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Calling all smokers, - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Thread Starter 

I am not too worried about the chicken. Lets say: so far so good.

I still sample everything before having anyone else have a bite. Obviously I work as clean as possible and I do use nitrites in the brine.

The taste of smoked chicken is just awesome!

 

And here: To wet your appetite:

 

 

 

The smaller pieces should be ready today,

So it is gonna be a day of rugby, formula 1 qualifying, biltong & beer

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post #32 of 54

Awesome! I need to dry some beef. Never tried biltong, I usually make good old jerky. What spices do you use on it?

 

To answer your brevious question (a bit late, sorry) - tasso ham is pork neck cured with a cajun rub and smoked. Great for gumbos and stuff.

 

Now that the weather is getting cooler and the nights longer, I have to build a proper cold smoking rig. Plans are up, already. The cellar will be cool enough soon for air-drying, too. At least some guanciale, though I am thinking about trying a whole prosciutto this year. Girlfriend's gonna shoot me when I hang a whole hindleg next to the washing machine, though... ;)

post #33 of 54
Thread Starter 

The predominant spice on biltong is coriander.

 

We dry roast our coriander and black pepper. Besides that there is some salt in the mix.

The meat slices are soaked in vinegar for a couple of hours.

Lemme see if I can get you the exact recipe as it is my manager making the biltong.

He is doing such a good job, that I am not even trying.

 

@EDG: you are right about the salt. Cold smoking doesn't really do it. It has just had another 11 hours of cold smoke (as I was testing out another type of wood) and you can hardly taste it.

I am going to throw it on my gas stove smoker to intensify the smokiness.

 

@Gene: priorities priorities. Washing machine, girlfriend or hindleg?????

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post #34 of 54

Oh yes, please, extract that recipe from him! Never tried coriander - I usually keep the meat overnight in the fridge rubbed with salt. pepper, chili flakes, a dash of dried onion and garlic and a dash of Worchestershire sauce, then dry it.

post #35 of 54
Thread Starter 

Okay here we are:

We use topside or silverside and slice in strips with the grain.

Once the meat is cleaned of grissle and stuff, it goes in the following soak/marinade

Per 2 kg meat we use

40% worcestershire sauce and 6% vinegar (about 200-250 ml in total)

Added to this is

30 gr sugar

30 gr black pepper (dry roasted and gronnd)

40 gr coriander (dry roasted and ground)

50 gr salt

 

soak for 24 hours in the fridge

Remove and hang

 

Sometimes we add some chili powder and/or garlic powder, but mostly it is the above mixture.

With the climate we have here, we start eating it about 2 days after hanging.

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post #36 of 54

Quite similar to mine, except for the coriander. Sometimes I go a bit easier on the salt and add  some light soy sauce, though. 

 

Time to talk to my butcher tomorrow....

 

I have a small drying machine which blasts it with warm air. 12 hours and it is done. I guess you won't need that in Zambia, though  ;) 

The machine is quite good for making my own onion and garlic powder, though. Gives the whole appartment a certain... aroma... , but way better than anything bought.

post #37 of 54
Thread Starter 

We just use a fan and a light bulb.

The small sticks are ready in about half a day, but we also have bigger pieces and they take somewhat longer.

The only period when we struggle is during the hot and rains. In that period we only make the small stiches (biltong bites and chili bites)

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post #38 of 54

@Butzy, 11 hrs?, wow, n-e-v-e-r "smoked" a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g for 11 hrs. Real curious as to what wood you could use, smoke for 11 hrs AND get no flavor!

Knee jerk, don't use that wood anymore, lol!

 

IME all the smoke your going to get will happen within the first 4-5 hrs max.

 When the cut and, or preparation calls for an extended cook time, we usually smoke for the first 3-4 hrs then continue to cook over wood or charcoal for the rest of the time. Have had "smoked" food that was actually smoked for 8+ and it was terrible. Smoking that long can render what you're cooking very bitter.

 

re the salt are you dry smoking?, if so try adding a water pan for humidity or you can get a pretty good adjustable food grade spray bottle for cheap and @ it's finest setting lightly spray the salt periodically with distilled or RO water. That will help the salt absorb and set the desired flavor with the salt.

 

Good luck, let "us" know how it's working out for you.

 

 

 

 

Now the biltong ?'s,

Quote:

Per 2 kg meat we use

40% Worcestershire sauce and 6% vinegar (about 200-250 ml in total)

Added to this is

30 gr sugar

30 gr black pepper (dry roasted and ground)

40 gr coriander (dry roasted and ground)

50 gr salt

 

soak for 24 hours in the fridge

Remove and hang

 

 

Presume, you are adding water to complete the brine as your wet volume = 46%

Also do you roll it in a spice rub after the brine?, kind of looks like it from your photos, which look great btw.

