**UP DATE** Cured and Smoked Hocks ~ Foamheart

Discussion in 'Pork' started by foamheart, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I got a dozen hocks this weekend and had 'em cut in half. Suddenly I have two HUGE bags of BIG fresh hocks. The guys said it as a full box and he just went ahead and half's 'em all for me. Gonna be passing out hocks all year...LOL

    Sooooooo I gathered up my professional curing equipment and the spices.

    Yeppers Pop's brine cure. We all love it. My variation of course.

    1/2 C canner's salt 

    1 C Brown Sugar

    1 C Refined Sugar

    1 Gal. Creek Water

    1 Tbsp. #1 Cure

    Maple Extract

    (I heat a qt of water to a boil, add sugar, sugar, salt and disolve.)

    Pour into the special 1 gallon chicken brining Pitcher. You have not seen one? It holds a fryer in a brine and the lid pushes the legs down to insure it stays covered in the brine.

    Add about a quart of ice to cool it down. Then I add a big tablespoon of cure and a healthy pour of maple extract! Always after its been cooled down.Fill it to the line with cold water, A perfect brine cure.

    Into the factory engineered brine vessel. You know its good you see that John Deere emblem?

    Strangely the frozen hocks were in a plastic bag that would just slip down in the bucket and fit as good as socks on a rooster. Not being one to waste a good bucket of brine. I decided to add 1/2 again more cure to insure good coverage. Then I had too much and not being one to waste space thought about what I could cure.

    So check these out, I decided to try some sausages with more meat and less fat. These are the pieces of fat cap. They look more like bacon that all that belly I have in the freezer. So I'll give 'em a try, Hmmmm.... .89/lb butt cap vs. 3.97/lb for sow belly.... If nothing else it'll make fine trim!

    Get it all in and the plastic bag of H2O on top and off to the Beer reefer for a while.

    I'll be back when its ready for the next step.

    PS Don't forget I have another bag of split hocks that same size to do now also.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    bdskelly likes this.
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Watching this for sure. I can't find good hocks around here.

    That looks like some fine soon to be bacon also.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good start Kevin!

    In your recipe you wrote 1 tsp cure, I think you meant 1 TB. I usually use 2.

    I like the brine pitcher! Very cool, can't have enough gadgets!

    I'll check back later.

  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well Me, I can't beg, borrow nor steal a fresh ham. I've been trying for two years now. I know, I know, around the holidays..... well I just can't find one. Damn shame when I think think back to all the pigs we raised.

    I'll see how that comes out as bacon, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't 
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your right and its corrected, all for the lack of a Bee.
  6. whistech

    whistech Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I bet those are going to be some fine tasting ham hocks.     I don't think I have heard of using maple to flavor the hocks.     keep us updated and post lots of pictures, we like pictures.
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use maple extract in my cures, it simulates a maple sugar cure. Yes I know the extract is only aroma, but by fooling the nose the taste buds are easily convinced.

    Sometime give it a try. We have loads of cane sugar, refined, and syrups but we don't have any maple on the gulf coast. I like it. I bought 1/2 gal jugs and had 'em frt'd but when curing when I tryed adding the maple syrup I had problems with Roping. So I do what I can with what I can get.

    If it smells like maple my poor old mouth is easily taken in. Ham bacon, hocks, etc etc....
  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks good so far,last time I seen nice hocks I needed a mortgage to get them

  9. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks awesome Kev.  I especially like the recycling of the Deere Hydraulic Oil bucket.  ( The residual in the bucket should keep you regular.  Always an issue with old guys like you n me) 

    Did you get a new stove?  Very Impressive. 

    BTW  Curing 20 chicken legs in Pops wonder brine  as I type. Mini Disney Turkey Legs!!!!  HooWaaaa! 

    Point for the bucket. 

  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Holy hocks!

    Looks nice and I am in to watch.

  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  12. cats49er

    cats49er Meat Mopper

    I'm trying to be patient.
  13. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Looks like you have a big project going, Foam! I'll be watching just for the pics and the learning :popcorn
    I hope there's not a cow pasture upstream of where you're getting that creek water...
  14. flagg

    flagg Fire Starter

    I better keep an eye on this
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I didn't have that problem with the hocks but most near everything else these day is ridiculious. Oxtail for soup, hell you can buy prime rib cheaper, and don't get me started on chicken wings! All the rich folks have found out what can be produced with tender loving care from all those 'junk" parts used for sausage. LOL
    And those were some pretty looking legs. AND you got to be the hero grandpa (not that you weren't before).
    I throw hocks in like bacon, Pot beans, need a hock, pot of greens need a hock, its an amazing seasoning meat. It also makes some fine cured head cheese.
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I figured 2 weeks min. because when I added ;em to the brine/cure they were still frozen hard as a rock and they are in the beer reefer which keeps that beer real close to freezing cold.
    There is nothing fast about smoking and curing even takes longer. LIke a good friend says here..... Patience
    You always fill the water barrel before you bring the cows back to the barn.
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you, I had forgotten about not only this thread but the hocks in the reefer curing. I am guessing I should take 'em out and let 'em dry a day at least before smoking.
  18. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    OK, its been a couple a weeks, yesterday I pulled, rinsed, and but in the reefer to dehydrate. Today the bacon strips ( from the fat cap of some butts), had a beautiful pellicle. The hocks were mostly dry, sorta sticky.

    So I threw them into the preheated smoker. left the door cracked, the dewater cycle began while I loaded and lite the adjustable oval pellet tube.

    They look like a dark headed girl, the first day on the beach for the summer. Makes you want a pair of sunglasses, they are so white the hurt the eyes.

    About an hour later, I lowered the temp and placed the aux. smoke generator in the smoker.

    An hour later, I checked the little piggies ankles........

    A little color...... meat is still not hot. As close to cold smoking as I can get. I set the box temp at 100 and the pellets didn't like it. So I bumperd it up a bit to 120.

    Another hour and a little more color and aroma. Shall we try another?

    Nice smoke, happy smoker...... Maybe some more flavor and aroma.

    Ok, the neighbors dog has now let everyone know I am smoking again. Smart dog he waits till that smoke smells really good!

    And the final shot as I take it off. I was seriously thinking about double smoking but...... this smells and looks so good and it has not gotten over 110 at anytime. I am liking how it looks and smells! So will rethink it tomorrow,

    So that's cured smoked hocks and bacon strips. I failed to mention I came inside and put a pot of hot water on to boil..... No, No, no one is having a baby.... sheeeesh. I gonna make a pot of pinto bean with hocks!!

    6 hours of smoke. Hickory and apple. Adjustable oval pellet tube. Highest temp., 110 degrees
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
    smokeymose, tropics and daveomak like this.
  19. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Kevin they are Beautifully colored My mouth is watering thinking about the bean soup.Points

  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those pig parts look really good Kevin...     I can't wait to see them swimming in some beans....   The clean, golden color is perfect...

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