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Old 05-11-2016, 09:52 AM   #1
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 05-09-16
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Default 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.

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