Bacon Questions/concerns

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by jc03, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. jc03

    jc03 Fire Starter

    Hello, I apologize in advance for the scattered thoughts here. I've made bacon a couple time using Pops brine and the fast is great I've just been unable to get that "dark smoked" look I see here on the forum or at my local butcher shop.

    I've tried cold smoking in my 40" gas grill with nothing but the AMZN smoker going from both ends. I did this for 10 hours yesterday. I also tried one slab in my Cookshack Smokette but had trouble producing smoke at its lowest setting of 140*. I bumped up the heat to around 175 but worried I would render the fat so I stopped after 15 minutes.

    I was tempted to light one end of the AMZN dust in the regular grill and just let it go overnight but was worried about the food safety of leaving the bacon at outdoor temperature for 24 hours. Although it tastes great it looks pretty much the same way as when I started a day ago. I appreciate any thoughts you may have.
  2. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you drying the slab and forming a pellicle ???? Are you smoking at less than 80 degrees F... When the fat melts, it interferes with smoke penetration........ are the vents open for good air flow....

    Pork fat melts at.......

    backfat: 30–40 °C (86–104 °F)
    leaf fat: 43–48 °C (109–118 °F)
    mixed fat: 36–45 °C (97–113 °F)
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  4. jc03

    jc03 Fire Starter

    Yes. I've dried the slab. The only heat was from the AMZN and the outside temperature was in the mid 70s. I didn't use a thermometer but can't imagine it was more than a 10• increase. The grill has a ton of venting. I blocked some of it because it seems like there wasn't a ton of smoke in the chamber. My big question is how I've smoked the bacon for so long and it doesn't look smoked like many of the photos folks post on the site.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you smoked it perfect......

    Probably the smoke penetrated the meat, and didn't sit on the surface to make that mahogany color.... Probably tastes great.... Who cares what the color is.... you won't notice it when it is sliced anyway.....

    Did you notice in the link how cold smoked meats absorb the smoke better than warm smoked meats.....
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    IMHO-----You can get good color and flavor two ways:

    #1   By Warm smoking (120* to 140* Smoker temp) for about 8 to 12 or more hours. (My Way---Like "mneeley490" mentioned)

    #2   Or by Cold smoking 24, to 48 hours (Mule has a Great method).

    BTW: The one in my Step by Step was smoked between 120* and 130*, with spikes of 140*, and no fat was rendered.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I follow the same method as David. 6-10 of smoke then rest in the fridge repeat. Until I get the color I'm looking for.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You will find using Cherry wood or the Pitmasters Choice, Hickory, Maple, Cherry, blend will give the darkest mahogany color. Cherry Pellets used in the AMNPS needs to be blended with something else for a consistent burn. I don't know if Cherry Dust needs additional wood or not...JJ
  9. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup. Who cares what it looks like as long as its good. Here is mine.

    Warm smoked like Bearcarver using pitmasters blend.
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Going way back?

    Lots of bacon had a gray or dull type color.

    Not the "pretty" mass produced stuff we buy today.

    It tasted great.  It cooked great.

    Often it reddened up with cooking.

    Having said that, I understand wanting an attractive presentation.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Chef's right. I use a 40/60 combination of cherry and corn cob. Cherry seems to make a nice red color no matter the meat.
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I find that the wood makes all the difference in color, like chef Jimmy said. I use Bear's 10 degree increments, 100, 110, 120, 130, after a 1 hour dry cycle with door cracked and vents all wide open to de-water. I always allow the cured meat to rest a min. of a full day, two is even better, in the reefer to start the drying cycle (forming the pellicle). Woodcutter makes bueatiful colored bacon using a fan to form his pellicle.

    130 is now my cut off temp. I did one last year to 137 and the meat texture changed a little.

    The prettiest color I ever achieved was using Corn Cob, and I had never even heard of it before, and my Pop said thats how his Dad smoked their bacon. But I really over did it with a warm smoke, I finally decided a 4 hour warm some was more than suffient because you are going to let the cured smoked slabs rest for a few days to mellow before slicing.

    Let see........ Corn cob.... Hmmmmmm........ Oh yeah it got to 137, I remember now I think. I think it was a 6 hour smoke.

    I would like to suggest that you forget the color totally, no one says "boy that bacon sure was good it must have had pretty color"

    Get your smoke right, don't over smoke because it will mellow in the reefer before slicing. Pretty color will make you mad when you pre-cook your bacon.

    Sure is pretty though. LOL
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    In case I wasn't clear:

    No way would I ignore the color----color is important.

    In my opinion, good color and good flavor go hand in hand.

    That's what I look for as to when I quit smoking.

    I don't want to eat it to taste it, because it's not ready to taste, so I go by the color.

    If I got good color, I will have good flavor----Time to remove from Smoker.

  15. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I find that if you want that beautiful smoke color on your bacon you are going to have to use real pieces of wood in a long cold smoke and you do not want your bacon sitting right down on top to the smoke..a smoke house is best..
  16. jc03

    jc03 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to do some slicing tomorrow and I'll let you know!
  17. jc03

    jc03 Fire Starter

    Well, I gave the bacon a try and it was "just fine". It didn't cook up real red and didn't have a ton of taste. The smoke definitely didn't jump out at me. What would you do? I only sliced one piece. Would you smoke more? It's been in the fridge since Monday. Thanks.
  18. Yes give it more smoke.

    Happy smoken.


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