bacon ?'s

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by morkdach, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    what is the purpose of a cold smoke besides flavor?
    what are your thoughts on pink salt?
    thanks
     
  2. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For the first, you pretty much have it. Smoke flavoring.

    For the second, you can't beat it! I got hold of a bunch of different salts (never IMAGINED there would be so many available) and one of them was a pink salt mined from the caves dug into the Himalaya's. Apparently millions of years ago, the minerals from whatever lived, died and existed in that area were incorporated into the salt crystallization process giving it a beautiful pink color. It has a mild and pleasantly smooth / mellow taste- as compared to sea salt which is much "saltier" and has a zing to it. It's also very pretty in a grinder, and over foods makes them look like you're a pro! Strangely enough, the company where I got this from now lists it in their "Bath Salts" section, but states its 100% food grade. Check it out...you'll like the salt.


    By the way, another one I tried was Alderwood Smoked Salt. It was from Washington or Oregon and that was fantastic! My favorite of the bunch and since then I have been dying to get hold of some Alderwood for the smoker. The salt had a smokey alderwood flavor and really jazzed up the baked potato sides when I grilled steaks.

    Here's the link if you're interested:

    http://www.saltworks.us/

    May the TBS follow you wherever you go!
     
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I think the purpose of the cold smoke is exactly what you said the smoke flavor without actually cooking it. The "pink salt" or Prague #1 or whatever people want to call it is from what I understand very safe using the proper amounts and isn't as salty as the TQ at least thats my understanding. I'm going to do my first regular bacon when I get back up to camp and I'm going to go with the Hi Mountain buckboard bacon kit that Desertlites recommended to me as his bacon always looks awesome.
     
  4. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    thanks guys i've been on a low sodium diet fer bout 3 years now and now dont care for the taste of salt. i want to do up some bellies so just looken fer ideas.
     
  5. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    low smoke = flavor& pink salt is cure -they make it pink so u don't mix it up with regular salt-thanks jerry u will like it
     
  6. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    Desertlites pink cure and pink salt are two different animals. Pink salt is mined in the Himalayan mountains it has a high iron content which gives it it's pink color.
     
  7. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Terry, I like to cold smoke my bacons anywhere from 6 hrs on up.. I go by color. Cold smoking is my favorite, it adds flavor and the bacon is not cooked so I have more options for how I use it later.
     
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With cold smoke you get a deeper penetration of smoke into the meat.
    And to anyone who smokes.... pink salt is Prague powder #1 or curing salt. Which one are you asking about Morkdach?
    With the cure #1 you can adjust the amount of salt you add with it. You can also add more sugar to mask the salt taste.
     
  9. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    using it for a cure just looking for a less salty taste thanks
     
  10. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    morkdach
    I didn't realize you were looking for a low sodium cure. Salt is not required for making bacon when sodium nitrate is used. While salt does have a very limited effect on the growth of bacteria it not as effective as Sodium nitrate. Salt improves the flavor of meat at levels of 2% to 3%, and it acts to denature the meat proteins allowing them to absorb water. However when cooked at high temperatures these proteins collapse or shrink driving the water resulting in dryness and hardness. Sugar added at a rate of 10% the volume of salt will reduce the harshness of the salt.

    Sodium nitrate on the other hand prevents C. botulinum spores from developing toxins and helps to tenderize the product, slows the development of rancidness and preserves the flavors of spices. It also gives cured meats it's distinct flavor and color.

    The product will however will only develop that distinct color when it is cooked (boiled,steamed,boiled) at a temperature range of 140' to 158' F. a temperature of 161' F is where the best color is attained.

    It would be possible to brine cure a bacon that would be sodium ( plain salt ) free by using sodium nitrate alone. When curing without the use of salt the amount of sodium nitrate must be increased. A brine of 1 gallon water to 1.1 oz. sodium nitrate soaked for 5 days. This would give you the necessary amout of nitrates for a safe product. It may not taste like bacon with the addition of regular salt.

    Another option that would give you a low salt bacon for 10 lbs. of product.
    .002 oz. Sodium Nitrate (food grade) do not use cure salt this will give you a maximim 200ppm as reccomended by FDA
    5.3 oz. plain non iodized salt. this will give you 3% salt content this can be reduced to as much as 1%
    These amounts can be doubled or tripled if you need more but make sure you do not exceed the .002oz sodium to 5.3 oz salt ratio.
     
