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Cold smoke attachment and bacon

mdgirlinfl

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It is breezy and temps are below 80 with low humidity. So the bacon goes in for its first cold smoke with a mix of apple and maple woods. Smoker temp is 78 and falling. I'll give it a few hours and smoke it again tomorrow am or evening,


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mdgirlinfl

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You see!


DS says cold smoke


Cranky says  cold smoke is 40 F to 70f.


Dave says Cold smoking below 70 deg. F


Bear says 100-130’



It is interesting to note DaveOmak, Crankys (and others claim) “cold smoking allows smoke to penetrate the meat better than hot smoking” yet it takes longer to smoke! Bear says 100-130 accepts smoke better than either Cold or Hot smoking .  All of whom are veteran smokers and full of respectable wisdom (as well as the others in the above list and contributors to this post of course). Even Pops “hot” smokes and probably has smoked more bacon than all of us put together! But there are contradictions.... Which is it? Who/what is the final authority?



Now that fall has hit, it should be easier (for most) to stay below 70’. For you, it doesn’t sound like <70’ is achievable with what you’ve got for ambient temps. It is possible however, to lower your MES smoking chamber a few degrees with some ice in there, or some frozen water bottles.  For those that say they like to “cold” smoke <70’ is going to be a challenge in the summer months, or not smoke it at all then. So… what will it be? Accept a “warmer” smoke or NO BACON AT ALL? By whatever definition- hot, warm or cold… Find out what’s going to work best for YOU and your tastes! Obviously there’s more than one way to skin a cat!


…eww. No… we won’t be smoking that!
Lol. So much different advice. But I have begun smoking in the evenings. After 7pm and I'm at 70 with a frozen bottle of water in the chamber. In summer I will try hot smoke method or rely on what I freeze. I still have to try pops brine and hot smoke.


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mdgirlinfl

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Question. After I smoke, do I cover/wrap to rest for five days or leave open? (I smoked three hours last night and going for four-six tonight)


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daveomak

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Question. After I smoke, do I cover/wrap to rest for five days or leave open? (I smoked three hours last night and going for four-six tonight)


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I leave my bacon on a wire rack, in the refer for a week or so, after smoking....    just the final step in the aging process....   concentrate the flavors like a dry aged steak....   let the smoke finish penetrating to all corners of the meat...   Then it's into the oven to cook and eat...
 

Bearcarver

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Question. After I smoke, do I cover/wrap to rest for five days or leave open? (I smoked three hours last night and going for four-six tonight)


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I would wrap it tight with plastic wrap---Give the flavors only one direction to go.

Bear
 

browneyesvictim

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Way to go MDG! I'm sure its looking good at 70'! I Cant wait for your q-view! But I re-learn patience with every batch of bacon- including yours apparently!


Also curious, did you use the TQ cure or did you mix your own with a calculator on here?
 

mdgirlinfl

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Way to go MDG! I'm sure its looking good at 70'! I Cant wait for your q-view! But I re-learn patience with every batch of bacon- including yours apparently!


Also curious, did you use the TQ cure or did you mix your own with a calculator on here?
​Hi Browneyesvic,

I used the cure calculator through the forum. 

I am troubled by my smoke.  The last two smokes seemed too heavy with creosote.  I wont know if it adversely effected the bacon until I let it "season" for a couple days.  I'm not sure if I have an airflow issue or if humidity/condensation is the cause  Or if it normal in a cold smoke.  But the smoker smells more of cigarette ash than apple, or other woods used.  I'm not sure if I need to clean any sticky residue or not.

But I have a belly divided into thirds in the freezer and a newly acquired second hand fridge in the garage ready to be stunk up with smokey bacon processing :-)
 

browneyesvictim

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With the cold smoker attachment I'm surprised you have this issue. If the smoke is condensing as creosote in your smoke chamber then you should try and cool the smoke before it enters the chamber. I think Bear has the ideal solution which is to extend your plumbing with a longer vent pipe. Flex or rigid will do.

Also, can you describe how and what you are burning in the cold smoke attachment? Chips? How much? Are you seeing white smoke or thin blue smoke. It doesn't take many chips or pellets at all to get adequate smoke.
 

mdgirlinfl

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Last two burns were cold smoke at night. I used primarily apple but had some hickory in there. Smoke was thick and white on the first problem burn but settled to TBS Last night it wasn't calming down to tbs. It smells more of cigarette than wood. I think it may have had humidity get to the chips and/or too many burning too fast. The ash drawer in the bottom of the csa seemed to burn complete. I'm including pics. Not sure if and how I should attempt to clean the creosote.



