Today we're going to turn a pork butt into bacon, aka buckboard bacon. (If we did this with pork loin it would be canadian bacon) I'd like to do real bacon too but none of the local grocery stores have pork belly. I figured the next best thing is one of my favorite cuts of meat, the pork butt. The pork butt is the top half of the pigs shoulder. Its a fatty cut of meat and should be perfect for bacon. As a bonus its also easily found at $1 a pound. I'm using morton's tender quick because its easy to find. Mix 1 tablespoon of it with 1 teaspoon sugar for every pound of meat to be cured.
I de-boned my butt, sliced it (poorly) into 1" thick slabs, dusted it thoroughly with the cure mix, and stuffed it in a ziplock in the fridge. I believe morton recommends something like 1 day of cure time for each 1/4 inch of meat. I've been busy and its been in for 12 days. I flipped it a few times.
Since I left it in so long I took it out, rinsed it, and then soaked it in a pot of water for a few hours. Hopefully if it got too salty during its fridge time this will help leech some back out. Here it is laid out.
Some people don't slice the butt and do it whole. I figured it would be easier to do when deboning. I'm not sure if i was right. I've also seen people tie their butt back together for smoking. Its raining, cold, and I'm feeling lazy. I made something resembling a pile of meat on the smoker. I'm hoping it will say reasonably cool in the middle with the added thickness so it can take on more smoke flavor. I'm smoking at 200 degrees with apple wood until it hits 140. It may just slide apart too.
This is my first cook on my smokey mountain but so far its living up to its reputation.
Slice it into bacon-esque strips
Fry it up (thicker slices taste like ham steak, thinner slices more like bacon)
Make a quesadilla.
Top with sour cream, lettuce, and salsa (not pictured)