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tekobo

BACON - cold smoke or hot smoke?

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Now that I have Dennis' hot/cold smoker, I decided to try smoking my own bacon. In the UK I have only ever eaten cold smoked bacon.  On this site you folks tend to hot smoke your bacon.  Time for a side by side test.  

First deviation from norm.  My favourite bacon is collar bacon.  It comes from the shoulder and I think it is what Americans call pork butt.  Here are my two collar joints, at about 3.5kg each, after curing for 8 days in Surfys traditional curing mix.

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I used up the last of my curing mix and so bought these two for future bacon loveliness 

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I searched online for guidance on cold smoking.  It ranged from hysterical - you will die from botulism - to complicated and fun.  I went for complicated and fun.  There is no fixed end time so I smoked for six hours with pecan and then wrapped in greaseproof paper.  Advice is that you rest in fridge for a few days and then smoke again for a similar time for best effect.  Here is the bacon cold smoking.  I took out the fire basket and hung the meat off the half grate in the 23 using meat hooks.

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Wrapped up for its rest

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Today I started with the hot smoking on the other collar.  I turned it upside down and around to the other side half way through the day.  

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Let's hear it for the KK.  I went out to run errands for a couple of hours and it stayed rock solid at 100C.  In fact it stayed rock solid through the day.  The smoke generation stopped because I had underestimated the amount of pellets required.  That was easily fixed.  I topped up with additional pellets and blasted with MAPP torch.   I am smoking this cut with apple.  

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After 11 hours the hot smoked bacon is ahead in the looks department.  I pulled it at 65C.

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Cooling

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To be continued.  

Edited by tekobo
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Very much looking forward to your side by side of the outcome! 

Thanks for the shot of the smoker at work.

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Love the meat hook idea! That's a new one on me here in KK land! Hat's off to tekobo! :salute:

Not sure that the "double smoke" idea is necessary? But, this is an experiment, so we'll see how it turns out?

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Holy smokes what a well documented cook.:smt060 I can taste it, it has me thinking and salivating. Just one thing where's the first slice? Waiting, waiting, waiting! :coffee2:

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Definitely an A+ on the science project. I as well wait with bated breath for the results. Nice color!  Did you know today is a special day...........that's right, it's Tom Brady's birthday . And in celebration of the coming pigskin season you are cooking two bacons, that's wonderful. That was part of the plan praytell, oh if not...we here in New England salute you and await a slice

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Tekobo nice experiment, I would like to get my meat hooks on that shoulder bacon. Looking forward to the finished product.

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21 hours ago, Bruce Pearson said:

Tekobo nice experiment, I would like to get my meat hooks on that shoulder bacon. Looking forward to the finished product.

Good pun on the meat hook theme Bruce.  I thought it was funny how the meat hooks were so much more exciting than the meat!

On 8/3/2019 at 2:07 AM, tony b said:

Not sure that the "double smoke" idea is necessary? But, this is an experiment, so we'll see how it turns out?

Your comment made me think Tony.  I decided we would cut half of the once smoked cold smoked piece into slices and then do the second smoke on the remaining half.  I also decided to try cooking and tasting one of those slices.  I decided that there was quite enough smoke absorbed already and so abandoned the idea of a second cold smoke.

On 8/3/2019 at 11:11 AM, MacKenzie said:

Just one thing where's the first slice? Waiting, waiting, waiting! :coffee2:

Patience is a virtue.  The samples are undergoing intensive testing as we speak.

21 hours ago, Tyrus said:

Did you know today is a special day...........that's right, it's Tom Brady's birthday

Er no, I did not know it was his birthday.  Would have celebrated by barbecuing a GOAT. In fact, if Philly win this year I promise to get myself a KK that comes with a GOAT.

 

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Well fancy that, didn't realize Dennis might be having TB autographs on KK's. What a great promotion! Would love to have the Pats logo in a roman mosaic featured on the dome, could be the start of something big. You know once you have GOAT you just can't seem to get enough of it.

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I learned a lot from this experiment.  

1.  I am trying to figure out what types of wood smoke I like.  I prefer the apple to pecan on bacon.  So does The Husband so that's a win.  

2.  I had never had hot smoked bacon before.  I like it.  In fact I prefer it for this cut.  Some of the fat gets rendered through the hot smoking process, making the resulting bacon more appetising.  

3.  The slice of hot smoked bacon did not need to be held down with a weight during cooking to prevent it curling, unlike the cold smoked piece. 

More recently I have been cutting the collar bacon into half inch slices and freezing them individually.  They make for a really quick week night supper with potatoes or baked beans or salad. The two collars made a lot of bacon!

The cold smoked

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The hot smoked

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And for @Alphonse, the side by side comparison once cooked. The cold smoked is on the right.  

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I went for the hot smoked for today's dinner with bratkartoffeln and pickled cucumber.  

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I think pulling at 65ºC is too late for bacon and puts you up into ham territory.  65ºC = 149ºF   and I've always thought you wanted 145ºF as the final temp.

if you were cooking at 100ºC you will get a 5-10º F float (or more) after you pull it out.   So if your target temp is 145ºF you need to pull it at about 135ºf.  

That hot smoked meat looks like it already firmed up and could be eaten like that.. 

This was hot smoked.. (and went a bit too hot too but still a bit fleshy like store-bought bacon when sliced)

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Thanks @DennisLinkletter.  Nice looking bacon!  Lots for me to follow up on.  

It took about three hours for the internal temperature on the hot smoked joint to creep up from about 59C to 65C in the KK.  I did not monitor the temp after the resting period.  Will do so next time given I like this slow cooking method and @Basher asked me a similar question about my lump of funky cow.  It will be interesting to know what margin to allow in future.  

Yes, you are right, the hot smoked bacon can be eaten without further cooking.  I like that effect because I can have yummy bacon goodness with my lunch at work with  just a little light heating up in the office microwave.

Your post prompted me to check what the difference is between ham and bacon. The answers were interesting.  The term ham is usually reserved for the leg of pork and it can be raw cured, cooked and/or smoked.  Bacon is for other cuts of pork and can range from wobbly cold smoked to rather less wobbly hot smoked.  Happily that means I don't have to change the name of my post to HAM.  Much less fun than BACON!!!!

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They both look great Tekabo.

The cold smoked looks like it’s been dry aged.

dennis’s looks pretty good too, like a speck.

Can you make bacon without the sodium nitrate?

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1 hour ago, Basher said:

Can you make bacon without the sodium nitrate?

Maybe hot smoked, depending on how long you keep it above 140F?? But definitely NOT cold smoked, unless you have an affinity for botulism! 

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Traditional or not, if it tastes like bacon....must be bacon.  Both look good and certainly would be nice for breakfast. Like the individual wrap, the freezer will keep the dreaded botulism at bay, nice touch.

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19 hours ago, Basher said:

Can you make bacon without the sodium nitrate?

I have seen the warnings about eating too much cured meat on account of ingesting too much sodium nitrate.  I have not paid much attention on the basis that I don't eat all that much cured meat.  That is if I don't count all the bacon I make and the Italian charcuterie that I buy. ;-)

This article is interesting and seems to suggest that if you eat more veg with your bacon you should be fine! https://firsthandfoods.com/2017/12/06/nitrate-free-bacon-myth-or-reality/

 

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