i need to know do i leave the top vent open are close when cooking
or smoking bacon at low temps
what is best for all of it
no water for the bacon just100 degs and the AMS for smoks
I would say 1/2 open, like Todd said, unless your smoke gets a bit heavy, then fully open to keep it moving.
I don't use anything in my pan either for Belly Bacon, but I put Apple juice in for Canadian Bacon, so it doesn't dry out on it's way to 160˚.
Another thing that helps is a few pictures. It seems to come out a lot more tasty after taking pictures, especially while slicing & after slicing. I don't know why---It just does.
I like to cold smoking my belly bacon, so the fat does not render out, but I've also taken the internal up to 120*. Both ways produced great bacon, but a little better color with heat. Smoke for 6 1/2 hours is just right for me, but some guys like a little more smoke.
Try running the internal temp up and see if you like it. I set my heat to 150* in my MES.
Todd is right,
With Belly Bacon, I don't like to go over 160˚ smoking temp, and that would only be near the end to get it nice & brown, if it wasn't already.
My favorite way, once you have a pellicle formed, is to go gradually up from 100˚ to 160˚, maybe stopping for an hour every 10˚.
However, if you really want to cold smoke, you shouldn't go over 100˚.
I have removed my Belly Bacons at anywhere from 100˚ to 142˚. They were all Great, but I had the best color on the ones with the higher temps.
It is my opinion that you need a little heat to add to the smoke to get the nicest color, but I still would not take the smoker above 160˚ with a Belly.
These temps are only in a smoker that can be controlled real well. My MES 30 & MES 40 can do it real good, however it is hard to get consistent smoke with them at those temps. An addition of a cold smoke generator fixes that problem. Most people, including me recommend the "A-MAZE-N-SMOKER". That things solves All smoking problems.