge in the smoker kinda sucks so I just cook until it looks good and finish in the BBQ or Oven if a bit more time needs to happen (usually will use the oven for the shoulder as those tend to get reduced into a mess of delicious pulled pork)

    Tried a Brisket once in the smoker, but due to the shitty smoker and poor heat retention/air flow etc it doesnt really get hot enough for a brisket,( unless right on the coals the smoker gets to maybe 210) so I will stick to pork products until I buy a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker.

    I tend to brine the pork before I cook in mainly apple juice and whatever liquids I have on hand that might work well together. Will let the meat soak over night and then i'll remove it and put a rub on it.

    My rubs arent anything exact usaully a mixture of
    Cumin, Onion Powder, Cinnamon, Salt, Pepper, Mustard Powder, Celery Salt and whatever else I feel like. You just have to watch the cumin as that can really overpower everything else.

    i'll try to post a few pics of various ribs/pork shoulders I have done when I get a chance.

    bowenThegreatcowYall
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Meat Photos
    Pork Shoulder
    impkxw.jpg
    Pulled Pork from said shoulder
    sebszs.jpg
    Ribs
    2mdl6jl.jpg
    Brisket - sadly not as good as it looks
    1692891.jpg
    Two weeks ago - Ribs and Pulled pork and Wings, and potato salad with beer nuts... oh and a Coors, I dont know who was drinking that.
    2zggqx5.jpg
    More Pulled Pork
    2zz7otu.jpg

    bowenXaquinThegreatcowJaysonFour
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    are you inviting us all over for a dinner?

    cause I'll bring a side ....

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    I like sharing pictures of smoked food goodness as much as I like sharing actual smoked food goodness. Have only used the smoker maybe 8 times so far, getting slowly better at doing it, charcoal was the big hurdle, how long it lasts when to fire up another batch. Next time I will be using the minion method of stacking coals, from what I read you can use that and wont have to change out the coals for hours.

    XaquinThegreatcow
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Beautiful work sir! Glad to hear you sticking it out with charcoal smoking. It produces awesome results given how fiddly it is. I need to crank up another batch of bacon. I realize I haven't made it in several months and this needs to be corrected post haste!

    Xaquin
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    I had thought about propane, Weber makes some nice ones but I already have a propane BBQ, so I didnt really want to deal with more than one propane tank. Plus charcoal is fun, and I can throw the coals into my fire pit. Friend of mine has an old Little Chief electric smoker, doesnt get hot enough to cook but you can use it for jerky or adding some smoke flavor. Likely will give her my current one once I pickup a WSM, or if I win the lottery, a big green egg.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    I had thought about propane, Weber makes some nice ones but I already have a propane BBQ, so I didnt really want to deal with more than one propane tank. Plus charcoal is fun, and I can throw the coals into my fire pit. Friend of mine has an old Little Chief electric smoker, doesnt get hot enough to cook but you can use it for jerky or adding some smoke flavor. Likely will give her my current one once I pickup a WSM, or if I win the lottery, a big green egg.

    Oh yeah if you have the dosh to spend I can personally vouch for this one I linked earlier:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0055XSP54/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2P0BM1EGNZKL0&coliid=I2VY39BTO0RTVM

    This thing is amazing! I smoked a 22lb turkey with this thing and it came out phenomenal. Really good temperature control. But..yeah...it's $900.00 and I don't have that kind of dosh to spend right now (was over a friend's house).

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Did up some chicken this weekend (first time) had some wings I made and froze about a month ago, and had a few breasts that I had sitting in beer overnight.

    Anyways I over did the wings, they tasted fine but were too dry, the breasts could have been taken out sooner but were much better.

    Phototime!

    wbwh1s.jpg

    When I took this picture I should have took the wings off.. but I didnt and they died because of my hubris.

    bowenThegreatcowXaquin
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    it is ok sir, learning is (generally) a delicious art. :D

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I bet they still weren't even that bad.

    Ladies.
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Nah they were pretty shit, like chewing plastic.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Alright! I've got a pound of streak air drying in my fridge!

    Should I check it once a week or something?

    It's in a cheesecloth bag since it was too small to roll up.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Alright! I've got a pound of streak air drying in my fridge!

    Should I check it once a week or something?

    It's in a cheesecloth bag since it was too small to roll up.

    Aye if it's unrolled like you have it you'll want to check it roughly every 2-3 days or so. You're essentially looking for the consistency of a very well-done steak, so a nice pliable firm texture essentially.

    Xaquin
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Ok it's only been a week, but it def feels like a well don't steak and is dry ....

    How does it look?

    IMG_1619_zps8ecf5a66.jpg

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Looking quite nice sir! Good way to test would be to take a slice off the edge and inspect the interior of the meat it should have a dark red/pink uniform color throughout. Then ultimately, you'll want to test it by frying it up real quick (rinse off the aromatics first before you do that) and see how it came out! :)

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I will do just that tomorrow!

