Cold smoking bacon

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by inigomontoya, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. Hey all, first time posting, just joined. Toady I sliced and (amaturally) packed my first pork belly. I cold smoked it yesterday for 14 hours in my hot smoker with a cold smoke generator attachment that I built. The main reason I joined is because I was searching the net trying to figure out seasoning ratios and smoking times, etc,. And nowhere could I find any solid info. It seemed people were too busy trying to impress each other with their 'knowledge'and how many grills they have.I had a good success in smoking this belly,
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome to SMF!

    If you use the search here (the magnifying glass, top/right) & type in bacon recipes. Tons will come up. Just start reading until you find one you like.

    I use a wet brine. Here is the recipe I use. 
    Belly Bacon by Al
    Smoker: MES with cold smoke setup

    Smoker temp: only heat from cold smoker

    Wood: Hickory

    Meat: Pork belly from Publix

    Brine/cure: 1 gallon water, 1 cup raw sugar, 1 cup pickling salt, 3 level TBS cure #1, 1/4 cup granulated onion, 1/4 cup granulated garlic, 1/4 cup black pepper


    Trim skin off belly & cut into slabs

    Put slabs in brine in a 2 1/2 gallon bag, making sure they are completely submerged

    Keep in brine for 10 to 14 days

    Remove from brine & soak in fresh water for 4 hours

    Remove from water & pat dry

    Coat with granulated garlic, granulated onion, & black pepper

    Dry on cooling rack uncovered in fridge for 2 to 4 days

    Cold smoke for 6-10 hours, keep smoker temp below 90 degrees if possible. If you have to, put a pan of ice in smoker to keep temp down

    Dry on cooling rack in fridge 2 to 4 days

    Put in freezer for 2 hours & slice

    I'm sure others will chime in with their recipes.

    Good luck,

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  3. No help at all. Thanks.
  4. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    I think you owe Al an apology. He DID try to help by sharing the process he used. And instead of accepting it for what it was you rudely brushed him off.

    OR you could do a little search and find the many posts that do address ratios - specifically regarding curing salt. Curing salt being the only critical ratio since everything else is a matter of preference. Without much effort you should be able to find quite an extensive post by Bearcarver.

    It seems you fall right into that group of those "people trying to impress each other with their knowledge" by making your first post bragging about having "good success in smoking this belly". Atta boy!

    People may not always give you the answer you were hoping for. Appreciate them for taking their time out to respond. Do some reasonable research and read. And if you don't find ask. People ARE willing to offer advise.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Top Definition


    Ignorant, in the Irish sense/usage: disgusting, horrible, mean, ugly, unwanted, repulsive.

    Why did you pick that for your handle ????
  6. id2nv2nj2ca

    id2nv2nj2ca Smoke Blower

    In fairness to  him, though he WAS incredibly rude, his handle is inigomontoya, who is a character from the movie "The Princess Bride".  
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes he was...
  8. id2nv2nj2ca

    id2nv2nj2ca Smoke Blower

    Yep.  Not the type of person that needs to be here, in my opinion.
  9. Wow..... It's disgusting how bluntly rude some people can be. And I'm referring to the thread starter. Yuck. Unreal
    id2nv2nj2ca likes this.
  10. jeff 1

    jeff 1 Smoke Blower

    Try this calculator. It is what I use for basic dry cure. You can adjust the salt and sugar ratios how you want but don't change the cure ratio. Then you can add whatever other flavoring you want.

    Me personally I like the basic 2% salt 1% sugar. Sometimes I will bump the sugar up to double the salt if I want sweet. Sometimes I cut the salt in half if I don't want salty. Only other flavoring I use sometime fresh black pepper. Don't really care for a whole lot of ingredients just simple. 10-14 days usually in cure for me. Rinse and let it dry before smoke.

    As far as smoke sounds like you have a base to go off of at 14 hours. That's a good time imo. Sometimes more sometimes less depending on wood and chamber temps, the colder it is the longer it seems to take the smoke for me. Sometimes I will double smoke it, say like 10-12 hours one day then 10- 12 hours again the next. After the smoke I let it rest a few days before I slice.

    I also have found that the flavor won't degrade as much in the freezer if you don't slice it. I like to keep mine in about 2 lb chunks and only slice what I use when I'm using it. It don't take long for a piece to partially thaw and that is the easiest time to slice. I don't even use my slicer anymore just a big sharp butcher knife.

    As far as wet cure recipe i use pops wet cure recipe, usually 3/4 cup salt and 1.5 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cure number 1 per gallon. I adjust salt and sugar depending on what I might want. I also heat the water to a low boil with the salt and sugar to kill any bacteria. Let it cool and then add the cure #1. I used to always use the wet cure but have moved on to the dry, less space in fridge, better texture, and cooks better imo.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  11. id2nv2nj2ca

    id2nv2nj2ca Smoke Blower

    Thank you for this Jeff.  That calculator is amazingly simple to use.  My belly is in the fridge for 14 days and I am going to go crazy waiting another 7 before I can put it in the smoker. ;)
  12. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    What sort of "help" are you looking for? Want someone to hold your hand and spoon feed you? This site is all about freely sharing information for the interest of anyone. It does, however, assume you're a responsible adult...
  13. jeff 1

    jeff 1 Smoke Blower

    No problem! It is my go to for curing. All you need when making a dry cure imo and being able to adjust it to preference and having the conversion calculator I don't know what else you would need.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  14. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Jeff. May be just what I needed to give me that final push to try it the first time
  15. id2nv2nj2ca

    id2nv2nj2ca Smoke Blower

    Thanks again.  My head was starting to feel like it was going to explode with all the different ways there are to make homemade bacon.  I so hope this works well.
    muralboy, my 1st belly is in the fridge now.  If you want to wait for three + weeks for mine to finish curing, resting and then smoking, I will be happy to let you know how ours turns out from using that calculator.  

    And if anyone else is interested, I ordered the following scale to make sure I got the measurements, especially of the cure, just right:

    This one was recommended to me by DaveOmak, but I had already placed the order for that ^^^ one:

  16. jeff 1

    jeff 1 Smoke Blower

    Just make sure you get it mixed real good so the cure#1 is even. Other then that just turn every day in a sealed bag. The basic ratio don't look like much but it makes a real good bacon. I think the 2% salt is perfect. And if you like a sweeter bacon just adjust the sugar from 1% to 2% or 3% could probably even go 4%. After that any other flavor you want you can put in there at the beginning, the middle, or toward the end of the cure. Only thing I add sometimes is fresh crushed black pepper for peppered bacon. But the sky is the limit when it come to aromatics. When done curing just rinse and dry, I've never needed to soak with 2% salt.
  17. This is exactly the recipe I am going to try. Thank you, Al, I'll report back.

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