Help - First try cold smoking bacon- I have a couple of questions

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by bobdog46, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Hello fellow smokers,

                                     I have been making several different sausages over the last couple of years and want to give a shot at cold smoking some bacon. I went to SELA last week and tasted some of alblancher's bacon and it was wonderful. I got a recipe from him that I will try in the future.  I have made buck board bacon(boston butt) using HI-Mountain's seasoning & cure then hot smoking that came out great, tasting like ham.   My 1st question - Can I use the HI-Mt BBB seasoning&cure on pork belly then cold smoke?(i want something simple for my first try).  2nd question - How long do I smoke it for?  3rd question - Which wood will be better, Hickory or apple ?

    4th question - How do I pick a good pork belly and where is the best place to look for one? Do regular super markets carry them?

    Any other advice would be appreciated.


  2. smokinal

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

  3. bob the noob

    bob the noob Smoke Blower

    Last few batches I've done have been 23-24 hrs with hickory and maybe some apple.  Make sure you keep your smoker temps around 70-80 degrees.  Lower than 60 and I've found it takes longer to get a good smoke flavor, 90 or hotter and it starts "sweating" and stretching on the bacon hooks.

    I highly recommend the A Maze n Pellet Smoker... I used to use a hot plate and a pie tin to smolder chunk wood but it would make a lot of excess heat.  The pellet smoker kinda smolders itself along and doesn't make much heat.

  4. I have a master forge propane vertical smoker and plan on getting the AMNPS to use on this endeavor,  Thanks
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    BobDog,  most of us smoke to color.  With the cooler temps we are having you can let it go for 2 or 3 days if you wish.  The bacon you ate was smoked for about 40 hours.   I believe there is a wholesaler in Hammond  Scariano Brothers where the local butchers order.  You may want to check with them and see who they sell to in your area.

    Plan on buying case quantities 3 or 5 whole bellies about 12 lbs a piece.  If you want smaller amounts you may have to go to an asian or hispanic grocer.  They generallly trim up their bellies pretty close.

    Better yet I am searching for a source of Berkshire pork.  There are several restaurants serving this now and I would like to find out where I can buy some.  The Berkshire bellies I have seen are perfect for bacon.

    Good luck, if you want to do larger quantities you are welcome to get it all cured and bring it to me with a couple of arm loads of pecan or oak,  We can run it in my smokehouse for you,
  6. Great Al -  I will search those places for some bellies - I should be able to hang a max of 2 in my smoker. I am looking forward to giving this a try.  Thanks for the help and turning me on home smoked bacon.  BD
  7. I went to A-MAZE-N website -  What is different between AMNS & AMNPS ?  Any advantage or disadvantage of the two?
  8. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    AMNS burns dust only, AMNPS was designed for pellets, you can also use it for dust.  Pellets work best in hot smoking.  I think the AMNPS is the way to go -- it's versatile -- does both hot & cold.  But then, I own both, and think they are both awesome.

  9. This will be used for cold smoking only - I will probably order the AMNS.    Thanks
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Once you use one for cold smoking, it won't be long before you want to hot smoke with it.  I would definitely recommend the pellet smoker because it works for both.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Yes you can use the hi-mountian cure for pork bellies. I personally like using tender-quick and brown sugar on mine. Then for the cold smoking is just for flavor and color like Al says. I smoke mine for only 12-16 hours depending on what I'm doing. That way it gets some good smoke flavor. I also use heavy smoke on mine if I'm only smoking it for a short time to.
  12. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    If you have a hispanic market near you that has a meat counter they will have bellies. Find out when they get them in and tell them how many you want.

    just tell them you want them frozen and that way you get them before they trim them.
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The guys got you covered

    The AMNPS puts out a lot of smoke when you use pellets, so I would lean towards the AMNPS

    Plus, pellets can usually be found locally

    Good Luck with your first bacon adventure


  14. eman -

               I cant find any belly in the Hammond -Ponchatoula area.  I am pretty close to Denham Springs and B.R. - Do u know of a place in that area being that u are from B,R.


                   Bob Dog
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    The times I used Hi Mt, I had to soak my cured Belly long times to get rid of extra salt flavor.

    Like Mark, I use TQ & brown sugar, and I never have that problem.

    Cure # 1 is easy to adjust your salt content---either up or down.

    No matter which one you use, be sure to do a salt-fry-test after curing, just in case.

  16. Thanks all for the help. Now I need to score a belly for my first try.      
  17. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Bob, There is a hispanic grocery on the corner of Fla blvd and wood dale blvd next to office depot in B.R. that has a real nice meat counter. They stock bellies. Check out the produce and seasonings while there. They also have a cafe that serves some authentic mexican and honduran foods.
  18. Great - I am in Houma right now and will return to Ponchatoula on Tuesday. I am looking here in the Houma area and if i cant find anything here i will take a trip to BR.

    Thanks for the info
  19. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    I found some nice bellies at a Restaurant Depot. They were in with the fresh cryo bagged meat, When I asked the meat manager, she said they normally carry them by the case in the frozen section and did not know how those made it into the fresh section. [​IMG]   

    GOOD looking bellies.

    I see they may have locations down your way AL.

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