    If nothing else, this has been a fun learning experience. Hopefully I'll add delicious to that!

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    10155720_10152328090313279_4354425676258033387_n.jpg

    well, it turned out both delicious and insanely salty. Perhaps the next batch I should soak in water before curing?

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Looks really good sir! And yeah as long as you didn't add the extra salt as part of the cure (since you said you were using an already cured streak) in theory you shouldn't have to blanch it. Still for a small piece, maybe having it in some unsalted water for about half a day should balance things out a bit before starting the cure. Still, looks really good!

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Looks really good sir! And yeah as long as you didn't add the extra salt as part of the cure (since you said you were using an already cured streak) in theory you shouldn't have to blanch it. Still for a small piece, maybe having it in some unsalted water for about half a day should balance things out a bit before starting the cure. Still, looks really good!

    I'll try that next time!

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Doing some bacon right now, had bought the pork belly on friday and have been curing it since then (salt, brown sugar, cinnamon) every day I remove it from its wrap, remove the water, readd curing rub and re-wrap. Will throw it in the cold smoker tonight (friend of mine lent me her Little Chief Smoker) will let it smoke for a few hours and then cut a strip or two off and see how it turned out. Will post photos later.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Doing some bacon right now, had bought the pork belly on friday and have been curing it since then (salt, brown sugar, cinnamon) every day I remove it from its wrap, remove the water, readd curing rub and re-wrap. Will throw it in the cold smoker tonight (friend of mine lent me her Little Chief Smoker) will let it smoke for a few hours and then cut a strip or two off and see how it turned out. Will post photos later.

    Hrm, I haven't tried that refreshing the cure every day process. Let us know how it goes, I typically let the bacon sit in the resulting brine to ensure that the flavor gets thoroughly absorbed throughout the whole belly, this will be interesting to see! :smiley:

    darkmayo
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Bacon!
    Here is the untreated pork belly.
    2ng4p76.jpg

    And with its first dusting of curing rub
    4jrh3l.jpg

    All done Curing from earlier today
    34j86ty.jpg

    The 30+ year old Little Chief
    i5q9te.jpg

    5 hours later
    v58nf5.jpg

    Sliced off a few strips
    8yrrpc.jpg

    Into the pan they go
    11tsd4o.jpg

    So how was it??





    Its in a water bath right now, going to try to bring it down a few notches, other than it being a devil brine the flavors of the smoke, brown sugar and cinnamon come through well, but they are beaten down by SALT. Will update once its out of the water bath.

    XaquinceresThegreatcowchromdom
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I love it when there are pictures.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    darkmayoThegreatcowbowenXaquinJaysonFourNightDragonchromdomErin The Red
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Yeah the end pieces will always be pretty salty. Still, it looks pretty darn awesome! Next time try keeping the original cure present throughout the entire curing process, swapping out fresh cure ups the salt absorption by a lot.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Also did someone say pictures? My team finally gets to experience my pastrami today after talking it up for over a year. 6 Hours of Smoke and 4 hours of braising and 3 cans of energy drinks to complete it overnight later, ET VOILA!!!

    IMG_12361.jpg

    ceresdarkmayocabsyErin The Red
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    god damnit, why aren't you my neighbor

    Ladies.
    ThegreatcowceresXaquincabsysyndalisEvigilant
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Yeah the end pieces will always be pretty salty. Still, it looks pretty darn awesome! Next time try keeping the original cure present throughout the entire curing process, swapping out fresh cure ups the salt absorption by a lot.

    yea was going off what some dude said on the internets, but maybe he likes his pork very salty, or is Dutch and loves DZ licorice. Next time (which will be very soon) i'll just salt it once and maybe not cure if for so long. Might add some maple syrup or molasses or something wet to the mixture as well.

    At work so I havent had a chance to slice off more since bathing it yesterday. If it is still Dead Sea Bacon then i'll cube it and use it in a pasta dish.

    Thegreatcow
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Yeah the end pieces will always be pretty salty. Still, it looks pretty darn awesome! Next time try keeping the original cure present throughout the entire curing process, swapping out fresh cure ups the salt absorption by a lot.

    yea was going off what some dude said on the internets, but maybe he likes his pork very salty, or is Dutch and loves DZ licorice. Next time (which will be very soon) i'll just salt it once and maybe not cure if for so long. Might add some maple syrup or molasses or something wet to the mixture as well.

    At work so I havent had a chance to slice off more since bathing it yesterday. If it is still Dead Sea Bacon then i'll cube it and use it in a pasta dish.

    Awesome Idea sir, yeah I frequently drizzle in some honey/brown sugar if i'm making a sweet breakfast-style bacon. And excellent idea on the cubing for pasta, when it doubt you can always use the oversalted pork "flavor-bomb" style and incorporate it into pasta/saute dishes for extra flavor, or even soups and stews too!

