Hot smoking bacon?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by wade, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I make a fair bit of bacon and often try out different recipes from here for a change. One thing that I have found strange though are the number of people on here who talk about hot smoking their bacon - as opposed to the more traditional cold smoking. I have talked to a few people here on the forum and also friends in the meat business, and none seem to think that it is common to produce bacon by hot smoking.

    I know that in the USA it is common to hot smoke things like Pancetta, whereas here in Europe it is served raw (like Parma Ham), so I was interested in how many of you routinely hot smoke your bacon and how many, like me, only cold smoke theirs?

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I cold smoke belly bacon & buckboard bacon. I think when it's fried it's crispier.

    I hot smoke Canadian bacon, because then all you have to do is nuke it for 15 seconds & it's ready.

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've tried warm smoked belly and BBB...  don't care for the flavor...   taste more like a reheated ham steak.... 

    It's all cold smoked now...   below 70 deg. F and baked at 350 on a wire rack... until crisp....
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I much prefer the texture and flavour of cold smoked bacon too - even for back (Canadian) bacon.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  5. link

    link Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I only cold smoke mine. I have 16lb ready to smoke this weekend and with the temps here in Michigan it makes cold smoking easy.
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I too prefer cold smoked bacon. I think many do the hot here because they are not familiar with cold smoking processes. Or they have a smoker that isn't capable are far as they are concerned to cold smoke. In part I think some of it is due to the mass production and sales of units like the MES electrics, the Treager pellet poopers and such.
  7. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cold smoke for me, but I have hot smoked CB.
  8. All I think about is my bacon on my first smoked bacon explosion.
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Smoked Pancetta!?! And HOT smoked no less??? NO WAY! That is Anti-American Propaganda being spread in the UK...[​IMG][​IMG]

    Yeah there are folks that do it but not traditional. All of my Italian Chef friends take pride in Pancetta being as far from common American Bacon as Prosciutto de Parma is from a Brined Smoked City Ham.

    I Cold Smoke Bacon, min 12 hours, at less than 90°F. I have seen no good reason to do it higher other than to rush the process and get the desired color faster...JJ 
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  10. But I keep seeing less than 70°
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The lower temps for cold smoking are based on type of meat and type of fat...  Different fats, on the same animal, melt at different temperatures..... 

    Cold smoking below 70 deg. F, keeps you safe for all meats including salmon and cheeses....   Above 70, you "may" be degrading the particular product you are trying to cold smoke... 

    Better safe than sorry.....

    Cold Smoking (Stanley Marianski)

    Cold smoking at 52-71° F (12-22° C), from 1-14 days, applying thin smoke with occasional breaks in between, is one of the oldest preservation methods. We cannot produce cold smoke if the outside temperature is 90° F (32° C), unless we can cool it down, which is what some industrial smokers do. Cold smoking is a drying process whose purpose is to remove moisture thus preserving a product.

    You will find that different sources provide different temperatures for cold smoking. In European countries where most of the cold smoking is done, the upper temperature is accepted as 86° F (30° C). The majority of Russian, Polish and German meat technology books call for 71° F (22° C), some books ask for 77° F (25° C). Fish starts to cook at 85° F (29.4° C) and if you want to make delicious cold smoked salmon that is smoked for a long time, obviously you can not exceed 86° F (30° C). Cold smoking assures us of total smoke penetration inside of the meat. The loss of moisture also is uniform in all areas and the total weight loss falls within 5-20% depending largely on the smoking time. Cold smoking is not a continuous process, it is stopped (no smoke) a few times to allow fresh air into the smoker.
    minidriver49 likes this.
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep...What Dave said!...Cold/Cool smoking covers a broad range of 36°F up to about 170°F. Different foods, different temps. With Belly Bacon specifically, the Cure #1 lets you go 40 to 140°F, the Danger Zone for uncured meat, with no worries for hours or days. I just usually do Bacon in the Spring and Fall when smoker temps in 60 to 90°F are common. There is not really a " Must be less than X°F " for Cured Meat, other than Sausage don't want Fat melting above 170 and Fish cooking above 85, just what a member likes, what is commonly done regionally or by country and the type of meat...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  13. thanks for all the info! I cant wait til im ready to try some of this! Different items requiring different temps makes total sense.  

    Time to learn some more! Im weary to the aspect of botulism.
  14. rudedawg

    rudedawg Newbie

    Hey yall..first post here! I was reading here and saw what everyone is saying (or NOT saying, rather!) on hot smoking pork belly for bacon. Well, I cure with Prague #1 and a few more things, then after its done, I smoke it in pound blocks in a Big Chief, electric element at 165, for about 4-5 hours. This has never done any visible internal cooking for me, and really not any hardcore fat rendering. It is outstanding and everyone asks for more. Im gonna try cold smoking it against the hot next time, for my own interest but thought I would share. I realize 165 is just over the cold smoke thing, but I believe that is still a hottie. Thanks yall for all the great forums.
  15. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I'll admit I've only made 3 batches so far, the first 2 being below 90F. I smoked 8# last weekend and the box got to 115F before it was done (really hot outside) but it came out ok. I don't think I'd want to go hotter, though. Maybe the low temps are better, but if it means having store-bought 'til the fall, well....

  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Dan.....   I look at the weather and expected temps for overnight....   Here in the desert they usually drop below 60 around midnight...  and will stay below 70 until 6 AM....   I can get 6 hours of smoke before it gets too hot....     I'm using the Mail Box mod which keeps the heat out of the Cook Chamber...  Really helps a lot....   Usually 6 hours of cold smoke on bacon is more than enough for Bride...  she likes about 4 hours...   We like to taste the meat without too much smoke...   I have smoked for 6 hours per day over 6 days and she told me "Don't do that again"...
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  17. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Hi, Dave. Five or six hours is good for us, too (the Maple extract is the star of the show, anyway!). I've been using a 6" AMAZN tube with the mailbox. The mailbox adds very little heat, the sun on that black box is the killer... I get about 2 1/2 to 3 hours of smoke and reload it once. I'm looking at getting one of those new expandable ones so I could do an overnight thing myself. All I have to do is get the gumption to get up in the middle of the night to start the smoke LOL!

    I figure I could do cheese that way, too. :)

  18. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I know this is an older thread but as a "hot smokin' heathen", I thought I'd chime in. Lol! [​IMG]

    I hot smoke my bellies at 200 for 3-4 hours to an internal temp of 150. The reason I do it this way is pretty simple, that's what the recipe I've used called for. Well...that and pure, unadulterated laziness. And now it appears that as soon as it's warm enough to cold smoke(?), I'm going to have to throw a half belly on so I can do a comparison. One more smoking project to add to the list![​IMG]

    Here's a pic of one of my last batches. It was probably the leanest belly I've bought.


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