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Food Handling General Discussion General and open discussion for food handling and safety.

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Old 05-11-2016, 10:52 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 150°F, 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 41°F 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 90°F 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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Old 05-11-2016, 03:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: 07-22-09
Location: Franklin, TN

Invest in a blast chiller?
Traeger Silverton, PBC, Blackstone 36" and a Broil King Baron... Life is good
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:44 PM   #3
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 05-09-16
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

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.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:36 AM   #4
somebody shut me the fark up.

IamMadMan's Avatar
Join Date: 07-30-11
Location: Pemberton, New Jersey

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.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:24 AM   #5
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Join Date: 10-15-12
Location: Anaheim, CA

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....
Double Barrel Drum Smoker, UDS, ECB, Char-Broil gas grill & charcoal grills, Smokey Joe - Certified Moink Baller
SmokinJohn is offline   Reply With Quote

bacon, cold smoking

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