Hot vs Cold smoke
By definition, bacon is always smoked. This can be done in one of two ways: hot smoking or cold smoking. How you choose to smoke your bacon is simply a matter of preference. Many experts claim that cold smoked bacon will crisp up when fried better than hot smoked bacon. Again, you may want to try both methods and decide for yourself. Some people simply find that its more convenient to smoke one way as opposed to another because of local temperatures. Whatever the reason, there are a variety of smokers and smoking devices available to use for this important step. A quick search of the internet and you will discover just how many there are. Below is a brief guide to each method.
- Bacon is hot smoked in a smoker at temperatures between 180-220
- Final internal temperatures may vary, however, 140-150 is a common range (the product will most likely be cooked- if not, minimum safe internal temperature for pork is 145)
- Smoking times may vary depending on the size of the meat. A good estimate is around 3-4 hours for a 5 pound pork belly
- Common wood choices for smoking bacon are apple, hickory, and cherry, although you may find others to your liking
- Canadian bacon (pork loin), is usually always hot smoked to an internal temperature of 145.
- Cold smoked bacon can be done in several different ways, including using a smoke generating device, a low temperature smoker, or a smokehouse
- Cold smoking is usually done at temperatures below 90 degrees, which sometime makes it difficult to do in warmer temperatures
- Cold smoking times are purely preference according to the amount of smoke flavor you desire. There is no minimum internal temperature to reach
- Cold smoking can range from 4 hours up to a week in intervals of 4-24 hours with rests in between (in the refrigerator)