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Old 12-13-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Curing and smoking meats?

Hi everyone. So I am new to the site. I am working towards being more self-sufficient. Part of this is wanting to cure and smoke my own meats. We just ordered an electric smoker from Cabela's.

At the top of the list is bacon and ham. Bacon looks pretty straight forward aside from figuring what seasoning to use while curing. Ham looks much more complicated. Hanging it isn't an option since it's winter. Lol.

So, my questions are as follows:

1. Does anyone have clear instructions and recipes for curing with just a brine and then smoking?

2. Does anyone have a great recipe for bacon? Not sure what all to cure it with.

3. What are the best books or magazines to educate myself on smoking? My husband hunts about everything, so options are pretty substantial.

I just love the idea of knowing what is in my food :)

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Old 12-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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If you don't have this book you should get it:

#71200 Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NDIrish81 View Post
Hi everyone. So I am new to the site. I am working towards being more self-sufficient. Part of this is wanting to cure and smoke my own meats. We just ordered an electric smoker from Cabela's.

At the top of the list is bacon and ham. Bacon looks pretty straight forward aside from figuring what seasoning to use while curing. Ham looks much more complicated. Hanging it isn't an option since it's winter. Lol.

So, my questions are as follows:

1. Does anyone have clear instructions and recipes for curing with just a brine and then smoking?

2. Does anyone have a great recipe for bacon? Not sure what all to cure it with.

3. What are the best books or magazines to educate myself on smoking? My husband hunts about everything, so options are pretty substantial.

I just love the idea of knowing what is in my food :)
Good for you, Irish, and let me be the first to welcome you to DC. You've come to what I believe is the best cooking site on the Internet.

There are several people here who are very informed about curing and smoking meats. You'll have some good information very soon.

When I was a youngster, we had a farm and a large smoke house. At almost any given time of the year, we'd have the smokehouse full of hanging meats. Whole Beefs and pigs, and many hams and fish as well. I used to love going in there to just smell everything!
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the book suggestion!

Timothy, I hope to build a smokehouse eventually. We are going to build a house in the next few years, so it will have to wait til then! In my perfect world, I will have my garden(which I already do), have a smokehouse, raise chickens(both meat birds and laying hens), a few hogs, and a couple steers. On my list of books to get are the Foxfire books.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the book suggestion!

Timothy, I hope to build a smokehouse eventually. We are going to build a house in the next few years, so it will have to wait til then! In my perfect world, I will have my garden(which I already do), have a smokehouse, raise chickens(both meat birds and laying hens), a few hogs, and a couple steers. On my list of books to get are the Foxfire books.
The Foxfire books are good, but there are others just as good or better on specific subjects.

One thing many people don't think of when they start "farming" is that vacations are difficult to take when you have animals that depend on daily feeding and care. I've found that depending on friends to come over twice a day to do it for you is hit and miss. With farming, the adage; "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself" is very true. No one else will use the care you do. Getting away for a week is sometimes almost impossible.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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Oh yes. I know that all too well. I actually grew up on a horse farm. Luckily, we live where we grew up. So, all of our family and friends live here. It's definitely weighing the pros and cons. It would also be great for my boys.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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Oh yes. I know that all too well. I actually grew up on a horse farm. Luckily, we live where we grew up. So, all of our family and friends live here. It's definitely weighing the pros and cons. It would also be great for my boys.
IMHO, farming is one of the best ways to raise a child. It teaches them a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable in their later life.

Good, honest hard work and getting dirt under the nails is great for them also. I honestly didn't think so when it was me getting up at 4am to feed the hogs and prep the firewood for the kitchen each morning, but when I got older, I noticed how immature and naive other non-farming kids were.
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