Problems with cold smoking bacon

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by craigdchang, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. craigdchang

    craigdchang Fire Starter

    I am working on my second belly. I have a MES 30. I used pop's brine for 14 days. I then let it sit for two days in the frig after rinsing and pat dry. I have a MES cold smoke generator and have gotten the smoke temp down to 70 degrees. I am using apple wood, and after 6 hours I took it out to rest before another batch of smoke. When I took it out I noticed a lot of moisture on the bacon. I pat dry and put it in the frig over night. I gave it another 8 hours of cold smoke and pulled it out to chill in the frig. I noticed that moisture again. Is this a bad thing or should I just continue to pat dry and let it chill in the frig.
     
  2. what I believe from all my reading on this site that this is somewhat normal if there is excess moisture in the meat or condensation happening inside your MES. there are many people out here far more versed on this and the wet cure method than myself.

    they should be by anytime soon.

     I use a dry cure method to control the salts

    Tom
     
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Moisture is not unusual on Brine Cured Bacon. Quite a bit of water is absorbed soaking for 2 weeks...JJ
     
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Plus coming out of a cold fridge will cause condensation
     
  5. craigdchang

    craigdchang Fire Starter

    Thanks for the comments. This makes me feel a lot better. I used Pop's brine for 14 days. Has anyone else noticed it is alittle on the sweet side. I never had home made bacon. Maybe it is suppose to be? I used only apple wood I am sure that didn't help either. Wife insisted, and you gotta keep the boss happy.[​IMG]
     
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't know about everyone else but I always do a "dewater cycle" when I am smoking cured or brined meats. Takes normally about the first hour which I don't really count towards my smoking time. I open my vent 100 %, and I leave the door on latch but not closed. It allows the meat, in your case bacon a chance to evaporate the bulk of the surface water. It usually takes about an hour and I do it at high temp, then I drop my smoker temp down to the cold smoke temp I am wanting to hold. With the door opened it only takes a moment, when it gets below the temp I want to hold, I close the door, crack the vent and apply the smoke.

    I do it when I would normally be doing my "Preheat" of the box.

    I also have a MES cold smoker but mine generally stays attached to my MES40, I use my AMPs more commonly in the MES30. I have found that the MES Cold Smoker adds about 10 degrees to my box temp., that's on a 40 so you'll want to check and adjust it accordingly for your 30.

    70 degrees, must be nice.....LOL Coldest day in Jan/Feb and I have trouble getting down to that.

    Just something else to throw out there in case you hadn't thought of it already, double smoking. I started double smoking sausages and andouilles last year and I will probably never do another single some on any cured meat.....Wow what a difference. Cold smoke, then in the reefer to dry and smooth, then back in the smoker the next day for the old double whammie! Its really amazing the difference.
     
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep, the brine is on the sweet side. Pop's brine is an old family recipe. You can adjust to your liking without changing it's curing ability...JJ
     
  8. craigdchang

    craigdchang Fire Starter

    I have my mes cold smoker about 4 feet away so the internal temp is about 70 degrees. I just pulled the trigger on the 5x8 amps. Don't get me wrong the MES cold smoker is nice but with that apple wood the creosote is really bad.
     
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bring the bacon belly or all meat for that matter at least up to ambient temp if not 10-15 degrees higher.... Condensate will form on cold meat... cold meat will also form a "cold dam" slowing or stopping the air flow in a small smoker.....
    Smoke getting infused with moisture also forms what I call "acid rain"... a very bitter, acrid creosote flavor on the meat... the smoke absorbs into the water rather than absorbing into the meat.....

    All meat should be warmed and the surface dry when smoking for great flavor....


    Dave
     
  10. what I believe from all my reading on this site that this is somewhat normal if there is excess moisture in the meat or condensation happening inside your MES. there are many people out here far more versed on this and the wet cure method than myself. I use a dry cure method to control the salts
    Foamheart,

    this is just me and my issue, you first cold smoke the meat and then after rest is the second smoke cold or warm/hot smoked?

