Please help with cold smoking bacon

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by akern, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. I want to cold smoke bacon so i went and bought 3 large pork chops about the thickness of pork belly. I used the cold smoke plate in my smokintex 1400 electric smoker, put a pan of ice in it added chops and used 1.5 ounces of applewood. Set temp to 150 for 15 minutes then turned it off and let chops sit for an hour in the smoke i put a glass over the top vent hole to keep smoke in. I pulled the chops wrapped them in saran wrap till i was ready to grill them and when i grilled them they had a real pronounced smoky flavor. Now i read that cold smoking bacon takes 6 to 8 hours at a temp of about 80 but in the electric smoker I think that would leave to strong a smoke flavor in the bacon. Any one got any ideas on how i could use the smoker to effectively cold smoke bacon? Is it possible? Do i really need 6 -8 hours with an electric smoker? Or should i stick to hot smoking and if so what temp for the smoker? By the way I have only been smoking for about a month.
  2. I suggest a cold smoke generator from


    The best bacon is cold smoked. I cold smoke bacon (bellies) from 6-8 hours a day for a couple days at less than 80 degrees F, then let the flavor mature for a few days before slicing and frying.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  3. I have the same SmokinTex 1400 and I have picked up the Amaze-N-Smoker from Todd that uses dust. 6x6 AMNS. Although I have not tried yet on my SmokinTex I have used it on the Weber and it did a great job on Buck board bacon. Another choice is to run more than one cycle on the SmokinTex just reload and run another 15 mins. To generate the smoke with plenty of ice to keep the temps low.

    There are some other guys using the same unit and I'm sure they will add their opinions.

    Good luck.
  4. The pork chops were probably pretty lean compared to a belly. Meat takes smoke a lot better than fat.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the SMF Family...First off it is a really bad idea to Cold Smoke, anything under 200*F, if your meat is not Cured with a Nitrite Cure like Cure#1 or Morton's Tender Quick. Since you are a Newbie I strongly suggest the Free 5 Day Ecourse. You should not Cover your vent, smoke can get stale and give a bitter flavor to the meat. If the Pork Chops were not cured you need to set your smoker to 225*F and let the Chops Smoke/Cook until the Internal Temp of the meat hits 140*F, ready to eat, or 120*F if you like to Crisp them up on the Grill. I am not familiar with your smoker and don't know how low a temp you can set it to and still generate smoke. Many of us use Cold Smoke generators like the A-MAZE-N Smoker AMNS or AMNPS  to make smoke at any temp down to the 40's. You can add smoke as long as you like 1-2 hours light, 6-8 hours Heavy, 12-24 hours, you must love it! Also type of wood matters Hickory is strong, Fruit woods are more mild, Oak is very mild as well. Enter BACON in the Search bar and you will get several Hundred threads on how it gets done...Good Luck...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    akern, morning...  I did not notice if you were using cure#1 and salt and curing the pork in the refer for any length of time first.....  Please let us know what recipe you are using so we can be more specific.....

    Curing and smoking foods can be fun and rewarding but there are methods and procedures that need to be followed to insure a safe product.....  We are all here to help you achieve success....  

    There are many recipes for curing bacon on this forum... brines, rubs, additional spices, belly, buckboard, canadian etc... the one common ingredient is cure# 1 or Mortons Tender Quick...

    Below is a site that has info and recipes... there are also many books......

    There are many experts on this forum that are willing to help also....   Click on the  FORUM heading and search the bacon file....  Dave
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    All the advice you have been given in spot on.   You need to cure the bellies with either a dry cure or brine.  After curing (normally about 10 days) they are good for the cold smoke.  Use a smoke generator and let them go for 12 hrs with fully open vents and dampers.    Amazen makes some great smoke generators but many people use something as simple as a tin can with wood dust and a solder iron to get the cold smoke they need.  The best way is with a smoke house where you can burn logs but that may be down the road for you.  Welcome to the world of making your own bacon, there is a lot to learn but the results are delicious
  8. scrappynadds

    scrappynadds Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the great advise
  9. Everyone thank you for all the great advice. I read up on how to cure meat and have ordered some insta cure #1 and an amazen smoke generator. I'll start curing a pork belly by next friday and will let you know how it goes. Meanwhile i will keep reading and learning this is a fascinating new thing for me.
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Akern,  Morning and [​IMG]

    on finding your way into a new hobby that is so addictive, your free time will be consumed in preparing the best Q in town....   Dave  
  11. Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Diggy, evening....  I know you know more than me about making bacon.....  Would you please point out what is wrong with the formulation so we all can learn something..... 

                               I realize there are misprints and errors on web pages so any help you can provide would be great....  Dave
  13. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The formulation seems to be on target in all three modes: dry, wet and injection.  What might be confusing is on the dry, the ingredients are per 1000g or 1kg, multiply the amounts X 5 for 5 kg of bacon, bringing the cure up to 1 oz or 1 heaping tablespoon.  Wet is 13.5 tsp, (3 tsp = 1 tbsp) which is under 5 tbsp or 3.5oz of cure, again in line.  Where do you disagree, Dig?
  14. Sure, the biggest problem is "Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat:"
    They actually list the amount of ingredients for 5000g (5 kg) of meat!!! :icon_eek:
    They list the Cure#1 low, while I know what they're thinking, I happen to not agree.
    Cure #1 doesn't have the same affect on fat that it does on meat as far as affecting the color, but it does make a difference in flavor (cured bacon fat tastes totally different than just salted belly fat) and safety as far as botulinum bacteria goes.
    But the major problem with shorting the Cure #1 is that, as has been done in this case, there's no accounting for the vast difference in lean to fat in bacon.
    The USDA's recommended levels of safe nitrite are for the weight of the entire cut, there's no accounting for different levels of fat/lean.
    Therefore, I think it's bad to promote such a practice.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  15. Take a very close look at the amount of ingredients for the dry cure per 1000g (1 kg.), that's where the major problem lies.
    I hope there's nobody who puts 15% salt in their bacon......on purpose anyway! LOL

    And 2.5 teaspoons (12.5 g.) of Cure #1 is the proper amount of cure for 5 kg. of bacon if the level of 156 ppm is used, but it's acceptable to use up to 180 ppm for skin on bellies.
    1 ounce of Cure #1 per 5 kg. of bacon that you suggest would be 350 ppm which is way over the safe limit. :icon_eek:

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  16. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good catch Martin, I must have looked at that recipe before but never noticed the error. Another good reason to do your own calculations, just to verify what you're reading is accurate.
  17. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Always do the calculations.  Using the dry cure calculator I plugged in 11 lbs of bacon skin on with 4% salt and came up with  199 g salt and 14.3 g cure for 200 ppm.   149g salt and 14.3g cure for 3% salt.

    When doing dry cures I always recommend we cure with the maximum amount of cure  for bacon  200ppm because of the amount of time involved and the way we apply the cure mix.

    Remember we have no control over off-site links.  We can not keep them edited properly. 

    May I suggest we refer members to the Dry Cured Bacon Calculator in the Wikis that we discussed and approved as a team.   Pop's brine is also in the Wikis and we should use it as our go to brine recipe.

    If  it is time to open these two Wikis to additional discussion or fine tuning lets do it.    

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