  11. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    True cold smoking is done at temperatures of 52' - 72' F 80 % relative humidity and is difficult to due in the summer unless you live in Alaska Cold smoking is not intended to cook but merely preserve.

    Warm smoking at 80' to 100' F 80 % relative humidity. Warm smoking is used to produce dry cured ham known as the Virginia type. In reality better smoke is achieved at higher temperatures.

    Hot smoking 105' to 140' F typically used for bacon, ham, and smoked sausages. The exception here is for certified bacon is brought to an internal temperature of 165 for a short time at the end of the smoke cycle. To long and there will be a loss of weight in the product.

    Smoking serves 3 purposes depending on how it is used to dry,to cure and to flavor. Drying and curing are the real reasons to smoke meat. Smoke flavor is what we have come to enjoy as a part of eating smoked meats. Smoke contains polycyclic hydrocarbons, carbonyls, phenolics, and acids. These compounds act as a preservative and help to deter bacterial growth. In true cold smoking the smoke is generated at a high temperature but allowed to cool before it is deposited on the product. Regardless of temperature and duration meat will only accept a certain amount of smoke one this point is reached it will accept no more. Smoke typically will only adsorb to about 1/4" into the surface of the product. This evidenced by the smoke ring on a butt roast when it's done. On the fat surfaces the penetration will be less as fat blocks the smoke.
     
  12. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Prague powder #1 is meant to be used at the rate of 1 tsp per 5 lbs of meat. In my mind it would be difficult to apply that small amount to what you are attempting to cure. I use Mortons Sugar Cure for all my bacons, regular or Canadian. Just follow the instructions on the package. After that you can add more sugar or flavors you like.

    I also recommend buying Rytek Kutas's book 'Great sausage recipes and meat curing'. It has a wealth of information that will get you on the right path to some great cured meats.
     
  13. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    Ol' Smokey
    What you have to consider is Prague powder has 6.25% nitrate/nitrite while Morton Tender quick only has .5%. Its the concentration of nitrites that is important. That's why it takes less Prague powder.
     
  14. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    and yes trapper prague is made pink to keep from a mix up from reg salt.think u read a little far but I will be careful next time-thanks for your wisdom.and when I smoke salt it tends to turn a pinkish tinge-
     
  15. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Sorry I have to disagree with the statement "Regardless of temperature and duration meat will only a certain amount of smoke once this point is reached it will accept no more"
    The smoke ring will stop forming but the meat will continue to take in smoke as long as smoke is applied. If the smoke penetration stopped then we wouldn't be able to "over-smoke" something. Check this thread out for more facts

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ght=Smoke+ring
     
  16. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    In regards to how deep smoke will penetrate meat during the smoking process. I contacted Dr Boyle at Kansas State University she forwared my email to Professor Terry Houser PHD his area of expertise is meat science. This is his reply

    My question was

    Dr Boyle

    I have searched KSU Extension website for information on smoke in cured meat and have not found what I am looking for. Has KSU done any studies on smoke in cured meat. More specifically I would like to know does smoke penetrate the meat beyond the smoke ring? Does smoke continue to penetrate the meat the longer you smoke and how deep will smoke meat.

    When I speak of meat I mean both cured and non cured meat e.i. cured ham and bacon and fresh non cured pork ribs and pork butt.

    Does smoke react differently on beef than it does on pork?
    Do you have any research that covers these questions?
    Thank You
    Dean Parsons


    His answer was

    Dean,

    You actually have two different questions that need to be addressed.
    The reason for this is that a smoke ring and smoke are two different
    things. Smoking is generally used as a surface treatment to add smoke
    flavor and smoke color which is brown. The smoke ring on the other hand
    is a chemical reaction similar to the curing process that results in a
    pink ring being formed underneath the skin of the meat product.

