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Which wood Works best for Bacon?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So I'm trying bacon for the first time this weekend and I'm still not sure what wood to use.  A lot of the recipes out there an in my books alternate between Maple, Apple and Hickory?

 

What have you all found to be the best?

 

My wet cure contains water, kosher salt, honey, maple syrup and pink salt.  Is maple wood too much maple? I've also heard that hickory is too strong.

 

Your thoughts, comments and opinions are greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 12

  I personally like a mix of hickory and apple but you may have to experiment a little to see what you like best.

 

   Mike

post #3 of 12

I have tried Apple, Cherry, Maple, and Hickory.

Now I use only Hickory, and I use it light & long & don't find it too strong.

 

Your taste may differ, so try one at a time & see what you like.

 

Note: Any smoke is too strong if you put it on too heavy.

Light smoke for long time is good.

Heavy smoke for short time is bad.

 

Bear

post #4 of 12
Bears application advice is right on. Take it easy with whatever you use. I like to use a steady, thin dose of 1/3 hickory and 2/3 fruit wood. Usually cherry or apple. Remember that having too little smoke on your bacon still leaves you with good bacon. Too much smoke and you may have nothing. Best of luck to you.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Actually I was considering a mix of hickory and apple.  I've used hickory most often in my smoking and I've recently used apple to great success and acclaim.

 

I might give that a shot.

post #6 of 12

All good choices, but might I suggest peach?

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/136542/peach-smoked-bacon

 

mdevries, you didn't indicate how long you were planning to smoke. Bearcarver is right; a light smoke over a long period seems to work best.

post #7 of 12
There's no right answer, it's personal preference, you'll just have to try various woods and see what you like best.


~Martin
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on a three hour smoke.  I've also found for myself that slow and steady smoke is much nicer however during my research for bacon there have been a few places (outside of you fine and knowledgable folks here) who say when it comes to bacon more smoke is always better.

 

I guess the smoke portion is no different than your brine recipe or rub preferences; it depends on what you like.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdevries View Post

I'm planning on a three hour smoke.  I've also found for myself that slow and steady smoke is much nicer however during my research for bacon there have been a few places (outside of you fine and knowledgable folks here) who say when it comes to bacon more smoke is always better.

 

I guess the smoke portion is no different than your brine recipe or rub preferences; it depends on what you like.

 

"More smoke is always better"???

I agree in this respect------->More hours of smoke on things like Bacon is best,

But not heavier thicker smoke.

 

I put light smoke on everything through the whole smoke, except when foiled, but I like smoke flavor more than most, which is why I originally came here.biggrin.gif

 

 

Bear

post #10 of 12

I cold smoke all my bacon, and I prefer to apply smoke (light)  to it for 6-8 hours. Let it rest overnight, apply another 6-8 hours of smoke (light). Let it rest overnight again then do another light smoke. I usually end up smoking for 18-24 hours. Then I'll let it mellow for 3-6 days before slicing and packaging. That's how I do it.

post #11 of 12

My 2 cents worth:

When I do my bacon, I use light smoke & low heat for upwards of 8 to 12 hours.

 

I have found for my taste, I only use Hickory for bacon and Buck Board Bacon.

 

Rich-

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdevries View Post

So I'm trying bacon for the first time this weekend and I'm still not sure what wood to use.  A lot of the recipes out there an in my books alternate between Maple, Apple and Hickory?

 

What have you all found to be the best?

You didn't mention whether you were hot or cold smoking, the type of smoker or how you would be generating the smoke.  Hickory can easily produce a bitter taste while the fruit woods will be lighter. My opinion is it all makes a difference. Personally my bacon is cold smoked using a AMNPS inside a 22 cf. smoker using hickory pellets to my desired color rather than for a specific amount of time, but does take approximately 76 hours straight while keeping the internal smoker temperature below 75°. The AMNPS can put out a good amount of heat, so during the warmer months I will be using a Smoke Daddy from an external source in order to keep the temperature down.  It is smoked in stages in order to keep the desired temperatures.  It is then allowed to equalize for a minimum of two days prior to packaging.  Personal experience will be your best teacher here, so keep good notes and let us know how it turns out.

 

Tom 

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