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Bacon fail, what'd I do wrong? And does size matter?

zeekm

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I raised 2 pigs on non-GMO, pesticide free feed and they were allowed to be pigs, they rooted and played pig tag. I process myself and have done it for years. We wet cured the bacon with a basic cure that had brown sugar, pink salt, kosher salt and peppercorns and water. My wife did the mix and we brined for 12 days in the fridge.

I attempted to cold smoke the 4 bellies in my MES 30" with a pellet tube and hickory pellets. Obviously the smoker was off, not heat. I smoked for about 22-24 hours and it tastes tangy/acrid/bitterish.....

So...did I smoke too long?

Does smoke time change based on smoker size....if you have a refrigarator sized smoker and use a pellet tube do you smoke longer than if in a smaller 30" smoker? Do you smoke for say 20 hours regardless of smoker size?

I did notice the with the digital display on the temperature went up to about 100F...did that cause the problem?

I have some jowel bacon to smoke....should I just use the external cold smoke attachment that sits a few feet away and is piped in via 3" dryer duct? I got the mod instrctions on here.
 

Coreymacc

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Oh wow, 24 hrs? I do my bellies cold also, 2.5 hrs. Sometimes just 2 hrs. That's it. They may be ok with time but that's a lot of smoke.

I'm sure there are others who can advise how to salvage them.

Corey
 

zeekm

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Joined Dec 20, 2016
Oh wow, 24 hrs? I do my bellies cold also, 2.5 hrs. Sometimes just 2 hrs. That's it. They may be ok with time but that's a lot of smoke.

I'm sure there are others who can advise how to salvage them.

Corey
I have no idea why I did 24 hours....guess that would be the issue. I am not too worried about salvaging, but I do not want to mess up the jowel bacon.
Can you use the pellet tube smoker for cold smoking?
 
Last edited:

Coreymacc

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I have no idea why I did 24 hours....guess that would be the issue. I am not too worried about salvaging, but I do not want to mess up the jowel bacon.
Can you use the pellet tube smoker for cold smoking?
I don't have a pellet tube but I doubt they would create much heat. There a plenty of people on here who use them exactly how you plan to. Should be fine.

Corey
 

TNJAKE

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I cold smoke cheese using my pellet tube. Works great
 

tx smoker

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I've cold smoked bacon a couple of times just for an experiment and it came out really well. I'd do 6-8 hours one day, let sit uncovered in the fridge overnight, then 6-8 more hours the second day. 24 hours does seem like a long time but being that I've never done it for that length of time, I can't say for sure that's your problem. The temp getting to 100 is no issue at all. Most of the time I smoke bacon at 170 to 175 for 8 hours or so and no problems.

Robert
 

GaryHibbert

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There's nothing wrong with smoking bellies for 24 hours, as long as you like lots of smoke flavor. I usually smoke mine for a total of 20 to 24 hour in my MES 30, but I use the AMNPS in my mailbox mod. The tube filled with pellets puts out a lot of smoke. You're better off using dust in the tube, rather than pellets. Unless you're at a high altitude, I'd recommend using the AMNPS (tray) rather than the tube if you want to use pellets.
If the heat was off in your MES and you still hit 100 degrees, you're obviously in a much warmer location than me. Even so, 100 degrees shouldn't be a problem. I set my MES for 80-90 degrees to get good convection for the smoke flow.
How was the air flow through your MES? Did you have the exhaust vent wide open for the entire time? If not, you would have had a build up of stale smoke in the smoker.
Gary
 

tx smoker

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Did you have the exhaust vent wide open for the entire time? If not, you would have had a build up of stale smoke in the smoker.
Thank you for adding that Gary. I came back to state the exact same thing when I realized I'd missed it the first time but you made it here first :emoji_wink:

Robert
 

zeekm

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Thanks for the replies so far.

Gary I had the vent on top wide open and I pulled the loader tray out to get some air flow. I am in Ohio, 45 minutes west of Pittsburgh.

Are you saying that the tube creates too much smoke and I should abandon that method?