    If we think of smoking as a process to impart smoke flavor and a brown,
    smoke color then we can think of it as purely a surface treatment.
    Smoke particles have numerous large molecules involved that are unable
    to penetrate the meat product very far. In addition, the amount of
    smoke applied is directly related to the amount of moisture present on
    the meat surface. As the meat is smoked it will continue to adhere to
    the surface as long as there is moisture present. However, as meat is
    cooked along with the smoking process the meat surface generally dries
    out limiting the adherence of any additional smoke. So to increase
    smoke deposition on the surface you need to make sure you get more
    moisture on the surface. Be careful though as too much water will
    impede some of the other browning reactions that are occurring and you
    may end up with too much smoke on the product. This is a very important
    point because one of smokes constituents is acid, and if you get too
    much acid on the surface it will result in bitter flavors. Thats why
    most people (bbqrs) and the meat industry only smoke meat for a limited
    time period. The point being is more is not better.

    Secondly, the smoke ring is formed as wood is burned giving off nitrogen
    dioxide. This nitrogen dioxide produced is water soluble and will
    attach to the outside of the meat product and be converted to nitric
    oxide. Nitric oxide is the same compound responsible for the pink color
    in cured meats. Nitric oxide is much smaller than other compounds found
    in smoke and is therefore able to penetrate the product. However, as
    mentioned previously at some point during smoking the amount of water on
    the surface is dried off limiting the amount of nitrogen dioxide that
    can be absorbed and thus limiting the amount of pink ring formation that
    occurs.

    Additionally, the only way to get more smoke into the center of a
    product is to add liquid smoke. In fact, this process is done on most
    food service bacon and a great deal of frankfurters that are made here
    in the U.S.

    Finally, I don't know of any research available documenting different
    rates of smoke application on fresh vs. cured or pork vs. beef. Again,
    smoke application has more to do with water availability and how the
    cooking process is regulated (humidity and temp).

    I hope this helps

    Terry

    Terry A. Houser Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    251 Weber Hall
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506
    Phone: 785-532-1253
    Fax: 785-532-7059
     
  17. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    wow thanks for sharing that
     
  18. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here is a post I had made and I think was lost in the Great Crash of 2008-09

    Smoky flavor Vs. Smoke Ring with respect to Temperature

    OK, there seems to still be a certain amount of confusion about the amount of "smokiness" imparted to the food in a smoker, and temps.

    The 140° mark is the point where the protein myoglobin will denature, and will no longer "cure" or change color with additional NO2 from the smoke. This stops the formation of the smoke ring.

    It does NOT stop the ability of food to take on additional flavor from the smoke however.

    On edit: And yes, moisture in the initial phase of the smoking process WILL increase the rate of smoke ring formation

    The above is scientific fact. The below is my observations/opinion:

    The smoke ring is said not to impart much flavor, but in fact it MUST impart some change in flavor, as it's actually a cure in the first 1/4" or so of the food. In a brisket or butt, this would matter little, but in ribs, it will result in a more "hammy" flavor.

    An addendum for you electric unit users- the reason you have little or no smoke ring when using your units is addressed in the last paragraph below. Although apparently burning a chunk of lump in the pan will contribute to the ring formation.


    Below is a paper referring to some of the info I have presented.
    ----------------

    Smoke Ring in Barbeque Meats
    How to Get That Coveted Pink Ring With Your Cooking
    by Joe Cordray

    Slow cooked barbecue meats often exhibit a pink ring around the outside edge of the product. This pink ring may range from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch thick. In beef the ring is a reddish-pink and in pork, chicken and turkey it is bright pink. This pink ring is often referred to as a "smoke ring" and is considered a prized attribute in many barbecue meats, especially barbecue beef briskets. Barbecue connoiseurs feel the presence of a smoke ring indicates the item was slow smoked for a long period of time. Occasionally consumers have mistakenly felt that the pink color of the smoke ring meant the meat was undercooked. To understand smoke ring formation you must first understand muscle pigment.

