1st time bacon, fan fustrations

Started by sgaberdeen, January 09, 2007, 03:10:41 PM

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Hi all
     1st attempt today at homemade bacon. Started by placing slabs of pork belly in cure friday. Let sit in fridge till this morning, then realized I didn't have a fan to dry the slabs with. No problem, right? WRONG!!! off to Walmart, no fans. Off to Lowes, no fans. Off to bed bath and Beyond, no fans. Another Walmart(negative) Home depot(no dice) By thjavascript:void(0);
Cryis time I am becoming Psycotic. Seems like in winter no one has a fan, but you can get an icecream maker. Finally last stop at Linen and Things and they have a discounted half broken huge oscillating fan for 10$. (SOLD) Next step dried the slabs for about 1 hr until they were tacky. Into the obs with 8hrs of maple on board using just the smoke generator. Maverick probe reads about 92 degrees. Is 8 hrs of smoke enough? Comments and suggestions welcome.


How many slabs did you do?

Eight hours is too much in my view.  No concern about not enough.  I think I do about 3hrs with 4 slabs, one per rack, cut to fit rack.  Been months, so the recipe is not fresh in my head but I think 3.

Go to the curing section located further down the main page.  There is a gleaned posting by Mallardwacker about all his trials and tribulations regarding the holiest of pork products.

Also I have never cold smoked bacon.  Always hot smoked to about 150 degF.
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I can not help you much, but that seems to be a high temp for cold smoking.  How about it guys, is there a potential risk of bad bugs with an 8 hour smoke and a temp of 92??? ???
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I am not the USDA or any other medical community officer on biological disaster, but I would think that if you fry the bacon before eating, the buggers will be buggered out.  I have cold smoked pork belly but not that long.  2 to 3 hours of smoke is more than enough for me. ;D  I have also hot smoked to IT of 138 Deg F.  Both styles, I cooked the bacon before devouring.
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Thanks for the replies and advice. I agree now I think 8 hrs of smoke was to long although the bacon came out fairly decent. My wife even liked it but I thought It was a bit overpowering. That's the fun of it trial and error and that wow feeling when you finally get it right.


Last bacon I did, (whole pork loin / back bacon on this side of the pond) I cold smoked for 8 hours with oak and it came out perfectly for my taste, however everyone is different and as sgaberdeen says, that is part of the fun. :D

Best thing for cold smoking is to use the cardboard box method and endevour to keep temps below 80F IMHO.

If it has been correctly cured and stored it should keep for a long while, I vacuum sealed mine and it lasted at least 3 - 4 months in the fridge. I did make very sure it was cooked properly when the time came though..... either fried or grilled.


Here is how I smoke bacon.

  • Cure the bellies for at least 7 days. After the cure time, rinse well and soak in fresh water for an hour.
  • Don't worry about a fan. You don't need one.(Sorry) Put in the Bradley and start at about 170f for the first hour, after that point turn heat up to 200f. Smoke for 4 hours during this time. When the bacon reaches 140f you are done. Let slabs cool before slicing.

You don't have to cook to a hotter temp because you have a fully cured product and you will be reaching the fully cooked temp when you fry it up.


Thanks again for the advice. Gonna hit the butcher shop tomorrow and try to score some more pork bellies. This time I am going to cure longer and cut down on the smoke time. Also purchased some dryer vent ducting to set up a better cold smoker. In addition I ordered some maple cure from butcher packer as I have heard good things about it on these forums.


I have used the Tender Quick and the Maple Cure, my favorite was the Maple Cure.  Less salty then the TQ and that was even after considerable washing and soaking.
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