So I woke up this morning with the idea of making my own smoker and my own bacon. After a couple of hours on the google machine and a few coffees later I figured I had the plans all worked out in my head. Yes!
It's a long process.
Monday morning (today): First of all I had to buy some pork belly so off I plopped to the shops and ended up buying a 2kg shoulder of pork instead. It just looked nicer. I scored the rind, made a dry rub of 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup un-iodized salt and 1/2 cup maple syrup, rubbed it into and all over the pork then put the pork into an airtight container in the fridge.
Tuesday night: I will tip out the juices, do another dry rub and flip the pork over.
Thursday morning: I will take out the pork, rinse off the juices, pat it dry with paper towel and put it back in the fridge on a wire rack with nothing coveering it. The cold air will help the drying process.
Friday night: I will fire up my new smoker and hang my pork inside for at least 10 hours, maybe more depending on how it pans out.
Usually I would leave the pork in the dry rub/brine solution for a full week but Saturday is Australia Day and we're having people over for food. The picture above is what I'm hoping mine is gonna look like.
Check out the smoker Dan and I made....
Ok, so the plan was to make a smoker without spending any money, which was easy. It also worked out well because we got to utilise a heap of crap thats been hanging around the house for centuries. When up-cycling it pays to be flexible and not too anal with the end product. If it works we'll be cheering!
What we used: An old fish tank stand, an old brassier that was collecting cobwebs and dust, an old wok lid, a bedside table we found on the side of the road, a scrap of rangehood ducting, random ply, a bit of dowel, a couple of hinges, an old jar lid and a few nails and screws.
Australia day..... come on down!
First of all.... I forgot to turn the pork over last night so did it this morning and O...M...G!!! It looks amazing! Ok, so the picture doesn't give it much credit but it has beautiful, deep red areas around the sides and well, just take my word for it ok.
I spent the morning cutting up dried wood from when I pruned the peach tree last winter. Now I have blisters on my hands and lots of small chunks and bigger bits to burn for charcoal. I also have some old paperbark logs that have been munched through by termites so I broke one up into chips. This afternoon I figured I'd fire up the smoker to give it a test run and to see how the smoke tasted, so to speak.
Lesson #1: Rangehood ducting is flammable....hmmmmm what to do.....what to do???
I could box in the fishtank stand but put a door on it, remove the base of the smoker box and replace it with a grill but I think the fire will get too big and I might end up setting the whole thing alight.
Or, I could build the fire away from the box till the coals are nice and hot, carry the whole bloody thing back to the box (this is assuming I box in the fishtank stand) and then add the woodchips.
Or, I might check out the google machine for some non-flammable ducting.... hmmmmm
Ok, so now we're going to scrap all the bits under the box and build a simple brick fireplace with a chimney. The top box can then be put into place once the fire has died down and the coals are nice and hot.