smoking bacon... COLD OR HOT SMOKE?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by yankee2cajn, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. yankee2cajn

    yankee2cajn Newbie

    O.K. I have 3 slabs of bacon, with 3 varities of dry cures. I am almost ready to smoke and I am reading a lot of different options on smoking times and temperatures. Any advice on which methood is preferred for bacon?
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I take it the bacon is cured or being cured. Personally I cold smoke my bacon as all I really care about is getting the smoke flavor I will cook it before eating it. The one exception I have is Canadian Bacon because most of the time we use it for making sandwiches so I cold smoke it for awhile then hot smoke it to get my temp up to 160 internal and it can be used for sandwiches without having to do anything else with it
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Piney - how long do you cold smoke on the bacon - I got some sawdust from Yount in an exchange and was thinking of trying to make a cold smoking pan with some foil in a circle and burn the sawdust
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    With skin off I usually apply smoke about 8-9 hours for bellies. If I were to do skin on again I think it'd be 12-14 hours of smoke
  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I cold smoked bacon in my MES for 6 1/2 hours @ 125 degrees. I think it depends somewhat on the size of the smoker and the output of the smoke generator and even the type of wood used for smoking.

    I'm far from having an expert opinion, but screwed up enough times to what NOT to do!

  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would cold smoke them like Jerry said to. I was there helping Jerry, Brian and Justin with the bacon. Yea I would make sure that the skin is cot off before you cure or smoke it, it just seem to be easier to cure and it will take the smoke alot easier. Oh yea we did about 170lbs of buckboard bacon too.
  7. No question, cold smoking is the best way to go. But when you're tight on time, hot smoking to about 150 works well. Takes about 3 hours for me.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There doesn't seem to be a bad way to smoke bacon, as long as it is cured properly.
    Many get great results from cold smoking.
    I hot smoke mine starting at 100 degrees, and moving up very gradually.
    I have pulled my bacons out at 129 degrees, 141 degrees, and 147 degrees internal temps. They were all great.

    I, like Jerry (Pineywoods) & many others take my CB up to 160 so it can be eaten as is or warmed up just a little.

  9. yankee2cajn

    yankee2cajn Newbie

    Piney, I bought the book Charcuterie because there were soo many dry cure recipes on the blogs. I did one cure with just their standard dry cure recipe, one cure w/ the standard dry cure + our tasso seasoning mix, and one with the dry cure + paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and mustard powder. The pork bellies have been in the walk-in since Friday, so Tomorrow I will take them out of the bags and fry up a small piece to see how the salt content is, and then I think I will try cold smoking. Charcuterie defines cold smoking as temps bet 90-100 degrees. Is that the temps you maintain? THanks Greg
  10. yankee2cajn

    yankee2cajn Newbie

    Thats a lot of bacon. We get meat wholesale so my wife wouldn't let me buy a case of pork bellies to start out (she lacks confidence in my ability to get it right the first time lol) , but if this first trial turns out well I will probaly buy a case next time (about 75 lbs.)
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Greg be sure to rinse the slabs before doing your fry test. I personally smoke at as low a temp as I can when doing bacon. The big smoke we just did the highest the temps got was 110 and that was only for a short time most of it was 90-100. Being in Fl and the fact that the smokehouse has a metal roof that gets sun on it my temps in the summer tend to get higher but I try very hard to keep them under 120. If the temps get to high it will start rendering the fat out and thats not something I want to do when doing bacon. We had the great fortune to buy bellies at wholesale this last time but we had to buy by the case but with several us doing it at the same time that was no problem they said the cases would weigh between 50 and 60 lbs and 3 cases came to 169.73 lbs. As far as different recipes I personally think the sky is the limit as long as the proper amount of cure is used you can mix whatever spices you want I have found the Hi Mountain Buckboard Bacon cure works well with bellies and so far everybody that has tried my bacon has liked it or lied and told me they did [​IMG] Good luck with your bacon making and be sure to take lots of pics. The next time your wife will probably want you to do more lbs and don't share with people or you'll have to do even more [​IMG]
  12. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have only smoked one big batch and I smoked them with my ribs so I was hot smoking them at 225 until they reached 140 or so. They still need to be fried before eating them. They came out AWESOME. I have never tried cold smoking them. I will probably do a batch that way in the future to see which I like better. So either way you do it they will come out good.
  13. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I prefer cold smoke. 65 to 75 degrees F. I do not cook my bacon or bring it up to an internal temperature. I cold smoke to add smoke flavor.
    Bacon fat starts rendering at a temperature of 82 degrees and above...

    here is a good link that explains a bit more about cold, warm and hot smoking.
  14. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I'd like to smoke my bacon at those temps too but Fl sun doesn't usually allow that [​IMG]
  15. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    lol last summer I had a spell of 105 degree weather. I did a test run on the smokehouse and brought it up to 108.. I was happy with that.
    It was for smoking seasonings, nuts, salts and cheeses. [​IMG]

    forgot to add.. a tub of ice works in some smokers to bring the temp down.
  16. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Thats not bad at all I find my setup doesn't raise the temp more than a couple degrees more than what the inside temp of the smokehouse is with just the sun beating down on it I have considered setting a sprinkler on it to keep it cooler or putting another roof over it to keep the direct sun off it. As funny as it may sound I have sprinklers on top of the cook-shed and in the heat of summer with the sun out it will often lower the inside temps 20-30 degrees
  17. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great idea! I bet a sprinkler or mist system would work fine. [​IMG]
  18. yankee2cajn

    yankee2cajn Newbie


    thanks for the info. I really appreciate the advice. I think I can maintain between 90 and 100 fairly easy. My smokehouse roof (this is a roof over the smokers and not actually the roof of the smoker) is standing seam galvalume, but I have a radiant barrier installed and the warmest it gets, even in the Louisiana summers is 95. I'm excited to try cold smoking because my smokers are divided into 4 different chambers, and I left a 16" x 16" opening in the fire pit between two of them, so the thinking is to smoke sausage in one with my regular fire and to open the metal door to the other and cold smoke the bacon that way. I will take pics. Probaly a Friday or Saturday event. Once again, thanks for the info.
  19. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're sure welcome Greg!
    I like the sound of your set up. Have you posted pictures? I'd love to see it.
  20. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Greg when your done with the smoke if you will put the bacon in the fridge for a few days before slicing it will allow the smoke to kinda meld and even out a little. Of course slicing off a few sample pieces while waiting to slice it all is allowed [​IMG]

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