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Yeah the end pieces will always be pretty salty. Still, it looks pretty darn awesome! Next time try keeping the original cure present throughout the entire curing process, swapping out fresh cure ups the salt absorption by a lot.

    yea was going off what some dude said on the internets, but maybe he likes his pork very salty, or is Dutch and loves DZ licorice. Next time (which will be very soon) i'll just salt it once and maybe not cure if for so long. Might add some maple syrup or molasses or something wet to the mixture as well.

    At work so I havent had a chance to slice off more since bathing it yesterday. If it is still Dead Sea Bacon then i'll cube it and use it in a pasta dish.

    Oh update, the bacon is delicious.

    Thegreatcow
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I did a pork butt in the slow cooker with fancy salt (Alaea?). Smells very "minerally". Recipe was for Kalua pork (here). I'd post pictures, but since it was in the cooker and not a smoker it's not particularly pretty. The jicama, granny smith, carrot and sultana slaw needed lots more mustard that I'd thought.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    I did a pork butt in the slow cooker with fancy salt (Alaea?). Smells very "minerally". Recipe was for Kalua pork (here). I'd post pictures, but since it was in the cooker and not a smoker it's not particularly pretty. The jicama, granny smith, carrot and sultana slaw needed lots more mustard that I'd thought.

    Very nice sir! The recipe looks very solid. One way you can always improve the appearance and taste of slow-cooker meats is to do a quick sear in a very hot pan of all sides of the meat before putting into the slow cooker. You might need tongs and a very big fry pan to do it, but the end result is always good. Basically you'll hold the pork roast upright either by hand or by tongs and rotate it on the hot pan just long enough for each side to really get a good medium-dark brown sear on as much of the outside as possible (make sure you're trimming the skin off the butt if you do this) and then plop it in the slow cooker, it'll definitely improve things by a lot. :)

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Yeah the end pieces will always be pretty salty. Still, it looks pretty darn awesome! Next time try keeping the original cure present throughout the entire curing process, swapping out fresh cure ups the salt absorption by a lot.

    yea was going off what some dude said on the internets, but maybe he likes his pork very salty, or is Dutch and loves DZ licorice. Next time (which will be very soon) i'll just salt it once and maybe not cure if for so long. Might add some maple syrup or molasses or something wet to the mixture as well.

    At work so I havent had a chance to slice off more since bathing it yesterday. If it is still Dead Sea Bacon then i'll cube it and use it in a pasta dish.

    Oh update, the bacon is delicious.

    Glad to hear it sir! :) Moar bacony joy!

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Now I realize this recipe is only tangentially related to charcuterie as it only involves Bacon as it's meaty ingredient but I believe the combined sacriliciousness makes it too good not to share, and I actually went ahead and made it so I believe a report is in order.

    Behold. Chocolate Bacon Guinness infused Bread Pudding

    http://www.foodbeast.com/2014/05/30/bacon-chocolate-guinness-challah-bread-pudding/#ytUeTe8hQhSYAXHu.01

    And pics of the creations:

    IMG_12401.jpg

    IMG_12411.jpg



    Tasting Results: I'd definitely recommend reducing the chocolate chips by about 1/4. They kind of overpower the bacon and the guiness in the pudding. Otherwise it is quite the flavor bomb that will impress anyone you make it for. Definitely a once a year kind of thing go. It's a bit too rich for my tastes.

    JaysonFour
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Next up for recipes found along the web: Bacon Chicken Pineapple Kebabs, just in time for 4th of July!

    http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/bacon-pineapple-chicken-kabobs/41c5cee7-e258-4605-923d-959de6370d92?src=SH&sf3322335=1

    9f210703-ee59-4c51-9ca1-28b2b3e1baa4.jpg

    Didn't get to make pics in time (they disappeared quite quickly). I can personally report they came out really really good! I actually made two batches: one with the original recipe using Thick Cut Bacon and another for several co-workers who don't eat pork with Turkey Bacon.

    Tasting Results: The regular bacon version is definitely the better of the two. The extra fat keeps the chicken breast moist during grilling, the one with turkey bacon was noticeably drier than the regular bacon, but I chalk it up to mainly cooking it at the same temperature as the regular bacon and I think they dried out faster. Still, the sauce/glaze is quite delicious and really sets off the combination really nicely. I definitely recommend the original pairing of bell peppers and onion, they form a nice zingy contrast to the rich pineapple and bacon.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Finally courtesy of @LuvTheMonkey‌ He forwarded a wonderful recipe here for "Pastrami" smoked salmon

    https://www.chefsteps.com/classes/barbecue/?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=video-salmon-pastrami-yt&utm_campaign=BarbecueCampaign#/salmon-pastrami





    I'm definitely going to start this this weekend and find out how it turns out. I've never tried brining salmon steaks to this level before for fear of overpowering the fish (most of the folks I make salmon for don't like anything impeding the stronger fish taste) so this will be lots of fun to try out!

