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m-fine
05-28-2016, 08:06 AM
In the past I have used the Lang for cold smoking, but sometimes you don't want to make 100 lbs of bacon at once, so that is one of the tasks I wanted my Kamado purchase to handle.

I use an AMNPS as a smoke generator, so I could use pretty much anything from an old refrigerator to a cardboard box. Therefore this is not really a challenge for a Kamado, even a cheapo Costco model, but I thought I would share the setup with you.

I don't have a coal basket (yet) so I had unburned charcoal left in the bottom. I simple set one of my half stoned on top of the coals and put the AMNPS on the stone. I probably could have skipped the stone, but if the coals somehow got lit, it would have gotten ugly.

I used the CGS spider legs down to lift the main grate to the felt line and I am still using the factory Pit Boss dual grate system. It is not a great grate setup, but it will do the job until I build a better setup. I started with a 10 lb belly, cut in half, so I had two 5 lb hunks. One for each grate.

AMNPS filled with apple pellets and lit up.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/F12C6387-5B98-4A9B-9C31-F3B482EF93CB_zpsqzu6mm3e.jpg

I blew out the flame, then slid the AMNPS onto the half stone and added meat.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/5D5FA8DD-F159-4F84-BEAA-8DCD8A082B52_zpsnmkjinyy.jpg

A full 12 hours later, still plenty of smoke. I love the AMNPS, it makes cold smoking so effortless.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/A9907A0F-137E-41AD-B407-3F437851C8B5_zpsqtpjfln9.jpg

IamMadMan
05-28-2016, 08:24 AM
Awesome job.

I love the Maze because you can get such long burn times with it.

ssv3
05-28-2016, 09:07 AM
Nice! Gotta try it myself. Never cold smoked bacon.

m-fine
05-28-2016, 09:16 AM
Awesome job.

I love the Maze because you can get such long burn times with it.

Yes! And, you can limit the length of your fill to match your desired burn time. I also love that I never have to worry about it putting off too much heat, or the fire going out.

I won't be going back to the old method of a small charcoal fire in a coffee can with wood chips. Too much heat, too much work, and results that were lucky to be as good and never any better.

m-fine
05-28-2016, 09:20 AM
Nice! Gotta try it myself. Never cold smoked bacon.

The end result is basically traditional "raw" bacon. There is nothing wrong with hot smoked bacon, but I think it is mostly popular because people were afraid of or ill equipped for home cold smoking.

m-fine
05-28-2016, 01:09 PM
Sample slices on the griddle. Very tasty!!! The rest is getting partially frozen before its date with the meat slicer.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/663AC7A0-2D58-4CA3-8524-860ECF4F4996_zpsvzdhkyls.jpg

ssv3
05-28-2016, 03:26 PM
The end result is basically traditional "raw" bacon. There is nothing wrong with hot smoked bacon, but I think it is mostly popular because people were afraid of or ill equipped for home cold smoking.

Agreed!

Now I gotta start digging and find my AMNPS. :-D

m-fine
05-28-2016, 08:55 PM
Fired up the meat slicer to get it ready for breakfast. I can't wait for morning...just kidding, I like my sleep.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/29965DA4-69D5-4270-8E21-6B63F2CE80CF_zpsmsjwbkwa.jpg

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/2D3A8F9E-28C1-485E-A787-0D5B0EF76292_zpsz2ljrgye.jpg

BillN
05-28-2016, 09:51 PM
Looks great, how did you cure the belly? Also the only heat was from the Maze (minimal) correct? Thanks for posting.

Big George's BBQ
05-28-2016, 09:55 PM
That looks good I am interested in the cure too

m-fine
05-28-2016, 10:40 PM
The cure is based on the Ruhlman recipee but I converted it to weights/percentages, and I use much less salt than most recipes.

I use 150 ppm nitrite with cure #1 and then 1.5% salt and sugar (edit: 1.5% of each) with the salt adjusted for the salt in the cure. I use sugar in the raw aka turbinado or sometimes brown sugar. I have tried maple syrup, but it is expensive and does not give the same maple flavor as the artificial junk so I put that on top after it is fried. The cure percentages are based on the weight of the meat plus added water (wet cure or equilibrium method) and usually run about 20% of the pork weight in added water, so this 10lb batch was cured with about 4 cups of water in the bag. I find that the wet cure is giving me more consistent results than dry curing, and with 12+ hours on a grate, they dry out a bit and I don't have any issues with the extra water.

