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Old 03-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Hot smoked bacon

Hot smoked my bacon by mistake and now the outside when I cook it is hard as a rock. Doesn't happen when I cold smoke, any ideas why?

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:06 AM   #2
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Without thinking about it too hard...

...I'd say it's a water-binding / myoglobin issue. I'm thinking the proteins line-up somehow and form a hard-crust. I do know that heat denatures the -globin portion. I think what your describing is known as 'case hardening'.

I normally associate the hard-crust with beef and lamb which have more myoglobin in the tissue than pork.

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Old 03-30-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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Thinking about it even less...

The heat dried it out.

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Old 03-30-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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How long? We usually hot smoke ours around two hours at I think 140 F. It comes out great but we can only do it around here in the winter. The ambiant temps are too high.

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I had no problems whatsoever getting my pee to ferment.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #5
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How long? We usually hot smoke ours around two hours at I think 140 F. It comes out great but we can only do it around here in the winter. The ambiant temps are too high.
they key is like ravenshead said. If you hot smoke you have to keep your temps low for long duration to break down the collagen instead of cooking it. I usually shoot to hot smoke mine in the 130s for several hours and then finish at the end by bringing up the temperature to 140F and resting afterward for a final internal temp of about 145F. I also use cure in the refridge for 10-14 days prior as I am assuming you did?

Hoptopia, where are you getting your pork belly from? I haven't been able to get any for less than like $4.99 a lb from a local place, so I have since stopped making it.

I have only done cold smoked bacon a handful of times. I have found however that coldsmoking on my rig gives a much stronger smoke flavor, one I prefer to use in cooking and not fresh frying up on a skillet like bacon for breakfast. However to use it in my BBQ beans, or a chilli, that works really well (wasn't sure what you were going for).
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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I bought whole pigs from a local farmer. Got my own pig this year....

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Old 04-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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I usually cold smoke for an hour or so then cook at around 180F... The hard stuff on the bacon is the skin that I never removed and it turned to pork rinds. I'll remove skin from now on.

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Old 04-18-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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I usually cold smoke for an hour or so then cook at around 180F... The hard stuff on the bacon is the skin that I never removed and it turned to pork rinds. I'll remove skin from now on.
oh yeah the rind is always tough as nails. I always remove that presmoking.

I have been thinking about getting a pig and raising it but have been too busy to set it up just yet. Maybe next year.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:07 AM   #9
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oh yeah the rind is always tough as nails. I always remove that presmoking.

I have been thinking about getting a pig and raising it but have been too busy to set it up just yet. Maybe next year.
I always remove the skin prior to curing. I cut it into pieces and "boil it in oil--arrg" to to make cracklin's. I look at that as a bonus to the bacon making process.

I dry cure mine in the fridge for about 7 days prior to smoking. This summer I plan on experimenting with a cold smoke (soldering iron and wood chips) followed by a rendering step in the oven. It's the only way I can think of making bacon down here in Houston short of air-conditioning a smoke house.
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I had no problems whatsoever getting my pee to ferment.
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