First BBB underway, but not sure what smoke method to use

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by smokinjoe52, May 29, 2013.

  1. I have a 9lb butt deboned, butterflied and in Pop's brine. I am not sure if I can cold smoke when the ambient air temps are ~80 degrees. I cold smoked a lot of cheese this winter, and it turned out great until the ambient temp. hit about 55 degrees.  The AMPS in my smoker then generated enough heat to take the internal smoker temp up past 90.  The cheese melted a little, but wasn't bad.  Well, I am rambling, so let me get to my question.

    Can I use the AMAZEN in my Cookshack clone without additional heat to "cold smoke" the BBB even though the internal temp. of the smoker will most likely get to 100 to 115 degrees?

    My objective is to have a final product that does need to be fried prior to eating. Since the butt is cured, and you want to fry prior to eating, does it matter what IT the meat hits during the smoke?

    I really need the forum experts to weigh in on this one.


  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Joe, morning....   Yep.... smoke away....  How long you leaving the "flied" butt in the brine ?? 10 days or so in the refer ??   When it comes to smoking.... some folks have been smoking their bacon for up to 36 hours straight.... you can smoke longer too....  letting the butt rest in the refer will develop smoke and flavor through the meat instead of just on the surface... and the flavor will mellow also....   depends on the final color....   partially freeze then slice...   everyone pretty much does stuff different....  If you have done bacon that is fully cooked, note on the package that it needs cooking, or it's raw.... just some note to be safe....

  3. Dave - Thanks for the reply.

    I plan on keeping the meat in the brine for 10 days. Yes, it is in the fridge. I'll then cold smoke it for 12 -15 hours, then allow to rest in the fridge for 3-4 days before slicing and packaging.

    Do you think it is advantageous to keep it in the fridge a day or so BEFORE smoking, but after it is removed from the brine?

    Is 12-15 hours using Pitmasters special in the AMAZEN enough smoke for BBB?

    I have used Cure #1 in beef sticks, and TQ dry to make Canadian bacon, but this is my first time with Cure #1 in a brine solution.  Sure seems easy!

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Joe, when you remove the pig from the brine / cure, rinse well and dry with paper towels etc...   Let come to room temp....  Place in smoker with vents wide open....   fire up the AMNs,ps,or ts and relax....   The reason for warming the bacon....   If it is cold, condensate will form on it....  When I cold smoke, or some hot smokes even....  I will place meat on a wire rack in front of a fan to dry the surface, and form (or partially form) the pellicle before placing in the smoker...  

    If you need to do a fry test, for salt, do that after the rinse and before the drying process...  if too salty, soak in ice water or water in the refer... 

    now would be the time to add black pepper for pepper bacon or what ever surface topping you choose....  

  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Joe!!

    Everything Dave said above is about right.

    Depending on your tastes, 12 hours is a bit short for cold smoking---20 to 30 could be better.

    If you're worried about keeping it below 90*, you can put a frozen jug of water in, but since it's BBB, and not cheese, I wouldn't worry about it getting over 100*. I warm smoke my BBB, and take the IT up to 145*. Then all I have to do before eating is warm it, instead of trying to fry it without burning it.

    Don't forget the QView!!!

  6. I'm one of the guys who drilled holes in the bottom of my Cookshack clone.  I am glad I did, because I have used it wide open for:


    cold smoked cheese

    and now cold smoked BBB

    It obviously improves air flow which in the case of the jerky vents the moisture better, and in the case of cold smoking helps keep the temp. down. It is surprising, at least to me, how much the AMAZEN can raise the internal temp of the smoker when the vents (holes) are mostly closed.  (Sometimes 30 degrees above ambient air temp.)

    During the smoke, I would assume it is not important to monitor the IT of the meat.

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't monitor Bacon unless it's CB or BBB, but that's because I take them to 145*.

    If you aren't doing that, there's no reason to monitor the temp.

  8. Thanks, I appreciate the input from both of you.  I will extend my smoke plans to 25 - 30 hours.

    One last question/comment.

    I have made Canadian Bacon at least 4 times in the last 6 months.  It is a huge hit with family and friends. But, I want my BBB to be different from the CB.

     The last question I have is:

    Will the BBB be more like bacon (taste/texture)  if you cold smoke it rather than take it to 145 - 150 and just warm it prior to eating?  What are the pros/cons of a cold/warm smoke with BBB versus taking it up to temp.?

    It sure is handy to just warm the CB prior to eating, but of course that is not very "bacon like".

    Comments on that please.

    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The taste shouldn't be any different if you get them both hot in the frying pan. The difference is if you cold smoke it, you have to make sure you fry it hard enough to be safe to eat---Just like Belly Bacon, except BBB is so lean, it's harder to keep from burning it. Whereas if it's already been to 145-150, you could safely come up a little short in frying it.

    It's ALL Good!!!

  10. Now I am tempted to take it to 145.

    What do you recommend for a time/temperature program for a hot smoke?  I.E. Cold smoke for so many hours then take the smoker to ??? degrees until an IT of 145. I am assuming it is not a 30 hour smoke, but am not sure.

  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I call it a warm smoking. It's good both ways, but I personally have found warm smokes on CB and BBB more tasty, and you get Great color & flavor in half the time.

    If you want to try a Warm Smoke, below is how I generally do it:

    7:00 AM----------------------------------Pre-Heat Smoker to 140˚.
    8:00 AM----------------------------------Put loaded grills on top two positions, with top exhaust vent open fully.
    8:30 AM----------------------------------Put well lit, loaded with Hickory, AMNPS on bars in bottom of MES, to the left of chip burner.
    4:00 PM----------------------------------Bump heat to 180˚ (Internal Temps were at about 120˚ at this time).
    5:00 PM----------------------------------Good color---remove AMNPS & save remaining pellets (IT was about 133˚).
    Between 7 PM and 8 PM-------------Check each piece, and remove pieces when they are between 145˚ and 150˚ internal temp.

    Allow to cool to about 100˚ before wrapping in plastic wrap, and putting in fridge for R & R.
    I used to leave the pieces in my fridge for one night, but one time with CB, I had to go away that day, so they stayed for two nights.
    They were the best tasting CB I ever had, and I believe the extra day in fridge before slicing is the main reason.

    Been giving all my Bacons two nights ever since.

    Put in freezer for 2 or 3 hours before slicing makes the slicing work much better.


    PS: In other words, about 140* for about 8 hours. Then bump to 180 to finish. Depending on the size, it could take more or less time, so keep an eye on your Internal Temp. Don't let it go much over 150*.
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  12. Bear,

    Perfect!  Just the info I needed.


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