 

 

 

Best,

 

 

 

EDG

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post #39 of 54
Thread Starter 

Yeah, it is only the salt that doesn't pick up the flavour (will it does very slightly, but I would like it to be more)

I will try your water trick. It is high up in the smoker (with the eggs) so the meat/chicken/whatever doesn' drip on it

 

I haven't had anything turning bitter at all. I think it is just the way the smoker is designed. It takes a while to actually smell the smoke coming out of the top (probably close to an hour).

I could close the top vents, but then I would be scared of not enough draft going through the smoker and/or the food turning bitter.

 

The biltong is not really a proper brine.

It is a small amount of liquid with spices sprinkled over the meat. You should actually turn it a couple of times, but my manager normally puts it in in the evening and should turn it at night, but he likes his sleep too much.....

Because of the limited amount of moisture, there is no need to re-spice afterwards. The spices just adhere to the meat.

Believe me, I have eaten a lot of biltong and his is one of the best!!!!!

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post #40 of 54

Thanks @butzy gonna try some biltong before the W/E. ?, do you dry the Biltong @ a specific temp?,  if so what temp? Currently in S Fla for the next week so the humidity is pretty high.

 

?, an hour just to smell the smoke?, somethings wrong brother. The big bastard can hold a whole 300lb hog and if we are using it to smoke after the fire gets going and we put the wood on to smoke takes maybe 5 minutes tops before we can start to smell smoke enough to start our process.

 

re the pic of the salt I smoked, the salt was in the smoker maybe, 2 hrs.

 

Viewed your design, looks like a fine vertical smoker, but couldn't see the fire box design, heat source, how your flues are positioned. 

Saw the 2 small doors @ the bottom, are you using charcoal then wood?, an electric element? etc.

 

Have to presume the wood you are using is properly dried you should NOT use green wood. Have no idea about the wood in Zambia, so can't do you any good there.

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

EDG

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True art, is to conceal art......

 

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post #41 of 54
Thread Starter 

@ EDG

I use sawdust in the proQ cold smoke generator

There is a picture of the thing in one of my earlier posts.

It is straight at the bottom of the smoker and it just takes some time to fill up with smoke. I will time next time. An hour is a little exaggerated and besides that is based on smoke at the top of the smoker.

I don't see it as a problem as the meat develops a nice pellicle in the mean time :)

I suppose every smoker has its own manual ......

 

As for the biltong,

We don't really look much at the temperature. It works in winter and summer in our climate, just the time varies.

Our indoors and outdoors temperatures are more or less the same. We hardly have any walls, no heater and no aircon.

We normally have a low humidity though and the only time we struggle with the bigger pieces is when the humidity gets high. In that case we make chili bites and biltong bites, basically just very thin strips of meat, cut with the grain (so it has a nice chew).

We only have about 300-350 mm rain per year and this is from mid November to mid March. Rest of the year is dry

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post #42 of 54
Thread Starter 

Yesterday I finally got around to sort out my semi-smoked salt.

 

I just put it into my stove top smoker for about 30 minutes and then left it inside till the smoker was cold.

It now definitely has a smoky smell !!!!!

 

I can see some smoky salted peanuts for snacks today:)

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post #43 of 54

Here we go, butzy. Got a batch of biltong according to your recipe in the dryer. Looking forward to it!

 

Also bought about 2 kg of pork belly, that's going in the cure today to be smoked next weekend. Not particularly sure about the flavouring yet - I think raw sugar, juniper, bay leaf, pepper and garlic. Perhaps with a slight paprika rub before the smoke...

 

Happy smoking!

post #44 of 54
Thread Starter 
Is the biltong ready yet?

I made sausages the other day.
A batch of fresh ones and one batch for smoking (something in between cold and warm smoking).
It is just amazing how much difference there is in taste between the two types.
I smoked them for 11 hours, not intentionally, but because I forgot (as I was sitting at the lodge bar having drinks with some of my mates and I was too bone idle to walk to my house to look after the smoker).
They came out good though!

A lot of the fresh ones got finished during that same session at the bar

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post #45 of 54

Aye, the biltong is done. Quite tasty indeed, and a nice change to my usual beef jerky! Thanks again for the recipe!

post #46 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

 

 

Also bought about 2 kg of pork belly, that's going in the cure today to be smoked next weekend. Not particularly sure about the flavouring yet - I think raw sugar, juniper, bay leaf, pepper and garlic. Perhaps with a slight paprika rub before the smoke...