    Myoglobin is the pigment that gives muscle its color. Beef muscle has more pigment than pork muscle thus beef has a darker color than pork. Chicken thighs have a darker color than chicken breast thus chicken thigh muscle has more muscle pigment (myoglobin) than chicken breast tissue. A greater myoglobin concentration yields a more intense color. When you first cut into a muscle you expose the muscle pigment in its native state, myoglobin. In the case of beef, myoglobin has a purplish-red color. After the myoglobin has been exposed to oxygen for a short time, it becomes oxygenated and oxymyoglobin is formed. Oxymyoglobin is the color we associate with fresh meat. The optimum fresh meat color in beef is bright cherry red and in pork bright grayish pink. If a cut of meat is held under refrigeration for several days, the myoglobin on the surface becomes oxidized. When oxymyoglobin is oxidized it becomes metmyoglobin. Metmyoglobin has a brown color and is associated with a piece of meat that has been cut for several days. When we produce cured products we also alter the state of the pigment myoglobin. Cured products are defined as products to which we add sodium nitrate and/or sodium nitrite during processing. Examples of cured products are ham, bacon, bologna and hotdogs. All of these products have a pink color, which is typical of cured products. When sodium nitrite is combined with meat the pigment myoglobin is converted to nitric oxide myoglobin which is a very dark red color. This state of the pigment myoglobin is not very stable. Upon heating, nitric oxide myoglobin is converted to nitrosylhemochrome, which is the typical pink color of cured meats.
    When a smoke ring develops in barbecue meats it is not because smoke has penetrated and colored the muscle, but rather because gases in the smoke interact with the pigment myoglobin. Two phenomenon provide evidence that it is not the smoke itself that causes the smoke ring. First, it is possible to have a smoke ring develop in a product that has not been smoked and second, it is also possible to heavily smoke a product without smoke ring development.

    Most barbecuers use either wood chips or logs to generate smoke when cooking. Wood contains large amounts of nitrogen (N). During burning the nitrogen in the logs combines with oxygen (O) in the air to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Nitrogen dioxide is highly water-soluble. The pink ring is created when NO2 is absorbed into the moist meat surface and reacts to form nitrous acid. The nitrous acid then diffuses inward creating a pink ring via the classic meat curing reaction of sodium nitrite. The end result is a "smoke ring" that has the pink color of cured meat. Smoke ring also frequently develops in smokehouses and cookers that are gas-fired because NO2 is a combustion by-product when natural gas or propane is burned.

    Let’s review the conditions that would help to contribute to the development of a smoke ring. Slow cooking and smoking over several hours. This allows time for the NO2 to be absorbed into and interact with the meat pigment.

    Maintain the surface of the meat moist during smoking. NO2 is water-soluble so it absorbs more readily into a piece of meat that has a moist surface than one which has a dry surface. Meats that have been marinated tend to have a moister surface than non-marinated meats. There are also a couple of ways that you can help to maintain a higher humidity level in your cooker; 1. Do not open and close the cooker frequently. Each time you open it you allow moisture inside to escape. 2. Put a pan of water on your grill. Evaporation from the water will help increase humidity inside the cooker.

    Generate smoke from the burning of wood chips or wood logs. Since NO2 is a by-product of incomplete combustion, green wood or wetted wood seems to enhance smoke ring development. Burning green wood or wetted wood also helps to increase the humidity level inside the cooker.
    A high temperature flame is needed to create NO2 from nitrogen and oxygen. A smoldering fire without a flame does not produce as much NO2. Consequently, a cooker that uses indirect heat generated from the burning of wood typically will develop a pronounced smoke ring. Have fun cooking. A nice smoke ring can sure make a piece of barbecued meat look attractive.

    About the Author:

    Joe Cordray is the Meat Extension Spe******t at Iowa State University’s nationally renowned Meat Lab, located in Ames, IA. He has been writing for The BBQer since Fall of 2001
    __________________
    Stay true to the thin and blue
     
  19. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    Richtee
    It's not my intention to disagree with you on a personal level What I have to go off of his experience working in a commercial meat locker where one of my jobs was curing meat products. A well as the science. I wrote Kansas State University meat science dept and recieved a reply from Doctor Terry Houser who in fact did his undergraduate work at the University of Iowa Ames.

    Dr. Housers credentials

    Dr. Terry A. Houser was born in Cambridge, Nebraska in 1975. He is the youngest of seven children born to Clifford Houser Sr. of Cambridge, Nebraska and Verna Raye Horton of McCook, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1994-1998 for his B.S. degree and competed on both the Meats Judging Team and Meat Animal Evaluation Team while being very active in Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. In addition to campus activities, Terry completed two internships including one at Usinger’s Famous Sausage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the other at Wimmer’s Meat Products in West Point, Nebraska.

