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Wade last won the day on May 25

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About Wade

  • Birthday 10/10/1957

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  1. I use the Cookshack Hickory from The American BBQ Company and I find them perfect for my needs. They are a blend of Hickory and oak and they give a good balanced flavour and long burn time.
  2. Hi Pawel. We are here to help There are a number of questions here... For making smoked ham it is a 2 stage process as you say. You firstly need to cure the pork and after that you can optionally smoke it. The method will also vary depending on whether you are trying to produce an air-dried (Parma style) ham or a cooked ham. From your description it looks as if you are talking about producing a cooked ham. A pork leg or shoulder is a large chunk of meat and so if you add a dry cure to the surface or use an immersion brine it will take time for it to reach the centre. If the joint still has the bone in it can take long enough for spoilage to occur around the bone and you get something called "sour bone". Like bacon, ham can be either dry cured or immersion/injection cured. The dry cure will reduce the water content of the ham but immersion/injection will increase the water content - usually by up to 10%. If you are using an immersion cure then yes you would need to leave it in the bucket for up to 14 days - maybe longer for very large joints. For the larger joints it is often better to injection cure. The cure in both cases would be different though: For the immersion cure you would weigh the meat AND the amount of water used in the cure, and then calculate the amount of salt, sugar, Nitrite etc. that needs to be added. You would then leave the meat immersed in the cure until it has fully penetrated (typically 10-14 days). For the injection cure you would usually weigh the meat and use a weight of water that is 10% that of the meat.to make the brine. You then inject the brine evenly into the meat - paying careful attention to ensure it is is also injected around the bone. You then leave the meat for a few days in the fridge to allow it to diffuse evenly inside. This helps prevent the appearance of sour bone. Most commercially bought ham/bacon is cured by injecting the brine. At this point the ham is not cooked. You then decide how you want to cook it. You can then optionally cold smoke it for up to 24 hours before cooking or you can smoke roast it in the smoker at ~150 C (until it reaches 74 C internal). You can also do a combination of both. It sounds like the method you have seen above actually boils the ham after it has been cold smoked for a while. If you do cold smoke it first, wrap it in clingfilm (or vac pack) and leave it in the fridge for several days before cooking to allow the smoke flavour to diffuse into the meat. You mention about smoking it a 45 C for 2 days before then boiling it. I know that the method of producing some traditional local products will vary a lot. You need to remember though that not all "traditional" methods are safe - especially when you see them on amateur blogs where there isn't anyone to double check that they are safe. The easiest ways to cold smoke in the bullet smoker are to use either a maze pellet smoke generator from BBQ Gourmet or or a sawdust generator from ProQ. For a bullet smoker you are better off with the ProQ as it produces less heat. Briquettes will produce too much heat and not enough smoke. When cold smoking you must leave the top vents fully open as the smoking relies on smoke passing over the food and not trapped around it. If you try to trap the smoke you will get the heave smoke condensing on the food and it can taste of tar. Sometimes the cold smoke generator can still produce too much heat - especially on hot days. If it does then you can just leave the water bowl in the smoker and fill it with cold water. After hot smoking leave the meat to rest for about half an hour wrapped in foil before slicing/pulling so that the juices can be reabsorbed. For most cold smoked foods you should wrap in clingfilm or vac pack. For cold smoking trout this thread could help Yes you can use both. If you work in an NHS kitchen you may be catering for more vulnerable people and so you may be required by your management to use higher cooking temperatures than are usually recognised as being safe. While you are at work you should comply with they the minimum temperatures that they have set. Here is a link to a good temperature cooking reference for meat. Meat Temperatures: The Quick Guide I hope this helps
  3. Hi Pawel and welcome to the forum Cold smoking is usually done up to 30 C and Hot smoking usually begins at 80 C. You will be able to do both with your Barbecook Cold smoking will be for things like cured fish, bacon, cheese, nuts, salt etc. - foods that are low risk or which have been previously cured Hot smoking at ~80 C is generally for fish - where you are looking to set the proteins in the fish gently Hot smoking from 110 C - 125 C is usually called low-and-slow and is used for meats that need long slow cooking in order to break down their collagen fibres. Hot smoking from ~150 C upwards is usually called smoke roasting and is used for meats that do not need long cooking times When hot smoking meats there are general guidelines for each meat however they are not definitive. For example you would not usually smoke roast a whole brisket but mince it and turn it into a burger then you cook it hot and fast. You can cook a chicken low-and slow however it can result in the meat becoming pink so they are mostly cooked hotter at ~150 C+. Pork loin you can cook either low-and-slow or hot roast. Whether you use a rub, brine or inject really depends on what you are cooking, what you are trying to achieve and your own personal preferences. A brisket is a good example - it is a comparatively thin meat (unless you are cooking a large whole packer brisket) and many will only apply a surface rub several hours before smoking as the flavour has time to penetrate. With this you get a combination of the natural flavour of the meat and the applied spices. Some will immersion brine to add different flavours and others will inject. Injections are usually a combination of flavours and also meat tenderising agents, such as pineapple juice. When injecting you need to be careful that you do not add TOO MUCH flavour - if you are trying to cook a good brisket then you do not want the meat to end up tasting like pastrami (unless that is what you are trying to make) or in extreme cases tasting like a stock cube. When competition cooking with KCBS the judges will actually mark you down for your brisket if what you have produced tastes like pastrami. With larger joints (like Pork leg or shoulder) it takes longer for the flavours to penetrate and so you may want to injection brine. If you are smoking a pork shoulder to be used as pulled pork it could depend on whether it is on or off the bone. If it is bone-in then the flavour has a long way to go to get to the centre. If it is boned then your can apply your flavour to both the inside and outside surfaces. The saltiness is completely up to you whether you are using rub, immersion brine or injecting. When making your brine calculate the salt content - don't just add it by eye.You are looking to create a brine that is no more than 2.5% w/w salt (peoples tastes vary). Once inside the meat the salt isn't going anywhere and so you will be eating it. A good rule of thumb is to taste the brine before you inject or immerse with it. If it tastes too salty then you will end up with salty meat. Yes, you should tell when the meat is ready by the temperature - but this temperature depends on the meat. If you are smoking something like chicken then it needs to get up to ~74 C to get the combination of looking cooked and retaining juice. A beef joint will only need to get up to ~60 C - dependant on how you like your beef. Pork shoulder for pulled pork needs to get up to ~90 C. Whether it is done to the way you like depends on a combination of temperature and visual. If you like a nice firm bark on your pulled pork or crispy skin on your chicken you may need to adjust the smoker temperature even once the meat has reached the required temperature. You specifically mentioned fish. This is something that needs to be hot smoked slowly (in order to set the proteins without having them bubble out as white foam) and it needs to get to an internal temperature of between 64 C - 70 C. The exact method will vary slightly depending on the size of fish and whether they are whole or filleted. They will need to be brined (~20%) before smoking and as a general rule, initially smoke at ~50 C for about 30 minutes and then raise the temperature up to 80 C for about 1.5 to 2 hours dependant on size. Allow to cool and then wrap. Whole mackerel being smoked.
  4. Wade

