Pellicle on bacon.....

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by linguica, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Fall is on the way and cold smoked bacon sounds tasty. A few years ago, i made honey maple bacon. I turned out great ( judging on the speed at which it disappeared). The thing i can't remember is the pellicle thing. On fish is required, but what about bacon?
  2. It's definitely required if you're cold smoking and want the best smoke adherence. I dry the bacon with a fan until it's dry to the touch and the temp of the bacon comes up to what the temp will be in the smoker so that condensation doesn't form.

  3. Thanks for your help Digging Dog Farm, a decisive answer. I did the bacon+pellicle  search and was more confused than when I started.
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They got you covered....

    I used to form the pellicle overnight in the fridge, but now use a fan to speed up the process

    If you don't form the pellicle, smudge can form on the surface and you can have streaks on your bacon.

  5. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    First post.  My bellies are now cured (used Martin's calculator) and ready for the cold smoke.  A few questions:

    1. Do I rinse them first and then let them form a pellicle?

    2. Should I smoke them with the skin on or off?  What are the benefits of one way or the other?

    3. Do I do anything else to them before smoking them?

    4. When they are being smoked should I turn them over periodically?  If so, how often?

    5. Should sit them on a grate when smoking them?

    6. Anything else I am missing? 
  6. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    One more question:  Is there a standard yield calculation for pork bellies to bacon?  In other words, how much final product will a 10# yield after curing, smoking, and skinning?
  7. I don't typically rinse, but there's nothing wrong with rinsing.
    Skin on or skin off is personal preference, I prefer to remove the skin before curing.
    Some like to leave it on and remove it after hot smoking because it''ll come off easier then.
    If you have the bacon on a rack, there's no need to turn it, but I prefer hanging bacon rather then putting it on a rack.

    Bacon varies greatly in quality, thickness,, fat to meat ratio, etc. there is no reliable rule of thumb as far as yield goes.


  8. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    Thanks Martin.  Does 8-10 hours with apple wood sound reasonable?  This is my first time with cold smoke.

    Why do you remove the skin before the cure?  Does it impact flavor?  Does it impact the time to cure?
  9. The amount of smoke you put on it is a matter of personal preference.
    8-10 hours of Apple would be a good place to start.

    I remove the skin because there's no good reason to leave it on.
    The bellies will cure easier and smoke easier without the skin.

  10. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    Thanks.  I have the skins on now but I am going to remove them before forming the pellicle  In the future, if I remove the skins before curing do the same timetables apply? 
  11. I cure skin-off bellies for 7 days per inch of total thickness.

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  12. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    I am cold smoking right now.  Any advice on the best way to package after I am done smoking?
  13. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I slice and then vacume seal then freeze.
  14. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    I cold smoked yesterday and am doing more today.  Any thoughts on how to package it after smoking?  FYI, I got about an 80% yield from original weight of the bellies to the final weight after smoking.  This is a number I want to track this stat as I do more so I can an idea of what to expect.  Would the breed of pig impact this at all?
  15. Most folks slice, vack pak and freeze.
    The breed of hog can certainly impact the yield, feed is also important.

  16. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    We are actually an artisan cheese manufacturer so we are just starting a program of feeding our whey to the hogs.  The bellies I am smoking now I bought commercially but I am really interested to see the difference when we start working with the bellies from the hogs fed our whey.

    Thanks for your feedback and Happy New Year. 
  17. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    Is there a minimum temperature for cold smoking?
  18. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I try to keep my temps above 60° or so for cold smoking

    At cold temps like 30°, the meat doesn't seem to take on smoke
  19. mark1615

    mark1615 Newbie

    Perfect.  I've been able to keep it at 60-80 degrees.  I'm going to have to figure out a solution for the summer when outdoors temps are in excess of 100. 

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