1st Time Pork Belly (Bacon). . . . Any Help Appreciated!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokefever, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah I figured it would be the best way to go for me.  I didn't need to order it online, a BBQ Supply store about 10 mins away carried all of the Amaz-n products.  I got the 5x8 ($39) which will give me 11 hours of smoke. 

    I couldn't resist getting Mixon's book either.  Going to take the time today and read the book while the Belly smokes away

    Couldn't believe how simple it was to light the AMNPS and as you can see, its smokin' away!  Cant wait for the results  [​IMG]   I'll probably smoke it for 22-26 hours, take into work in the morning and slice it up.  I'll post some more pics here in a few hours
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good deal, now you can do cheese and a lot of other stuff.
  3. Sweet man! I have my BBB cold smoking for its 2nd round using the AMNPS - you won't regret buying it  [​IMG]

    One other thing. I would highly recommend letting your bacon rest for a couple days in the fridge to mellow instead of slicing it right away - it does make a difference...
  4. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    I have already started thinking about that. . . . salt, nuts, cheese, the possibilities are endless!
    I'm pretty excited, that's for sure. Man, I'm not gonna know what to do with myself now that I have this.  I'll be driving the Mrs. crazy with all the special grocery requests  [​IMG]   Waiting a couple more days is absolutely going to drive me crazy, but I trust the advice. 
  5. Once you get it smoked, cut a few slices off to sample & hold you over - this will give you a reference to go off of & get you a small bacon fix. Keep the rest of it intact for a couple days before slicing & try it again. Doing it this way will let you see the big difference the rest makes & you can decide if you want to rest your future bacons - I'll bet you do!  [​IMG]  
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^   Yup

    I rest all my bacon and cb.   
  7. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Good to know, is it one of those things where the longer you rest it, the better??  Is there a certain timeframe for resting them??  I'll be patient and rest it for 3-4 days if that makes a huge difference.  I want the best possible results and will do whatever it takes to achieve that. 
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now you're really set !!!

    What Adam and Smoking B said is true. 4+ years ago when I learned to make Bacon, nobody ever mentioned letting it sit a couple days before slicing. I used to smoke it one day, and slice it the next day. Then one time I had to go away & couldn't slice it for a couple days, so I sliced it 48 hours later, and it was the best ever. Ever since that I wait at least 48 hours before slicing. Of course I steal a few slices first though.

  9. Yup that wait makes a noticeable difference in the bacon. & it's almost impossible to keep from sampling it isn't it  [​IMG]
    For me the magic number is 2 days for my CB & BBB. I try to let my belly bacon go 3 days when possible. I've found that longer times than those give me rapidly diminishing returns...
  10. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Alright, so it has been in the smoke for 7 hours.  I have a couple shots of it at the 3 hour mark.  I decided to take the skin off of the belly so I get more evenly smoked bacon.

    Getting some color to the bacon, just trying to get an idea on how long of a smoke.  Will 11 hours do or should I go for 24?
  11. That's a personal decision as far as how much smoke you want. When I do belly bacon I give it a minimum of 2 full loads of pellets in the AMNPS. I also let it rest overnight in the fridge between smokes instead of smoking it straight through...

    What you could do is wait till the AMNPS is done burning & rest your bacon in the fridge overnight - slice a little off in the morning to try & then decide if you want any more smoke...
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you want my opinion, I usually keep mine in the smoker for 10 to 12 hours until I get good color, but that's with a little heat---about 130*.

    When you cold smoke you have to do it 2 or 3 times as long to get the same color & flavor. Maybe 24 to 36 hours of cold smoke---Some guys do it longer.

  13. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Are you kiddin me Bear??  With the results you get of course I want your opinion, I'd be a fool not to.  24-36 sounds good to me.  I'm just unsure of what to look for color-wise.  Also, do you guys place yours in a pan or anything to avoid getting grate-marks on it??  I'm taking notes for the next time I attempt this (which will be pretty soon)
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I go for no less Mahogany Color than this (Below). These are actually a little lighter than I like but they're flavor was Great. The color was a little light because I had too much Garlic Powder & Onion Powder on, so I rinsed it off when done, and the powders kept it from getting darker.

