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Cold Smoke vs Hot Smoke for Bacon

Discussion in 'Hot Smoked Bacon' started by sneeferson, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Hello all, what a wonderful forum this is and thank you to all the experienced posters, i have learned a lot in a short period by reading and i am just about ready to take the plunge and buy a decent 3' propane smoker.

    I am primarily interested in making Bacon.

    I was about to click that one click button on Amazon and order up the smoker i had selected and then i read a review about how it was a terrible selection for cold smoking unless you left the door ajar (not an exact science). Which has now thrown me into a state of confusion, mainly because i do not really understand the pros and cons of cold vs hot smoking. I have not really been able to find a good comparison of cold vs hot in general, or specifically for Bacon.

    So i was wondering if some of you guys who have smoked it all, could give me say the top three pros and cons of hot vs cold and what things i might need to be aware of with cold smoking (like maybe risks of poisoning my friends with bad bacon).

    I have a good chamber vacuum sealer for storing my meats after they are smoked.... though not sure if the first few 3 lbs batches will last long enough to require any form of storage.

    Also due to the fact i come from, and now live in countries that do not really smoke a lot, i would not know the difference in taste between Hickory or Mesquite. To save me buying 2lb of every different kind of wood, can you give your top two favorites for Bacon smoking.

    Thank you in advance for any advise, i look forward to reporting my successes.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OK I  don't know where in the world you are but in my little bit of the planet there are no hickory or mesquite trees[​IMG]

    There are some real big dogs in the bacon department ,I am about 10 batches in so not that experienced.Check diggingdogfarms & bear carvers & navigators threads they are ahead of me .Just to name a few.

    My 2 cents goes like this.Mesquite is not for bacon.New flavour to me I dig it but not for bacon. Hickory & /or apple or 50/50 it .

    I have found that cold smoking produces better bacon.I was nervous about it to begin with & wanted heat to ensure a safe product but cold smoked is better.

    If you follow the experts here on the correct ratio of cure 1# you are safe remembering bacon is cooked at the user end.

    I wet cure but thats just me .Dry cure is very popular but not done commercially  in my part of the planet.

    I bought an MES, Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. I stand behind it 100% I will buy the new model soon.BUT  buy Todds AMZPS indispensable & the ducks guts when it comes to cold smoking.

    Where exactly are you?

    Do belly first,you don't need to inject cure.Safest first outing. MICK
  3. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You should probably swing past roll call & let people have some info about where you are etc.It will make things easier. I just got home from pub its 1045  I just assumed you were in my timezone.
  4. I am not really looking for geographical based information, as i am happy enough to import some hickory or whatever i need with the smoker.
  5. Morning and welcome to SMF. How about swinging by Roll Call and introducing yourself so we can give you a proper SMF Welcome?

    Then if you'd be so kind as to update your profile to include your location would be great. It helps when answering questions etc if we know what part of the world you are in. Thanks!

    Hickory, sugar maple, oak and many fruit woods are good for bacon. Hickory and mesquite are quite strong flavors and I usually cut them with apple or cherry.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sneeferson, morning and welcome to the forum....  For proper cold smoking, you do not need the heat turned on in your smoker... Most cold smoking is done below 80 deg F.....  All you need is the Amazing Pellet Smoke generator.....  a cardboard box or some reasonable facsimile....  It is AWESOME for cold or hot smoking foods.....  http://www.amazenproducts.com/Default.asp.....

    For future reference, your approximate location will help answering questions that are temp, humidity, supplier etc. related.... that members will respond to.... our purpose is to help you be very good at smoking foods.... building smokers.... what ever we can help you with.....  Dave
    sneeferson likes this.
  7. In short, in true cold smoking and dry curing, the smoke penetrates the meat far better than in hot smoking so the flavor is much better.

    If I had to pick 2 woods for bacon, I'd pick hickory and apple.

  8. I am in Bangkok, Thailand.

    I guess the temp and humidity of my location is now going to become a huge topic for me?

    I will call past Roll Call, though can't we have a better name for it than that? i hated school and that was decades ago.
  9. Thank you! I'm not too familiar with the temperatures there, but if you want to cold smoke, there are ways to get around the heat! Bottles of ice in the smoker, smoking in the early morning or at night.
  10. OK, i was looking at this, looks good and very reasonably priced.

    So if i purchased one of these - http://www.sausagemaker.com/41350propanegassmoker.aspx

    I could just toss the Amazing Pellet Smoke Generator in the bottom of the cabinet and let it smoke for however many hours is required?
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You got it !!!!!   TJohnson is the designer of that amazing smoke generator... He is on this forum....  I recommend you PM him with what your smoker is etc and he will give you the straight skinny on it's performance in your smoker....  enjoy... Dave
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  12. Bacon is my favorite, and i like this in hold or cold form.
  13. I think bacon should be smoked at just below the body temperature of the animal the meat comes from.  The reasoning behind this theory is that at body temp, the fat is liquid, or gel, instead of hard and waxy.  Smoking at that temp allows the smoke to penetrate the fat and meat better.

    A pig's normal temp is 101F, so I think smoking it at 95F to 100F  is probably about right.

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Greg, evening.... That temperature concept is interesting.... Have you done any studies based on cold smoking temps and smoke penetration and taste tests ??  I see you have been active in "Beef Jerky" and do well at it.....   Dave
  15. No, I haven't done any research on this.  It just seems to make sense to me from a physics and physiological viewpoint.

    I am getting the sides from a hog next week from a friend and will be makin' bacon, so I was looking for some more advice.