Maganda Umaga, smokin' in philippines....

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by smokensweet, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter

    Hello, sorta new to smoking, started home business making bacon and baking cakes and cookies.  Living in the philippines is difficult to source many items, but with persistence i have found the essentials at least.  I built a custom smoker/grill out of hollow blocks and tubular as well as angular steel, with stainless steel racks.  The smoker is presently going through and expansion to allow for smoking up to maybe 100 kilos(220 pounds) of bacon at one time.  That may sound a little excessive but in the first month of business i was making 15 kilos a batch and it wouldn't last a day after i packaged it.  So i have decided to ramp it up a bit and see if i can really keep up with the demand.  I will have to also get more refrigerated space it seems.  The smoker is about 6 feet tall, by maybe 7 feet wide and 32 inches back to front, I use racks and just turn the bacon slabs on the side.  i also precut my slabs into four inch wide slabs for ease of removal of skin after smoking and ease of using in the slicer.  i found a source of charbroil applewood chunks and chips, also mesquite and tabasco chips, there is whisky barrel and jack daniels whiskey barrel also available but haven't tried those last two yet.  I cure with brown sugar, noniodized rockseasalt and pink salt at 3 percent nitrite.  usually a five day cure then a four to six hour pellicle formation depending on the humidity, with six to eight hours of cold smoking less than 95 degrees f using mainly apple wood and a little mesquite and white oak thrown in to round everything out.  When i do get more refrigeration i will be expanding to hams and turkey deli meat, may do a little roast beef just to try it out pretty soon.  Anyone in the neighborhood hit me up and will be happy to answer any questions you may have that i can.
    bookhead likes this.
  2. applewood76

    applewood76 Newbie

    hi w i have been smokin for a while now but cant find a constant supply of wood chips. where do you buy your wood chips?
  3. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    [​IMG]  to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 40,000 members and over 800,000 posts so you should be able to find almost anything you want to know. Remember the search bar at the top can be your best friend for finding answers fast!

    Would you do us a favor and update your profile to include your location, Thanks!

    You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-course it will teach you all the basics and a whole lot more!
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Where are you located? It will help us find where you can get some chips.

    I see this is your first post here, when you get a minute would you do us a favor and go to Roll Call and introduce yourself so we can get to know you and give you a proper welcome, also would you add your location to your profile, we like knowing where you are when we talk to you, Thanks!
  6. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter

    applewood, i am assuming you are in the philippines being that you have asked me where i get my chips and my post stated i was from there.  That being said i am in metro manila.  I source my chips from two places at the present time.  Gourdo's provides smoke trays from canada, they work ok if you monitor your heat well.  Some groceries and hardware stores will carry the wood chunks you want, i get my directly from an importer of microbeers who has a shipment each month of materials and microbeers with his own shipping container.  I am also being cautioned by wifey for good reason not to give out my sources due to limited supply, so i will be a little vague as to where specifically i get my emergency stock, if there is a run on the materials my business is kinda screwed.  I can inform you of this though i did check with customs and quarantine, if you write a letter to the head of agricultural quarantine informing him of your intentions of what you want to bring in or have sent in ahead of time, and how much and what it will be used for then you will be able to have it shipped here.  let me know where you are specifically and i will be able to let you know more specifically where you can get it.  That is kinda code for if you are nowhere near me or my supply i will tell you where you can get it... wife is paranoid... its understandable though, its my business here and so far a pretty good one fetching about 15k pesos a week.
  7. applewood76

    applewood76 Newbie

    smokensweet, thanks for the informative response. i am located also in metro manila. i have been sourcing my wood chips in a few hardware/grocery stores. unfortunately its very limited to mesquite and hickory. yes bec we live in a place with very limited sources to produce the food we want i understand its confidential where you source your supplies. its nice to hear youre doing good with your business. i assume you get awhole bunch of wood chips based on the money you spend just for shipping. im just wondering where i can get some applewood chips and a constant supplyfor the coming Christmas season for cooking. btw, where do you sell these smoked bacon? maybe we could try it out soon.
  8. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter

    Ok applewood, wifes in the shower so i can tell you quickly where i get some apple chunks and they may have chips also.  True Value hardware, they have a number of different woodchips etc.  depending on your smoker one bag should last a while.  I bought a bag of mesquite and apple wood chunks two weeks ago and still have half of each after smoking 40 kilos of bacon.  My smoker isn't so efficient so i lose a lot of smoke right now but it is presently going through a modification to hopefully capture more of that sweet sweet flavor.  At present my products are only available directly from my wife, We can't seem to keep it in stock and we are charging 500 pesos for 500 grams.  I know it seems a little criminal but they are going crazy over it and i have to keep it at that price just to be able to provide enough for those who want it.  I am also doing smoked salmon, its a little different for the local taste here, they aren't sure what to do with it really, You can text me if you like my number is 09083680430, if you really want to try some of the bacon i can have my wife set aside a bag for you or two.  She is a hearing officer at LTO on east avenue and you could just stop by and pick it up there.  She should have about 20 kilos on friday.  but whatever you do if you meet her, don't tell her i told you were to get the chips.  As for them running out, i saw a post online dated 2009 stating that was where someone was getting their chips so i checked it out, so for the last three years it seems they are resupplying the shelves and the price is pretty reasonable compared to having it shipped.  Enjoy the holidays and let me know if you need anything.
  9. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter

    Did you get your hands on any applewood?  hope you were able to get some for the holidays and have a wonderful holiday season.
  10. applewood76

    applewood76 Newbie

    Smokensweet, thank you so much for the info. I was actually getting my chunks from the same hardware but I was trying to find chunks from suppliers selling it out at a lower price. Last week I was trying to find apple wood from the hardware but no luck that time. I passed by this weedend, and good lord there was some available. Anyway, I will try to pass by and try out your product if I get to have time to go to Manila. I am currently in the province right now for work purposes. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season too!
  11. Welcome..............[​IMG]Sounds like your business is doing well....[​IMG]
  12. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter

    ahh ok apple, as for chunk prices, i doubt you will find much cheaper here especially for applewood unless you happen to find some local fruit grower with some down trees.  but i don't think they grow here, i have heard crabapple is similar but i don't know, i haven't tried it, i usually use a blend of woods when smoking anyway because they all give such different characteristics.  good luck, keep my number and let me know when you're back in town.

    RTBBQ2 thanks for the welcome, as for the success of the business, by normal american standards i don't make so much, maybe 300 bucks a week, from bacon, but that amount of money here is significant.  I just completed a modification to my smoker which will allow me to smoke up to maybe 200 pounds at a time, although my lack of refrigeration space severely limits that to only about 50 or so.  My wife here has a great job, she would be lucky to be a secretary in the states, she makes decent money even by american standards, what money i make is just a bonus and keeps me occupied.  Again, thanks for the welcome, happy smokin....
  13. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter

    I still haven't figured out how to post photos on this site, however, to update my progress.  In the 3 months or so i have been doing this i have sold over 100 hundred kilos of bacon.  Hurray for me... we have started doing ribs and packaging those for sale also, sold more than 20 kilos already.  I found a butcher here who's idea of american ribs is the cut the skin off the belly and cut it into rib shape.  I tend to get the baby back portion and generally my ribs before cooking start out at least 2 inches thick with a massive layer of fats on the outside perfect for long long smoking and maintaining juicyness.  For anyone interested in trying them that is local you can contact me, as with any good drug dealer.... first one is free... usually we will cut up one rack and package pieces individually to hand out so people can have an idea how its packaged and what they need to do to reheat them.  I do a simple rub on my ribs, then smoke them with mesquite, apple and hickory.  near the end a few brushed of my personal sauce, one mustard based or the other ketchup and balsamic base.  
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2013
  14. Hi guys,

    Just moved to Manila in Oct, haven't really done much smoking up until now but I came across a good deal on a Kamado grill in HMR, have started messing around with that a bit. I know you can get wood from the hardware store, which is fine, but ideally would prefer to try finding some local wood to use. Better in terms of cost, environment, and just general preference to try to do things locally if possible. Have been hearing that woods like acacia and rambutan are good for smoking, would imagine that many of the tropical fruit trees would also work well. But no idea where to find this kind of wood locally short of buying a chainsaw and trekking through the jungle. Perhaps acacia I can find at a construction supply shop, but then I don't know that I would trust that it hasn't been treated with anything. Any ideas? I see smoked bangus in the stores all the time, what wood do they use for that, and where do they get it? They surely aren't using imported applewood...

