Cold smoking bacon questions

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by sub-80, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    Cold smoking bacon questions
    Ill be undertaking my second attempt at home-smoked bacon soon. First attempt was hot smoked in a Stumps (took about 3 hours until internal temp of 145-150 was reached). Good results.

    This will be my first attempt at cold smoking. I'll be using the AMZN Pellet smoker (apple) and my Weber kettle.

    Couple of questions for those who have cold smoked (with kettle or otherwise):

    1. I know the length of time to smoke is up to the individual, but what has been your experience with bacon cold smoking times?

    2. I've heard some that cold smoke in stages (some today, some tomorrow, etc)....I'm curious what the benefit is to this...and is it necessary?

    3. Is cold smoking more susceptible to that ugly 'c' word (creosote), or is that more a function of other factors (air flow, etc)?

    4. With vents fully open on bottom and top of the Weber kettle, should that provide adequate ventilation for an extended smoke?

    5. After pellicle has formed, is it necessary to bring the bacon to room temperature before smoking...or can it go on cold?

    Any other tips would be appreciated as well...thanks in advance.
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  3. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the reply alblancher...appreciate it!

    As for the cure, I'm thinking of trying a couple different varieties. I haven't decided yet, but I have to soon if a finished product is going to be ready to give to my dad on Father's Day.

    My first hot smoked bacon was kosher salt, brown sugar, black pepper, and was good, but perhaps a bit on the sweet side. I was thinking about going pure maple instead if the honey this time and cutting down on the brown sugar (or eliminating it).

    For the other cure I was thinking of adding some more spice...habanero, cayenne, etc...but have to do some quick research for that one...I want the spices to add flavor, bu not be overpowering.
  4. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    I'm also curious about your longer cold smokes...

    I've read long cold smokes can create a tough, undesirable exterior. Some
    Say it's too chewy...curious about your experiences with the final result of long smokes...have you noticed this?

    Also curious about the fat rendering. If a cold smoke is maintained, the fat will not render (which I believe is the goal here). But I've heard some say that cold smoked bacon is harder to try up as 'crispy'. What has been your experience with that?
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    No complaints on this end.  If you are still uncertain why not try a 12 hour smoke and see what you get.   I have noticed that the surface of the bacon can dry out a bit more sometimes but i have not noticed any really difference when I fry it up.   All good questions,  why not try it out and let us know what you think!
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you do a cold smoke you need to use a Sodium nitrite cure.  If not you run the risk of getting sick.  Big difference between hot and cold smoking when it comes to this!
  7. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    My cure had, and will have this time, the proper cure#1 ratio per the belly weight.

    I should've mentioned this before. I know some cure without nitirite...I don't desire to.
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    You are new to the forum and I don't know how familiar you are with this stuff. Just want to make sure you are doing it safely

    I know people brine or salt without sodium nitrite but I would say that you can't cure without Sodium nitrite.  Salt "curing" is a risky procedure and we do not encourage it on the forum.  There are too many people visiting the forum that could get into trouble with simple salt "curing".

    Well, glad you are here and I look forward to some Qview.  If you have any questions about your cure mix just ask
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  9. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    I do was my fault for not mentioning the cure#1. To me it's so obvious that I forget to I go right to the other flavor cure ingredients.

    Picking up my belly if any have a great cure idea, now is the time...they will be sealed tonight.
  10. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I also go by color but find skin on bellies usually go 12-14 hours and bellies without skin I usually go 8-10 hours it's a matter of personal preference but that's how it works out for me
  11. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    This will be a 'skin-off' cure and smoke...I appreciate that insight...makes sense.
  12. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    I'll be cold-smoking some skin-on bellies this upcoming weekend, and anticipate an approx.  12-14 hour smoke, using the A-maz-en smoker.

    This is after a nice 5-7 day cure and allowing sufficient drying/pellicle-forming time. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  13. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    Pellet or dust? Not that it matters...just curious...

    Do you light one end or both?
  14. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    I think I'll use pellets for this smoke, providing i have enough to fill all the rows (1 pound) of a-maze-n pellets. Lighting one end, I should get approximately 11 hours of smoke. If I light both, I'll get 2x the smoke, but will burn half as long. I'd prefer to go 'low & slow' with the smoke. With dust, I'd get about 7-8 hours of smoke.

    So about 2/3rds of the way in, I'll 'backfill' with more pellets to lengthen the smoke duration to about 12-14 hours.


  15. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Sub! [​IMG]
  16. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    I've been going back and forth myself on whether to light one side or both. I think I'll start with one and see how it's going....It's not like it's a race...

    Interesting tidbit you just mentioned. I was curious how much weight of pellets would fill the entire are guessing 1 pound or do you know for certain? I'm sure Todd may jump in witht the official word here too...but thanks for bring it up
  17. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    Hi Jeanie :biggrin:
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I never weighed the Pellets but it is a lot less than 1 pound per fill. I have been getting 6 full AMNPS smokes and a couple of single row smokes out of a 2 Pound bag. I fill about 3/8" below the rim...JJ
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  19. sub-80

    sub-80 Fire Starter

    Great info...thanks!

    I have 2lbs each of Hickory, Maple, Cherry, Oak, Apple, Mesquite, and Alder arriving tomorrow...a good start :sausage:
  20. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    I've not actually weighed the pellets when using them. I'm 'assuming' its about a pound, depending how 'full' you fill the lanes.

    From Todd's instructions on the A-maze-n:

    "Fill your A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER with approx. 1 lb. A-MAZE-N-PELLETS. Other pellets can be used, but results can vary. Keep the pellets below the tops of the dividers...The AMNPS will produce smoke for approx. 11 hours on 1 lb. of pellets. Duration will depend on the pellets used, heat and draft or turbulence inside your smoker or grill."

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012

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