 

 

The last batch of bacon I did had only black pepper and crushed juniper berries as flavoring.  I really liked it.  There was this odd side effect of wanting a gin and tonic with my bacon and eggs, though.

 

mjb.

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post #47 of 54

Now that is part of every healthy breakfast anyway, isn't it? :beer: 


Edited by GeneMachine - 9/24/13 at 10:36am
post #48 of 54
Thread Starter 

I managed to get my hands on some slabs of belly pork and feel it is time to turn some of them into bacon.

I like the juniper idea and brought some juniper back from Europe as I couldn't find them here.

How much juniper would you use? and I assume I should crush them?

 

Since my last post in this thread I have upgraded my equipment quite a bit and am now the proud owner of a sausage stuffer. That is definitely an improvement over stuffing with a hand cranked mincer!

Here is a pic of my lamb sausage (Merquez style)

 

And breakfast sausages

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post #49 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzy View Post
 

I managed to get my hands on some slabs of belly pork and feel it is time to turn some of them into bacon.

I like the juniper idea and brought some juniper back from Europe as I couldn't find them here.

How much juniper would you use? and I assume I should crush them?

 

 

I used about a tablespoon of berries, ground them in a spice grinder, but cracking them should be sufficient.

 

mjb.

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post #50 of 54
Hey Butzy,
usually only use juniper for confit, my basic cure is = parts sea salt, smoked black or seasoned pepper and turbo sugar or just sea salt and turbo, never had any "greying" by not adding pink salt as some claim. Might be because natural sea salt and turbo (turbinado aka, raw sugar) are naturally high in occurring nitrates.



some of my McGyver cherry smoked maple bacon



according to what some refer to as the charcuterie "bible"
http://ruhlman.com/2010/10/home-cured-bacon-2/

—Mix the following together in a small bowl:
2 ounces (1/4 cup Morton or Diamond Crystal coarse kosher) salt
2 teaspoons pink curing salt #1 (I use this DQ Cure from Butcher-Packer, $2)
4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 bay leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar or honey or maple syrup
5 cloves of garlic, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife
2 tablespoons juniper berries, lightly crushed (optional)
5 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)


Cheers!


EDG

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post #51 of 54

It's been more than a year since I fired up the smoker so the last time was to prepare 16 butts for my Moose Lodge Christmas baskets for the poor and needy families of the area. They were very well received unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. However I do have some pics of my work in recent years and wanted to share.

 

I do a dry rub on all meats except for the Pork Butts. Those get marinated in my NC vinegar BBQ. The pics are of Ribs I did for a Memorial Day weekend BBQ a couple years ago. Actually that was a tradition around here until we started getting busy doing so much other stuff.

 

For the record, I do normally trim the spares into Louis #2's but the neighbors loved the smoked flap meat. It was easier to leave it intact and remove for they consumption at the actual event.

 

 

 

 

The racks in this picture are sitting on a home-made slab rack. It's a large piece of metal cloth bent to accept the slabs. It works great and allows a better smoke on the ribs. Plus it's cheap so after a couple uses, make a new one and throw away the old.

 

 

Here are a couple of old pics from Charcuterie I did back in 2008. I have made sausage since then,  in fact it was just last year about this time and have some I packaged. I'm able to turn out a few pounds every couple to three years so it's packaged because I don't make enough to use the old curing crocks my Grandparents brought over from Italy. We just don't eat enough of the stuff to warrant their use. Basically it's a little olive oil in with the sausage and then it's sealed. I sometimes use the olive oil in eggs. It gives them a great flavor.

 

 

 

 


Edited by oldschool1982 - 3/14/14 at 9:34am
post #52 of 54

yummy.... if it wasn't -20c outside i'd be doing the same!

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post #53 of 54

We've been smoking our own bacon for a few years. There just isn't anything like it. I would recommend that you check out the BBQ Brethren (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/) for real, honest-to-God kings of smoking. We've been using a couple of UDS's for our own personal bacon, hog jowl, rib, brisket, pork butt, chicken needs and we have no complaints. Getting into smoking is a slippery slope. Be careful! You could find yourself addicted! :)

post #54 of 54

When I was running Intermountain Vintage Racing I used to "haul ash" out to our events in Wendover.

 

 

We ate pretty well at the Saturday night bbq.

 

mjb.

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