Saturday, October 20, 2012

How To Make a Fatty Piston

In an earlier article, we talked about fatties - bacon wrapped smoked meat heaven! Friend and fellow competitor, Arthur Aguirre of Major League Grilling is pretty much a master of the Fatty. Arthur regularly contributes to Scott Thomas' highly popular website I decided to give one of Arthur's recipes, the famous Blueberry Muffin Fatty, a try this weekend.

In Arthur's recipe, he makes use of a very unique tool called a "Fatty Piston". The Fatty Piston is designed to compress the ingredients used as stuffing for a fatty into a log. The log is then frozen in order to maintain it's shape. When you are ready to construct the Fatty, you simply remove the log of stuffing from the freezer, place it on the flattened square of sausage and roll it up - voilĂ ! The Fatty Piston is incredibly easy to construct and best of all, you can get everything you need at your local hardware store for less that $10. Let's get started!

Fatty Piston Materials
The fatty piston is entirely constructed with PVC schedule 40 pipe and pressure fittings that are commonly used in irrigation, sprinkler systems, swimming pools and cold water supply lines. 

Here is what you will need (pictured at right):

2" PVC Pipe (cut to 10" length)
1/2" PVC Pipe (cut to 12" length)
1 1/4" PVC Cap
1 1/4" to 1/2" PVC Adapter
1" PVC Cap
1" to 1/2" PVC Adapter
2" Knock Out Plug (quantity of 2)

The first step is to cut the PVC pipe to the specified lengths above. Both Lowes and Home Depot have the 2" and the 1/2" PVC pipes pre-cut to 2 foot lengths. If you don't have a hacksaw, they will cut the pipe to length for you at no charge. I bought 2 foot of 2" PVC and cut it into two 10" tubes so that I could make and freeze two logs at a time. These 10" tubes are the cylinders that you will fill with the ingredients that will be compressed into the log and then frozen. Next cut the 1/2" pipe in half and saved the other half in case you want to make another piston. The 1/2" pipe is actually the drive shaft for piston you will use to compress the stuffing ingredients into the cylinder. The next steps involve assembling the piston.

PVC Caps and Adapters
Assembled Handle & Head
Fully Assembled Piston

First we will assemble the piston handle and the piston head. For the piston handle, insert the 1" to 1/2" PVC Adapter into the 1" PVC Cap. Then for the piston head, insert the 1 1/4" to 1/2" PVC Adapter into the 1 1/4" PVC Cap. The final step is to attach the assembled handle and head to the 12 inch section of 1/2" inch PVC (the drive shaft) thus creating the Piston. All of the parts fit quite snugly so there is no need to use PVC cement. Assemble as shown above.

Insert Knock Out
Pack Ingredients
To use the fatty piston, simply insert one of the knock out plugs into the bottom of the 2" PVC cylinder. Stand the cylinder upright and begin adding your stuffing ingredients. Each time you add an inch or two of ingredients, use the piston to pack them tight. You will want to pack your ingredients until they are about 1 1/2 inches from the top of the cylinder. Then you simply cap the top of the cylinder with the other knock out plug and place the entire cylinder upright in your freezer.

When you are ready to construct the Fatty, remove the knock out plugs from the top and bottom of the cylinder (I use a butter knife to pry off the knock outs). Then use the piston to push the log of ingredients out of the cylinder.

There you have it! A very simple tool that you can build at home and use to stuff your fatty with just about anything. And today for me, that stuffing will be Blueberry Muffins and Mrs. Buttersworth Syrup!

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