Bacon Fail - Part II

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by 8x57, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. 8x57

    8x57 Newbie

    My last try at cold smoking bacon was somewhat of a failure.

    I have modified my smoker and will do another try tonight with Todd's apple pellets. Let's hope it turns out better than last time.

    Longer pipe from mailbox to smoker, around 20 feet. I also drilled 3 one inch holes for ventilation in the top side of the smoker in addition to the three ½" holes I had from the beginning.

    Small test slab of belly that will go in the smoker in about 1 hour. If this one is a success I have 10lbs. more to go.
  2. 8x57

    8x57 Newbie

    Pellets are lit, one row+ of apple


    Outside temperature is 67F, smoker is 75F

  3. smokinal

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

    Looks like a great start!

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pics of your set up and venting would be good....
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think the new design will give you less of the tar entering the smoking chamber as it will tend to run back to the mailbox. With your original design any tar condensing after the top bend would flow down and into the smoking chamber, as you saw.

    Dave has a good point regarding venting. You need to have a good air flow through the smoking chamber. Without this you are more likely to get thicker smoke forming and therefore more of the tars condensing directly onto the food. Hopefully the 3 x 1" holes will help give you that now.

    As mentioned in the previous thread, once it has been smoked it needs to stand. Leave it uncovered in the fride for 24 hours before wrapping it then leave it for 5 or 6 days before slicing.
  6. 8x57

    8x57 Newbie

    Here are some pics

    I had one of the bottom holes covered when I smoked last night.

    Ventilation from the inside, plus the door leaks quite a bit too.

    Added a small fan to the three 1" holes, an amazing amount of nastiness from 1 row of pellets [​IMG]  
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What size pipe from the MB to the smoker and how long...  got any pics of that stuff....
  8. 8x57

    8x57 Newbie

    Thanks Wade! I test fried a few slices this morning, Still tasted like arson but much less so than last time. I think if I let it rest for a week it might do the trick.....hopefully.

    I think I will smoke the rest of the batch tonight but I am wondering if i should try dust instead of pellets, I got a couple of pounds of the apple dust from Todd also.

    The thing I am wondering about is that I read here that some people are smoking their bacon up to 75 hours, how come mine tastes nasty after only 1½ rows of pellets, maybe 5 hours of smoke?

    Seems a bit much from only 1 row of pellets, maybe I can start selling roofing tar [​IMG]
  9. 8x57

    8x57 Newbie

    3" pipe about 20 feet.

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm thinking there's not enough air flow....  With that set up, the smoke should be clean...  purely clean smoke...

    You got a 3" hole into the smoker for that aluminum pipe ???....   Maybe you need more exhaust holes in the smoker body....

    If you have a 3" for the smoke tube, for equal area/flow out, you need about 12 or 14 1" holes...

    You up for putting in a 3" hole in the top back of the smoker body where those 3 holes are...    Mount the fan over the hole and see what happens...  When testing, try it the way she sits and try it with the MB door open...  that will let you know if there is enough combustion in the MB with the 4 hole you have in the door now....

    I can't imagine what you are thinking about this whole ordeal...   It's sickening.. to say the least..  looking at the creosote makes me think those pellets are pine and have bark mixed in with the wood....
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That sure is a lot of tar from one row of pellets. You will always get tar produced when burning wood/pellets but that looks quite excessive. I too think the air flow is still a problem. One thing to try to give the maximum flow without drilling any more holes is to just cover the front of the mailbox with tinfoil leaving a slot at the bottom - which you can vary.

    This way you can play around with the size of the inlet before you make any more permanent changes. For the testing use something like a piece of cheese or even just tissue paper in the smoking chamber rather than more bacon... The problem that you will have now though is that there is so much residual tar in the mailbox and pipe that without first cleaning it out you will find this will continue to taint further testing. 

    The mailbox is also a much snugger fit than my setup and I am not sure if this could be a factor.

    Dave mentioned placing the fan over the smoke outlet. That is where I have my fan to draw the smoke through and out of the chamber. That too would be worth a try.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Seems like an awful lot of work & gadgets & gizmos just to create Creosote.

    Have you ever tried just getting the AMNPS going good, and sticking it right in the Smoker?

  13. 8x57

    8x57 Newbie

    I didn't exactly set out to create creosote, rather the opposite.

    I have tried to put the AMNPS directly in the smoker and that works fine for hot smoking but not cold smoking.

