Cold smoking with my MES

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by shawneeleelee, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. shawneeleelee

    shawneeleelee Newbie

    Hi all, Been following SMF for a long time and love it.  Got a lot of good info and ideas.  Have cured and smoked various items.  The last bacon I smoked 2 years ago was with Hickory and a couple pieces smoked with Apple.  It turned out to salty for one thing.  I didn't really care for the Hickory because it was somewhat overwhelming.  But I did like the Apple and my wife preferred it also.  I might have smoked it to long with the Hickory.  I believe the Apple is milder so it was pretty good.  

    Anyway, just put another batch in the smoker.  This is not pork belly but a whole 10# tenderloin I cut about 1" thick about 10" long.  I am not sure what to call it, side meat, BBB or CB, or maybe just be called plain old "cured ham".

    I cured this for 8 days in the fridge with MTQ and brown sugar.  I followed a suggestion I read somewhere to wash it then soak it in water for 2 hours in the fridge, changing the water and doing again, for a total of 8 hours soaking.  I then taste tested it.  I can taste the salt and sugar both, but not overwhelming at all.  Dried it out in the fridge for 24 hours and am smoking it today.  I am cold smoking with Apple in my MES.  I have a Smoke Generator with a 2' joint of pipe between it and the smoker.  According to the MES the temp inside was 42 degrees when I started.  It is now 45 degrees inside.  I have applied no heat other than what the generator is providing.

    I think I will smoke it about 4 hours then shut it down and let it sit for the night.  Taste test it in the morning.  And if I think it needs more smoke, do it again.  I just want to be able to taste the hint of smoke flavor at the end.

    Then I am going to add the meat thermometer and bring the internal temp up to where I want it.  This is where I would like a sanity check.  The bottom 1" pieces has the fat on it that is on the backside of the tenderloin.  Those pieces I will slice for bacon.  Those pieces I will bring to 140 degrees, right?   The other pieces, since they are all lean meat,  I am thinking about slicing deli thin for cold cut sandwiches.  Is 160 degrees ok for that, or should I go to 165 for safety?

    By the way, I am in West Virginia, so the temperature will stay 42 degrees or below tonight.  Though they are calling for 70+ degrees Christmas day.

    Thanks - D  [​IMG]
  2. shawneeleelee

    shawneeleelee Newbie

    OK. Cold smoked yesterday for six hours with apple. Let sit in smoker overnight. Was 29 degrees in smoker this morning. Taste tested, actually had my wife to taste test. Had smoke on my hands and in my sinuses, so automatically had smoke on the brain. She said it was good right there. So sprinkled with CBP and started bringing the heat up.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I may be late to the party but 140-145°F is fine across the board. No need to go 165 with pork and can result in dry meat. Just an FYI, you are using Pork Loin. The muscle that runs along the spine, is about 18" long and 4"+ thick. A Tenderloin is usually 8" X 2" and weighs less than 2 pounds with no fat cap. Not a big deal as some grocery stores label Loins as Tenderloins as a marketing tool so lots of folks mistakenly call loins, tenderloins based on the label...JJ
  4. shawneeleelee

    shawneeleelee Newbie

    Thanks for the education JJ.  Didn't know that.  Always thought it was the same.  Is the actual tenderloin inside of the chest cavity? Like what I call the sweet meat in a deer.  Does the same apply for venison?  I have always called the backstrap tenderloin.  And the two small pieces of meat inside the chest cavity along the back bone sweet meat.  Interesting.......... D
  5. shawneeleelee

    shawneeleelee Newbie

    The bacon is in the fridge resting.  Yesterday I had set the temp of my MES at 160 and started bring the temp up.  Actually added some more apple smoke.  Taste test yesterday morning after the initial smoke was really light (I thought), the Mrs really liked it.

    Checked it 2 hours later and the IT was 150 so I shut her down and brought it in, cooled it off, bagged it up and put it in the fridge.

    Also did a taste test.  This time I could really taste the smoke, but it was not overwhelming.  Kind of a good blend of salt/sugar/smoke.

    No one of them was overbearing.

    I followed Bear's recipe for the cure, but after 3 days I added another tablespoon of brown sugar to each bag.

    I wrapped one piece in foil and put it in the oven @ 325 and brought the IT up to 165.  Cut me off a piece and ate it, Yum!..........

    Anxious to get my new slicer out and slice some of it up.  Gonna slice some bacon and the piece I baked as thin as I can get it for cold cut sandwiches.  Gonna freeze some pieces whole in case I want some more cold cuts.

    CU - D
  6. shawneeleelee

    shawneeleelee Newbie

    One note for myself as much as anyone is how quickly the temp came up yesterday. When I started bringing the temp up, it was 29 degrees in my MES so I set it on 150. It came up to 140 IT in 2 hours. I didn't expect that. Bear stresses bringing the temp up "slowly". Next time I will pay more attention to that.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep...Now you got it. Venison is similar. The Backstrap (Loin) runs one side of the spine Ribs to Rump and the Sweet Meat (Tenderloin) are the two small strips on the inside...JJ

    Loin... Large, 8+ pounds, light pink and a fairly uniform thickness end to end.


    Tenderloin...Small, darker color and comes to a point, 1 to 1.5 pounds.


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