A low "hot smoke"

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Original poster
Dec 8, 2013
Hey guys. I have a 22.5 WSM and have been smoking bacon for awhile now. I do a pretty low hot smoke, somewhere between 90-100 with great results. I feel it gives me best of both worlds. Thoughts? Here is what I just put on the smoker. I'll pull it around 120.
I have done some "cold smokes" with a lower heat as well and it always turns out famously! I have done smoked pork chops at 90-100℉ just like you and they were 15% cooked and smoked to perfection after 10 hours. They were quite raw afterwards and I vacuum sealed and put in the deep freeze. I am going to be making my first batch of bacon tomorrow and I am ridiculously excited! I injected a small amount of my maple brine into the bacon and soaked it as well for 24 hours and I took 3-4 lbs out of 10 lbs and applied pepper to it and I am now allowing the pedicle to form. I will be low heat smoking it for 10 hours. I will then allow the bacon to come to a temp of 120℉ like you did. I want my bacon to be pretty well cooked before I take it out of the smoker. I will be using applewood for the majority of the wood but I might through in a very small amount of hickory or misquite. I can't wait to see how it turns out! I might throw in some good cheese to. Our town has a excellence cheese cave and produces world renoun cheese. I can't wait! 
Howdee Sneaky, I usually try to smoke between 100 and 130 IT. That's where you get the best smoke absorption. Bearcarver had a great break down about how he did his. Increasing the temp once and hour for maybe 4 to 6 hours.

I understand that as long as you stay below 145 IT you are pretty safe towards rendering.

I live in the south and finding anything cool is tuff so we have to watch our low smokes pretty close. I ran one smoke on bacon to about 139 degrees IT and it seem to me that the meats text changed to harder and tuffer.

You really have to heat it though for a while to dry the bacon, I noticed a few of the old timers left the door cracked with a higher heat to dry the meat first for an hour or so then I dropped the temp back down.

Another thing to watch is the heat for smoke. Puzzled now right? If you are using some of the aux smoke generators you need to have good heat to establish a draft thru your smoker to ensure you get enough O2 to allow the wood to smolder.

The biggest thing though is don't forget to allow the bacon to mellow or age in the reefer. I ended up now averaging about a week in the reefer then, slicing and freezing. It makes a huge difference.

The but I tell everyone, once you've done bacon, its in your blood...... and its there for life.
Yes I agree with everything except for giving the bacon high heat in the beginning. Any meat that begins to cook on the outside has already lost the ability to absorb a lot of smoke flavor. You want to keep your meat raw to absorb smoke flavor. Although towards the end to dry it out a bit (if needed) I would spike the heat. Just my experience and what I've read.
Below a link to one of my best Belly Bacons:

I had the smoker set at 130*, and it ranged from 120* to 140*. No rendering happened.

My internal temps usually end up between 115* and 120*.

With that little bit of heat, you can get great color & flavor in less than half the time as it takes cold smoking.

There's nothing wrong with cold smoking, cold smoked Bacon is Great, but if I cold smoke, it would have to be for 30 hours to get the color & flavor I get this way in 10 to 12 hours. IMHO

Here it is:


oh yes you are absolutely right bud. But this thread is called smoking with low heat. I'm pretty sure that he has the same setup as me which means that our smoker does not have an external smoke generator to produce a true cold smoke. So what we have to do is smoke at the lowest possible heat. For us I live in a very cold state during the winter years. So I'm able to get to a look pretty low heat on the lowest setting of my smoker. It usually stays around 90 to 100 degrees which really isn't a true cold smoke. So ours does cook to a certain degree. After 8 hours of smoking at such a low temp it is partially cooked. Then I spiked my temperature little bit and cook the bacon so it's partially cooked as well. But I agree with you're with your last statement.
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