Does it matter how big your smoker is and do you change smoke time based on size? Seems to me that the more volume in the smoker the more smoke you need.
 

smokerjim

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Tubes do put out a lot of smoke for the mes 30, trays are much better. Let your bacon sit in fridge uncovered for a day or two maybe it will mellow out, I would use your external smoke for your jowels.
 

pineywoods

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Several questions how did you place the pellet smoker in the MES? how did you have the vent set in the MES?
Need more answers from you but I suspect you were not getting enough air flow and therefore were not getting clean smoke. With a little back and fourth we should be able to get your smokes going correctly so you can get that awesome tasting bacon but be warned you'll never want store bought bacon ever again lol.

chef jimmyj chef jimmyj
 

pineywoods

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I see you have gotten several replies while I was typing mine Gary should have you covered with some good info. I think your main thing is going to be the mail box mod but he can explain that as he knows smoking bacon and knows the MES
 

normanaj

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Are you saying that the tube creates too much smoke and I should abandon that method?
If using pellets yes the tube will produce copious amounts of smoke.Dust will produce much less smoke in the tube and if the tube sits at an angle (front being higher) even thinner smoke.

But really for cold smoking something like the mailbox mod is ideal.
 

rexster314

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I raised 2 pigs on non-GMO, pesticide free feed and they were allowed to be pigs, they rooted and played pig tag. I process myself and have done it for years. We wet cured the bacon with a basic cure that had brown sugar, pink salt, kosher salt and peppercorns and water. My wife did the mix and we brined for 12 days in the fridge.

I attempted to cold smoke the 4 bellies in my MES 30" with a pellet tube and hickory pellets. Obviously the smoker was off, not heat. I smoked for about 22-24 hours and it tastes tangy/acrid/bitterish.....

So...did I smoke too long?

Does smoke time change based on smoker size....if you have a refrigarator sized smoker and use a pellet tube do you smoke longer than if in a smaller 30" smoker? Do you smoke for say 20 hours regardless of smoker size?

I did notice the with the digital display on the temperature went up to about 100F...did that cause the problem?

I have some jowel bacon to smoke....should I just use the external cold smoke attachment that sits a few feet away and is piped in via 3" dryer duct? I got the mod instrctions on here.

Waay too long. I use 3 MES 40" smoker cabinets only using the AMAZN smoker tubes. If I go longer than 5-6 hours the belly meat will get too smoky and bitter. Usually 5 hours or whenever the tubes go out works for me
 

zeekm

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Joined Dec 20, 2016
Several questions how did you place the pellet smoker in the MES? how did you have the vent set in the MES?
Need more answers from you but I suspect you were not getting enough air flow and therefore were not getting clean smoke. With a little back and fourth we should be able to get your smokes going correctly so you can get that awesome tasting bacon but be warned you'll never want store bought bacon ever again lol.

chef jimmyj chef jimmyj
You guys rock!
1. Vent was wide open, bacon hangning on bacon hangers.

2. Tube was placed in the bottom...the bellies were too long so I had no racks and had to place the tube on the bottom.

3. I did pull the chip loader out a little becasue the tube would not stay lit.

I guess what I learned was there is a such thing as too much smoke. I will use the external smoker for the jowel bascon. But how long?
 

hopkinsb

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Oh wow, glad you posted this, I thought you wanted long smoke time on bellies. Good to know
 

radioguy

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I cold smoke my bacon. Small cabinet smoker. No heat. I have an AMPS in a mailbox mode. I use color to judge the product. I'll cold smoke for 5-8 hours, then into paper bag and refrigerate. Some bellies get good mahogany color in 14 hours total. Some take 24 hours plus. I have never over smoked or had an acrid taste.

RG
 
Last edited:

indaswamp

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I use dust when cold smoking...thinner blue smoke...cleaner taste...cooler flame. I cold smoke for 32 hours but only at night. 12 hours per night for 4 nights in a row...
 

zeekm

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Joined Dec 20, 2016
If using pellets yes the tube will produce copious amounts of smoke.Dust will produce much less smoke in the tube and if the tube sits at an angle (front being higher) even thinner smoke.

But really for cold smoking something like the mailbox mod is ideal.
Where do you get the dust?
 

zeekm

Newbie
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14
Joined Dec 20, 2016
What a range:

Oh wow, 24 hrs? I do my bellies cold also, 2.5 hrs. Sometimes just 2 hrs. That's it.

I cold smoke for 32 hours but only at night

Maybe my issue was not the length of time but quantity of smoke. Can yuo smoke for less time if using a pellet smoker with pellets as opposed to a pellet smoker with dust?

Again, does the size of the smker matter?

I see the suggestions for mailbox mod....but that doesn't change the amount of smoke the tube smoker makes.....so what's it doing?

I started reading about the mailbox mod....information overload!
 

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