  • LuvTheMonkeyLuvTheMonkey High Sierra Serenade Registered User regular
    Do it do it do it

    I am currently ramping up my efforts to buy a house and get out of this apartment. I will fully admit that roughly.......20% of my motivation is finally having space to buy a Weber Smokey Mountain.

    Molten variables hiss and roar. On my mind-forge, I hammer them into the greatsword Epistemology. Many are my foes this night.
    STEAM | GW2: Thalys
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Do it do it do it

    I am currently ramping up my efforts to buy a house and get out of this apartment. I will fully admit that roughly.......20% of my motivation is finally having space to buy a Weber Smokey Mountain.

    That was the turning point for me.. have a backyard, so get a smoker. Will be getting my WSM 18" in a week or two.

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    New Smoker next to the old "MasterChef" smoker.. love you WSM

    34i5m9u.jpg

    Brisket! Round 2 - 5 pound brisket no need to get a full sized one incase I destroy it.

    b6y9sl.jpg

    Prepping the coals at 7:00am - using chunks of Hickory, has been soaked in water.

    262r71f.jpg

    7 hours-ish later, at around 235-250f and a bit of a rest in the fridge.

    332z6f8.jpg

    Slicing up some ends - looking good!

    hsoocw.jpg

    Turned out pretty damn good

    ejbd68.jpg

    Did ribs too but whatever.

    2eqgytu.jpg

    Brisket details- just a basic rub - no injections, nothing fancy. Hit the stall at around 161 degrees, so wrapped it in foil and that broke and we got it up to 195. At that point I pulled the brisket off and let it rest, and tossed it in the fridge for a bit. (was having people showing up about an hour later so it rested maybe an hour at most)

    Bark was good, could have been a bit firmer if I had tossed it back in the WSM for another hour after being in foil but I wanted to serve it and it was already falling apart which was great.

    Cant say enough good things about the new smoker. Still getting use to how much charcoal to use, by the time I finally dumped the coals it had been about 12 and a half hours and the smoker was still pumping out a good 235degrees so I can reduce the amount of coal I load it up with.. or just buy more meat :smiley:

    ceresbowenzerzhulThegreatcowcabsyJaysonFourMichaelLCAlazull
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    Beautiful sir! That is some nice looking bark!

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    This thread has been too quiet, while it is winter time up here in Canuckistan, Santa did drop me off a new toy for me to play with during the cold.
    IMG_20141231_123855_zpsfefkyfyl_1.jpg

    An electric smoker so I can do some colder weather smoking, heats up to about 400 if I choose to so I have some leeway for when it gets really cold.
    For my first batch I decided to go with a turkey breast and a rack of pork ribs (back ribs)

    Would be good for a comparison with flavor as I tend to do both quite often. This run was just wood chips in the smoke box, and water in water pan.
    The turkey was brined in Apple Juice (which I likely wont do again.. it really didn't need it, and the hint of apple took away from the meat) and used a standard rub for the ribs.

    IMG_20141231_135106_zpsmhuux9yb_1.jpg

    Decent amount of room in the smoker, if I use my Rib rack I could likely get 8 or so racks in the smoker. The smoker is all shiney clean except for a bit of the smoke from the initial seasoning. You can see the element on the bottom, wood chip holder on the right, water pan on the left.

    It was nice to have a unit that I could literally set and forget, I had to add chips to the smoker twice during the cook (6 hours for the ribs, 3 2 1 method) and 5 for the Turkey (Foiled it in the last hour or so)

    IMG_20141231_175327_zpsz1ot8zpl_1.jpg

    The turkey looked amazing. Quite moist, but like I said earlier I could have done it without the apple juice brine.
    IMG_20141231_190930_zps2limr5ym_1.jpg

    Looking good, notice no smoke ring. While the smoke flavor is present it isnt as intense as the charcoal and since the combustion method in the electric is limited we don't have the factors needed to get that chemical reaction for a ring.

    IMG_20141231_190451_zpsat2f4dns_1.jpg

    The ribs turned out great, once again not as intense smoke as the charcoal but the meat itself was tender and as you can see, falls off the bone without much fuss.

    Over all really impressed with the smoker, I have since done more turkey inside the smoker, as well as some sausages. That time I put a couple of charcoal brickettes (kingsford) in the smoke box. That slight addition provided enough particulate to get a bit of a smoke ring on the meat.



    One last photo, because of the really nice weather here in Calgary I fired up the WSM and did some Jerky on it for the first time (normally I use a dehydrator)

    The results where amazeballs.
    IMG_20150126_105236_zps0g5hlmxf_1.jpg

    darkmayo on
    cabsy
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