Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Buckboard & Canadian Bacon

Bacon is the cured belly of a hog, ham is the cured hind leg and rump, Canadian bacon is cured and smoked loin, and buckboard bacon is cured Boston butt – the top of the hogs shoulder. After reading about it on the BBQ forums, I’ve been intending to make buckboard bacon for over a year and have had the seasoning for about 6 months, but just never seemed to get around to it until now. This is about a 7# Boston butt just out of the package and rinsed.

The first step is to de-bone the Boston butt and for this I used a sharp boning knife. At Almost Heaven South we have two sets of knives, those for general kitchen chores and MY meat knives. I try to keep the general purpose knives sharp, but it’s difficult considering their heavy use and the things they are sometimes used to cut. MY meat knives are kept very sharp and are only used on meat (I think I said that very diplomatically). Anyway the butt is easy to de-bone and here’s a pic of it along with the removed bone.

I used Hi Mountain Buckboard Bacon Cure.

I find that by using one of these jars you find in pizza restaurants full of grated cheese to be very effective for even application of cures, BBQ rubs, etc.

Like many seasoning kits, this one is made for 25# of meat, but the nice folks at Hi Mountain, knowing that the normal Boston butt will weigh about 8#, provided the seasoning in three individual packets. Here’s the butt all seasoned up and ready for its 2 gallon plastic bag.

The curing process requires the cure/ spice mix to completely permeate the piece of meat and for one this thick, it requires ten days in the frig and turning half way through.

After curing the butt is now ready for smoking to 140*, which means it will be fully cooked and needing less cooking than normal bacon which is smoked to about 100* and is therefore still raw.

I’ve had a whole pork loin in the freezer that I wanted to use, so half way through the buckboard bacon curing time, I started some Canadian bacon. I used about 60% of the loin for the bacon, sliced about ten ¼ inch pieces for breakfast, and cut some 2” chops that I used for blackening (see Apr 8ths post). I decided to use a dry cure, verses brine, for the bacon as it’s simpler and I have a lot going on right now. Some time back, Jeanie over at Cowgirls County Life (one of my favorites), blogged about Canadian bacon where she did one each way, see Link for more info. For mine, for each pound of meat, I used 1 tbsp of Mortons Tenderquick, 1 tsp of Turbinado sugar, 1 tsp of garlic powder, and 1 tsp of onion powder. The curing process requires 5-6 days.

I took both bacons out of the bags on Wed evening, rinsed them well and put them back in the frig, uncovered, to dry good.

I smoked them both in at a pit temp of 200* taking the Canadian bacon to 145 and the buckboard bacon to 140*. Here are some finished pics of them.

I liked the way they both turned out and don't think I'll change a thing for next time.

Since it was lunchtime Bev suggested a BLT for lunch and it was very good. As you can see, the buckboard bacon looks like ham with more fat in it and it tastes like a cross between city ham and regular bacon.

It made a delicious BLT and I'm looking forward to my next meal from it.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. Oh man, you are killing me with all this! Once school is out, I am doing all of this. Expect lots of questions!

  2. Wow---you certainly do know your meats --and know how to fix them!!!! I have never tried to make my own bacon.. Bet it is VERY good.

    That BLT looks very good. Where do you get GOOD tomatoes this time of year???? I love summer tomatoes--but struggle with them the rest of the year.

  3. Great looking bacon Larry! I've not tried the Hi Mountain mix.. Looks like it works nicely! :)

  4. Which Canadian bacon did I get? I really like it!


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