    Cheers, Alan
  15. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter


    Regarding local woods, I have tried a couple of different ones, with little success, Avocado, nasty heavy lavender flavor, Crabapple, kinda hard to describe on that one, nothing i was used to or wanting to repeat.  My thoughts, although unconfirmed regarding local sources or uses is that many of these who smoke fish here the daing, tuyo, bangus they are using coconut husks, Its in a healthy supply here and its a flavor they are used to having.  I have a business selling smoked bacon and ribs along with many other things, I choose to use the applewood, hickory, mesquite that is imported and chemical free from reputable manufacturers to obtain a more uniform smoke and frankly to obtain a different flavor of smoke then most here are exposed to. I strongly support the use of local ingredients etc, if its for your personal consumption and thats what you prefer then knock yourself out, if you are going to try and resell it, its a tough market to break into if you are providing the same flavor they can get cheaper somewhere else.  I also tried something i doubt i would recommend and that is cinnamon bark, I found a supply briefly of some cinnamon bark cheap enough to experiment with and I don't think i was so impressed with what i came up with, I even tried it both dry and soaked in apple juice and it just didn't impart what i was looking for, seemed overly bitter to me.  Anyway, best recommendation is just to experiment if you have a small smoker find some local trees around you with dead limbs, mango, jackfruit, whatever, plenty of fruit trees around, maybe find a tree trimmer in your area who can supply you with what you would like to experiment with..?  Good luck, Enjoy your stay in manila, keep one hand on your wallet....
  16. howdy fellas. i'm getting ready to come back to philippines to visit family and wanted to ask yall a few questions. 

    1  can i get cure 1 easliy there or should i pack a 1 pound into my bags before i come?

    2  is it possible for yall to direct me to a outlet in manila to pick up a few bags of hickory

       chips? all my inlaws are on the north end of mindinao. i won't be stepping on anybodys toes in manila smoking/cooking etc..... just wanted to grab some   chips to take on down south with me since it is obvious you have  outlets to get them there. once i get at least one bag/box, then my inlaws will have the package to find them down around cayagan de oro. 

    3 does kitchen aid sell mixers over there? if so, any idea right off on the price range? is that something id have to pick up in manila or is CDO big enough to have a dealers down there?  If kitchen aid isn't over there, is there a comparible mixer available for home use?

    Thanks in advance


    a.K.a. JC
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  17. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter


    I get my chips from True Value hardware.  there are a few locations in the metro.  Also i get some smoke trays for smaller smokes at a gourmet shop called Gourdo's.  smoke trays are only about 60 pesos, and depending on your smoker they last a couple hours at most.  The chips are chunks, charbroil brand.  5 pound bags about 500 pesos if you get lucky they go on sale sometimes.  hickory,applewood, mesquite.  They also have some of the tabasco barrel chips and whisky barrel chips.  As for kitchen aid mixers, you can find them at western appliances or gourdo's, price is about 30k pesos, for the high end mixer, the smaller "pretty" machines with less power will run you about 25k.  As for cure 1, am not really sure what percentage nitrite that contains, i didn't start until i got here on smoking and curing.  I personally use this pink salt i got from MGM Foods, sort of a food chemical warehouse, located near SM Megamall.  If you have experience with cure 1 and are travelling back and forth regularly then you may as well try to bring it... something about powder in plastic i try to avoid when travelling personally.  The pink salt i use is 3.75 percent nitrite so it gets the job done.  Back to the mixers... the recent trend is actually away from kitchenaid, personally i don't subscribe to that, they seem to like Breville brand now, its more electronic then the kitchenaid, thats my thing against that i guess, electronics and powders and liquids just don't seem to be a great idea to me.  They are also about 30k for the base model and no idea what bells and whistles they have available.  If you have any other questions feel free to hit me back. 
  18. Thanks for the info man. I really appreciate it. There is a SM on the way into CDO from the airport so we can just stop there and pick up the chips and a few other nick nacks we want to get. 

    I've already got cure 1 that I'm planning on bringing with me. 

    WOW, $30k for a mixer!!![​IMG]  I do believe that we'll just kneed pizza dough and bread by hand for the time being. 

    I truly don't remember, is the herb/spice selection pretty good over there or should I figure on bringing my own bratwurst/italian/kielbasa seasoning from here?

    Thanks a lot!

  19. Hi, glad to hear there is another smoker in the Philippines!  And super to hear about your bacon business!  I love the bacon and make it twice a month.  I started out using the trays you talk about, found at Living Well in SM Mall of Asia, which is owned or associated with Gordo's.  Local woods would be great but ... and a big but ... Filipinos have a whole different set of agricultural and arbor practices, often involving bunches of pesticides.  Not saying all of them, but I've been warned off Mango by numerous sources for that reason.  If you can find guava and pili nut wood, those work well, I am told.

