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Requesting a little info

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So after a lot of reading around on here and seeing everyone else's delicious looking results, I am wanting to try my hand at bacon and curing meats :) . But I am wanting a little bit of info that I have not been able to find yet...

I read Jim's guide to making bacon, and that was a great help :) . But I was wondering if you guys could give me some more info on meat curing, maybe some links to read or personal tips and suggestions that will help me out. I am very new to this, and want to try it soon (I am thinking bacon xmas presents hehe).

Also, I am a bit confused about the cold smoking thing... I understand the concept of it, just need a little direction in how to set up my ECB for it.

TIA for any/all help you guys can offer on this subject :) . I am looking forward to it.
post #2 of 16
I'd recommend first buying Rytek Kutas book "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing 4th Edition" and read up on the subject before getting started. There is a weath of info and numerous recipes. You'll be glad you did.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that book, that will be my next read as soon as I finish IHTSBIH :) .

Another quick question that I possibly should have asked in the OP regaurding buckboard bacon: If I have a bone in butt, do I just cut the shoulder in half to liberate the bone and make managable pieces of meat for bacon? or do you typically use the whole shoulder?

I am having a hard time finding belly meat, unless I want to order large quantities, which I do not want to do for my first cure...
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
As far as the cold smoking process goes, am I going to be able to get good results in my ECB? Or would I be better off using my Weber grill for this?

Also, does the meat have to get up to a certain temperature? I have read several people say they get their meat up to about 125 degrees, whereas Jim says that he aims for a smoker temperature at or below 100 degrees...

Is there a way to get this type of temp control in the ECB, or am I going to have to rig up a cold smoke generator? I have seen the ProQ smoke generator, and that would work, so long as I dont actually need to get the internal temp of the meat up. Would I also be able to rig something up with a propane camping type stove and using either wood chips or chunks in either the ECB fire pan or a grill smoking box?
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Any input on the cold smoker idea guys? What is everyone elses set up?
post #6 of 16
I have cold smoked in my GOSM propane by not even lighting it but instead taking the chip pan and putting a couple lit briquettes in it with wood chips. I don't care about the smoker temp when I'm doing bacon because I'm going to cook it before I serve it so all I'm after is the smoke.

If you can find a High Mountain Buckboard Bacon kit it will have the instructions in it on how to cut the bone out of the butt
post #7 of 16
I have never done bacon butt,,,,I ahve the Rytek book in my lap and here is what he says on smoking a butt for bacon

Remove butts to a 130 degree preheated smokehouse with the dampers wide open for 3 hours. Increase the temp to 150 and hold for 2 hours with dampers 1 quarter open, applying light smoke. Raise temps to 160-165 and hold until internal temp reaches 152. Remove from smokehouse and let hang at room temp until a temp of 110 is obtained internally. Remove to fridge overnight.

There is nothing in the book on this and using your type of smoker unless Im overlooking it. ive been reading the book for 2 days now and teh above is straight out of the book...

He does mention cold smoking which is 70 degrees and below and how hard it is. I think that when youmention cold smoking you are actually atlking about the above. cold smoking is for cheese and such i believe...

Do a search on SMF and see if you can find some better info.....Hope this helps

He also refers to a boneless butt. I woudl remove the bone...This is all on a butt and not the bellies as they are a little different but still start with 135 degree smoke house
post #8 of 16
See if you can find a butcher to debone one for you, or you can do it yourself, after boning it just tie it with some butcher twine.

Here is a post to look at regarding Buckboard bacon, maybe this will help.


Good luck!
post #9 of 16
post #10 of 16
Piney has a handle on cold smoking with a GOSM. I use the same method for smoking cheese.
post #11 of 16
I have gotten the high Mountain buckboard bacon cure and it's easy to make. Basicly just follow the directions on the amount of spices and seasoning and rub it in and let it go for a week or so. I hve done it a couple of times and it works great with good flavor too.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips guys! So it sounds like I should be able to get some cold smoking results by just using a handful of coals and then loading chips on top of them? Can I just load the fire pan up with chips and they won't all catch on fire and get the heat out of control? In other words, they would just smolder and keep the heat low?

I will look into that cure y'all linked me too, and those other links once my interwebs connection gets fixed... I have that book in my amazon cart to order :).

And I found a store that sells pork bellies, now just gotta find some mortons tenderquick to try Jim's recipe!
post #13 of 16
howdy Holis and welcome to makin bacon,it's easy fun and tastes real good also! the others have steered u in the right direction thus far-Rytek's book is a must for bacon-sausagemakers and meat cureing.I have been making bacon for a while now useing my ECB's at low temps,I started out fallowing Jims sticky-learned alot and started playing from there.I use $10 single hotplates from the drug store in the bottem of my units-in the water pan I have sand-holds a more consistent heat IMO.I smoke my bacons at or below 100 not worring about internal temp because the meat is cured and I will cook before eating.I have used prague 1 on pork bellies-and also High Mtn.the latter I have become to use more often,I really like the outcome as far as taste.also I use it on buckboard and canadian.when I make off the wall flavors like apple cinn-or chapolite I use prague.feel free to PM me and ask any questions u might have-I will try to answer the best I can. good luck on your future bacons.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Desertlites - the electric hot plate is a great idea! You have found that this still gets the little amount of heat you look for in the ecb? Also, do you just pile up chips or chunks on top of the hot plate and let them smolder?

Also, out of curiosity, do you use sand in the water pan during regular smoking as well? I had read about this before and it makes since, I have just been a bit apprehensive about the sand possibly holding excessive amounts of heat.
post #15 of 16
Yes Hollis the hot plate will give me low enough temps to smoke cheese up to about 200*. anymore than that I will use my gas burner (was used as a warming burner on the gas grill) or coals.as far as chips I use a tuna can- add the chips to and lay on the hot plate works great.at real low temps u might not get hot enough to make smoke so I get a couple coals red and add to the side and place tuna can on them.and yes I never use water anymore-sand is by far a better way.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks again Desertlites PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

I think I am just about ready to give this a go, just need to order some cure! As far as that goes, I probably know the answer to this already, but gonna ask anyways since I would rather ask a redundant question than to risk any sort of food poisoning hehe.

I am seeing that the instacure #1 uses a much smaller amount per pound than the Mortons Tender quick, is this just a stronger curing salt? Or is Morton perhaps just doing a CYA move with their product? Are their flavor differences between the two? And is there any way to make sure that the cure took properly before I "test" it with my immune system?

I think this week I might play around with some cold smoking, maybe buy a small block of cheese just for fun and try it, with a small amount of coals and either some chips/chunks right on top of them or in the tuna can like you suggested.
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