Your favorite wood...Cold Smoke Bacon?

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by metal man, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. metal man

    metal man Fire Starter

    OK i just got done mixing my cure and bagging up my bacon for its 2 week hiatus in the fridge. This is my first belly bacon so i was looking for some ideas about what wood to use for flavor.

    I've always been a hickory wood fan. First off its pretty darn good but its also plentifully in my area. I been cutting down hickory's and using the wood to smoke with for many years. But i just recently picked up a AMNS to do some cold smoking with in my MES. I bought the kit that come with three different woods in it. I have hickory,cherry and apple dust to choose from.

    Now here's the question. What do you use? Have you tried different types of wood and choose a specific one for your bacon or do you just use what you have on hand.

    I kinda figure the hickory would work just fine. I've used it several times to make Canadian Bacon and just about every thing else. Kinda curious about the apple. Never tried the cherry so i have no idea what to expect with it. Don't have any maple.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You might say I'm a bit of a purist on my Bacons.

    I like ALL kinds of smoke, and have used just about anything Todd sells, but when it comes to my Bacons, I have never used anything but Hickory. Why switch from a winner. I'm sure the others are good too, but I love Hickory flavored Bacon.

    Before people start bellyaching---I'm not telling anyone what to do!

  3. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Haven't made Bacon yet, going to start it hopefully today, but Pee-CON is always my choice for smoking anything. Since it isn't as strong of a flavor as Hickory or Mesquite, you can have a mild smoke or double the amount of Pee-CON for a heavier smoke. :biggrin:
  4. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    It is about like any other smoke! it is all a matter of prefference.

    if you have a favorite wood you like to use on other things, give it a try on your bacon.

    I myself us different woods on different things.

    my bacon prefference is applewood. but I smoke it with hickory sometimes also just depends on what I have a taste for.after you smoke a few batches and experiment with different kinds of wood, you will pick out the one you like best!  smoke on my friend! its all good!
  5. metal man

    metal man Fire Starter

    Thanks guys.
  6. I ordered hickory with my amns just to do the bacon with.  Done about 22 lbs thus far and it's all been fantastic.  That being said, I've taken note of the fact that Apple seems to be a fairly common choice of late for Bacon at least down here in the south east.  Wouldn't hesitate for a second to do a batch up with apple. 
  7. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm currently cold smoking my 5th batch of bellies, so far I've done apple, maple, hickory, and cherry.  This batch I went back to hickory, I think added the best smoke flavor for bacon.  Don't get me wrong, I loved them all, but hickory was the favorite! 
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now I have made my fair share, OK maybe more then my fair share. I have one smoker that I use just for bacons and sausages. It that smoker I use only Hickory and Cherry chunks. If I'm eating the bacon it Cherry all the way.
  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I used hickory the first couple of times but used the maple in the AMNS the last batch. Good but I think I like hickory better, it's just made for bacon.
  10. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i use the smaller AMNS with hickory and the larger AMNS with maple for my bacon smokes......i guess that breaks down to 1/3rds hickory and 2/3rds maple. that apple should work well too........
  11. tjohnson

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

    I've used Hickory and Apple for bacon.

    Apple and other fruit woods seem to be a little more forgiving, if you over smoke your bacon.

    Both are awesome, but definitely add different flavors to your bacon.

    I say try one batch Hickory and your next batch Apple or Maple, and see for yourself which you like better

    And Yes!!!!  You will be doing more bacon very soon!!!!

  12. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    I have a belly in the bag on its 6th day of curing right now. I finally went ahead and ordered a AMNS with hickory and apple wood. It should be here on friday. I was going to use the apple wood to smoke the bacon but from what I am seeing here it sounds like the pros use hickory. After this batch is done I guess I will try some BBB with apple just to see how it works. I am looking forward to trying out my new AMNS. From what I hear it will make my MES into a good cold smoker.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't know about others, but my main reason for liking my Bacon with Hickory is because I am a smoke hound, and the other stuff is too mild for my Bacons (except maybe Mesquite).

    Try different woods to find what you like.

    Also I wouldn't try to compare smoke by putting one smoke on Belly Bacon, and a different smoke on BBB. We have found the BBB has more flavor than the Belly Bacon, even when smoking them together, with the same smoke.

    So if you want to compare smoke, do it with the same kind of Bacon for a true comparison.

  14. tjohnson

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

    What Bear Said!

  15. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    BBB has more flavor? Hmm... I might have to give that a try sooner than I was originally thinking. BTW, I am using your tutorial for the bacon.  I also used your smoked salmon and brisket tutorials. Between you and Pops (he taught me how to do hams) my skills at this art has greatly increased. Thank you very much.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank You for the kind words.

    Now that BBB flavor being better than the Belly Bacon---That is only opinions from most of those around my neck of the woods.

    Also, we like Belly Bacon much better in a BLT, because the BBB is a little more chewy, being so lean. When I use BBB in a BLT, I take a bite, and the whole piece of BBB wants to come out of the BLT. Maybe I need sharper teeth ???

  17. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    When I do some BBB can I still use the 1 TBS TQ per pound? I see that most use Hi Mountain. Also, how long would I cure and then later smoke it? I assume since it is thicker than belly it would take longer to cure and smoke.

    Thanks again!
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes----Same amount of TQ per pound.

    Hi Mt is fine, but I don't find it as good as plain old TQ & Brown Sugar in the cure---Then some CBP, Garlic powder, and onion powder sprinkled on before getting the pellicle.

    When I used Hi Mt, it was the only time I had to soak & soak to get rid of excess salt flavor.

    Go by the thickness calculator for length of time in cure.

    The next BBB I do, I will be slicing the thickness in half before I start, like many have started doing---quicker & safer in my book.

    The method I use for time in cure is:

    Measure thickness of meat pieces.

    What is the thickest part of the thickest piece?

    How many 1/2"s are there in that dimension?

    Then always add 2 for safety.


    3" thick at thickest point

    6 "half inches" are in 3"

    Add 2-------- equals 8

    Minimum curing time for that piece is 8 days.

    Longer doesn't hurt, if your schedule interferes, plus you can cure the thinner pieces as long as that thickest piece.

    I always rinse well, and usually soak the pieces for 1/2 hour, before putting a few slices in a frying pan for a "Salt test", just to be sure.

    If you find them a little too salty, you can fix it by soaking for an hour or two.

    If you don't do a test, and just go ahead & smoke them, you are stuck with what you get.

  19. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is the same formula I use too-it has been around for a long time and is tried and true. I use a combo of Hickory and Apple

    I also have some cure that I got from a friend for Maple bacon and I use more Maple  for that one
  20. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower


    That is the kind of info that makes this my favorite cooking site! Thanks!

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