Spices vary but typically include black pepper, garlic, nutmeg, and thyme. I use multiples of the cure weight to figure out the amount of spices to add. I have the multiples written down on a post it note that is not with me. If you want details, bump this on Monday or send me a PM and remind me and I will post them here.

This was a single belly that I cut in half as I don't want the slices too long anyway and the smaller hunks are easier to handle. Both halves and the cure fit nicely in a 2 gallon ziplock freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and turn and flip a bunch of times while curing for 7-8 days in the fridge. Before smoke, they get a good rinse to get most of the pepper grinds and other spices off. No need to get it all, just most, and it is just a rinse under cold water, no need to (try to) soak out any salt because we set the salt level carefully when making the cure.

The smoking is done with minimal heat. It was hot as a muther hucker today, and the ceramic is pretty insulated so temps got up to 108F at the end, which is hotter than I normally shoot for. The pork can take that but for salmon I want to stay below 80 which can be a challenge in the summer. With the AMNPS in the firebox of the big Lang offset, the cooking chamber temps hover about 1 degree over ambient with no sun on it, so I can use that on all but the hottest nights. With the heat retention of the Kamado, I am going to try an ice tray over the AMNPS to keep it cooler for fish. I am hoping to be able to smoke below ambient temps with the help of the ice and insulation of the ceramic but that will be another thread.

After 12-15 hours in the smoke, it goes into the freezer. You don't want it frozen solid for cutting, but colder is better, even partially frozen. The meat and the fat get firmer and it is much easier to get a good slice. My parents have a commercial meat slicer which makes short work of slicing bacon. I could not do this by hand. After slicing it gets bagged with some going to the fridge and the rest gets frozen. When ready to eat, fry on a griddle or in a cast iron pan, or use it to make all sorts of recipes better.

BillN
05-28-2016, 11:01 PM
Thanks for recipe, I purchased a maze for when I get my LSG, figured I will cold smoke in the warmer and will most likely do it through the night (spring and fall) due to the intense radiant heat from the Az sun.

m-fine
05-28-2016, 11:03 PM
Oh, I almost forgot...

BIG DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a food safety expert or a curing expert. I came up with this recipe after reading multiple recipes and various, sometimes conflicting, sources on safe levels, timing, and procedures. I make absolutely no representation on the safety of the levels of nitrite, salt, or sugar, the method of curing of the time in the cure. I suggest you do your own research from more reputable sources than an Internet posting in order to verify for yourself whether the recipe is safe or not.

m-fine
05-28-2016, 11:09 PM
Thanks for recipe, I purchased a maze for when I get my LSG, figured I will cold smoke in the warmer and will most likely do it through the night (spring and fall) due to the intense radiant heat from the Az sun.

I can't imagine having to deal with Arizona heat! (You probably can't imagine dealing with -25* mornings in the winter though!) The pork belly can handle it, as you can hot smoke it and get good results as well. For fish or cheese, you are just going to have to limit yourself to cooler nights. The nice thing about the AMNPS is it will burn completely unattended for 12-15 hours, so overnights are not a negative at all. It does all the work while you sleep.

m-fine
05-29-2016, 09:29 AM
Last pics for this thread. The vultures in the family swarmed the griddle and 3 pounds of bacon vanished in a flash.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/DE57EC2F-77BC-4B1B-8681-BB65FDF7E3B9_zps7kiotgvh.jpg

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/m-fine/8D40BDCF-0908-45F2-929B-B3FED0AF8656_zpssiioeqcs.jpg

m-fine
05-29-2016, 08:28 PM
I am home and I pulled out my trusty post-it-note of bacon cure ratios so here are the details.

As mentioned above, use a calculator to figure out 150 ppm nitrate, 1.5% salt and 1.5% sugar (or modify to taste).

The other ingredients I do as multiples of the cure #1 as follows...

Dried Thyme 1x
Ground Nutmeg 1x
Course ground black pepper 5x
Crushed/minced garlic 7x
Crushed bay leaves 1/6th x

For example, if the meat plus added water totals 5,000 grams, the calculator will tell me I need 12.0 grams of cure #1 to get 150 ppm.

I then add...

Dried Thyme 12.0 g
Ground Nutmeg 12.0 g
Course ground black pepper 60.0 g
Crushed garlic 84.0 g
Crushed bay leaves 2.0 g

Plus
salt 63.8 g
Sugar 75 g

Note that the salt is less than sugar even though I am targeting 1.5% for both because 11.2 g out of the 12.0 g of cure #1 is actually plain salt.