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Smoked Bacon
Old 05-21-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
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Smoked Bacon

Far be it from me to presume any Bunny continuity, but I just smoked 2.5 pounds of bacon today. I had a smoker made locally I (torpedo style with 3 sections) and I've smoked salmon, grouper, beef tenderloin and now porkbelly. Pictures to follow shortly. I'm a huge bacon fan and as someone on this board points out, " eat what you want and die like a man".
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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Perhaps you can give me some tips. I often catch sucker fish in the nearby river and can't eat them cooked conventionaaly because of the multitude of very fine bones. I know many people smoke fish and wonder if that might soften the tiny bones so they are digestible?
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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I almost had a seizure just reading the title. PICS PLEASE!
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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I love bacon but don't generally allow myself to indulge. However, the BLT at Port Of Sub is my downfall.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:10 PM   #5
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I love bacon but don't generally allow myself to indulge. However, the BLT at Port Of Sub is my downfall.
Someone needs a Bacon Explosion!

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Old 05-21-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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Well, ya got lots of time to smoke your bacon now!

For a long time we could not buy decent bacon here (Japan), but I was able to buy a smoker and pork bellies. So I brined and smoked my own, bought a slicer and sliced them thinner than you can with a knife, but thicker than the usual store-bought stuff. Yummy! Haven't done this in a long time because Costco started carrying Farmer John, and the time commitment to smoke a slab of bacon is pretty high (when you are working). However, Costco seems to have stopped carrying Farmer John again, so I may have to take up smokin my own again.

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Old 05-21-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
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Perhaps you can give me some tips. I often catch sucker fish in the nearby river and can't eat them cooked conventionaaly because of the multitude of very fine bones. I know many people smoke fish and wonder if that might soften the tiny bones so they are digestible?
I caught some kokanee salmon one time and wanted to try smoking them. The only thing I had was a propane BBQ grill. I put the fish on a rack over a pan of water to help keep them from drying out. I put wood shavings in a cast iron container and turned the burner down to minimum heat. It still got much hotter than a smoker usually gets and the fish kind of smoked/cooked for about 4 hours.

After I cooled the fish off overnight in the fridge, I was delighted to discover that the high temperature had cooked the bones soft. I was able to pull off the skin and eat the fish meat, spine, ribs and all. Yum!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #8
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For a long time we could not buy decent bacon here (Japan)
So I guess there's no porcine equivalent to Kobe beef?
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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So I guess there's no porcine equivalent to Kobe beef?
They have something similar that they call Black Pig. They do have bacon here, but it is processed differently than we do it in the states, and it is quite bland and flavorless...you can't fry it up crisp (it goes from soggy mess to burnt with no real in-between "crisp but not black" stage. And there is little if any smoke flavor to it at all.

Off topic, Kobe beef is wonderful, but its not something you'd put in your smoker. Its best sliced pretty thin and cooked rather quickly to about medium.

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Old 05-22-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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I am thinking about making a smoker using big clay pots and an electric element (can't afford a proper smoker). Found a design on the net. Having fun making boudin blanc and thinking about other products now. Bacon sounds good.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:09 PM   #11
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I am thinking about making a smoker using big clay pots and an electric element (can't afford a proper smoker). Found a design on the net. Having fun making boudin blanc and thinking about other products now. Bacon sounds good.
Can you give us a link to the design?

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Old 05-22-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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Perhaps you can give me some tips. I often catch sucker fish in the nearby river and can't eat them cooked conventionaaly because of the multitude of very fine bones. I know many people smoke fish and wonder if that might soften the tiny bones so they are digestible?
Sounds like you want to treat it as a "kipper", which is also prepared bone in. I always have them (for breakfast) if I can find them, when traveling.

Here's some info:

Nikki Duffy: Kippers | Life and style | The Guardian
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:27 PM   #13
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Thanks to ya'll on this forum for the Bacon explosion recipe, it's now a part of my ER plan



I took my dog Bear for a run... I rode a bike and let him pull me while I had 4 beers



Anyway after all that work we deserved some bacon
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:21 PM   #14
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I'm not having much luck uploading pictures. I have resized them to less than the max 1600 and 500 kb (with the max being 2 gb)

Anyway, I had a 3 level "torpedo" smoker commissioned locally. Cost me about 75 bucks. Great investment and just about everything I've tried to smoke has come out great.

