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Smoking Bacon, Meats

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Mr A, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I never had any meat, cheese or veggies, bread or anything else taste like an ashtray from being over smoked. With a pellet grill that is really hard to do. The BBQ from them tends to have light smoke and good flavor. I also hot smoke, as bacteria can be an issue as pointed out by the Hearth Mistress above. Also just about any fatty smoked pork will taste like bacon, and more lean smoked pork will taste like ham. I am making a batch of split pea soup now with some alder smoked pork chops. Its dead good, as my Brit friends say. I smoked up a whole rack of chops and bagged and froze them a few weeks ago, and I thaw a few out at a time and use them in all kinds of secondary culinary delights. The only thing that I thought was over the top from the smoker were bacon bomb fatties (bacon wrapped sausage). I smoked up a few and they were intense, and dense. My niece loves them though.

    I am also thinking of getting one of the box Brinkmann's as the Mistress posted the photo of above. They used to make an offset smoker with that kind of box attached that I was looking to get, but they quit making them for some reason. The Brinkmann above is said to be greatly improved with several upgrades though, like some door rope to make it more air tight, and putting in a bigger charcoal pan with holes in it so that it will get hotter. I was thinking of using pellets in it, or using apple and alder wood. I have a pile of fresh apple branches from pruning my larger apple tree here last week. I also have a lot of alder branches from a tree I cut last year, and I have been avoiding burning my alder to heat the house to smoke food with it.

    Once you get this smoked food in your blood you do not want to live without eating it. It is THAT good. Or addictive... moist chicken, bacon bacon bacon, deli style meat cuts, jerked meat, smoked mozzarella, summer sausages (I make them with ground lamb), alder smoked salmon to die for, baby back ribs that fall off the bone and melt in your mouth, pulled pork to pile on smoked breads, and even smoked salsa with smoked tortilla chips... oh, and smoked corn on the cob that is the best. Yah, its THAT good :p
    ewdudley likes this.

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  2. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

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    I do not understand why everyone is worried about bacteria, as long as it is cured properly, it can sit in that smoke house for a week if you wanted to , and cold smoke it!
  3. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    And don't forget smoked corned beef brisket!
    StihlHead likes this.
  4. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Oh, my brother is all over that. He smokes those up and serves it sliced thin at his bar as a special in a Reuben sandwich. He always sells out pretty fast.
    ewdudley likes this.
  5. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Curing meats property means using a ton of salt (causes high blood pressure) or adding nitrates/nitrites (causes migraines in people like me), or adding a lot of sugar (not what I like to use in many foods). Salt alone does not kill bacteria, it simply slows them down. To be effective in wet brining the salt concentration has to be 10% or higher. I use a lower amount of curing or kosher salt and so I hot smoke my foods. Smoking for a week also uses up a heck of a lot of wood or pellets.
  6. NW Walker

    NW Walker Member

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    Here's a great blog post about hot smoking bacon.

    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2002/10/lynnes-breakfast-bacon.html

    He also has a recipe for buckboard bacon, which is pretty much the same process but using pork shoulder instead of belly, which is nice since shoulder is so readily available and inexpensive. I've done both of these and they come out great, smoked on my own contraption that doubles as a fire pit with heated seating. Due to that thing, I smoke stuff a couple times a week. I don't need to explain to this crew the attraction of sitting around a fire! Smoking meats is a great way to continue your burning season outdoors.
    StihlHead likes this.
  7. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Now that's what I call...

    :cool: BACON!:cool:
  8. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

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    I have cured and smoked pastrami, cheese, almonds, steelhead, bacon, corned beef....I am getting decent at it. I have always hot smoked my bacon skin on, after curing I rinse, pat dry, let pellicle for for 24 hours and then hot smoke to 155 degree......let cool and cut skin off and slice. I have never cold smoked my bacon. I did cure and cold smoke steelhead using a recipe for salmon......was great. Smoke em if you got em.
  9. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Cured how? Cured meats reduce the risk if bacteria yes but unless you are super duper sure your brine is AT least 20% salt, it can still produce bacteria. Put that in a smoker, sitting around at 100 degrees, it won't ever get hot enough to kill any bacteria that may have formed, sick city.

