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Bacon: hang vs flat

mdntxprs

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I always lay my bacon on the grates in my MES40 SS. I do have a bacon hanger and I made me some oak sticks to fit across the smoker in the grate slides.
Curious what's the advantage of hanging the bacon vs laying on grate.
Thanks,
 

smokerjim

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i'm really not sure if there is an advantage, maybe hanging you could fit more in the smoker, possible more even cooking, i've never hung it myself so i'm just basically taking a guess, maybe some of the pros will chime in.
 

SmokinVOLfan

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I always go flat too but I don't have a hanger either. Not really sure what the difference would be...good question
 

kit s

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Probably the difference would be a more even smoke both sides, were as flat you have one side more exposed...just a guess. I have done both ways and hang them myself.
 

chef jimmyj

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maybe hanging you could fit more in the smoker,
THIS!^^^^^^^^^^^^That's the only reason. There is no difference in Smoke contact, Horizontally or Vertically, as long as there is a couple of inches between slabs for circulation. I guess if you are really Anal, you might not like the lines on the bacon from contacting the racks. But you don't see them when sliced...JJ
 

Bearcarver

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I always lay mine out on the racks, so they aren't touching each other, because when they touch each other the smoke doesn't get to that spot & they look pale and ugly there.
I believe I can get more in my MES 40 by laying them on the racks, because If I hung them I'd have to hang them in a way that they wouldn't be able to swing into each other.

Bear
 

sawhorseray

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I've never laid mine flat, always hung them in the Pro 100. I doubt it'd make a bit of difference one way or the other. Of course at deer camp it was always nice to see meat hanging, maybe that's why I like that way. RAY
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torp3t3d0

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Tried to hang mine when I started. Bought all the rigs to make it happen. Did not like the looks when hung as they stretch out. So I lay flat. And love the results
 

rexster314

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Flat, I don't like the way they stretch out of shape when hung
 

browneyesvictim

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I put bacon hangers in the "gadget" category. At least for the way I do mine in the MES. They just go in the racks nice and tidy! I usually have 3-4 slabs that I doubt would fit without touching if I hung them. Perhaps if I had a large "walk-in" size smoker the "hanging" arrangement would make more sense.

Heck, I even prefer doing sausage flat vs hanging for that same reason.
 

Bearcarver

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I put bacon hangers in the "gadget" category. At least for the way I do mine in the MES. They just go in the racks nice and tidy! I usually have 3-4 slabs that I doubt would fit without touching if I hung them. Perhaps if I had a large "walk-in" size smoker the "hanging" arrangement would make more sense.

Heck, I even prefer doing sausage flat vs hanging for that same reason.


Exactly!!

Bear
 

kit s

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You hot smoke or cold smoke?
I cold smoke...no heat except ambient air temp, and what ever little bit that migh come off the amazing try and tube.
I like i said have done flat and hanging. Found flat (at least in my case) had more smoke on one side than the other...side towards smoke was always heavier.
 

sawhorseray

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Well it certainly looks like us folks that hang the bacon are in the minority. I'd think with hanging there might be a little better smoke and heat distribution, no rotating racks, I've never noticed any stretch. I reckon that's just another aspect that makes this forum such a great place to be, guys doing the same thing, in a different way. I'll keep making my bacon the same old way I posted here some time back, don't want to change what works for me.

https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/maple-honey-bacon.182694/#post-1334476

Having left my meat contact back in CA when we moved to AZ three months back I'm having a little difficulty finding pork belly, and I'm about ready to make some bacon. I called two different butchers that had pork belly, they wanted $8 and $7 a pound, over twice what I ever paid before! I think the first belly I ever smoked cost me about a buck a pound, tho that was awhile back. I'm headed to Sam's Club today to get some beef and porkbutt to make my hipshot burgers. I've never seen and pork belly on display there, or at Costco, but maybe they keep some in the back and I need to ask the butcher. RAY
 

browneyesvictim

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Something else that just came to mind was keeping them flat on the rack helps keep their shape for slicing. And because I let the bacons dry and age for a period in the fridge before and after they are smoked, they can just stay on the same racks.
 

chef jimmyj

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sawhorseray sawhorseray , Is the the Belly price from your area Mexican Butchers? When I lived in Apple Country, Adams County PA, the Mexican Grocer's were almost always half the price of other Grocery Chains or Butchers...JJ
 

sawhorseray

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Thanks Jimmy! Sam's Club doesn't carry pork belly ever, just got 30lbs of meat there to make my burgers. I'm going to check out Costco and if that's a bust it looks like there's about ten Mexican grocery stores within a 20 minute drive. RAY
 

Dcberg

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Well it certainly looks like us folks that hang the bacon are in the minority. I'd think with hanging there might be a little better smoke and heat distribution, no rotating racks, I've never noticed any stretch. I reckon that's just another aspect that makes this forum such a great place to be, guys doing the same thing, in a different way. I'll keep making my bacon the same old way I posted here some time back, don't want to change what works for me.

https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/maple-honey-bacon.182694/#post-1334476

Having left my meat contact back in CA when we moved to AZ three months back I'm having a little difficulty finding pork belly, and I'm about ready to make some bacon. I called two different butchers that had pork belly, they wanted $8 and $7 a pound, over twice what I ever paid before! I think the first belly I ever smoked cost me about a buck a pound, tho that was awhile back. I'm headed to Sam's Club today to get some beef and porkbutt to make my hipshot burgers. I've never seen and pork belly on display there, or at Costco, but maybe they keep some in the back and I need to ask the butcher. RAY
I just got (2j 10lb packs of pork belly at Costco today. $2.99/lb
 

chef jimmyj

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If No Heat Cold Smoking, you don't need to swap racks as the whole smoker stays at or close to Ambient. Laying on Racks is easier. No need to modify your smoker or buy hangers...JJ
 

thirdeye

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For the cold smoking step, it's a toss-up whether I hang or use the racks. I built a hanging rack for my drum smoker about 10 years ago, before that I smoked my bacon on a rack, but would turn it a couple of times to keep the doneness and color even. Using a side-by-side taste test I found that I prefer hanging in the drum for the hot smoking step, and use 2 hooks per slab to keep it a little straighter. I do spin the rack a few times during the hot smoking part of the cook. Other than that it's no touch. When weather forces me to use my Egg, I put the slabs of bacon in a rib rack, this helps when doing several pieces, and I rotate the entire rack once during the cook.


 

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