Do you love bacon? BLT’s? Bacon everything? If you answered yes – keep reading because chances are you’ve never truly eaten it in its most glorious form – cold smoked.
I’ve been smoking bacon for about six years now and have had some ups and downs with it, but even my first attempts resulted in mounds of flavor unlike any time I’ve bought the smoked bacon from the store and put it in a pan.
What You’ll Need
- 1-3 Packages Sliced Bacon
- Smoking Wood
- Natural Lump Charcoal or Briquettes
Typically, when you smoke meats you load the smoker up with charcoal and wait for the coals to turn to an ash-gray. That’s not the case with cold-smoking. To keep the temperature down on the smoker, the trick is less charcoal. A LOT less.
You’ll want to keep the inside temperature of the smoker right about or below 90 degrees. Use only 3-5 pieces of charcoal and 1-2 pieces of smoking wood. I prefer apple wood, but it’s good to experiment with the different flavors and find the one you like the best.
How To Smoke Bacon
Start by lighting 3-5 pieces of charcoal. Let them heat until the outsides are more of an ash color. Once the coals are ready, add one to two pieces of smoking wood chunks. If the chunks are larger, generally one chunk will suffice.
Add the bacon to the grate. Lay each slice of bacon side-by-side. On a medium sized smoker I can generally fit about 3 packages of bacon with the edges slightly overlapping each other. Keep an eye on the smoke coming from the smoke stack or grill. When you notice it diminishing, add more smoking wood and/or coals.
For a lighter smoke flavor (or if you purchased smoked bacon from the store), smoke for at least 30 minutes. I generally smoke thick cut bacon for about 1 – 1.5 hours keeping a close eye on the temperature and smoke. If you notice any of the bacon starting to look dry, pull it off immediately, but don’t worry – it’s not ruined.
The bacon does NOT cook when being smoked, it simply adds the smoke flavor. Once you’ve removed from the smoker you can fry or bake the bacon like you normally would. Often, I smoke the bacon and then put it in the refrigerator until the next day before cooking it. This allows the smoke flavor to set in even more.