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daveomak

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MDGirl, morning...    I'm thinking the cold smoke generator does not have enough air flow....  Don't know if it can be adjusted on the unit or not...  Also was the exhaust on the MES wide open to allow for full air flow..  

It could be, if the smoker body was cold, there was a cold air dam stopping the air flow....   At times, when that is the situation with my MES, I turn the heat on to warm it up so it will draw more air....  The body of the smoker should / must be above ambient temp to draw air properly... 

About the bacon....  Try running hot tap water on it to wash off the creosote...  I have done that on sausage and bacon when stuff just doesn't go correctly....    Seems to work a bit......
 

mdgirlinfl

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MDGirl, morning...    I'm thinking the cold smoke generator does not have enough air flow....  Don't know if it can be adjusted on the unit or not...  Also was the exhaust on the MES wide open to allow for full air flow..  


It could be, if the smoker body was cold, there was a cold air dam stopping the air flow....   At times, when that is the situation with my MES, I turn the heat on to warm it up so it will draw more air....  The body of the smoker should / must be above ambient temp to draw air properly... 


About the bacon....  Try running hot tap water on it to wash off the creosote...  I have done that on sausage and bacon when stuff just doesn't go correctly....    Seems to work a bit......
Thanks DaveOmak. Outside temps were in mid 70s. But I added a frozen bottle of water in the drip pan to keep the temp below 80. No real way to adjust airflow on the cold smoke attachment. But I keep my MES box vent wide open. I was getting a complete burn in the cold smoke as the ash pan was well burned ash. So I'm thinking too much wood chips, too fast, and humidity. There isn't any creosote drips on the bacon and it is only lightly colored. So after resting it might be fine.
I'm running the MES30 at max temp (I think is 275f) for a few hours to see if I can burn off any nastys or harden them, then brush/flake off. Not sure how to handle the cold smoke attachment, feed tube. That is sticky like drying syrup. But I'll try a few things.


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crankybuzzard

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You might also try leaving the ash drawer open about 1/4-1/2 way.  That could assist with airflow.  I have to do that when I use my cold smoke generator with pellets.  Mine is just like yours.
 

mdgirlinfl

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You might also try leaving the ash drawer open about 1/4-1/2 way.  That could assist with airflow.  I have to do that when I use my cold smoke generator with pellets.  Mine is just like yours.
THANK YOU Cranky! I tried to do that and hubs (who doesn't have any experience in this) tried to tell me I shouldn't/couldn't leave the ash drawer open a fraction of an inch "because it isn't designed that way". Now I can print your advice and show it too him! Ha ha ha ha...[emoji]128527[/emoji]


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SWFLsmkr1

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Looks good.

I will let the experts give you the advice here as i dont do much bacon.

 

crankybuzzard

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THANK YOU Cranky! I tried to do that and hubs (who doesn't have any experience in this) tried to tell me I shouldn't/couldn't leave the ash drawer open a fraction of an inch "because it isn't designed that way". Now I can print your advice and show it too him! Ha ha ha ha...[emoji]128527[/emoji]


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Well, ok, been a while since I caused any marital strife!  
 

daveomak

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I'm thinking that bottle of ice could have cooled the smoker and reduced the air flow...   You shouldn't need it with that length of aluminum duct to cool the smoke...    Try a test run without the ice...     If the smoker body drops below ambient, the air in the smoker body gets colder and heavier that the ambient air...   subsequently, the air in the smoker wants to flow toward the smoke generator.... 

I've had that happen when I put 45#'s of cold belly in my smoker...  the air flowed backwards and out the mailbox mod...    extinguished the pellets...   and a light bulb flashed in my head as to what was happening...  

Keep the smoker above ambient so that doesn't happen.....
 

mdgirlinfl

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I'm thinking that bottle of ice could have cooled the smoker and reduced the air flow...   You shouldn't need it with that length of aluminum duct to cool the smoke...    Try a test run without the ice...     If the smoker body drops below ambient, the air in the smoker body gets colder and heavier that the ambient air...   subsequently, the air in the smoker wants to flow toward the smoke generator.... 



I've had that happen when I put 45#'s of cold belly in my smoker...  the air flowed backwards and out the mailbox mod...    extinguished the pellets...   and a light bulb flashed in my head as to what was happening...  



Keep the smoker above ambient so that doesn't happen.....
That honestly makes great sense! There was more smoke billowing out of the cold smoke accessory than the box.

Okay, next cold smoke (which may be two weeks out because I need to cure my next belly cut (I cut my belly into thirds, 3-4# each) will be with the ash tray adjusted for good, positive airflow and no ice/frozen bottles.

I have a plan. Thanks.


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