25 pounds of Buckboard

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by mikewysuph, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    We had our last BBB a couple weeks back so it's time to fire up the smoker! I got 6 shoulders, all around 3.5# to 4.5#s....so right around 25#s.

    I measured out the HM cure and put them in ziplocks. After 11 days in the fridge, I took them out and prepped them for the smoker. I did the basic High Mountain recipe before, but really wanted to try some maple buckboard bacon and some peppered maple BBB.

    I kept 2 shoulders in just the cure, but I added good maple syrup to the cure of the other four....hoping to impart some flavor.

    Here's what I did (after a test fry and subsequent 2 hour soak):

    Shoulder 1 = Just the plain cure, sort of a control for this experiment.

    Shoulder 2 = Just the plain cure, but with fresh CBP generously sprinkled all over.

    Shoulder 3 = Shoulder with just the cure with the maple, but nothing else

    Shoulder 4 = Shoulder with the maple cure with the sprinkling of CBP

    Shoulder 5 = Maple cured shoulder that was basted with more maple syrup before heading into the fridge for pellicle forming

    Shoulder 6 = Maple cured shoulder that was basted with more maple syrup, then sprinkling of CBP.

    I'm gonna cold-smoke these.

    I bought the A-Maz-N Pellet smoker and really have had a bear of a time getting the pellets to stay lit in my cold smoker. I tried baking the pellets to dry them out....I tried putting 1/2 sawdust below the pellets....I drilled more intake holes for ventilation....I put a fan super close to the holes to blow air into the smoker and literally on the tray.  Nada, the pellets wouldn't stay lit.

    So then I just tried straight-up sawdust and with the fan blowing air into the smoker and onto the tray, I've been getting consistent results. Here's my set up (for cold smoking salt):

    They're going into the smoker tomorrow! Thanks for tagging along. I can't wait for the results........
  2.   Your elevation may be your problem keeping your pellets lit. I believe it's been written about several times in the forums. You may need to try the tube smoker instead of the 5x8.  PM Todd for more info.

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    stovebolt has a good thought...... above 5,000 feet, or there abouts, the O2 level just won't quite maintain the burn.... extra air, fan assisted, is a good idea... Maybe an aquarium air pump, directed at the AMNPS, will burn the pellets OK.... Sounds like a PITA but, the AMNPS does such a good job of adding great flavor to food, it's probably worth it....
  4. wazzuqer

    wazzuqer Smoke Blower

    Might try to pipe some smoke into it with a mailbox type mod...
  5. I look forward to seeing your BBB. I haven't made any in a long time.

    Happy smoken.

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup, What Dave & Stovebolt said about your high elevation causing "Amazing" problems.

    You need some form of produced air flow. Whether in your smoker or in a mailbox the air is still thin and will more than likely need some form of air assist---Fan??--Aquarium pump??

    I'm sure it will be worth it. A lot easier than carrying your smoker down a few thousand feet !!![​IMG]

    Just noticed: Don't know how much it will help, but you could also put some kind of narrow strip type things under your AMNPS instead of those solid blocks, to give the air a better chance to get under your AMNPS through the bottom perforations, instead of only getting to the side perfs.

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  7. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    Interesting. I never thought about my 4200 ft altitude affecting AMNPS burn. Seems to work O.K. in the summer doing hot smokes but cooler smokes during winter I have had the same problem.
  8. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Thanks for the input Dave, David, Chuck, Bear, et al.

    Funny I've never read anything on here about elevation being an issue for the AMAZN-PS. Weird....and I've read a LOT of stuff here! Good to know. And that would answer a lot of questions.

    Yeah, I've got an aquarium cold smoke generator, but yeah Dave, too much of a PITA. And I'm actually pretty happy now with just the dust, as I'm getting a decent slow-burning TBS with a fan blowing air from the outside into and onto the tray. So no mailbox mod or aquarium pump.....for now. ;-)

    Oh and Bear, I like your idea for increased bottom air-flow. Could help for sure and I'll try that out next go around.

    Here's me getting the coals going:

    Here's the loaded smoker:

    I'm normally a "peeker" on long smokes.....but I've promised myself only 1 or 2 looks today! Just to see where my dust amount is at.

    Thanks everyone! I wish I could share the results with all of you!
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Mike!

    I can't tell what you have under your AMNPS, but to clarify what I meant;

    Something made of metal that could be two pieces in a triangular shape with the 3 sides about 1" or so each, and the length of each to be longer than the 5" width of the 5 X 8 AMNPS.

    Then the AMNPS would sit on those 2 triangular strips, only touching at the two triangle peaks, and not blocking any air from getting to the bottom perforations.

    I think one of the reasons an AMNPS works so good in an MES 40 Gen #1 is because it sits on the two little support rods in the bottom left, and air can get to all 6 sides without anything blocking it.

  10. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter


    I totally agree with your hypothesis. In fact, I put the pellet smoker (filled with dust) in my MES 30 last weekend for some ribs and it chugged TBS for hours with no external fan help. I thought it was from a particularly blustery day in Colorado.....but maybe it was just from sitting on that little rack and having complete air flow all around! Interesting!!

    In fact, that may explain a TON of issues I initially had with producing good, consistent smoke in my MES. Awesome info!!  (And thanks Chuck for the heads up too....still can't believe I didn't read any info on elevation issues with the AMAZN.......   :-(  )


    With 4 hours left on my 12 hour smoke, I still had almost 2 rows on the AMAZN left to go. So I lit my last row to get the party started:

    Then I let it go until we got to the 12-hour smoke mark. Here's the lineup of the usual suspects:

    I wrapped all the shoulders in seran wrap to let them mellow for a bit until freezing and slicing. But I couldn't resist slicing off a few bites from my most anticipated shoulder (the maple cure, basted maple, fresh CBP shoulder):

    I hate saying this is "the best', but for my pallet and my family's, this is one of the best bacon flavors we've had. Assertive maple & pepper flavor, with a wonderful salt/sugar kick from the Hi Mtn cure. If you're a fan of peppered maple buckboard bacon....this initial test got a phenomenal result. Please do it! Super easy.

    I'm gonna let all the shoulders chill for a bit now. But in the next few days I'll be doing a taste test of all 6 different kinds. Best day EVER! Thanks for following and stay tuned!

    bearcarver likes this.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome looking BBB, Mike!!![​IMG]-----------------[​IMG]

    Can't wait to see some pics of slices!![​IMG]

    And Yes, I would say the combination of High Altitude & low air flow effect your smoke, so helping the air flow get to all sides should help.

    People without the High Altitude problem don't have to worry so much about the 100% air flow thing.

  12. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Sorry for the lack of response! Been too busy enjoying all the bacon!

    Final thoughts are to be expected. Each step of increasing the maple and CBP into the BBB made it more maple-y and pepper-y. Delish!

    But.......with all the fun of experimenting to get those flavor profiles, the fam still gravitates towards the tried-and-true original Hi Mtn cure. It's just really really good.

    Overall, 100% success! Thanks all for the help!

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