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Hot vs Cold smoking

Discussion in 'Hot Smoked Bacon' started by kendec65, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. kendec65

    kendec65 Fire Starter

    Looking to smoke some bacon, and I'm trying to decide on hot or cold smoking.

    Are there pro's or con's to either and taste and texture different?
  2. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Opinions are split. I like dry cured cold smoked bacon. I recommend you tried both and decide for yourself.
    chopjaw likes this.
  3. kendec65

    kendec65 Fire Starter

    Dry was my first choice due to space. What would your recommendations be as far as 

    temp and smoke. What to keep it under and how long?
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I smoke my dry cure bacon at room temperature for 24-36 hours with hickory. The smoking can be done over 3 nights with it resting in the fridge during the day.
    kendec65 likes this.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Dry cure. After cure allow meat to rest 5-7 days in fridge uncovered.

    Cold (above 40, below 70) smoke 18-24 hours. I usually do 6-8 hours a day with an over night rest in between. Mainly do to time restraints.

    Allow meat to rest uncovered 5-7 days after smoke prior to packaging for storage.

    Currently cob is my favorite smoke for bacon.

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  6. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    I just started experimenting with this. I've now done it twice where I take store bacon and then try to add smoke. I used Farmers thick sliced (Costco product). It is very, very thick. I cold smoked it for about 2.5 hours. I liked the result, but it was not close to being enough smoke. Therefore I can see how cold smokes of 24 hours or more might be a good thing.

    The next time I do it I'll try eight hours and see what it tastes like.

    BTW, since I had an empty rack in the smoker, I put a package of Bao on it that I purchased from Coscto:

    and put that rack above the two racks of bacon. 2.5 hours did a pretty good job of adding smoke flavor, although I am tempted to try five hours next time.

    These treats are tasty to begin with, but after the addition of smoke they become quite addictive.
  7. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I prefer dry cure & cold smoke.

    I do a modified version of Case's method.

    IMHO dry cured & cold smoked has better flavor & texture than hot smoked.

  8. I have only smoked bacon two times. The first time I tryed a wet cure with a hot smoke that I took to 155 degrees inturnal temp that turned out good tasting bacon that fryed up like jerky because the bacon was already cooked at 155 degrees. It was only good for things like beans, stews and bacon jam.
    Resently I made bacon again but this time I used Bear's step by step. Whech is a dry TQ cure and a cold smoke not to exceed 120 degrees as a little heat is needed so the smoke will penatrate better. The result was out standing bacon.

  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    We haven’t wet brined our bacon in over 40 years. We prefer the dry brined method as we like the texture, flavor, and with less moisture, any splattering while cooking is eliminated.

    I normally cold smoke using a very pale blue smoke continuously for ± 72 hours to a desired color, while keeping the temperature below 72°. If using a heavier smoke, the time is reduced.


    Enjoy your bacon,

  10. Second for Dry cure and Cold Smoke.  There are so many different opinions here.  Some say let rest between smokes, some don't.  Some cure for 7days some don't.   Like all wise man say, do and decide for yourself..:)

    I cure for 13days, let rest overnight, smoke for 12hrs.  36hrs if I have the time...   Either way, everybody eats and loves my bacon!
  11. pugsbrew

    pugsbrew Meat Mopper

    SmokinAl - what is Case's method?
  12. hondabbq

    hondabbq Meat Mopper

    I cold smoke in my smoke vault 24 with the AMNPS. I could never go 36 hours. I don't get TBS as you know with the AMNPS.
  13. I like I said am not an expert but I know my past mistakes and some things that have worked well. After curing I put the bacon on racks in the refrigerator for two days to develop the pellicle then smoked the bacon in my MES 40" using my AMNPS loaded with apple pellets which smoked for 12 hours at between 115 and 120 then I wrapped the bacon in cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for two more days the smoke was very nice any more might have been to much where it would start tasting like smoke instead of bacon. The only thing that I will change next time is the cure time and maybe the smoke temp to between 90 and 100 but I don't think the temp change will matter.

  14. kendec65

    kendec65 Fire Starter

    Thanks for all the help / suggestions. Doing my ham this weekend, jerky tonight

    then will tackle bacon next.
  15. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'm one of the few here that hot smokes because cold smoking in a Bradley is prohibitively expensive. Dry cure, fridge rest, four hours at 200 to an internal temp of 150. Even if cold smoking produces a better product, nothing I've bought in a store compares to what I pull out of my smoker.
  16. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you live anywhere within 20 miles of Macungie or Emmaus, you might find that "Warm Smoking" works Awesome in that area.

    Not hot---Not Cold---Just Warm, between 110° and 130° Smoker Temp.

    You get the same color & flavor as with Cold Smoking, but in less time. (10 to 12 hours)

    Check it out here in my Step by Step:

    Bacon (Extra Smoky)

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  17. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I’m not familiar with your smoker, but it seems to me if it produces smoke you could apply a good amount of smoke to your bacon for an hour or two then let it hang for three or four days. That would give the smoke time to permeate the bacon before freezing. Of course you could vac seal it also.

    Keep in mind, when applying smoke to a cool product it will take on smoke more readily than when hot smoking. If your smoke is heavy, take care not to oversmoke it.

  18. As a Bradley owner, can you explain why it is expensive to cold smoke on a Bradley?
  19. Question: should so be concerned about the way the grain is going when I slice bacon?

  20. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I normally slice it in the same direction that the ribs were laying. I feel it doesn't make a big difference when slicing bacon.