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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Making Bacon Part 3 ( cold smoking)

Ready to cold smoke my bacon.
I am using the cold smoke to add flavor, not cook the meat. The meat is smoked at a temperature of 85 and below.... 65 degrees seems to work out great for me. Only properly CURED meats can be cold smoked. When cold smoking, the internal temperature of the meat is not monitored.. the temperature of the smoke is kept at or under the desired temperature.
After cold smoking, the bacon will be sliced and fried or cooked before using.

Here are links to the beginning of my bacon making process......

Curing the Bacon

Prepping the Bacon for Smoking

I use my little smokehouse.

Loading the bacon into the house....

Before smoking, I let the bacon hang for a couple of hours to make sure it is dry.

I use a mixture of hickory with a bit of apple wood. Bring the cold smoke up to a temperature of 65 degrees.

I cold smoke the bacon until it reaches the color I want. You can smoke as long as you like. I've smoked as short as 8 hours and as long as 18. I cold smoked this batch for 17 hours total.

The finished bacon...ready to cook....

While the bacon was in for the long smoke, I cold smoked a few other items...
Some mozzarella cheese
whole black pepper corns
a bit of clover honey
some pecan halves
a variety of black olives
and a kosher salt/black pepper/onion and garlic powder mixture
These took on the cold smoke for 7 hours...

A couple of shots of the cold smoked bacon...

Before slicing, I wrap and chill the bacon.
Hopefully I will post pictures of the sliced bacon in a couple of days.


Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm bacon (drool)

Nate said...

Great post! I like the before and after pictures of the bacon after the cold smoke. Makes me hungry.

cowgirl said...

lol Mike!! Thanks! :)

cowgirl said...

Thank you Nate! I hope to post pictures when I slice and cook some of it. :)

stevo said...

The work on my smokehouse is progresing well. Hope to have it completed before too long. I am looking forward to making my first slab of bacon. I have a question. You cold smoked your bacon below 100 degrees, more like 65 degrees. Rytek Kutas says that he pre heats his smoke house to 135 degrees, applies smoke and holds until internal temperature of bacon reaches 127 - 128 degrees F. Then he reduces temperature of smoker to 120 degrees F. and holds until "desired color is obtained". Is all that really necessary? Do I need to cold smoke than hot smoke? I would appreciate your help on this.


cowgirl said...

Hi Stevo,
Sounds like your smokehouse is coming right along! Can't wait to see finished pictures!
I cold smoke only in my smokehouse. Never get above 100 degrees with my bacon. I do not want it cooked...just smoked.

It does have to be cured first though. :)

Here is some good info on cold smoking, warm smoking and hot smoking...

Hope this helps ya!

take care

stevo said...


Thanks for the great info. All my questions were answered. You are a great help.
My smokehouse will be paneled in side as well as outside. No particular reason, just to see how it looks. All my framing is done and ready to assemble and add the siding. Getting close to done!


cowgirl said...

Stevo, that's great news!
Can't wait to see pictures of it. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh now that is cruel haha...

I cure and smoke bacon, but nothing like this, and defiantly not as wide a variety of assortment.

I do have a belly square cut into 6 slabs atm curing up, but after seeing this I'll be darned if I aint tempted to say heck with it and toss it into my modest smoker right now o_O

After seeing this me and my puppy want some BACON!!!

BTW, love that smoke house you built, that is the coolest...

Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your stuff on line :D

cowgirl said...

Thank you so much Anonymous!
You are too kind.
I bet your bacon is wonderful!
I'd love to hear what cure and recipes you use to make it. you cold smoke?

I've been really happy with my smokehouse. It works great.

Thanks again for the kind words and for checking out my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm still a novice and learning.

Nothing fancy at all with cures like you are by far. Basically I started with himountain buckboard bacon cure and a bullet smoker.

It did get me started although himountain was alittle on the hammy side and no way to cold smoke with a bullet smoker.

I upgraded to a Bradley smoker "Stargazer from the forums :D " so I can have alittle more flexibility to cold smoke. Plan on getting more into cold smoking this next fall/winter though. And been using a basic maple cure and insta cure#1 from Sausage Maker. Wanting to try the honey bacon from Ryteks book sausage making soon too.

Like I said earlier, nothing like your set up or variety of bacons, but I'm learning. Along with my dad and puppy as my best critics :D

cowgirl said...

Hey Stargazer, it's good to see you!
Your bacon making methods sound great.. How do you like your Bradley? I've heard they are fairly easy to use..kind of set it and forget it.
That sounds good to me...I wouldn't have to tend a fire. :)

I have that same Rytek book, I'll look up the recipe. :)
I bet your maple cured bacon is tasty!
Good to hear from you...looking forward to hearing about all your bacon making. :)

Anonymous said...

Bacon turned out real good. Took my time smoking, didn't want it to hot.

I do love the Bradley alot, real nice and seems built really well, but not to happy with the little heating element. Never can get it past 215 or so for hot smoking.

Other then that, it pretty nice for plug and play.

Once I get more involved with the Bradley I plan to keep moving along and try out another smoker or even try my hand at building one.

Something about tending a fire kind of nice because you have absolute control over your heat. I did learn this from my bullet smoker.

Some stupid questions, I noticed with your smoke house, you dont use any water reservoir? I did notice that alot of higher end smokers dont use them either but never knew why.

Hope ya dont mind bending your ear some? Still learning :D

cowgirl said...

Good to hear your bacon came out Stargazer! I'm like you... I like to smoke bacon cold instead of hot.
Bet it is tasty!

I do like tending a fire though. lol Love the smell of wood smoke.:)

I do not use water in my smokehouse at all. Everything turns out just fine.
Sometimes I add a water tray to my horizontal wood burner when hot smoking though.

I enjoy visiting about smoking, cooking, camping, anything outdoors. lol
Feel free to contact me anytime.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Eric Hoffman said...

Wow. Great site. Its right up my alley. Most of my blog posts are smoking also. I am getting inspired to try some of these recipes.

cowgirl said...

Thank you Eric!
Looking forward to checking out your blog too! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Cowgirl ,
Thank you so much for your wonderful site.I'm planning on cold smoking some bacon like you did , and would like to know how long you cold smoke for??
Thank again

cowgirl said...

Thank you anonymous! This last batch of slab and back bacon were cold smoked for 17 hours. I've smoked them as short as 8 hours and as long as a couple of days.

The bacon isn't cooked...just cold smoked so you can add as much smoke to the meat as you like. The lower the temperature and the longer the smoke the better.
Good luck with yours! :)

Canadian Smoker said...

I'm loving your blog, and the bacon looks fantastic! I'm building a cold smoke house next!

cowgirl said...

Thank you Canadian Smoker! I appreciate you stopping by!
You really need a smokehouse.. they are so useful! :)

Canadian Smoker said...

I definitely do! I got a lot of deer meat left, and smoking it the best option. I'm thinking of trying some smoked deer sausage, but I've never stuffed sausages before... Any tips or trick of the trade you can share?

cowgirl said...

That's great Canadian Smoker! Deer meat makes great sausage.
On the right side of my blog page is a "Favorite Site" list...almost to the bottom is the "Northwest Smoking" link. There are some great sausage recipes there!
I mix a batch, and fry a bit to give it a taste test before stuffing. Then add more seasonings if needed.
The only tip I can think of to tell you is if you make links, twist each link in the opposite direction of the last link so they will not unravel. (hope that makes sense, lol)
Good luck with it! :)

Canadian Smoker said...

Great, Thank you, I will post pics on my blog for ya to check out.

cowgirl said...

Great Canadian Smoker! I'll watch for them. :)

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