Wet vs Dry and Hot vs Cold

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by nitrousinfected, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Long story short, Im sick and tired of paying $8-$9 a lb for craptastic salt pork rolled in black pepper. So I am researching bacon curing and smoking. Ive read thread after thread ( here and elsewhere) articles upon articles, and a ton of youtube videos. Leaving me with a few questions.
    #1 - wet or dry cure, and why?
    #2 - hot or cold smoke, and why?
    #3 - will whiskey have any effect on the curing process?
    Im sure I have more questions but I left my list at work and cannot remember the rest.
  2. c farmer

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

    Theres alot of ways to cure bacon.

    I perfer to dry cure with a long warm smoke.

    Dry cure to me gives a better meat texture and warm smoke to take more smoke flavor in a shorter time than cold smoking.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I prefer the brine cure and cold smoke at 60 deg. F.....
  4. dirtyduc83

    dirtyduc83 Fire Starter

    Dry cure as it produces a firmer finished product and cures faster.

    Cold smoke for 8 hrs to get some good smoke penetration.
    Warm smoke for 4 hrs for some color and accelerated aging/mellowing.

    My last batch I did three ways and the piece of bacon made with the above process turned out the best.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  5. Ive been leaning towards dry and cold, if I use a bourbon for flavor during the curing process, will the alcohol effect the curing process?
  6. brandon91

    brandon91 Meat Mopper

    I think I've read a few things that mention using alcohol with meat can denature the proteins on the surface, preventing flavors from being absorbed. That doesn't seem conducive to curing, maybe someone can correct me if wrong.
  7. In tinkering with a jerky recipe a few years ago I came across a particular whiskey that added a very  nice flavor that I think would be awesome in bacon, but if it hinders or screws up the curing process I guess that maybe out.
  8. cgrubb1

    cgrubb1 Newbie

    I do wet cure because Pop's brine is awesome, and the safety of the recipe is tried and true.
    I hot smoke because that's what I have and am used to.
    That's the way I have made it and everyone who has tried it says it's the best bacon they have ever had.
  9. I recently did a Maple bourbon bacon, wet brine, 16 hour cold smoke with pecan and apple. The bourbon didn't seem to significantly affect the end product, but it sure tasted good.
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One thing to ask is do you have a good digital scale? If not it's hard to do a dry cure. You need to be able to weigh the meat and the cure. For a brine cure you need to ask do I have enough room in the fridge.

    Both methods provide a good product.

    My preference for smoking is to cold smoke bacon, unless I am giving it away as gifts. I cold smoke for 6-8 hours. Then rest in the fridge overnight. Smoke for another 6-8 hours, rest in fridge overnight. Repeat until I get the color I like. Usually 18-24hours of total smoke time. Once done I will let it rest 2-3 days in the fridge. Then slice and pack for the freezer.

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