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Makin' Bacon - Smoke on PBJ or WSM?

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  • TnzoFlavr
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 5
    • Sangre de Cristo Mountains, CO

    Makin' Bacon - Smoke on PBJ or WSM?

    Hey smokin' folks... we recently bought a pig for the 1st time. A 3 lb chunk of belly is in the fridge wet curing. My question is if anyone has any suggestions whether I should smoke it in the PBJ or WSM? I originally bought the WSM but then got a PBJ because I found myself fiddling too much to try and control the temp on the WSM. The PBJ is truly a set it and forget it smoker when paired with a Thermoworks Smoke. The downside is the inability to control it for low temps and I'm obviously looking to just smoke the bacon, not cook it.

    So my question is whether I am over-thinking this? I can use the PBJ, monitor the internal temp and just pull it but I'm thinking the outside will be cooked or use the WSM and fiddle with it to keep it at a low temp. Thoughts anyone?
  • ecowper
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 3697
    • Maple Valley, WA
    • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
      Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

      Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
      Thermometer = Maverick ET732
      Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
      Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
      Thermapen Classic = Grey
      PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

      Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
      Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
      Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
      Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

      Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


      Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

    #2
    I use a WSM 22 pretty much exclusively for smoking big hunks of meat. I typically run it about 250 without much trouble maintaining temps.

    The goal in smoking bacon is two fold. 1. To get great smoke flavor, of course. 2. To raise the internal temperature of the bacon to the point where we know we have killed off all the possible nasty bugs and we are not going to make anyone sick.

    So, this tells us two things. We want to cook our bacon in a way that imparts great flavor. I know very little about a PBJ, but I do understand that it’s not a completely traditional smoke flavor. The other thing it tells us is that the meat is going to get cooked. If the IT is 155F (about where you want to get to), then the outer meat temp will be higher, more like 175F. It won’t matter if you use the PBJ or WSM, in my opinion, from a “cooked” perspective.

    Comment

    • Mr. Bones
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2016
      • 10172
      • Kansas Territory
      • Grills / Smokers
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      #3
      Me?

      Why, reckon I’d use me one my WSM’s, fer th flavor...

      Fiddlin be danged...never had me no probs gittin it steady

      Comment


      • Steve R.
        Steve R. commented
        Editing a comment
        Same here. I appreciate some good fiddlin', but I haven't felt the need to do any with the WSM.
    • scottranda
      Charter Member
      • May 2015
      • 1862
      • Charlotte, NC

      #4
      Set and forget for smoking bacon won’t matter much. Depending on thickness, it might only take 2-3 hours. You can handle that 😎

      Comment

      • rickgregory
        Founding Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 1173
        • Seattle, WA

        #5
        AS Scott says, this is only a 2 hour or so smoke. Make sure you can get good smoke for those 2 hours and that you can keep them temps low (under 250) so you get a least those couple of hours.

        Comment

        • TnzoFlavr
          Charter Member
          • May 2015
          • 5
          • Sangre de Cristo Mountains, CO

          #6
          I went with the WSM using Kingsford Blue and hickory for the traditional smoke flavor. I lucked out, the winds were pretty calm but the air temp was in low 30's here in the mountains at 8,000'. Consequently I couldn't get the WSM to run hotter than 206 degrees and I didn't want to mess with the air mixture too much. As I mentioned originally, I've had difficulty in the past running the WSM at a consistent temp so I was pretty satisfied with leaving it be just running my cook a little longer. It took 3 hours to achieve an IT of 150. It's in the fridge now and and ready for the slicer. I just need to chickens to lay 2 more eggs this morning and it's bacon and egg Christmas breakfast.

          Thanks all for posting your comments and have a Merry Christmas!
          Attached Files

          Comment

          • Sweaty Paul
            Founding Member
            • Aug 2014
            • 1624
            • Hays, KS
            • Green Mountain Grill - Jim Bowie
              (I've never regretted having too much grate space).

              Weber Genesis Gas grill
              Weber Kettle grills x 2

            #7
            Looks great!

            Comment

            • TnzoFlavr
              Charter Member
              • May 2015
              • 5
              • Sangre de Cristo Mountains, CO

              #8
              PORkNOGRAPHY... the bacon was spot on. Our friend raised the pig organically for us, the local meat market does a great job butchering and Meathead's curing and basic bacon recipe was perfect! We ended up in a bacon coma. Didn't cook anything but bacon for breakfast, no eggs, no toast, just coffee and about a pound of perfect bacon. We've got 6 more vacuum sealed packages, about 3 pounds each of pork belly. Next slab will be an attempt at Black Forest style.


              Attached Files

              Comment


              • rickgregory
                rickgregory commented
                Editing a comment
                Isn't homemade bacon just so much better than the store stuff?

              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                OMG, I can actually Taste it!!!!

              • Stuey1515
                Stuey1515 commented
                Editing a comment
                Perfect breakfast haha, great job mate, homemade bacon cannot be beaten! I haven't bothered with store bought bacon for several years now, still tweaking the ratio's though, seeking perfection

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