Bellies are in Pops brine.....what temperature and how long....

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by inkjunkie, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    The next two weeks are going to be like torture. Will be using our MES40 when the time gets here. I have a low temperature 120v thermostat along with a heater that was intended to be used to keep auto batteries warm in the winter. Have a AMNPS that will be slid into the Mailbox hooked to the MES. Wife and I can not tell one flavor of smoke from another so will be just using a mix of pellets. Plan is to just set the temperature in the box just high enough to create a draft to pull the smoke thru. And leave the bellies in the smoker until the AMNPS burns itself out. In my experimenting I have been able to get a bit over 12 hours of burn time with the AMNPS. Will this be long enough? Or to long to be in smoke? Plan is then to chill the bellies for a couple/three days and then slice on our slicer. Am I missing anything? Any suggestions?
    Bit nervous about this as I am a Bacon Virgin so to speak...Would hate to have the bellies sitting in brine for that long and then screw them up on the tail end somehow....
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you are trying to cold smoke the bacon, you need to keep the temps in the smoker under 70f. If you are hot smoking the bacon, then you'd need to follow a protocol that involves ramping up the heat in your smoker so you don't render out the fat.

    When I cold smoke my bacon ( which is the only way I do mine, the only heat is from my AMNTS. The smoke chamber never gets to a temp more than 60-65. For the most part it's in the 45-50 degree range. I smoke my bacon in a series of smokes. 6-8 hours at a time. Then rest overnight in the fridge. Repeat the smoke, rest cycle until I get the color I'm looking for. Usually 18-34 hours of smoke. Then into the fridge for a 2-3 day rest. Slice then vac packs and freeze.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Case gave great info. I have an MES 40 with AMNPS. I find one load, 10-12 hours, gives the flavor I like. It in no way TOO heavy but more smokey than store bought. If my neighbor wouldn't complain, I live in an Apartment, I would try the multiple smokes, but that won't happen anytime soon. Run a full load this time and then play with future Bellies. You can always start smoking, trim off a small piece and cook at 4,6 and 8 hours, if you are curious...JJ
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Once you have the draft going, the AMNPS "should" keep the smoker warm enough for the draft to continue...  Then you can add heat as needed if you want to cold smoke.....
  5. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    When you put the meat in the fridge for the rest cycle do you cover it in any way or do you just pull the rack out of the smoker and place it in the fridge? I may grab another belly next time I am in town, to try both the dry method and and extended multi smoke . This sounds interesting.....

    Neighbors, got to love 'em. Luckily we live out where everyone is on 5 acres or so.....but most days when I have the smoker going at least one of the dogs will be hovering around it, hoping that something jumps out of the smoker.

    Morning Dave. With them AMNPS being in the mailbox I have found that some heat is necessary in the chamber. Had all the stuff to rig up my heating setup, sure beats having to run out and cycle the MES heater.
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just put the bellies in the fridge uncovered. I hang them in the smoker, and in the fridge. I recommend using a dedicated fridge for projects like this, or everything in there will taste like smoke.
  7. inkjunkie, if you've found that a bit of heat is required to keep the pellets lit, you may try using the dust that Todd sells. When I cold smoke cheese (no heat), I use the dust only and have had zero issues with it going out. I have my AMNPS at the bottom left in my MES30.
  8. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    The heat is not to keep the pellets lit, it is to keep the draft going so the smoke flow doesn't stall. Have noticed that of the smoker is not above 40-45* that the smoke will not rise from the mailbox to the smoker. Because my pellets are sitting out in the garage and write have not had a day with less than 99% humidity since last month the pellets do fight me some. But I just microwave them, hit them for 40 seconds followed by a couple minutes of rest. Repeat this cycle 5 times or so and have 0 troubles keeping them burning.
  9. Sorry. I should have been more specific. The heat is what helps maintain the draft from the mailbox to your smoker. The draft created brings in outside air from the holes in the mailbox that contains oxygen to aid in the burning of the pellets. So in essence, the heated smoker creates the draft that moves the smoke and keeps the pellets least this is my understanding of the process.

    The need to even have the smoker on while smoking is gone when I'm using the dust in my AMNPS. I only offer my experience in case you wanted to smoke w/o the smoker even on...say cheese and such.

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