Bacon Question

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by biaviian, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm seeing that some people are smoking their bacon at 120-200 and some are cold smoking their bacon.  What are the advantages of each?  I have searched this for two days now and can't figure out why there is such a difference in temps used.  If it matters I'm looking at doing some buckboard using Hi Mountain's cure.
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I've never done buckboard so I can't help you there but for Bellies most people cold smoke them below 110 degrees (preferably below 80 degrees).  Belly starts to sweat out fat around 120 and anything higher then that the bacon is being precooked.  Not necessarily wrong, just not raw, smoked bacon.

    Good luck,  I'm sure someone familiar with Buckboard will offer additional guidance

  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now I have done my fair share ok maybe more then my share of bacon. What I'm tring to do with cold smoking the bacon is to flavor it with the smoke not try to cook it. After all you want to fry the bacon as normal store bought bacon. I see your doing buckboard bacon and it's really a good bacon and really fabulous for BLT's. Now I smoke my bacon for 8-12 hours for the flavor and since it's cured you can leave it at a low temp for awhile. Most other meats you want to bring them to atleast 152° before they are safe to eat. I you have any other questions just let us know.
  4. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    like mark said the smoke is for flavor, i never let mine go over 125 to prevent the fat from rendering since i will fry it like regular bacon. with buckboard you can take it to 160-165 and have a fully cooked product that you can eat right out of the fridge. you can try it both ways and see what you like.
  5. tjohnson

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

    Great advice from Rob and Mark.

    I've done it both ways, and prefer Cold Smoking

  6. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Please excuse the elementary question.  So the curing truely does protect it if you want to do a cold smoke even if that is between 70-90 for 12+ hours?
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    There are lots of recipes on this forum for curing bacon that will be cold smoked.  I prefer a dry cured bacon but most people new to homemade bacon find it easier and more reliable to do a wet cure.  Look over some of Bearcarver's threads.  He can help you with the ingredients and process.

    Properly cured meats have different rules then raw, uncured meats.  They are not interchangeable and as a person new to this I strongly suggest that you closely follow tried and true recipes and procedures.  We are always glad to help, just decide what you want to and we can fill in the blanks for you.

    Good Luck, 

  8. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks.  I have been reading Bearcarver's bacon threads for several months now but I feel that I still have holes in my bacon knowledge.

    MBalli, thanks for the informative reply. 

    I have to travel again in two weeks so I still have some time before I can even do this bacon thing.  That brings me to another question(s).  How long is too long in terms of a cure?  Can you cure it and then hold it over a few days/weeks before smoking?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I prefer to cure and then smoke, just because after waiting so long I want to get some in my belly!  In a previous thread the question was if cured belly could be frozen and then smoked.  The general concensous was yes it can.  I don't recall the results but as far as safety you shouldn't have any trouble.  I'd go ahead and cure then rinse, dry and freeze.  Do yourself a favor and vacu pack if possible if not just wrap real well.

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A lot of good info from a lot of good smokers above.

    I have tried Belly Bacon a bunch of different ways, but I prefer to put at least some heat on mine, and the ones I liked the best were taken to an internal temp of between 115˚ & 128˚. It is my opinion that a little heat helps get the color & the flavor. It's all a matter of preference.

    As for BBB, I have always taken it to about 140˚, but on my next one, I will try taking it to 160˚, like chefrob said, and like I do my CB.

    I figure if I'm cooking my BBB to get it to 140˚, why not cook it to 160˚, and then not have to cook it a second time.

    I'm kinda anxious to find out how that comes out, but we have to eat what we have in the freezer first!

  11. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks for the info.  I now have plans to also do some Canadian Bacon.  I see, from this Wiki, that they say take 1/2 the thickness and multiply that by 1/4 then add 2 days (to be safe) and that is the curing time.  However, it seems like people doing BBB are curing for 8-10 days (I plan on 10).  I'm wondering why the radical difference in cure times.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When I started on this forum, that formula was all over in the threads---All of the guys I learned from said "take 1/2 the thickness and multiply that by 1/4"-- then add 2 days (to be safe) and that is the curing time", like you said.

    The first place I ever saw a flat out instruction of "10" days was from Hi Mt BBB Cure & Seasoning. If I remember correctly, they say cure for 10 days, and flip it only once in that period of time. I used their BBB cure twice, & don't particularly care for it. It is the only time I had to soak to remove salty flavor. Others haven't seemed to have run into that.

    I like the formula better, because it takes into account the thickness of the meat. The flat out 8 or 10 days does not.

  13. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Last question:  You use that formula for all cuts? (Belly, butt, loin, etc...)

    I'm not a big fan of packaged rubs/seasonings because they are usually too salty.  Now that I have a package of TQ I plan on using it with some maple sugar. 

    Bear, and the rest, I thank you for all of your help.  You have been very patient with my questions. 
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Personally, I use that formula for all cuts, as long as it's no thicker than 3 1/2".

    When I did my Dried Beef, it was over 4" thick, so I added some injection to it.

    Since that smoke, I decided to cut anything like that (BBB, Dried Beef, etc) over 3" or 3 1/2" thick in two pieces, and cure them separately.

    Also, when I add Brown Sugar to my curing, I first coat the piece with TQ, and then coat it with Brown Sugar, instead of mixing the two together before coating & rubbing. I would do it that way with Maple Sugar too. Doesn't mean you have to---That's my way to make sure I get the TQ distributed equally around the whole piece.

  15. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks and great idea about rubbing the TQ before anything else.  I think that is a much safer way of doing it. 

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