    I thought bacon would be a big hit here, but I don't seem to get much demand for mine except within the family who love it. I think your being in the NCR/Manila area with a strong economy and wider group of people with exposure helps.  And I can only admire your smoker.  I do mine in a standard Weber kettle which means much much smaller batches.  Like you I do different woods, apple, cherry, and hickory.  Hickory is my favorite, I tend to use the other woods for fowl (chicken/turkey) or fish which I did for my first time - Cream Dory which is a trade name for an Asian catfish came out nicely. 

    Pink Salt is available if you hunt for it here.  Problem with it is they NEVER know if it is Pink Salt #1 or #2, at least where I live. I've gone around with the clerks, managers, etc etc and always came away utterly baffled.  My guess is that its #1, but that is the rub.  It's a guess!  They repackage stuff here all the time and never transfer the labeling. So you just don't know for sure.  I bring my own over from the States and have another 5 pounds coming next week. Just so I know what I actually have.  I love doing cured pork chops too.  Just got 3 kilos of bone-in chops that I'll cure, then warm smoke until 130F.  I'll vac bag them and finish to 145F in a water bath for safety.  To serve, I finish them on a grill, but they come out so juicy!  And we can stuff them if the urge hits us! 

    Protecting sources is almost a requirement here.  It may be a bit better in Manila, but stuff here shows up on the shelf and then disappears, not to be seen again for months, sometimes years!  I went two years without seeing Dijon style mustard.  Then it was everywhere!  Now not so much.  That's life in the province. 

    Mahbuhay Brothers and remember ... Banana Ketchup is NOT barbecue sauce!  [​IMG]
  20. smokensweet

    smokensweet Fire Starter

    JC, - not sure if there is true value hardware on your way at that SM, really not sure where the other true values are here, there are only a few of them.  just do a quick google search for them when you get here am sure there is some around alabang, yeah the mixer is kinda pricey, even buying used equipment here they are asking for brand new price, but if you are just getting a mixer for bread and pizza dough, you may not need such a large mixer, you can do the majority of both those mixes with a small mixer then stir it and knead by hand for sure though.  As for herbs and spices, most commonly they are mccormick brand but if you look around you can find some places that sell some pretty obscure items its just a matter of having the time and inclination, i haven't spent any time in the province really so i don't know whats available out there, but here in the metro there is plenty of hidden spots to find what i need.  Good luck, hit me up if you need any assistance... also read on for information regarding mustards...


    Thanks for the info, heard the same about mango, wonder why though, if you have a mango tree in your yard i wonder if its a problem as long as you don't use heavy pesticides on it.. still yeah i stay away from it.  One thing i found from my local wood experiments, i would rather buy the chunks of proven smoke than experiment.. that avocado i did was really really bad... You should try smoking some salmon... a six hour smoke, starting out at 100, for two hours, then 120 for two hours, then 150-160 for two hours... turns out awesome for salads, pastas, dips... Regarding knowledge of locals of products they are selling, yeah its kinda frustrating, they are happy to just have a job and have memorized what to say when asked questions, they don't really know what they are selling unless you really find a good source.  I never would have thought about cured pork chops... for some reason i always thought you don't cure on the bone, but i guess ham you do so i don't see why it wouldn't work, Lately i have been seeing Dijon mustard in SM in the import section in a squeeze bottle, pretty good stuff well known brand just can't remember it now, also grey poupon available at market market or Santi's but santi's is ridiculous prices, they actually have some european mustards but again they can be kinda pricey.  Currently i am in crisis mode, my slicer bit the dust today and i am sitting on 30 kilos of bacon waiting to be sliced... two days to rewind the motor and hoping it works... if not time for a new slicer... probably time for a new one anyway... but yeah, business is solid because of my wife's network, she works in LTO and knows many many people, surprisingly most of my regulars orders are orders cause the kids of those ordering love it.  One guy walked straight up to me with tears in his eyes almost, he was so worried about his daughter who wasn't eating much and he knew she was undernourished, the first packet of bacon he cooked up she stuffed herself and asked to take the rest to school with her.  I never imagined my food would have that sort of impact on anyone, but its kinda nice to know.... good luck with yours also in the province...

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