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cold smoking

 
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Burnt Endz
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Joined: 01 Oct 2010
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Location: Haslet, TX

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23 15 4:23 am    Post subject: cold smoking Reply with quote

Anyone on here have experience with cold smoking? I built a cold smoker last weekend and am hoping to try it out with some pork belly. I've done some reading on this and know there is a serious risk/danger zone with not smoking with heat. Whatever I smoke in the cold smoker would be vacuum sealed and frozen and then cooked when I was ready to eat it.

Thoughts?
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23 15 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony does lots of cold smoking, are you going to cure your pork belly for bacon first or are you just cold smoking it?
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Burnt Endz
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Joined: 01 Oct 2010
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Location: Haslet, TX

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23 15 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that's what i'm hoping to find out on here.....is curing necessary? I watched a video today and the guy used 1/4 cu kosher salt, 1/4 cup, 1/4 dark brown sugar, 1/4 maple syrup.
That's it. Put the pork belly in gallon ziplock bags for 7 days, flipping the bags each day. On the 8th day he rinsed them off and set the pork uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry out. He hung his pork belly in the cold smoker for 4 hours sliced, cooked and ate it.

How is nitrate and nitrite free bacon made? I'm guessing this same way?
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23 15 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a salt and sugar cure. it doesn't have the color of nitrite/ nitrate cured bacon.

That will cure it enough that you don't need to worry about it much, if you follow safe handling, and your fridge is cold enough.

Setting the pork belly in the fridge is not so much to dry in out, but to form a pellicle, (or salt crust layer), that helps the transfer of flavors during the smoking process.

You can then process it for 4 or more hours with cold smoke, or you can start with cold smoke for a couple of hours, then go up 10° for another couple of hours, continuing until you get up to 150°, the last bacon I did smoked from 80° - 150° in 10° jumps over 2 hours a time, for a total of 16 hours smoking time.
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Burnt Endz
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Location: Haslet, TX

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24 15 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What if i'm not really able to adjust the temperature of my cold smoker box? I have a plywood box in which I hang the meat, and the smoke is piped in with a dryer hose coming from a small grill/smoker I bought from Academy.

Some people say you should only cold smoke when it's cold outside. Does this apply to bacon as well?
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nmeyer414



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27 15 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am interested in this as well
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ComradeQ
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Joined: 05 Jul 2012
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27 15 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burnt Endz wrote:
Well that's what i'm hoping to find out on here.....is curing necessary? I watched a video today and the guy used 1/4 cu kosher salt, 1/4 cup, 1/4 dark brown sugar, 1/4 maple syrup.
That's it. Put the pork belly in gallon ziplock bags for 7 days, flipping the bags each day. On the 8th day he rinsed them off and set the pork uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry out. He hung his pork belly in the cold smoker for 4 hours sliced, cooked and ate it.

How is nitrate and nitrite free bacon made? I'm guessing this same way?


Nitrate and nitrite free bacon is actually very misleading! While they don't add a direct cure like #1 they always use alternative celery based cures. Celery, spinach, kale, these are all naturally high in sodium nitrite. What you don't read on those "natural cure free bacons" is the fact that often, the nitrite levels are in fact higher due to the unpredictably of the nitrite levels in celery based cures. For the risk you are taking omitting the cure I would suggest using it at the minimum level for safety. I prefer weighing in grams and calculating ppm levels but a basic rule of thumb is 1 tsp per 5lbs of meat.

If you are worried about the danger of producing nitrosomines you can do the following: don't cook your bacon to a crisp, nitrosomines are produced when nearing charred/burnt levels (even when you burn a steak on the bbq without cure, nitrosomines are a byproduct). If you want to prevent the formation of nitrosomines just add sodium ascorbate (vit c powder - unflavored of course!).

Personally, I would never risk cold smoking without a cure. If you want "healthy" bacon try eating less and smaller portions of it and try using more sugar instead of salt when curing (see Harry's bacon recipes in the cured meat section for good ratios) Most important have fun and enjoy the best bacon you will ever eat!
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Burnt Endz
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27 15 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not overly concerned about producing a healthy bacon. I was more or less wondering how nitrite and nitrate bacon was produced without using a curing salt. I will definitely use a curing salt and will use the ratio Comrade suggested of 1tsp to 5lb of meat.

I don't want to mess around and get my family sick.

Is it okay when i cold that I just use smoke and no heat? I noticed some guys say they start at a certain temperature then after a period of time bump up the temp inside the smoke box a little. The temperature inside my smoke box will probably be whatever the air temperature is outside that day, maybe a little warmer.
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ComradeQ
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Joined: 05 Jul 2012
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27 15 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burnt Endz wrote:
I'm not overly concerned about producing a healthy bacon. I was more or less wondering how nitrite and nitrate bacon was produced without using a curing salt. I will definitely use a curing salt and will use the ratio Comrade suggested of 1tsp to 5lb of meat.

I don't want to mess around and get my family sick.

Is it okay when i cold that I just use smoke and no heat? I noticed some guys say they start at a certain temperature then after a period of time bump up the temp inside the smoke box a little. The temperature inside my smoke box will probably be whatever the air temperature is outside that day, maybe a little warmer.


Yep, I exclusively cold smoke my bacon, I prefer the finished product to hot smoked bacon. As long as there is a cure to prevent botulism spore from propagating then there is no risk at cold smoking. I find colder weather better as the meat doesn't "sweat" but I have cold smoked year round with great results. If you are cold smoking cheese the colder it is the better as the heat of a hot summer day can melt it. Follow a good cure recipe and have some fun, play around with flavours after you master a simple bacon (I do maple, honey, black forest, vanilla bourbon, black pepper crusted, english rashers, and am currently enjoying an old english recipe for black treacle and stout bacon) The only limit is your imagination and the fun of making your own is, no matter what, it will be the best bacon you have ever had!

Oh, and this is the product I refered to earlier:
http://www.sausagemaker.com/11080celeryjuicepowder.aspx

And a little light reading on the subject:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/03/eating-bacon.aspx
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Burnt Endz
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28 15 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the help!!!!! Truly appreciated. I'll report back when I get the first pork belly done. I'd eventually like to get into cold smoking various sausages too. But I figure pork belly/bacon would be a good starting point. I have oak wood......is that going to be too strong of a smoke you think?
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ComradeQ
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Joined: 05 Jul 2012
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28 15 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burnt Endz wrote:
Thanks for the help!!!!! Truly appreciated. I'll report back when I get the first pork belly done. I'd eventually like to get into cold smoking various sausages too. But I figure pork belly/bacon would be a good starting point. I have oak wood......is that going to be too strong of a smoke you think?


Oak will work but it might overpower more subtle flavours but for your every day bacon it will do the job. I prefer maple and fruit woods, apple and cherry. Often I will do a combination of two or three of them and occasionally I use straight hickory.
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