Cold Smoking first try

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richard cameron

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jul 14, 2016
114
51
Sacramento California
I’ve been reading on the SMF site for some time now about cold smoking and have decided to take the plunge.  This morning, I ordered a 5” X 8“ AMNPS smoker box to be used in my RF smoker.

The next decision that I need to make is which flavor pellets do I buy?  I plan on starting off smoking something easy like salt or cheese.  I don’t want to buy a 20 lb bag of pellets and find out that I should have bought something else.  I want to buy a 5 lb bag at my local store and experiment. 

My ultimate goal is to smoke some bacon and some salmon. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
We smoke most everything hot or cold with Hickory, smooth robust flavor for us.  We have mixed in partial Pecan sometimes for pork or ham for a little lighter flavor, cherry is -- even lighter and sweeter, different, used it only one time, decided it was not for us.

I would use the same wood smoke you use on your meats for the first cheese smoke.  Your taste buds are used to it, not as much of a surprise for a first time smoke.

We purchase standard bacon at the store, we like extra smoke.  I cold smoke it an extra 20 min with hickory and a little extra black pepper ground on, then we refreeze for use later.

Take a look at http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152459/dedicated-whiskey-barrel-cold-smoker/20 

Slide down to post # 33 and take a look at a batch of bacon and a batch of cheese.  I built this in 1975 or so, and still using it.

Good luck to you.  Let us know how yours works out.
 
Smoke flavor really is a personal choice.

Cob is our favorite on bacon. I use cherry and pecan a lot. Apple has also been a go to for pork. Use primarily Alder for fish.

No matter what you use make sure the pellets are 100% made with the wood you are wanting. Many of the pellets sold are made with a portion of the flavor wood and then the rest is filler wood.

The pellets from Todd at Amaze N Smokers are 100% what they say they are. Depending on what you order from him you can get them in 1,2,5,20 pound bags.
 
My AMNPS came in the mail yesterday.  This morning I stopped by the California Backyard store by my house and bought some Milt’s original gourmet bbq pellets to use.  The flavor that I chose was Apricot Rosemary.  I hope I made the right decision since I bought a 20 lb bag on clearance. 

I stopped by my local Costco and asked about Pork Bellies.  I was told that they were ordered today and should be in by this weekend.  I can hardly wait to buy some.

Now all I need is some dry weather to start smoking.  Where I live in Northern California, I have gotten 6 inches of rain since last Friday with more to come.  I sure hope it dries out soon. 
 
 
My AMNPS came in the mail yesterday.  This morning I stopped by the California Backyard store by my house and bought some Milt’s original gourmet bbq pellets to use.  The flavor that I chose was Apricot Rosemary.  I hope I made the right decision since I bought a 20 lb bag on clearance. 

I stopped by my local Costco and asked about Pork Bellies.  I was told that they were ordered today and should be in by this weekend.  I can hardly wait to buy some.

Now all I need is some dry weather to start smoking.  Where I live in Northern California, I have gotten 6 inches of rain since last Friday with more to come.  I sure hope it dries out soon. 
Not sure on the pellets you bought since I haven't used that blend, but I have tried Italian spice with some cheese and ham and it was a decent blend.  Before it's over, you'll have several buckets of different flavors...

Are you wanting to use the pork belly for bacon?  If so, it'll need to be cured first.
 
Cranky Buzzard, thank you for your admonishment on curing pork bellies before smoking them.  I plan on curing and smoking them next weekend.  However this weekend I plan on smoking some salt, cheese, and some almonds weather permitting. 
 
 
Cranky Buzzard, thank you for your admonishment on curing pork bellies before smoking them.  I plan on curing and smoking them next weekend.  However this weekend I plan on smoking some salt, cheese, and some almonds weather permitting. 
I apologize if I came across as admonishing you, that wasn't my intention, I was just trying to make certain that you weren't disappointed in the outcome.

You say you plan to cure and smoke next weekend, curing a pork belly will take quite a few days (14 or so) to properly cure through if they are the normal 1.5-2" thickness.

How do you plan to cure them?
 
Cranky Buzzard, thank you for your admonishment on curing pork bellies before smoking them.  I plan on curing and smoking them next weekend.  However this weekend I plan on smoking some salt, cheese, and some almonds weather permitting. 
Be sure and read up on cureing pork belly. Most let cure in the brine (wet or dry)for a couple weeks before smoking. Rule of thumb is at least 7 days per inch of thickness of belly meat
 
Thanks for the input.  I didn't know it takes 14 days to cure pork bellies.  My plan was to buy them this weekend and read up on how to cure them properly. If it takes 14 days to cure, it takes 14 days.  It will probably take me that long to read all the post on how to do it properly.  Since this is a learning process, I will be thankful for any input that I receive.
 
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I use their pitmaster blend for my cheeses. I forget exactly what is mixed in but it has been very well received. I usually smoke about 30 lbs of cheese a month just for family and two friends.
 
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