    Just for fun this is the original "chimney" for this smoker. Do you think it can handle the smoke output from the AMNPS?  [​IMG]

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    8X57, morning....   below is a video I made some time back to show folks just how much air I run through my smoker....   It's difficult to imagine how much air goes through the smoker and this short video attempts to show folks that lots of air is needed, in my opinion, for good clean smoke...    Dave

  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Probably not.

    Since I didn't see what smoker you had, I assumed it was am MES, which has enough size in the top vent.

    I would say yes, you need a little more top vent (chimney), and probably more intake air at the bottom, but I wouldn't think 20' of pipe is needed.

    I use no additional chimney, and never get any noticeable creosote.

    You could always give the Amazing Tube Smoker a shot for cold smoking---It seems to require less air to function.

  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good video Dave - thanks. I probably have a similar amount of air/smoke going through my cold smoker (maybe a little less) though it is a exiting through a wider flue. I still get some tar deposited over several days of smoking but nothing even approaching the amount in 8x57s photos.
  17. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have both the AMNPS and the Tube smoker and under similar conditions I find that the tube smoker tends to create more tar than the pellet smoker. This isn't usually a problem though as I only use it when hot smoking now and the tar either remains gaseous and passes out of the flue or maybe decomposes in the heat.
  18. idahobangbang

    idahobangbang Newbie

    I haven't tried cold smoking yet, so take this for what it's worth.  I have however, been smoking meat most of my life and have burned an awful lot of wood in various wood stoves ... 

     Moisture's an issue, and so is complete combustion.  The first is prevented with dry wood, and wood stored in a dry location (don't store your pellets on the garage floor - put them on a shelf).  The second is mostly a function of airflow.  You want complete combustion of the (dry) wood, which is a hot burn, but you want the smoke to be cooled before it gets to the meat.  Creosote should not form under those conditions.  Creosote also has more chance to form when going through moisture, e.g. humid smoker or wet meat.... keep the smoke moving.  In your setup, other than cleaning  up after past episodes, I would pay close attention to making sure your Amazin' unit is really burning well, even if you go through extra wood.  Meat dry w/pellical.  And use vent size or top fan to move that smoke through the smoker.  Test the smoke coming out of the smoker with a glass of ice water.    Hold the glass in the smoke and see if creosote (black/brown specks) form on it... if so, get the fire hotter and the air faster... it shouldn't be rocket science.  My 2-bits...

  19. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I 'm sorry, but that's just way too long a tube, especially with 3" pipe. You're losing any natural flue effect and basically choking the flow. I agree that airflow is important, but you shouldn't need fans.....
    I'll admit I'm baffled by all that tar. Sounds like you're getting just enough air to keep the pellets burning and that's it, kind of how a low fire in a fireplace makes creosote in a chimney.
    Cut back on the length and go with larger piping.

    I've run over 60 hours of pellet like this with no creosote at all. Instead of your smoke flowing over the meat, it's stagnating.
    Dad was an engineer, so I'm very familiar with "over engineering" ...

  20. idahobangbang

    idahobangbang Newbie

    Dan... Nice clean setup.  I didn't think of draft, but I suspect you're right.  Even the original setup that was shown might have draft issues since it had that upside down U-turn at the top.  Hmmm... I'll bet you're right.  Fix the draft, plenty of vent available and a hot burn in the Amazin' gizmo and I'll bet good bacon will be just around the corner.

    When we lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, draft was a big issue ...and you'd know by the cold-smoked house if you got it wrong.  I had a 25' stack on my woodstove, and kept it insulated all the way to the top (single wall in the room, triple-wall through the floors and attic, double-wall above the roof line) so it could heat up and draw a nice draft.  We'd also make piles of "number one", "number two", and "number three" wood ...fine kindling (pencil sized to sizeof a hammer handle), mid-sized kindling (2 or 3 inches thick), then the smaller regular wood splits (4 to 5 inches).  We'd put a ball of paper in the stove, light it off and crack the door open an inch to create a roar, then toss in the kindling piles in sequence ... the initial hot blast was key to getting a fire going without  that slug of 40-below cold air coming down the stack and smoking us out.I'll bet that if the smoker was preheated before the wood smoke was started, that it would start a draft going, and then the smoke would naturally get going sooner.

    BTW, Not familiar with electric and propane smokers ... What temp are you running your smoker?  85F or lower, or is it a warm smoke, say 100-140F or so?  Same question to the original guy... I wonder what  his temperature is inside the smoker?


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