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Cold vs. Hot Smoked bacon?

aaron10

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Ok I have not made bacon before ever. I see you can hot smoke or cold smoke it. As far as I can tell, people hot smoke because it is safer and because it is easier to do (bbq pit).

My question is it really safer? I mean you cook the bacon anyway, wouldn't that take care of any botulism concerns (or other) with cold smoking?

Thanks in advance!
 

JC in GB

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I only hot smoke my bacon as I like the way it cuts better and also knowing that I have brought the pork up to safe temps makes storage a bit easier.

Botulism is controller by the nitrate in the curing salt but the protection goes away as the nitrate gets converted to nitrous oxides.

If I were to cold smoke my bacon, it would only be to do a double smoke on it.

I find that my bacon gets plenty of smoke flavor using a single smoke.


JC :emoji_cat:
 

smokerjim

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It's a matter of preference , but if your cold smoking do make sure its cured properly
 

SmokinEdge

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Ok I have not made bacon before ever. I see you can hot smoke or cold smoke it. As far as I can tell, people hot smoke because it is safer and because it is easier to do (bbq pit).

My question is it really safer? I mean you cook the bacon anyway, wouldn't that take care of any botulism concerns (or other) with cold smoking?

Thanks in advance!
It is safer to hot smoke. If bacteria exist in/on the belly, hot smoking to IT of 145* kills the bacteria, cold smoking does not and would allow said bacteria to multiply until the belly is cooked. If for some reason that belly wasn’t cooked to high enough temp, you could get sick.

Nitrite is converted to Nitric Oxide which in turn kills or neutralize botulism. We can control botulism with Nitric Oxide (NO) where cooking alone we need to achieve temps around 240-250* to kill it. That would not be good for bacon. All other pathogens can be controlled with temp at or above 140*.
Also hot smoking helps later when bacon is fried, to not burn the sugars in the pan. This is helpful if you like sweet bacon. Personally, I like the flavor and texture of cold smoked bacon better, but I would not share bacon with friends unless I hot smoke it, just for safety sake.
 

GaryHibbert

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I only cold smoke my bacon. Before I smoke it, it sits in the fridge with the correct amount of spices and TQ for the correct amount of time, plus a couple of extra days. I then cold smoke it for 2 goes of 10 to 12 hours each. When sliced and vac sealed it goes immediately into the freezer, and sits there until it is fried up.
I have no qualms whatsoever about sharing my bacon.
Gary
 

Bearcarver

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Ok I have not made bacon before ever. I see you can hot smoke or cold smoke it. As far as I can tell, people hot smoke because it is safer and because it is easier to do (bbq pit).

My question is it really safer? I mean you cook the bacon anyway, wouldn't that take care of any botulism concerns (or other) with cold smoking?

Thanks in advance!

You already got some Great Answers above, so I'll just put my 2 cents in:
I don't do either Cold or Hot. I "Warm Smoke" my Bacon, using A Smoker Temp at between 100° and 130°. With Warm Smoke, I can get the same Color & Flavor as I can get by Cold Smoking, only in less than Half the time. As long as I keep the Smoker temp below 140° none of the Fat ever renders.
I never completely cook my Bacon this way, so it still needs to be cooked to 145° before eating, to be safe to Eat.

Here's How I do it, Step by Step:
Bacon (Extra Smoky)

Bear
 

olaf

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I also smoke at a warm temp around 120 degrees. Did a hot smoke once and it was good but much prefer keeping it uncooked. Recently I found a package on the bottom of the freezer at least a year old and it was good.
 

SmokinEdge

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Nothing wrong with cold smoked meats, if you know what you are doing. That said,
In the temp range of 40-140* F. Is always known as the danger zone for bacteria growth. If the piece of meat has, say 10 staphylococcus aureus, or and, salmonella, or E. Coli, the growth rate of these bacteria in say a 5 hour smoke session would go from 10 to 327,680. In 6 hours those original 10 bacteria would become 2,621,440 million bacteria. This is no game!

The saving grace is that the smoking process dries the meat, lowering the Aw (available water) this is another hurdle in food safety, but if not done properly, could become a food hazard. In a warm smoke ( 40-140* F) The only protection is the nitrite, then the drying (Aw drop). Salt would come to play too but needs to be in the 3% range to be effective (this level of salt is not popular in bacon, too salty). Meat selection is absolutely key. Fresh killed and processed meat, by yourself or a very reputable processor, is best. Buying meat at the grocery as mass produced is anybody’s guess. Usually this meat is fine, but they do have recalls from time to to for bacteria infection. Roll those dice, use intelligence guided by experience. Let’s be safe out there.
 

pineywoods

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I cold smoke bacon except Canadian bacon which I cold smoke for several hours then smoke it at hotter temps so it can be eaten cold in a sandwich.
Curing bacon is not hard just takes some time. I don't want to render the fat before I fry it to eat it and at temps over about 100 degrees it will start to render fat.
 

GaryHibbert

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Probably just a preference to what you want
I just did 3 loins of backbacon for the first time and I did hot smoked with a 36 hour cure after injection and a 40 min in the vack tumbler and it turned out killer
Yeah, when it comes to back bacon, I always hot smoke that.
Gary
 

GaryHibbert

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I don't do either Cold or Hot. I "Warm Smoke" my Bacon, using A Smoker Temp at between 100° and 130°. With Warm Smoke, I can get the same Color & Flavor as I can get by Cold Smoking, only in less than Half the time. As long as I keep the Smoker temp below 140° none of the Fat ever renders.
I do the same thing, John, except I heat the smoker up to just above outside ambient temp. That way I get good convection and keep the smoke moving through, rather than just sitting in the MES.
Gary
 

GaryHibbert

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If the piece of meat has, say 10 staphylococcus aureus, or and, salmonella, or E. Coli, the growth rate of these bacteria in say a 5 hour smoke session would go from 10 to 327,680. In 6 hours those original 10 bacteria would become 2,621,440 million bacteria.
So when I do a "warm" cold smoke for two sessions of 10-12 hours each, separated by a night in the fridge, I would have (never was any good at extrapolating) at least a couple of billion bacteria on each of the 3 slabs of belly in the MES?? Something has to be affecting the bacteria--nobody I share with has had any problems after eating the bacon.
Gary
 

WaterRat

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I mean you cook the bacon anyway, wouldn't that take care of any botulism concerns (or other) with cold smoking?

Thanks in advance!
This was sorta answered but sorta not. If botulinum toxin has been allowed to form by improper curing and/or smoking it will not be destroyed in the final cooking process. Just like poorly canned peas can still be deadly even if you cook them. The issue with cold smoking is it does not kill the bacteria so you give the bacteria more time to replicate (and then produce toxin) and if you messed up the curing you could be in trouble. Yes, people do it safely. Yes there is risk, a very serious one.
 

SmokinEdge

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So when I do a "warm" cold smoke for two sessions of 10-12 hours each, separated by a night in the fridge, I would have (never was any good at extrapolating) at least a couple of billion bacteria on each of the 3 slabs of belly in the MES?? Something has to be affecting the bacteria--nobody I share with has had any problems after eating the bacon.
Gary
Maybe you haven’t had any bacteria to deal with yet. Get a copy of Marianski’s book “Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages “ Well worth the time.
 

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