Bacon Issue

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by motoman3b, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. motoman3b

    motoman3b Fire Starter

    So I recently gave bacon a try, and after many problems, I think its come down to I just got a bad piece of meat, I started with about 7 pounds of skinned belly that had an unusual amount of fat all along the bottom of it (1/2" thick atleast)  The problem was no matter what I tried I always got a funky creosote taste in the bacon,  I even ordered an amazing pellet smoker and tried that still had the problem and I just got off the bottom layer of fat and it tasted great after that.... 

    Just kinda puzzled what was going on, did it possibly not get cured well enough and was going rancid during the smoke?  Or was it just soaking up too much smoke, anybody have any ideas?  Thanks
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    99 times out of 100 if you have a creosote taste it is improper smoking.  You may not be venting the smoke well enough to keep it moving over the belly instead of stuck hanging on the belly
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you hanging the belly or laying it on a shelf?

    Is the AMNPS directly under the bacon?

    Cold Smoking or with heat?

    Type of smoker used?

    It could be that the smoke is rising up and deflecting off the underside of your bacon.

    Just a thought

  4. motoman3b

    motoman3b Fire Starter

    The bacon was cold smoked, using my smoke hollow smoker (added intake holes and a 3" stack out the top)  The pellets were off to the side and the bacon was laying flat.  I think maybe it was an issue with smoke being trapped under the bacon or something....  Next time I'll try hanging it vertical and I might even use my larger smoker, just used my small one cause my larger one is in my processing barn,  I definately dont think it was a venting issue as the 3" stack was always flowing nice looking smoke
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can always build a rack to hang the bacon on and place a cardboard box over the bacon and smoke generator.  This will give you as much room as you need, you can cut the vent holes as you need.   In my experience it is hard to get a slab of green bacon to hang vertically in a smoker unless it is designed specifically to do that.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The only thing I can think of is maybe you didn't get a good pellicle started first.

    If you're going to add a little heat, it's easy. Just put it in the smoker with a little heat for an hour or two, without any smoke. The meat will get dry & tacky on the outside, and will be ready to take smoke. If you don't do this, the smoke will get slimy & wet & taste like creosote.

    If you aren't going to add any heat (cold smoking), you can't use this method. You will have to put it in the fridge uncovered overnight, or put it in front of a fan for an hour two. This should get a pellicle formed & you should be ready to smoke.

    I'm betting this has been your problem.

  7. motoman3b

    motoman3b Fire Starter

    The pieces sat in the fridge atleast 24 hrs to form pellicle, the last one was like 3 days,  It was definately dry on the outside
  8. motoman3b

    motoman3b Fire Starter

    I've also never had any cresote problems in the past with anything I've smoked, just was really looking forward to some great bacon and kinda frustrated that after so many attempts (I cut the pieces and smoked about 5 different times trying to get it right after the first batch was totally too strong) The apple for 10 hours of smoke was good once I cut the smoked side of the fat layer off so I'm leaning towards it needed to be hung vertical or put in a bigger smoker
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm, after reading all of the earlier comments, that was the only thing left in my bag, that wasn't already mentioned.

    I'm stumped!


  10. jeff 1

    jeff 1 Smoke Blower

    How far was the bacon from the smoke source?  Did you place a baffle between bacon and smoke to keep the bottom from getting hit directly with all the smoke?  I have always hung mine and had a baffle using the amzn smoker in my vertical brinkman.  I can hang 4 peices of half slab and I have done them for as long as 20 hours with no problem.  I am thinking the bottom was taking all the direct smoke.  place something between your smoke source and the belly so the smoke just rolls around it
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I vote the bacon was catching the smoke on the underside.

  12. woundedyak

    woundedyak Smoke Blower

    I agree with TJ. I did a batch once and had the smoke about 6-8inches directly under the belly and poor ventilation. It tasted exactly how your clothes smell the next morning after sitting next to a campfire all night.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL---Mine usually smelled like "Here Is My Heart", but it got chilly during those nights.  [​IMG]

  14. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What curing method did you use?

    I always lay mine flat on the racks.

    I have not had a bad taste issue yet.



    Good luck!!

  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---Same here (I always lay mine flat), but my AMNS or AMNPS is below my empty water pan, more than 6" to 8" below. Don't know if that means anything.

    Two different Bacon Smokes (One cold--One Warm):



  16. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I am not a bacon expert having only done it once and it came out great but I say to much smoke for to long. Are you lighting both ends of your AMAZN and are you stacking the pellets to the max in it ? And as Al said you got to have good venting...
  17. motoman3b

    motoman3b Fire Starter

    I just used a regular morton sugar cure for about 8 days, It wasnt too close to the smoke either about 20" away,  going to give it another try sometime and try hanging, do you guys let your bacon come up to room temp after forming the pellicle in the fridge? 
  18. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would guess it was because there was nothing between the naked belly and the smoke.   You said it was a skinned belly.  There was no drip pan or water pan between.

    In your pics, Craig, you're smoking skin side down and then removing the skin.  In your's Bear there is a pan baffle between.

    If you are allowing the smoke to go directly into the meat horizontally and then flow over the meat directly, the absorption will be much greater.  If you leave the skin on then remove it you will reduce your absorption, or better yet use a drip pan and allow the smoke to deflect off it first, tempering the particles.  If you imagine a candle burning you will see at the tip, black smoke followed by flame.  You want to dispell that black (creosote) smoke to allow the flame with lighter smoke to permeate.

    By removing the initial layer of fat subjected to the direct smoke the bacon was fine; that was your baffle.  

    In the future, see if you can have a drip pan in between your meat and your smoke source or leave the skin on and remove it afterwards so that the smoke is not going directly to the meat itself; it's being deflected and the initial particle burn is not being directly absorbed.
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pops, Now I know why some of my stuff tasted bad... I had better quit experimenting and stick to proven stuff....

         There I go, learning something else today... Thanks... 
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Makes good sense Pops---Should be one or the other.

    Thanks for the input !!!


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