Bacon, newbie help please

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by macbillybob, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. I got a full belly the other day and cut it into 4 slabs. 3 slabs are dry curing using the basic cure recipe from Charcuterie by M. Ruhlman which contains pink salt etc.

    With the other slab I decided to do a brine cure and took the first one I found which was Alton Brown's Junkyard chef version. There is no pink salt in this brine.

    Question is: he says to cold smoke for 6 hrs or so. Is this considered safe? I thought if you cold smoked you needed some nitrite in the cure. It has been refrigerated from the begininning of the brine process and is now air drying in the fridge.

    Any help is appreciated. This is a great forum.
    BillyBob in San Antonio
     
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First off welcome to SMF. You need to stop into Roll Call if you don't mind and intrduce yourself and we can give you the proper welcome we like to give to new members too. Now as far as your bacon I'm not a guru on bacons like some folks here are so I'm gonna past this one off to one of them. They'll be around soon enough.
     
  3. pitrow

    pitrow Smoking Fanatic

    I'd say if there's no cure in it, then it needs to get above 140 degrees within 4 hours. I'd hot smoke it if it were me.
     
  4. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd be pretty reluctant (read I wouldn't) to do this. You might get away with it, but you might not. There are several bacon brine recipes around the forum that use a cure. You would be much safer following one of them, or adding the correct amount of cure to Alton's recipe. I can't say what that would be without seeing the recipe and ratio of brine per lb. of belly.
     
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    If you are going to cold smoke something it needs to have been cured.
     
  6. Usually on that show the fake lawyers are always there to stop Alton from doing anything that is not safe. Even some things which are mildly unsafe, like making ceasar salad with a raw egg and some others which I would not hesitate to do.

    I re-watched the show and there was no mention of any precautions.

    Thanks for the advice. Maybe I will just hot smoke and see how it goes.
     
  7. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you hot smoke pork belly, you will almost certainly render a large portion of the fat away, leaving you with a little cooked side pork, but not bacon. Well maybe a sort of huge slab of cooked bacon.[​IMG]
     
  8. Kinda what I thought even though there seem to be many websites where they made "bacon" without cure and hot smoked it to 150 internal temp.

    Oh well, this is all an experiment. Got 3 slabs dry cured with pink salt in the cure. Planning on smoking these this weekend.

    One other thought/question: Doesn't the salt in the brine work to prevent the bacteria growth?
    BB
     
  9. Hot smoking bacon will render some of the fat, but there will still be enough left. I would not hot smoke canadian style, but bellies a great when hot smoked. You should only need to smoke for a few hours. Cold smoked bacon is good, hot smoked is GREAT- just my opinion. Don't knock it until you try it!
     
  10. Smoking as we speak (or type). Did a test after rinseing and it was good. not salty at all. Up to about 140 internal now. Figure another hour or less.

    Looks like total time in smoke will be about 3 hours (mas o menos)

    Hope everyone is having a good day.....I is currently 70 degrees here (and I am not talking about in the smoker)
     
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Just watch the drip pan or whatever is catching all the fat being rendered I know someone that had a smoker fire from that
     
  12. In Texas the whole idea is to have a fire in you smoker.....[​IMG]

    My smoker is indirect and the fire is fairly far from the meat/fat. Cleaned out the fat this morning for it's spring cleaning.
     
  13. okie joe

    okie joe Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hot smokeing belly meat is just smoked pork,,,without a cure.

    IMOHO ....You need to have a Cure to Cold smoke....and to be bacon
    ...many here have all ready stated.

    I would not cold smoke any meat,Bacon or Sausage included without a cure... I feel that it would remain in the danger zone far to long.
    just basics for me.
    Hot smokeing pork belly would rendering a lot of fat off the belly I would think...
    On thinking this thru no cure is needed on cheese.
     
  14. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  15. Let the belly dry in the fridge overnight and test a piece today. It was good, not too salty. Hot smoked this afternoon.
     
  16. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Number one rule of thumb... if it isn't cured... don't cold smoke it. Pure salt is not a curing agent.
     
  17. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Once again the Alton Brown comes through with total crap. Shame when a guy is alway one neuron short of a complete synapses. Hard to make it through life that way. Realize Alton is not a food professional.. and apparently his food safety staffer is fighting for a couple neurons to complete a synapses as well.

    This is salted fresh side. Or really lame salt pork at best. Poor recipe.

    Couple problems with it. Most of you know the missing cure poses a problem. So that one everyone has... but the Trichinosis problem is real as well. While it rarely shows up anymore, but in custom butchering and wild pigs is a real problem to this date.

    Add cure to this and you will have bacon. Don't and you have mildly salt freshside or salt pork. Don't get me wrong I like salt pork and fresh side. But bacon it ain't.

    And don't cold smoke something without cure.
     
  18. Macbillybob-

    Do I understand correctly that you are going to cold smoke the cured bacon and hot smoke the Alton Brown version? Hopefully that is the case. It will be a good test to see which you like more. Please let us know which you like more.
     
  19. "Couple problems with it. Most of you know the missing cure poses a problem. So that one everyone has... but the Trichinosis problem is real as well. While it rarely shows up anymore, but in custom butchering and wild pigs is a real problem to this date."

    Trichinosis can be killed 2 ways- cook to over 137 degrees or freeze at 0 degrees for 30 days or longer.
     
  20. I smoked the brined bacon with no cure to 150 internal. Then sliced after cooling. Baked it at 400. It was great.

    BLTs were fantastic.

    Not too worried about the trichinocis problem. Cooking this for the BLTs definately killed most everything still around after the hot smoking.
    Will report back on the cold smoked cured bacon slabs. I have not smoked them yet.
     

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