First Time Pop's Bacon Questions

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by kaiser soze, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Thank you all for a great forum !  Lots of good comes from this, I hope this is some of it.

    I just made my first bacon ( 26#) using the Pop's brine method.  I used the recipe as written, but knocked back a little on the salt, staying towards the lower end of the recipe. Twenty days in the brine, rinsed well, 4 days in the fridge to dry out with pepper, onion and garlic on all, two slabs with chili powder added and one with a thin coat of homemade bourbon bbq sauce on it as well.

     Smoke house is 30 x 30 inch 6 ft tall, one 3 " hole in the top left side for a vent and one 2" hole with a venturi smoker tube sticking in it.

    My veturi generator is a 6" dia pipe with a screen in the bottom and a 2" tube sticking out near the top ( side), a small air pump to drag the smoke out and smokes a LOT. Filled with hardwood Apple Blend and Hickory, it burns for about 12 hours total.

    Bacon looks a lot like the pictures everyone posts, maybe a little darker brown. (I don't have a camera yet). I will not taste it for the next 4 days cause I read all the posts about that, but......

    The outside temp was 40 deg F and inside the smoker was as high as 55 deg F and as low as 30 deg F during the smoke. Smoked for 20 hours.

    Will this be ok?  I have some sausage and cheese and beer making experience, so basic food safety is paramount.

    How do you judge a heavy smudge / smoke? 

    What should you use?

    I built this thing so I can make the volume inside the smoker smaller in case I want to do smaller amounts. I did build it with sausages in mind, Landjäger and Krainerwürst in particular, but I had all this pork belly so...........

    I'll post photo's asap.

    Any questions,comments,criticisms are welcome.

  2. You will be fine with those temps since your meat was cured  [​IMG]   You just don't wanna get your temps high enough to render fat out. I cold smoke all my bacon - I like it much better that way  [​IMG]

    As far as judging smoke goes, you do not want the thick, white, billowing smoke (generally speaking - there are a few cases you do but not very many at all) that causes your meat to have the bitter coating & forms creosote. You usually want to shoot for a thin "blue" smoke for better results.

    Looking forward to pics of your bacon - you'll like it MUCH better than store bought  [​IMG]
    newsmokeguy likes this.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Everything B said and I like to cold smoke my bacon for 18-24 hours total. I do 6-8 hours of smoke let the bacon rest in the fridge over night then do it again until I get the color I'm looking for.

    Good luck and post some photos when you get a chance.
  4. As I posted in my meet & greet,  I had a small mushroom cloud going on in the back yard. LOTS of smoke. Heavy white would be it, but the smoke was really cold too.  The color was about the same as others in the forum pictures.  Do you think that I should taste it and is there anything I can do with it if there is too much smoke on it? Rinse it?

    There did not seem top be creosote built up on it. just brownish colored.

    How long should I wait or can I wait before I taste it?  This is the part I know nothing about, but I had white billowing smoke for a while and then a steady stream of grey smoke, but heavy.  No thin blue until the very end of the fuel.

    I have to regulate the generator so it makes less smoke I think and open up the top vents more.  Faster thinner smoke would be better I understand.

    What do you guys think?
  5. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try some in 4 days like you planned. If it is too smokey give it a few more days. Pop's brine is great because you can doctor the salt. You said you reduced the salt. The sugar masks the salt so when you reduce salt you should reduce the sugar some as well. You may find this batch a little on the sweet side. But keep notes. After a few brines you will get the recipe dialed in and have it perfected to your taste. After that it turns out the same every time.
  6. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    X that. Only my second year and everthing iI've done is great. Given lots away and they all love it.  Looks great! 
  7. Just on the off chance that waiting a few days does Not improve the bacon, like if it does have creosote buildup on it from too heavy smoke, is there a remedy?

    I just rinsed off the sausages I hung in there to test them, and they were smoky but dry.  Not nasty at all. but really dry.  they were previously frozen though so I did not expect much.

    What do you do with the bacon in that case?

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