As I can't cold smoke, the bacon is cooked when finished, but man is it good. I wet-brine it is salt, sugar and black peppercorns and bayleaves for about 2 days. Then smoke it for about 3 hours, using wet Hickory wood chips.

I'll give the photo uploading another try.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:57 PM   #15
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Can you give us a link to the design?

Ha
YouTube - Good Eats S7E2P2: Q

The Alton Brown Flower Pot Smoker

I've tried doing brisket on the BBQ keeping it as low as possible, always comes out dry. I just may tackle this version.


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Old 05-24-2009, 07:30 PM   #16
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Well, I used to smoke a pipe many years ago but I can certainly see that I missed the boat - your kind of smoking looks a hell of a lot mo' better!
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:04 AM   #17
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Can you give us a link to the design?

Ha
ERD50 beat me to it--with better articles, too.

It seems that the terra cotta pot design may not quite be a slam-dunk:
FAT SAL'S SMOKING LOUNGE (formerly, "Sal's Virtual Tapas Bar"): SMOKIN’ POT ON A SUNDAY MORNING.
and more discussion...
twothirds » Smoking Pot — A cheap terracotta flower pot smoker ala Alton Brown
and
The Alton Brown Flower Pot Smoker

By the way, I would not make a smoker out of a galvanized garbage can. Zinc is volatile. I don't want to eat it.

I have also seen smokers in Louisiana made of old 55 gal drums. My stars and little comets! Who knows what crap was inside them!

One comment I found was that you can probably buy a cheap smoker for less than you can build one. Maybe so.

This is a hobby for people who have lots of time. (Know anyone like that?)
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:45 PM   #18
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One comment I found was that you can probably buy a cheap smoker for less than you can build one. Maybe so.

This is a hobby for people who have lots of time. (Know anyone like that?)
Yes, after I read some of the ifs ands or buts in those articles, I was little less excited about this.

They mostly pull the hot plate controls outside the chamber so they have access to them to adjust the temperature, but those controls are just on/off thermostats, so they don't really control anything effectively if they are not inside the heat chamber.

You really need something like a high power dimmer control, but you would need to watch the temp and adjust that manually. Or go high-tech like the beer brewers with electric elements - use an SSR and thermal probes for a total close loop.


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Old 05-25-2009, 12:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
ERD50 beat me to it--with better articles, too.

It seems that the terra cotta pot design may not quite be a slam-dunk:
FAT SAL'S SMOKING LOUNGE (formerly, "Sal's Virtual Tapas Bar"): SMOKIN’ POT ON A SUNDAY MORNING.
and more discussion...
twothirds » Smoking Pot — A cheap terracotta flower pot smoker ala Alton Brown
and
The Alton Brown Flower Pot Smoker

By the way, I would not make a smoker out of a galvanized garbage can. Zinc is volatile. I don't want to eat it.

I have also seen smokers in Louisiana made of old 55 gal drums. My stars and little comets! Who knows what crap was inside them!

One comment I found was that you can probably buy a cheap smoker for less than you can build one. Maybe so.

This is a hobby for people who have lots of time. (Know anyone like that?)
You can get drums that have only held vegetable oil or honey or molasses. I used to get them from our food co-op. At least the last thing in them was food.

I helped a neighbor build a big cold-smoker out of 2x4s and plywood up at my old place. I made a typical refigerator smoker which I used with a hot plate inside for cook/smoking, and farther away for cold smoking. This last really worked but it had a trashy hill-billy look that my DW found distressing. One night we came home and I heard a ruckus inside my reefer.smoker where I was doing a couple country hams and some bacon and sausage. I opened the door and somehow a possum had gotten in. I was just really happy that it wasn't a skunk.

BTW, possums really do play possum. I fetched him out with a shovel and threw him down the drive. He looked stone cold dead, and stayed put. But later I came back out to get rid of the corpse and he was long gone.

We used to make hard smoke Indian salmon. You could just put the stuff on a shelf and eat it all winter. One fall out in Eastern WA I did a good part of a mule deer into jerky. I used to carry a big supply around in a pillow slip when I came to Seattle, and treated my hosts with Sonoran dishes like Ropa Vieja.

Just thinking about this makes me happy. If I didn't get lonesome so easily I might go back to the country.

Ha
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