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Makin bacon pt2 plus COS mods

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    Makin bacon pt2 plus COS mods

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    Well it has been a week and my pork belly is nicely cured now. I just dropped it into the smoker where the temp is holding at 237 per the maverick thermo.

    Attached are a few pics. I also thought this might be a good time to show some of my COS mods in case others are looking to improve the performance of their COS rigs.

    I installed another dial thermo on the lid (before I learned that they aren't very good).

    To set up the unit for reverse flow I used aluminum ducting from Home Depot to extend the heat/smoke release to the other side of the smoker and an aluminum flexible hose to change the location of the exhaust intake (this particular piece is rated for 400 degrees, yes I thought about that). you can see the ducts in the pics. From the exterior shot you can see the nomex adhesive gaskets I used to seal up the leaks in the smoker ($14 on Amazon). This thing had a good quarter inch gap between the bottom of the lid and the body of the smoker. I still need to weigh down the doors with bricks but at least the leakage is ALMOST gone (still a slight bit, you just can't fix these things). I also hack sawed some old grates to set in the fire box to lift the fire up a few inches, this is great for allowing air to get under the flames (inspired by my weber kettle) and keeps the charcoal dust from choking out my fire.

    I got the smoker for $75 on craigslist and I have less than $100 in materials for the mods; so well under $200 for everything and it does perform to an acceptable level.

    My wife just got home and said the whole neighborhood smells awesome thanks to my smoker.

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    I'll let you know how the bacon turns out.

    Love the duct. I tried it on mine but didn't have a small enough duct. I just moved my exhaust over to the firebox side, and actually installed two.

    I'm glad I modded mine out. I am also glad I will hopefully have to never do it again.

    A welding blanket also does wonders for holding in heat.


      Remember I live in AZ, heat is not an issue


        So the bacon turned out great; though it is a little salty. Could we possibly cure for less than 7 days so it isnt quite as salty? I wrapped up a bunch of slices to give to friends and put in the fridge. I'm wondering how the flavor changes once the slices are fried in a pan.

        Anyway, more pics. We had BLTs for dinner and they were great! I highly recommend Meathead's recipe for bacon.

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        Last edited by az_que; October 19, 2014, 09:16 PM.


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          You could try desalinating more. Meathead strongly recommends you don't change the recipe with regard to the salt & curing & so forth.

        • Meathead
          Meathead commented
          Editing a comment
          Puzzling since there is only 2 teaspoons of salt. Did you use kosher salt or another salt? I suppose you could cut back 1/2 teaspoon, especially since you are not storing at room temp. Do not shorten the time. It takes that long to penetrate and reach equilibrium. You want it all the way through. Do not soak it or you will remove all the flavor that is on the surface.

        I considered doing the same with mine, making it reverse flow, but the bracket for the upper shelf goes right over the chimney hole inside...so no dice. I guess I don't need it anyway, it works fine, and wasn't designed to be reverse flow anyway. It's tuned right for being standard flow.

        Great job on yours though. Did you notice a positive difference after doing that or is it only hypothetically better?


          Truthfully I never smoked with it in non-reverse flow mode. I bought it with the intention of modifying so I guess it might have worked fine in normal mode had I not messed with it.

          I can tell you one thing for sure: sealing up the leaks with nomex makes a HUGE difference. No messing with large temp swings and the fuel I put in there is still holding at 244 over three hours later; that represents a huge decrease in fuel usage.

          Good call on the curing; but how would I de-salinate more?


          • az_que
            az_que commented
            Editing a comment
            Not sensitive to salt; in fact I love my salt. LOVE.

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Me too. I've forwarded this to MH, I'm sure he'll have a suggestion....

          • boftx
            boftx commented
            Editing a comment
            I strongly suggest you get yourself a good scale and see a doctor if you gain more than 10lbs in one month. Trust me.


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