    I don't use sodium nitrate or nitrite to cure before I smoke so I prefer the tried and true methods of just salt as they did it in the "old" days but using the scientific proven method of 20% is too much salt for me so everything is hot smoked.

    Not saying my way is right by any means, cold smoke away, I just don't know enough about it.

    I hot smoke because I know that I spend too much time curing and smoking to puke it up ;)
    StihlHead likes this.
  10. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    I made 2 mods to my Brinkmann:

    1- if you are handy, Punch 1/2" holes in one of the water bowls for charcoal, otherwise, the ash piles up and smothers the hot coals I bought a veggie steamer bowl from Cabelas for $9, works like a charm.

    2- I had my smoker before knowing about woodstove door gasket but you will need to close off the door seams as it is a crappy seal. I went to Staples and bought magnetic rolls and cut it to size on each side of the door. It gets hot and you have to adjust it when you open the door to add charcoal or water but that's my rig ;)

    3- buy a remote dual thermometer, one for the smoker temp, one for the meat. The gauge on this is no where in the ball park. Plus, I like to set the temps to the high/lows I'm managing and let it beep at me when the smoker is cooling down or the meat is near done. I like the wireless so I don't have to keep going outside but the ranges, even on the $100 model are short, half of what they say the reach for.

    Good Luck!
    NW Walker likes this.
  11. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yah, I have read that the Brinkman box smoker therms are 20 or so degrees off. I have some good ones that I got on Fleabay that are far more accurate.

    The reason that I want one of these is that I am doing more of a 2-stage type of 'smoking'. I am starting to smoke some meats for about an hour at moderate temps and then conventionally roast them in a convection oven. Its not for making bacon or ribs, but for chicken and roasts it works well. Far faster, less use of pellets and smoking wood, and no bacteria get in on the process. The chicken is not as moist though, so for cold deli chicken I slow cook it on the smoker. But for hot chicken that will be consumed hot, I like the two-stage roasted finish effect. Generally the research I read about smoking says that the smoke adheres best to cold and cool meats, and once its heats up the meat does not attract the smoke that much. So I am looking at the Brinkman box as a one hour meat pre-smoker. Pork roasts, chickens, wings, chops, etc.

    I think that smoking is still in its infancy in terms of culinary arts. Pellet smokers are just a small fraction of the BBQ device market, but they crank out really good BBQ. I may be jaded in the fact that Traegers were invented and made here at Mt. Angel for many years, but I think that they may take off as they come down in price and people realize what they are capable of turning out. Barrel type smokers are not the best for making jerky and roasting many meats though, and square boxes make far better ovens. I think that Fast Eddy has the right idea with a square box smoker fed with pellets by an auger. They are in the many thousands of dollars though, and beyond my price point.
  12. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

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    I hope you do not think I am being argumentative, I just have a safe way that I have been doing it and feel comfortable. What makes me laugh, and it is not towards you at all is people say oh that cured stuff has nitrates, and nitrites, and salts and that is no good for you. My grandpa is 80 years old, and as a farmer had tons of cured products, and he can run circles around most people i know. The stuff they put in food products now days are ten times worse for you, when you go to the grocery store, and pick up a product god knows what they put in it. I am kind of old fashion, and like to make things from scratch so I know what I am eating. That is what I like about these threads very informative to see the way people do things different. I am going to look into hot smoking and try it out, and see If I like it, I am always up to trying something new.
  13. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    I agree.I grew up eating my grandfathers, nitrite cured smoked meats and fish-delicious! curing and smoking has been the way for people to preserve meat for generations pre-refrgeration, freezing. Cured and smoked meat is claimed to last longer than frozen. Probably why hogs were killed in winter, and smoked all winter? Makes sense to me. but what about using frozen meat? I read it is not
    best to freeze the meat before smoking? My source of belly is frozen, as is probably most sources unles you get right after the hog kill. Doing a pork shoulder, brined for 24 hours, going to smoke it overnight with pecan wood.

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