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mpedrummer 05-11-2016 09:52 AM

Cold-smoking safety
Hi all -

Background - blah blah blah, bacon. My wife and I make bacon, we're in the process of working out the details with the Health Department to have a go at making a business out of it.

Anyway - a sticking point with scaling up is cooling the product. We currently can get ~45lbs on the WSM, smoked to 150F, and then dunk it in an ice bath. The HD is fine with this, we've shown that the ice water can crash cool the meat well within the time frame needed.

However, it's a huge pain in the ass, and doesn't scale well. Ice production becomes an issue, it's a lot of water, and I don't like the waste of using plastic zipper bags just for the cooling.

SO, we're messing about with cold smoking. And, get this - the HD says "huh, we don't know". Ugh. Now I'm neck deep in the 2013 FDA Food Code, and I noticed a little oversight. IF you intend to draw a vacuum AND cold-smoke, the smoked product may not exceed 41F at ANY point in the process - so the smoking will need to be done under refrigeration somehow. However, I cannot find any temperature guidelines for products that will not be vacuum sealed.

Cold smoked fish (but only fish) can be brought to a temperature of 90F for a maximum of 20 hours, 120 for 6 hours, or 50 for 24h.

I'm not seeing anything for non-fish, non-vacuum sealed meat.

Any ideas? We're really just trying to figure out if cold-smoking is a possible solution here. If it turns out to have more drawbacks than cooling hot-smoked meat, then so be it.

Also, for the record, we're smoking for flavor, either way, not for curing. The bacon is cured with 181ppm sodium nitrite.


highergr0und 05-11-2016 02:37 PM

Invest in a blast chiller?

mpedrummer 05-11-2016 02:44 PM

Might have to :) They are damn pricey, though. Like, triples/quadruples our budget pricey. :(

At the moment, we're considering building a smokehouse that has a CoolBot built in. It's the only way we can think of to actually maintain the 41 max, other than only smoking for like, 14 seconds. With a CoolBot, that should be no problem, with either a smoke generator like the Smokai, or even just using a AMZN in the bottom.

IamMadMan 05-22-2016 06:36 AM

Just a suggestion.....

Have you tried checking with local butchers who may operate a smokehouse and ask them for some insight? Many German or Polish Butchers smoke their own meats/foods to keep products made in the old-world traditions. Someone already doing something similar could offer you some great insight.

SmokinJohn 06-01-2016 08:24 AM

If this idea works, I want a cut (pun intended).

Why not buy a cheapo deep freezer, cut an intake and exhaust hole, and pipe the smoke through it?

You should be able to dial the temp down to the 41 degrees the FDA wants.

Just a thought....

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