cold smoking in a mes 40

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by seapro220, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Hello all and happy new year.

    I bought a mes40 last year and know that it will only go down to 100 degrees, which I understand is kind of high for cold smoking. I also purchased a amnps and would like to try some cold smoking of bacon and possibly some fish and cheese. Not wanting g to reinvent the wheel here, but if I put my amnps in there, without the unit turned on will the smoke be "hot enough" to do some cold smoking? I think I might have to open the tray tube to let in some more oxygen but not sure. I'm unsure if I want to purchase, or make, some type of external smoking unit at this time.

    Thanks in advance..

  2. I have the MES40 and AMNPS with 1 row lit on 1 end Mine runs around 70*F when it is 34*F outside
  3. seapro, your location might help in regards to outside ambient temps. Cold smoking should be done lower than 70 degrees...especially when doing cheese. I warm smoke (100-130) my bacon the 1st time I did it and it came out just amazing. BTW, Todd's dust works amazing in the MES when it's turned off. So easy to light and never goes out!
  4. Thanks for the info, and I also updated my "location" on the public profile page. I'd read and heard that about 80 degrees was the highest I should go and 70 sounds a little better. I've also read that if you are going to cold - smoke before you hot-spot that your cold - smoke time should be approx 1/2 the total "cooking" time. So, for instance if you want to cold-water smoke some thing that takes about 4 hours, then your "cold" time would be about 2 hours and then "hot" time would be the other 2 hours, or until 4 the internal temp is right.

    Is this a good rule of thumb to follow?
  5. Not familiar with that, I never use water in my smoker.
  6. Never heard that either nor do I see a scientific or factual reason that would be true. If you're cold smoking then you typically don't plan on bringing it to a cooked cheese or cold smoked bacon. If you're warm smoking then you bring it to a proper IT over a length of time increasing steadily until cooke. This can last as long as you like really.

    How you give an idea of what you're looking at doing and we can give you some processes and steps as guidelines? In the end, how much smoke flavor is up to you.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No... cold smoking is "cold" smoking.... generally 52-71 degrees F... but other higher temps can be used with certain meats, cheeses etc.... Later the meat can go through a cooking process if needed/required...
  8. I've read through the different forums that some people 'cold smoke' to add more flavor - like with bacon - and then 'hot-smoke' to finish cooking it to it's IT of 150 degrees.  This is really the idea that I was trying to inquire about, in which you might 'infuse' more flavors into the product before you actually 'cooked' it to it's correct IT.  I know that you can't 'hot-smoke' cheese as well as other items, but it was just a (poor) example of what I was trying to express interest in. 

    It sounds like the 'correct' process would be to just 'cold-smoke' the item, like bacon for example - for "a while" to infuse the flavor, and then gradually keep heating the IT until it's done.  
  9. seapro, a good way to look at "adding more smoke flavor" is by simply looking at actual smoke time and temperature. At lower temps, the smoke flavor penetration will be less. That is why you see many people that cold smoke cuts like bacon for longer periods of time. The warmer the temps get, the faster the smoke penetration will be into the meat. 

    Now to comment on your "adding more smoke flavor until you actually cook it" line. This is really going to be a line that you draw yourself. Since the meat (or whatever cut it is) is cured, you can have it in the smoke and at warmer temperatures for a much longer time. This is why I say it's going to be a preference on you for the time. Because you could smoke at 100 degrees for 4, 6, 8, 10 hours and then take it to IT to actually finish cooking. It's up to you how strong of a smoke flavor your looking at. And your thoughts on slowly bumping up the temps to get to the finished IT are correct. It's important to do it in slow increments to the fat doesn't render.

    My final thought....if you're planning on taking the meat to a cooked IT anyways, I would suggest smoking at a temperature around 100 for x amount of hours. You will get a stronger smoke flavor this way and it's how I did my 1st batch that's just amazing. It got 6 hours of pecan dust with my MES set at 100 and it came out looking like this:

  10. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smoke penetration in meat..... Cold vs Hot

  11. Thanks for the info. 

    Question - Did you cold-smoke your bacon for a bit before you turned on the heat - or just started the unit up and left it at 100 for you 6 hours?

    I found a recipe which called for, I think - 1/4c salt - 1/4c brown sugar - and I think 2 cups of pure maple syrup as the 'wet brine', followed by 7 days of curing and then cold-smoked which I was going to try out next.
  12. I put them in when it was 100 and just let my AMNPS go with a full load of dust. Why "try" another method instead of doing a tried and true wet cure method? Here's Pop's Brine's thread.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Was there any cure #1 in the recipe...
  14. nope - no cure at all..if I remember correctly.  I'll double check tonight and update back. It seems like they cold smoked it for a bit also - and then just cut and fried. 
  15. chewmeister

    chewmeister SMF Premier Member

    You need to have curing salt in your brine and if wet curing the meat needs to be submerged.

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