Cold smoked bacon

  • Does anyone cold smoke bacon? Why or why not?

  • Team Blue

    Kmucker Mine starts in the cold side first for four to six hours to get the intense smoke I want, then the hot side to finish.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Kmucker You can do either way, we just go right to adding heat as well to cut down on the time. Now, there are also differing opinions on if the smoke will adhere at lower temps anyway (my thought is that it must, at least a little because people have been cold smoking things for 1,000 of years) and Bacon is already a long enough process, it’s time to get to the eating!

  • Jonathon I asked because my wife and I used to operate a deli where we bought high-quality bacon unsliced whole bellies in Upstate New York. We have since moved to Florida and cannot find the high quality product we were used to so we started making our own. We have been curing it and hot smoking it at 140 degrees until the bacon reaches 128 degrees. Bacon has been good but seems dense and just not the same as what we are used to. Last time we cured the belly and smoked the belly for 4 to 5 hours at 80 degrees took it out of the smoker put it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days before we sliced it And froze it. The bellied seemed the same consistency as what we bought commercially from John F Martin & Sons. The bacon head excellent flavor and cooked up real nice.

    Since most people seem to recommend smoking the belly and cooking or partly cooking we were wondering if there is anything wrong with our process?

    We are very happy that we found Waltons and their high-quality products we are now making all our own sausage, bologna, hot dogs, hams, and bacon. Thank you for your help.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Kmucker Where in NY were you? It could be a number of things but it likely had something to do with the supplier of the bellies? Obviously, the processing is going to be part of it as well but generally larger processing places order more bellies and tend to get their pick of the litter as it were. Now stopping at 128° is a little low for what we would recommend, we like to recommend you go to 138°. However, if you have finally found the process that gives you the product you are wanting then I wouldn’t change anything as you are fully cooking it right before you are eating it?

  • I wet cure my bacon, then cold smoke over a mix of hickory and oak, then store it cold for 2-3 days before I slice it. Bacon is my most successful cured meat by far, sausages are still a work in progress!

  • Jonathon we were in Arkport, a one light town in the southern tier. We farmed pruducre and had a retail farm store with a deli and bakery for 43yrs. We bought our bacon and deli meat from John Martin in Stevens PA. Martin’s have all high quality stuff. Some weeks my wife would slice 500# of bacon a week. We got tired of employees and NY regs so we quit and moved to Fla but we miss the JFM meats so we are learning to do our own now and are enjoying it. We grow a large garden almost year around and produce almost all of our food and meats.
    Thanks again for your help

  • Jonathon By the way we do fully cook the bacon!

  • SupplySergeant that’s pretty much the process we found we like except I’ve been using Apple wood. It’s a little hard to find fresh bellies here.
    Good stuff

  • Kmucker I raise my own bellies! Along with the rest of the hog, of course!

  • SupplySergeant me too but we’ll use more bacon then do the rest of the hog.

  • Kmucker All too true! Now, if science could grow me an all belly hog…

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Kmucker I left New York for somewhat similar reasons, I know I have many family members that are considering leaving again, two of which own their own businesses and are just sick of it. Parksider You’d LOVE Kansas man!

  • Jonathon where in New York did you come from?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Kmucker I grew up in the Albany area, in a small town called Niskayuna. New Yorkers get a bad rep, the people from upstate are usually great people! Still can’t compare to the level of friendliness I have experienced in Texas and Kansas!

  • Team Blue

    I’m in the opposite boat. I don’t have a smoker, and my pellet grill will only go down to 130 degrees. Can I use my pellet grill to smoke my bacon? I have access to skin on bellies for. 48 cents /lb. and want to take advantage!!

  • wellerandrew67 that is a great price I would love to get some at that price. I think many people do smoke their bacon on a pellet grill. We also have a pellet grill I don’t think it makes the volume of smoke as my smoker makes but I think you could put your bacon on there for six or seven hours and try it.

    I built a smoker from a old not working commercial , sausage maker smoker generator, an electric stove heating element, and a $40 PID controller. Works really great for doing bacon and hams.

  • Jonathon people from Upstate and Western New York are great and it is a beautiful place to live. But it is hard to thrive in such a oppressive environment. We have 49 other states and I’m sure that 48 of them have to be better than New York if you want to make a living.

  • Team Blue

    Kmucker That’s what I was thinking as well. I’ve heard of people who put it on racks over trays of ice cubes to keep the temp down through the start.

  • Team Blue

    wellerandrew67 I use a Traeger pellet grill with a cold chamber on the end, my controller has smoke setting, but is not temperature accurate on the hot side. The cold side always stays below 120 degrees due to being able to open or close the chimney damper more or less. Just keep the bacon up off the grill. I use my rib rack if I’m on the hot side, puts the meat about 3-4 inches off the grill.

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