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Need some guidance for JDB's Cherry-Smoked Bacon

PujPuj Posts: 615
edited 6:43PM in EggHead Forum
Juggy and all,[p]I made my first attempt at smoking Juggy's Cherry-Smoked Bacon yesterday. I'd give myself a "D" for the end result and my post is intended to solicit some sound advise on how to improve this cook.[p]Here's what I did:[p]1) Set up the large Egg for an indirect cook by removing the fire ring and placing a grid on top of the firebox.
2) Wrapped a pizza stone in foil to allow the drippings to drop on the stone.
3) Used a turkey sitter (inverted) to drape over the bacon. Since the base of the sitter was up, the bacon wrapped neatly over the base. I put nine (9) thick sliced pieces of bacon on the sitter.
4) Also, since the turkey sitter was "upside down and not stable", I used a chicken sitter as the base to provide support.
5) Brought the lump up to 200°F dome temp and threw about 3 handfuls of cherry wood chips into the lump. The chips were soaked for about 15 minutes.
6) Let the bacon smoke for approximately 30 minutes. During the 30 minutes the dome temp rose to 230°F.
7) Pulled the bacon out at 30 minutes.[p]End result - the bacon was limp, not crispy and the smoke taste was overbearing. [p]Any and all advise is greatly appreciated.[p]Puj


  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Puj:[p]For smoke I would start with half a handfull of chips and work up to what works. Sounds like the bacon needed more time in the cooker. Using a higher temperature could create problems if the bacon is not closely watched.
  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    djm5x9,[p]Yea, me thinks me went a bit overboard with the cherry chips. :)[p]Now the real question, can a crispy bacon be reached without burning the bacon?[p]Puj
  • BarbieQBarbieQ Posts: 41
    Just a thought--why not transfer the bacon to a cast iron skillet to fry after smoking? Then you could increase the temp to get it frying. IMO the bacon needs to actually fry in its own fat to get crispy.

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    BarbieQ,[p]I actually did resort to finishing the bacon by frying in a cast iron skillet. It definitely "crisped" the bacon so the ending texture was ok, but I still had to deal with the overbearing smoke flavor. Anywho, I'd still like to see if I can get the bacon crisp in the Egg and not fry at all.[p]Thanks for the thoughts,

  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    Puj,[p]Very creative setup!
    My first thoughts are that you probably needed more heat, a longer cook and to let the smoke thin a good bit before putting on the bacon.[p]It's been a couple months for me and a few brain cells ago...
    ~I assembled the setup outside the egg while the fire was getting up to temp.
    ~setup was a layer of bacon on the grill extender with a round of HD foil w/flared edge, less than the diameter of the extender, on the attached main grid to catch the drippings.
    ~Got the temp to about 250, put the whole unit on the egg and followed Juggy's directions the rest of the way keeping a close eye as the bacon started to approach crispy.[p]Like he says, there is a very fine line between cooked, crispy and BURNT. Hope this helps.[p]WD

    [ul][li]Juggy's Cherry Smoked/Grilled Bacon[/ul]
  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    WD,[p]What you post makes perfect sense to me. I was wondering if the 230°F dome temp just wasn't hot enough. I'm heading out of town for the rest of the week, so I'll have to wait until the weekend to give it another shot.[p]Puj
  • Puj, I am guessing that you were cooking at too low of temperature and used too many wood chips. Your grate temperature should be around 275F. This temperature yield a more crispy product. The times I have cooked bacon at 225F, I was not happy with the results either as the bacon will come out rubbery.[p]As for the wood chips, I usually use chunks, but I would cut back on the amount to two small handful of chips instead of three. You can always add more chips if needed.[p]Keep in mind that 30 minutes is only a guideline as I have had many batches take up to 45 minutes.[p]I would advise setting up some sort of grease trap (like a disposable aluminum pan) on top of your stone so that the grease does not settle in the bottom of the egg or drip onto the fire. Just make sure the grease does not get hot enough in the pan to smolder as this smoke will also flavor your bacon.[p]Please don't be afraid to try this again as once you do perfect this method for cooking bacon, you will never eat fried bacon again. :-) If you need any more help, post your questions here or feel free to e-mail me.[p]Beers to you,[p]JDB - Juggy D Beerman[p]

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Juggy,[p]Thanks for the tips and thoughts. I'll give it another try; hopefully this coming weekend.[p]Beers,

  • Juggy D Beerman,
    You mentioned that 225 produces a rubbery texture. My first thought about that when I read it was "just like chicken skin". Often people advocate cooking chicken at a higher temp (300 - 375) and the skin comes out crispier. [p]This prompts me to ask, have you tried doing bacon at a higher temp like the chicken, and if so how where the results?[p]Matt.

  • Yo Matt, The times I have cooked the bacon above 325F the results have not been good. The bacon cooks too fast and does not get near the smoke flavoring you are trying to impart. Because the bacon cooks faster at this higher temperature, your margin for error is greatly reduced. (What I mean here is there is less than a two minute window between done, crispy and burnt.)[p]The grease WILL make a mess of your egg if you do not catch the drippings. If the grease lands on hot coals it will catch fire or smolder to where it flavors the bacon as well. Because you should use some type of receptical to catch the grease, 375F will make the grease in the receptical smolder or catch fire.[p]As for the crispy part, if you leave it on cooker long enough at 275F, the bacon will get crispy. I don't recommend a cooking (grate) temperature more than 300F.[p]Beers to you,[p]Juggy[p][p]

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