    In 1999 Terry started his graduate program at Iowa State University in the area of Meat Science under the guidance of Dr. Joseph G. Sebranek and graduated with a M.S. in 2001 and a Ph.D. in 2004. His graduate research focused on irradiation, non-meat ingredient functionality, and needleless injection technologies for delivering vaccines to livestock. Upon completion of his Ph.D. he started his career as an Assistant Professor and Extension Meat Spe******t at the University of Florida in Gainesville. In January 2007 he joined the Animal Science Faculty at Kansas State University with a 50% Research and 50% Teaching appointment in the area of Meat Science.

    Terry’s hobbies include hunting (deer, pheasant, turkey, and elk), competing in BBQ contests, fishing, and raising livestock.

    -------- Original Message --------
    > Subject: Smoke in cured meat
    > Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 09:51:44 -0500
    > From: Dean <[email protected]>
    > To: <[email protected]>
    >


    Dr Boyle
    >
    > I have searched KSU Extension website for information on smoked in
    > cured meat and have not found what I am looking for. Has KSU done any
    > studies on smoke in cured meat. More specifically I would like to know
    > does smoke penetrate the meat beyong the smoke ring? Does smoke
    > contihue to penetrate the meat the longer you smoke and how deep will
    > smoke meat.
    >
    > When I speak of meat I mean both cured and non cured meat e.i. cured
    > ham and bacon and fresh non cured pork ribs and pork butt.
    >
    > Does smoke react differently on beef than it does on pork?
    > Do you have any research that covers these questions?
    > Thank You
    > Dean Parsons


    > Dean-
    >
    > I am forwarding your message to a colleague who has done some work
    > with smoke rings.
    >
    > Liz Boyle

    Dean,

    You actually have two different questions that need to be addressed.
    The reason for this is that a smoke ring and smoke are two different
    things. Smoking is generally used as a surface treatment to add smoke
    flavor and smoke color which is brown. The smoke ring on the other hand
    is a chemical reaction similar to the curing process that results in a
    pink ring being formed underneath the skin of the meat product.

    If we think of smoking as a process to impart smoke flavor and a brown,
    smoke color then we can think of it as purely a surface treatment.
    Smoke particles have numerous large molecules involved that are unable
    to penetrate the meat product very far. In addition, the amount of
    smoke applied is directly related to the amount of moisture present on
    the meat surface. As the meat is smoked it will continue to adhere to
    the surface as long as there is moisture present. However, as meat is
    cooked along with the smoking process the meat surface generally dries
    out limiting the adherence of any additional smoke. So to increase
    smoke deposition on the surface you need to make sure you get more
    moisture on the surface. Be careful though as too much water will
    impede some of the other browning reactions that are occurring and you
    may end up with too much smoke on the product. This is a very important
    point because one of smokes constituents is acid, and if you get too
    much acid on the surface it will result in bitter flavors. Thats why
    most people (bbqrs) and the meat industry only smoke meat for a limited
    time period. The point being is more is not better.

    Secondly, the smoke ring is formed as wood is burned giving off nitrogen
    dioxide. This nitrogen dioxide produced is water soluble and will
    attach to the outside of the meat product and be converted to nitric
    oxide. Nitric oxide is the same compound responsible for the pink color
    in cured meats. Nitric oxide is much smaller than other compounds found
    in smoke and is therefore able to penetrate the product. However, as
    mentioned previously at some point during smoking the amount of water on
    the surface is dried off limiting the amount of nitrogen dioxide that
    can be absorbed and thus limiting the amount of pink ring formation that
    occurs.

    Additionally, the only way to get more smoke into the center of a
    product is to add liquid smoke. In fact, this process is done on most
    food service bacon and a great deal of frankfurters that are made here
    in the U.S.

    Finally, I don't know of any research available documenting different
    rates of smoke application on fresh vs. cured or pork vs. beef. Again,
    smoke application has more to do with water availability and how the
    cooking process is regulated (humidity and temp).

    I hope this helps

    Terry

    Terry A. Houser Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    251 Weber Hall
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506
    Phone: 785-532-1253
    Fax: 785-532-7059
    [email protected]


     

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