Author Topic: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?  (Read 374 times)

Offline Ginslee

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Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« on: August 13, 2019, 12:39:14 am »
Hi everyone,

I recently bought a secondhand Bradley Digital smoker + the cold smoke attachment. For my first smoke I dry-cured a porkbelly which needs a few more days to go. Since I haven't smoked anything on the Bradley I have no idea how strong the smoke is and how long I should be smoking the bacon. I've come across people saying 1-3 days but not using a Bradley.

Does anyone have any experience with the Bradley and bacon? I'm looking to achieve that nice reddish color on the bacon and my plan was to use a combo of Apple + Cherry.

thanks!

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 03:38:20 am »
Hi Ginslee;

Welcome to the forum.

Not knowing your prior experience with smoking cured meats, I can interpret your post in different ways. Sometimes when people post they want to cold smoke, they don't understand the technical term. Since the flavor of smoke is subjective, I'll give you a range, and you should experiment with the lower end of the range. If you are cold smoking; keeping your cabinet temperature under 90°F, then apply 4 - 6 hours of smoke. I'm not sure if you are referring to the exterior color of the meat or the interior color. The cherry wood will help develop the mahogany exterior color, but since the bacon is uncooked it may be unnoticeable. If you are hot smoking 100°F - 180°F, apply 2 - 3 hours of smoke. Again the cherry wood will help develop that mahogany exterior.

The difference in smoking times is mainly due to the chemical reactions that take place at the different temperatures. Greater chemical and sometimes different chemical reactions occur at different temperatures. Also the heating element helps the bisquettes burn more efficiently, without the heating element you may find that the bisquettes are not fully burning. If you see post that require 1 - 3 days of smoke you are most likely reading a posts by someone who has a wood fired smoke house, or is making double or triple smoked bacon.


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Offline Ginslee

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 04:29:56 am »
Hi Habanero,

Thanks for the info!

Sorry for not being more specific. I will be cold smoking cured bacon between 65F - 75F depending on the weather that day. I'm after a nice reddish/mahogany exterior color and I hope I can achieve that with 4-6 hours of smoke. Although I've read threads on here where they smoke for 12-16 hours. I have no experience what so ever with he Bradley so no idea how to gauge how long I should be smoking as I don't want an overpowering smoke taste. 

Here's an example of the exterior color I'm after:
https://imgur.com/a/QsbLiU6

Here are my steps I'll be taking,

- Pull the bacon next week Friday depending on firmness(10days)
- Rinse of cure, test for saltiness by frying a bit.
- Air dry in the fridge for 1-3 days.
- Let the belly sit in the smoker until it reaches ambient temp or a bit higher.
- Cold smoke with the Cold smoke attachment for 4-6 hours. Preferably with Apple or a combination of Apple and Cherry.
- After smoking I'm planning on letting it age for 2-3 days or more before slicing.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 04:31:47 am by Ginslee »

Offline manxman

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 05:02:11 am »
I have done a lot of cold smoked bacon usually back (loin) but also streaky (belly) and the steps you list look pretty much spot on to my mind.

The only comments I would add are I use a shorter curing time of around 7 days which seems to be the optimum time to draw out moisture. Rather than just rinse off the cure I soak the joint for around an hour in a couple of changes of cold water which solves the saltiness issue and I smoke for 4-5 hours in the Bradley, smoking times in a BS are not comparable to cold smoking by other methods and you are right in thinking a couple of days to settle / age before slicing.

I typically use whisky oak but also use apple quite regularly and the colour of the end product pretty much matches that of your link.

Welcome to the forum, let us know how it turns out  :)
Manxman

Offline Ginslee

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 05:17:00 am »
I did use a Equilibrium dry cure(Salt 2.2%,Sugar 1%,Cure#1 0.32%) so I should be ok with the saltiness but thanks for the tip, depending on the salt content I will soak in cold water if needed.

Good to know that you can get that nice color with the Bradley :)

I'll post the finished product. Wish me luck on my first Bradley smoke!

Offline manxman

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 06:15:05 am »
Sure it will turn out just fine, good luck.  :)

Hopefully it is the first of many successful BS smokes.
Manxman

Offline Ginslee

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 07:05:27 am »
Just a side question, is it best to hang or put the belly on a rack to smoke? Or is there not much of a difference?


Offline cathouse willy

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 08:14:55 am »
Just a side question, is it best to hang or put the belly on a rack to smoke? Or is there not much of a difference?


I've done it both ways and the only difference I've noticed is the belly stretches on the hooks and gets quite thin in places.

Offline manxman

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 12:23:19 pm »
I’ve only ever used racks for bacon and it has always turned out fine.
Manxman

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 01:37:41 pm »
I've gotten that color with just using maple, but adding cherry will improve the color. Be careful that you don't air dry it too long. The surface should be tacky not dry.

Those threads that suggested 12 - 16 hours, was that during a single smoke, or where they making double smoked or triple smoked bacon?


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Offline Ginslee

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 04:05:49 am »
So it would be best to check every 12/24 hours or so to see if the surface is tacky enough? I've been reading so many threads I can't find it now. But some were double smoked and others used the A-MAZE-N AMNPS which I believe gives off a lighter smoke compared to the Bradley?

My plan now is to smoke 4-6 hours and using 70% Apple & 30% Cherry.


 

Offline manxman

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 06:26:20 am »
I tend to find air drying for no more than 24 hours is sufficient.

Just ordered 10lb pork loin and 10lb pork belly from some locally bred Tamworth pigs, a traditional old English / Irish variety with the option on a complete half pig at Christmas if the bacon turns out well.  :)
Manxman

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 01:22:46 pm »
I agree with Manxman. I find approximately 12 - 24 hours uncovered in my refrigerator works well. If the pellicle hasn't form to my liking by the time I want to start smoking it, I leave in on the counter uncovered for a few more hours. Having a fan to move air over the surface will also speed up the formation of the pellicle.

I make a triple smoked bacon using only the Bradley bisquettes - three separate sessions of applying three hours of smoke; nine hours total. The Bradley you can control the smoke much better. I do have an A-MAZE-N Pellet tube, but I only use that when I cooking on my propane grill, or pellet grill.


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Offline Ginslee

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2019, 01:12:11 am »
Thanks Habanero, I'll keep an eye out for that pellicle once it's done curing.

What do you mean with you can control the smoke much better? In what way as the bisquettes burn at a set time right or do you mean control the smoke by doing separate sessions at a fixed time?

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cold smoked bacon - Smoke times?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2019, 02:45:04 am »
You can control the smoke time of both; the Bradley by the number of bisquettes, and the A-MAZE-N pellet smoker by removing the device from the cabinet.  I believe that the best smoke is produced when the wood is burnt at a fairly consistent temperature, and the Bradley does that. For the A-MAZE-N, I use the tube, the tray may work differently. When I use my A-MAZE-N pellet smoker, it burns hotter, and inconsistent - producing a harsher smoke. During the time that I am using it when I take a look at it; sometimes a lot of pellets are burning, and at other times only a few pellets are burning. So I will only use it for times when I want to add smoke for a short time such when I'm using my pellet grill or propane grill. With my charcoal burners, I know how much wood I need to produce the right amount of smoke, so I don't use the A-MAZE-N in any of those.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)