Cold smoke or warm smoke bacon

  • I have a master built electric smoker with a smoke tube and want to make bacon. Would cold smoking be better and if so what temps would I use and time using hickory pellets. I am going to use the Walton maple bacon cure if it makes a difference. Thanks in advance

  • I smoke mine in the cold chamber in my Traeger at between 110 and 120 degrees for 8-10 hours. It always comes out moist and the fat stays firm. I always use my own cure recipe so that I can control the salt. Hot smoking tends to pull the fat out of the meat.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    jkakuk We don’t recommend doing a cold smoke on bacon. While it is cured it is cured with nitrites and for that you still want some thermal processing. If you are wondering about cold smoking after thermal processing I would say it isn’t necessary, you should be able to get plenty of smoke during the normal smoking process.

    I hope I didn’t massively misunderstand your question?

  • Jonathon what temperatures do you consider cold?

  • johnsbrewhouse I was thinking 120.

  • johnsbrewhouse thank you

  • I am interested in this thread. Every year we cure our bacon in submersion and then cold smoke in the smokehouse. Since we do this typically in February, the smokehouse is really cold. I suspect it is only 10 or 20 degrees above ambient, so we are talking 30-50F. We also smoke the bacon in the smokehouse over a period of maybe 2 days (not smoking all the time as the “fire” goes out). I am talking a smokehouse constructed of barn board and fairly open air flow to the environment.

    This year I decided I wanted to cure my on slab because I wanted to try a different recipe with spices and sugar in the cure. I smoked mine for about 3 hours in my pellet grill, with the grill off, and using one those smoke tubes and pellets.

    The product turned out fine, but I noticed that the bacon is different than when smoking at low temperature with thermal processing. It seems more pungent and strong. I was expecting to have to smoke the bacon maybe 3 times at 3 hours a piece, but given how strong it was after one session I stopped there.

    Is there a difference in the quality of smoke with cold smoke vs. warm smoke? I seem to recall people saying when cooking with smoker you want to wait until the quality of smoke gets better at higher temperature. If I smoked the bacon at higher temperature like thermal processing would I get a better result?

  • Masterbuilt

    Just remember that cold smoked bacon will have to be cooked b4 eating. I cure my bacon using a popular online cure calculator and after the required 1 day per 1/4" meat plus 2 day extra cure time I hang the bellies in my @Masterbuilt smoker. I smoke using applewood pellets in the amazin tube for 2 1/2 hrs with the heat set at no more than 150 degrees. I watch IT and don’t let it get above 128 degrees IT. More than that and I get too much fat out. This is still uncooked and has to be fried or baked to finish temp.

    If you hot smoke to an IT 145-155 it will be safe to eat straight out of the fridge but will taste more like ham. I like my ham to be ham and my bacon to be bacon so I semi cold smoke. Makes it more like store bought bacon

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