    Bacon video.

    @Icefeveris not keen on his bacon smoked - so once it has been rinsed and dried, that is the time to smoke - 8-24 hours depending on the smokiness you prefer. After that vac pack and leave for 4-5 days in the fridge before freezing. Ice prefers his bacon green (unsmoked) but others prefer smoked. Both are good - it just depends on you personal preference.
  5. Wade

    Bacon video.

    I always buy a whole belly with skin on and bone in as it works out more cost-effective. Before I bought some decent boning knives I would get the butcher to skin and bone it for me - but with some good sharp knives it now only takes a few minutes. The bones and trimmings are good for stock.
  6. Although they may need some individual attention while cooking - get them in together and help save the planet 🗻🌴
  7. It is important though to remember that we eat with our eyes as well as out taste - so if you think the "pink" chicken meat is not safe to eat then you probably wont enjoy eating it.
  8. I too am qualified to supervise food hygiene in the catering industry and was just advising you of the current standards. It is the temperature that is critical and not the colour. There is a big difference between the standard catering cooked roast chicken (usually roasted hot and fast) and smaller young chicken that is roasted low-and slow. Providing the chicken has reached at least 64 C then it is actually safe to eat - even if it still looks under cooked. The best compromise between appearance and juiciness though is around 74 C. Trust your thermometer.
  9. Wade

    Bacon video.

    If you don't have a pionty sharp (sorry about the technical term 😁) boning knife to cut between the ribs then just use a sharp flat knife to cut underneath the ribs. You should only end up wasting a little meat between each rib but this can be cut out afterwards and used for other things. When you get to the cartilage don't forger that they angle quite sharply at the edge. They are worth getting out unless you don't mind cutting them out of the bacon after it has been cured and sliced.
  10. Do not be too paranoid about the chicken meat appearing to be a little pink around the joints so long as the chicken juices are running clear. Low and slow cooking, in combination with the young age of supermarket chickens, often leads to the meat around the joints becoming/remaining pink. Trust the thermometer. Once the chicken meat has reached 64 C then it is safe to eat. Ideally you should leave it to get to ~74C to give you that balance between not looking under cooked and maximum juiciness.
  11. Defrost them by placing them in the fridge overnight ready for the day they are needed. That is the Food Standards Agency recommended thawing method. After that add any marinade and leave them in in the fridge for 3 or 4 hours to flavour. Once cooked you will not be able to tell whether they were fresh or frozen.
  12. Wade

    Bacon video.

    Are you talking about the small cartilage bones? If so then don't worry Just treat it as you would normally. If it still has the rib bones in then just use a sharp knife to remove them then re-weigh the remaining belly meat and calculate the cure on the un-boned weight accordingly.
  13. Wade

    Bacon video.

    Great Part 2 For those new to bacon making, remember that the outside slices will be the saltiest and so do not let this put you off if you think they are too salty.
  14. If the bottom vents are not sealing then you will will have a problem with temperature control. Firstly, are you using a Minion for the coals or are you starting off with them all lit? If the bottom vents are not sealing well then try using a little high temperature silicone grease underneath the vent slides. Most are rated to 200 C which will be fine for the vents. There are some available specifically for food use (e.g. "Foodlube") but this is very expensive. You can use a "normal" high temperature silicone grease on the vents though.
  15. Wade

    New member

    Hi Kev. Welcome. Which smoker did you buy?
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