    And if you do the cold smoke, that Smoke it, Fridge it, Smoke it, Fridge it, Smoke it, 10 hours per day would give you an Awesome Cold Smoke Flavor in 30 hours of actual smoke time.

    It won't smoke as good in a pan, and once you slice it, the grate marks won't be noticeable.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A true cold smoke takes much much more time to achieve the same results as a warm smoke. I have seen folks on here talk about 72 hours cold smoke. remember 100 to 140 the golden temp for absorption, below and below diminished returns. The further north or south the less the smoke.
  16. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

     and dont forget to put it in the freezer for awhile before you slice it up. par frozen makes the job so much easier ... AS I LEARNED ON HERE !!!
  17. deansomers

    deansomers Smoke Blower

    I will add my opinion 2 say I tried all 3 ways & will not do anything but cold smoke my bacon any more the whole texture is better & my family want me to cold smoke from here now on stead of hot or warm just my opinion plus have to keep family happy lol. I checked sum threads & seems like a lotta high rollers here think the same 

    ~~ DiggingDogFarm offline 4,146 Posts. Joined 6/2011 Location: Finger Lakes Region of New York State Points: 91 Cold smoking is the way to go, 70-75 degrees or less. Because of the high fat content, warm or hot smoked bacon can have a "warmed over" flavor that's unappealing. The length of time you smoke is a matter of personal preference. I cold smoke for a minimum of 8-12 hours, if I smoke longer than that, I allow for a break in between smokes.....it's good to let the bacon "breath" for a while. The bacon should be brought up to the working temp of the smoker to avoid condensation, The surface should be dry or slightly tacky to the touch so the smoke clings well. HTH ~Martin

    ~~ DaveOmak OTBS Member offline 10,220 Posts. Joined 11/2010 Location: Omak,Washington,U.S.A. Points: 195 Different fats, in the pig, melt at different temps.... same with beef, lamb etc.... You do not want the fat to melt while applying smoke.... I cold smoke all my bacon below 70 deg. F..... After smoking, the temp can be raised to partially cook it.... I prefer to not precook my bacon... Dave Melting point backfat: 30–40 °C (86–104 °F) leaf fat: 43–48 °C (109–118 °F) mixed fat: 36–45 °C (97–113 °F)

    ~~ dirtsailor2003 OTBS Member offline 5,738 Posts. Joined 10/2012 Location: Bend Oregon Points: 108 Tasty looking bacon! I prefer cold smoked bacon to hot smoked. Typically I smoke my bacon for around 6 hours, put in the fridge for a days rest, then repeat the smoke process. I do this several times until I get the color I am looking for. Usually around 16-24 hours of smoke total when all said and done. After I get the bacon where I want it I let it rest in the fridge for a couple days before slicing and packaging.
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I know what the book says, however I Never had any Bacon Fat render under 140* Smoker Temp.

    Nothing at all wrong with Cold Smoking, as long as you do it long enough.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  19. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have to agree with Bear.

    I keep my smoker at 120.    

    I am pretty happy with the way it turns out.
  20. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    That is such a great idea, smoke it 10 hrs then rest and repeat.  I'll definitely be doing that. . .as soon as the AMNPS runs out into the fridge the belly goes 
    Wow 72 hrs!  It makes logical sense, this is a completely different animal (cold smoking) than what I'm used to.  Glad to have you all in my corner and steer me in the right direction
    Thanks for chiming in Goliath, I think I read that somewhere on here as well.  2 hrs in the freezer I believe was the time for it to slice really well
    Thank you Dean for all of the info.  I originally was going to hot smoke it just because I haven't been able to get my smoker that low.  So I went out today and bought the AMNPS and it has been cold smoking since 1130 am and still going strong.  I love that a wealth of info is readily available to anyone who needs it on here, such a huge help!

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