Smoked Ducks and Geese

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by oldpro, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. oldpro

    oldpro

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    The place we had the birds smoked was Eagle Market. That closed many years ago. I haven't hunted in Eagle Lake in years, but there was a filling station with a smoker going full time where we got our sausage links after the hunt. Is that the place you're talking about?

    When I hunted there, I ate with my two sons at every restaurant in Eagle Lake at some point after the hunt. I had two golden retrievers at the time and my boys would use them as pillows to sleep on driving home. The boys and the dogs both loved it. Great memories.
     
  2. dillonsmimi

    dillonsmimi

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    Was it set up where you entered on one side and the counter was right there (maybe 4 feet between the front wall (screened?) and the counter? Need to get out there soon and check it out. The sausage was so savory and quite juicy (a stoop over meal for sure!)
     
  3. oldpro

    oldpro

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    That sounds about right. It really was an old filling station before it became a cue spot.
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Chris, I did read some books about smoke curing, many years ago. Most of my comments come from personal experience and interviews/observations of both home-, semi-commercial-, and commercial smoke houses and curing facilities.

    Wish I knew more about Eagle Lake. The little hunting I've done in that part of the world was further south, down around Bay City, for waterfowl, and over towards Harlengin (sp?), for big game.

    OldPro, it's not as adventursome as you think. You don't need a smokehouse, to do one or two birds. When you're done with the renovation let me know, and I'll teach you how to make a smoker from a trash can.

    Or maybe I'll just post it at my webpage.

    Rub it onto your meat. In the case of poultry, try to get it under the skin. Store the meat in a cool dry place. Wait. Keep waiting. Wait some more.

    Basically that's it. Except to really cure it properly you want the protein covered with the cure, making sure to rub it in well against the bones, and forcing it into anyplace that has an airway. For instance, with birds, make sure you get the cure into the space where the legs join the body---just as with a ham you'd force it down along the bone pocket.

    You want to turn the food at least once a day, redistributing the cure and adding more if needed. And it's a good idea to have the work surface at a slight angle, so that the liquid (there's a surprising amount) has a place to drain away. Commerical places do all this in huge tubs that have drains in the bottom.
     
  5. oldpro

    oldpro

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    Bay City is only about 21 miles north of Matagorda. My house on the Colorado River is 7 miles north of the intercoastal and 14 miles from the gulf.

    The dry cure process sounds more complex than brining. What advantage do you think dry curing provides over the wet method or brining?
     
  6. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    OldPro, I'm not sure that dry cure has any particular advantage over brining.

    In my case I switched to it only because it was easier, for me, to develop a feel for how long the protein had to be handled. Essentially (and this is an overstatement) it stops leaking when the cure has been fully absorbed.

    I also feel---and this could be as much in the head as on the tastebuds---that dry curing results in a better flavor.

    So, it's not a right/wrong or better/worse thing. It's a question of what works best for you.
     
  7. maryb

    maryb

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    Semi pro/retired now
  8. gunnar

    gunnar

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    note to self: add KYH to Smoking Guru list:peace: