Preparing for first bacon smoke

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by thehat, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    I'm working on my first batch of bacon. Starting small, just over 2 lbs. Already removed the skin.

    The belly has been sitting in Pops cure for 14 days, so I need to take it out tonight when I get home from work.

    I don't have the equipment to cold smoke (masterbuilt 30" two door propane smoker). I've been unable to find hot/warm smoking instructions.

    Any recommendations?

    I'm thinking of following these steps:

    1. Rinse the cure

    2. Let it sit overnight or up to 24 hours

    3. Smoke at the lowest temp the smoker can maintain

    4. Remove when internal temperature hits 135 degrees

    5. Let it cool, then stick in the fridge

    6. Slice, pan fry, and eat

    Does that sound about right?
  2. Your steps look good. I might add that I'd take a small slice after it's rinsed to check for salt content and a small slice after the initial smoke to check for flavor. Otherwise, looks good. What temp are you going to be able to smoke at?
  3. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    I'm honestly not sure yet. I've only used the smoker a couple times and kept the heat in the 200-230 degree range. I expect to find out right when I'm preheating before adding the wood chips.
  4. You may have wanted to figure out the lowest temp possible a little earlier [​IMG]

    Either way, let us know how things go and don't forget the q-view!
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This one has my Smoking Temp schedule, and other Tips that might help you:


    Bacon (Extra Smoky)

  6. If your going to do much bacon I would get a AMNPS. It is great for cold smoking or for any smoking for that matter.

    Happy smoken.

  7. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    Thanks Bearcarver. I came across your post on my own, just wasn't sure if my smoker can stay in 120-130 degree range.

    I see you only brought the meat to around 120. Do you think my plans for an internal temp of 135 is too high?

    Also, should I use the water pan or do the smoke dry?
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No water in the pan for electric. I don't know about gas.

    I would run that smoker as low as you can. Some gas users can probably help you there.

    It's not good to smoke Belly Bacon in a smoker over 140*.

    I don't go by internal temp on Bacon. I go by nice color, which at the temps I use usually takes between 8 and 12 hours.  Most of mine end up somewhere between 100* and 126* IT.

    You can get the same good color with cold smoking in about 20 to 40 hours.

  9. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    I tested out my smoker last night. Lowest temp I could maintain with the doors closed was 220-225 degrees. I'm assuming that's way too hot for smoking bacon.

    I've got a propane hose with a needle valve for my turkey fryer, but it won't connect directly to the smoker's burner. I'll hit up the hardware store and see if they carry the adapter fittings I need. If not it's off to order something online.

    I was hoping to smoke this up today, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen now.
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah---That's a problem. Check out the Propane forum, or put up a question about it.

    You have to either get the heat down to at least 150* (preferably 120* to 130*) for a warm smoke (with an AMNPS also).

    Or cold smoke with no heat other than the AMNPS.

    However since you're ready to do it, since it's only 2 pounds, you could go ahead & do it as low as you can, even if it's 220*. Then I would pull it at 145* IT, which is something I normally only do with Buckboard Bacon & Canadian Bacon, but like I said it's only 2 pounds. Then you could eat it cold, or just warm it up before eating.

    Then you can get an AMNPS, and figure out how to get down to 120* to 140* smoker temp, before the next time.

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  11. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    So, even if I get the heat down I can't smoke using regular woodchips? I still need the AMNPS?
  12. OP, since you're ready to roll right now I might suggest a simple make shift at home cold smoker. You'll need 3 things, a soldering iron, a clean out can of veggies (label removed, veggies removed, and washed), and a hand full of chips. When you remove the veggies don't remove the top lid completely but rather cut it about 3/4 the way around the bend the lid in half. Then drill a hole in the bottom to receive the soldering iron, fill with un soaked chips, and close the lid. Put this in your smoker with the bacon and plug it in. A single handful should go for about 1.5 hrs. I did this 3 times with my Andouille before getting the AMNPS

    I personally wouldn't risk smoking at the temps you're able to do if you're still looking to get bacon out of what you've got. Oh btw, go get an AMNPS [​IMG]
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sorry---I'm thinking MES smokers.

    If you can get light to medium smoke with 120* --130* temp in your gas smoker, you can go without an AMNPS.

    However I don't know anybody who can get 10 or 12 hours of perfect smoke from anything other than an AMNPS. That's all hands free once it gets going properly.

  14. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    Update: I did my smoke yesterday using the soldering iron method suggested by rgautheir20420.

    Definitely learned a lot.

    Had several issues in the first couple hours with learning the setup and letting the smoke die out.

    Then around the 9.5 hour mark, the soldering iron burnt out. I think the wood chips started burning and melted some of the internals. Couldn't get anymore heat out of the iron and had to stop the smoke prematurely.

    I'll update again when I taste the bacon, but this experience definitely showed me the value of the AMPNS.
  15. HAHAHA I didn't expect you to use it for 9.5 hrs. Sorry, I would have noted that might be bad [​IMG]. Luckily those things are cheap, and there's no price tag on a good learning experience.

    Definitely let us know how the bacon turns out. I need to know if I need to send you some $$$ for a new pork belly if my suggested ruined it [​IMG]  
  16. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    I didn't necessarily plan on going that long, but I saw a lot of posts and advice to just stop the smoke when you like the color. I never quite made it there. [​IMG]

    I'm not too worried if it's ruined, that's why I started with only 2lbs of meat
  17. I can't see a reason why it would be ruined. Hopefully the smoker flavor comes through. Any idea around what the ambient temp was while you were smoking?
  18. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    I didn't use my maverick thermometer, since temperature wasn't a big concern, but the dial on the door was right in the 90-100 degree range every time I looked at it. Haven't tested the accuracy of that, but it should be a reasonable ballpark for this smoke.
  19. Very nice. With a 9.5 hrs smoke at that temp, I'm thinking you should have got a decent amount of smoke into the meat. Taste test will see. I can't wait to give me first belly a go!
  20. thehat

    thehat Newbie

    Finally cooked up the first pound of bacon yesterday.

    It was not good [​IMG]

    Much sweeter than I like and had a bit of an acrid off-putting flavor too. Sweetness I can deal with, but this other flavor was just bad.

    I'm thinking I should've pulled it out of the cure in 10 days instead of 14. Either that or something happened with the soldering iron technique.

    Either way, I'm going to buy an AMNPS and try again.

    Thanks for all the help everyone.

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