    Keep On Smokin,

    thank you for your time,

    Tom
     
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cold smoking is usually done in multiple steps... smoke, rest, smoke, rest etc. at temps generally below 70 degrees F..... the rest period can be up to 24 hours and smoke applied for up to 30 days, depending on what you want for a finished product... then you can cook the bacon by frying, baking etc... It does not need to be cooked in the smoker, it can be vac-packed and frozen for later use.... That is the process I use...

    http://www.meatsandsausages.com/meat-smoking/cold-smoking

    Dave
     
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I cold smoke all of my bacon, and I use Pop's Brine. As was mentioned as long as you don't change the amount of cure in the brine, yo can adjust the salt and sugar levels to your liking. You can also add other flavors. I have found though that adding dry spices as a rub after brining works better than adding the spices to the brine. Typically I have not seen condensation, except when the ambient air temp is higher than 60°-65° degrees. I almost never have the smoker over 60° when cold smoking. During the winter there are times when the smoker never gets above 40°.  After rinsing the brine off, I let the meat sit on racks in the fridge for 8-12 hours, then I pull the meat out and set on the counter in front of a box fan for several more hours. Then I load into the smoker. Like Dave O stated I smoke the meat over several days resting in between, Typically 6-8 hours of smoke followed by an overnight rest in the fridge. Typically I do 16-24 hours of total smoke time. Then I let the bacon rest 3-4 days before slicing and packaging. I have been reading up on letting it rest (age) even longer, 2-3 weeks after smoking and plan on giving that a shot with some of my next batch.
     
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Either way, I warm smoke normally,

    There were folks here bragging about how long they had cold smoked, seems one of them was up to 60 hours. That was when I first came to the site and I couldn't imagine smoking it that long. But it had to do with location. Where I live we only need long sleeves and long pants maybe two or three weeks a year. So true cold smoking is not really an option. Also I learned that a warm smoke, that to me meaning nothing above approx. 120 decreases the need for the long smoke because the meat takes the smoke so much better. I could do a warm smoke for 6 hours and it would be twice what a cold smoker would see. I see no large difference in the texture of the meat as long as I don't exceed 130 IT, there is really no rendering.

    Each person does what they like best, with a brine cure or a rub cure, warm cure or cold cure. There is loads of option.  I was simply passing on a double smoke is my new way of thinking. People here even recognize that my sausage, bacon, and andouille has a smoker taste without being bitter, which they are not used to.

    Its all thanks to Bear's double smoked hams LOL.......

    I double smoke doing 2 each, 6 hour warm smokes. I can't imagine wanting or needing anymore. The cured meats usually are used for their flavors they will lend to the pot. So that extra smokie really turns up that infusion of smokie goodness.
     
  14. To drop the heat from your cold smoker try separating them with some pvc or some flexible aluminum duct materiel. I live in Minnesota, cold smoke is not a problem although I have just gotten into it.
    In Jan. 1996 one morning up north where I grew up it was -65 l owned the only car that started that morning and it sounded real bad whet it did. The seats were rock hard and I couldn't shift it into gear. That was just one of many cold days up in northern Minnesota. The Mennapolis St. Paul area where I now live is not much better. It's +43 right now. It might be a cold smokers dream but it's a hot smokers nightmare. I don't smoke in the winter period that's why I am getting into cold smoking. My first try at bacon was not so good. I bought some cure from the meat market down the street that was much the same as Tender Quick but per instructions from the butcher I over cooked it. I now have pink cure #1 for my next attempt and I'll keep the smoker heat down. How far down is a question I need to ask. If the answer is as low as possible should the smoker element even be turned on?
     
  15. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't use any heat at all when cold smoking, unless the ambient temp is below 40. Then I will either turn the smoker on as low as it will go or I will sometimes have to cycle it on and off ( I prefer the temp to be less than 60). The other option that works to add heat is to put the smoke generator right in the smoker.
     
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I smoke Bacon at ambient, 40 to 100 degrees, depending on time of year. There are guys that go higher, gets a darker color...JJ
     
  17. FoamHeart,

    thanks for the clarification. I have been on the side of either hot or cold depending on what your up to. but I have been working with the warm method and am really liking the results. it has opened up another window (based on weather)[​IMG]  

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  18. So you are saying that warm meat takes smoke better then cold right? I do trust all your sigjestions and I like your attitude concerning no right or wrong way as we all have different likes and dislikes that we shear with each other? all the different tastes and ideas is what makes this sight extra special.
     
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Cold smoke penetrates the meat while warm smoke sticks to the outer layer....

    .. ..
     
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I never doubt Dave....... here comes that word........ but, even with the picture I would have to say it would still take 2, 3, 4 times the smoke to achieve the same level completely thru the meat as it takes to flavor the outer most part as the picture shows. I also agree that the outer color is like driving a golf ball, you drive for show and you putt for dough. The color is only a visual stimulation, nothing to do with flavor. But it does show the smoke was applied.

    Again the reason I go with warm smoke is because unless I hit our two weeks of chilly winter and have my bellies cured and ready, I just don't see the ability to cold smoke here as a possibility. So I have to live with warm smoke, and drool over the cold smokers meats.

    I simply throw out the possibility and say you should try it and see what you think.

    It does say cold smoking and hot smoking, maybe the warm smoking could be considered a middle ground.
     

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