How to Cold Smoke Bacon at Home

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 24, 2021

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So you like cooking bacon but do you know how to cold smoke bacon?

Cold smoking is a great way to preserve the bacon and is an essential part of the overall curing process.Unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of the proper way to cold smoke the bacon.

This process has in fact been used for many centuries in smoking and curing meats in order to preserve them before refrigeration.


There are usually two ways to smoke the bacon – hot smoking and cold smoking. Cold smoking usually takes longer than hot smoking since it is done at a low temperature. It’s basically the process of drying the meat and is in contrast with the process of hot smoking.

Hot smoking is when the meat is cooked. Curing bacon can make the meat tastier and more flavorful. Furthermore, it helps to reduce the moisture and thus, the risk of spoiling and contamination can be minimized.

Tips for Cold Smoking Bacon

What Ingredients Do You Need?

Bacon slices are usually obtained from the shoulder or belly part of the pork. Shoulder meats have less fat and result in a meaty and flavorful cold smoked bacon. On the other hand, pork belly meat produces crispier slices of bacon. The recipes used for smoking the bacon vary, but most of these recipes require the use of salt and sugar. Using salt and sugar when smoking bacon helps to preserve the meat faster.

In some cases, molasses are used instead of sugar. This makes the meat more flavorful since the color and flavor of molasses are infused to the meat. Other alternatives are brown sugar and maple syrup.

Preparing the Bacon

The bacon slices are cured in a bowl of water that has sugar, salt, and other natural sweeteners. Heavy plates are then placed on top in order to keep the meat slices fully immersed. The meat has to be refrigerated during the entire process of soaking, which would generally take about 72 hours for the belly part and only 36 hours for the shoulder. After soaking, the meat has to be rinsed in order to remove excess salt. After the meat is dried, add seasonings such as salt and black pepper.

How to Cold Smoke Bacon at Home

Easy step for cold smoking bacon

  1. Beauty your slab
    Squared and trimmed exceed part from your bacon slab. If you got the big one, you could divide it into a small one just 3-4
  2. Bacon curing
    Mix them all together with cracked black pepper, sugar, and tenderquick in the bowl then massage the entire slab after that keep it in the zip lock bag or plastic wrap. Leave it to bed in the fridge for 7 days, make sure that you flip it every single day to let it cure evenly distributed.curing-the-bacon
    Pro tip: you can add some maple syrup or pepper to fancy your bacon. For an easy home cured bacon you just use salt to curing bacon.
  3. Prepare your slab bacon
    Rinse all cure out the meat then soaked it in the fresh cold water a few hours or overnight to remove any exceed cure. Pat dry with a paper towel then leave it dry in the fridge don’t cover it about 1-2 hours or until it dry. You can add some maple syrup, garlic, or black pepper.rinse-all-cure
    Pro tip: changing the water every hour when you soak out exceed cure.
  4. Cold smoking bacon
    Hang your slab in the smoker if you do not have a hook you can put it in the smoker cold smoking bacon temperature at 70°F make sure that you don’t cook the meat keep the temp below 80°F. Let them smoke for 7 hours or at least 4 hours. throw some maple, apple, or hickory wood depend on your taste.cold-smoking-bacon
    Pro tip: You can tight it and hang in the smoker if you similar with this method
  5. Slice and enjoy!!
    After you do all above the process, then slice your lovely bacon and then fry it on the pan(quick an easy to test it) you will not patience it anymore then go fry and enjoy!!slice-baconfry-the-bacon

Is It Better to Cold Smoke or Hot Smoke Bacon?

The process of cold smoking is longer compared to hot smoking since it’s usually done at a much lower temperature. Cold smoking is basically the drying process, which is different from hot smoking since the latter cooks the meat. Both methods help to keep the bacon more desirable in terms of flavor, taste, texture, and color.

How Long to Cold Smoke Bacon?

It’s recommended to cold smoke the bacon about 4 hours or more an average temperature of around 68 to 86 degrees. Such a range of temperature might be a challenge to maintain during summer, especially if you’re using a smoker that tends to generate an extremely strong heat.

What Temperature is Cold Smoking?

The ideal range of temperature for cold smoking bacon is between 20 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius, or around 68 to 86 degree Fahrenheit. Within this range of temperature, the meat will already have the smoke flavor, but it will remain moist. Remember that the process of cold smoking will not really cook the meat. Therefore, the meat must first be cured before it undergoes the process of cold smoking.

How Long Should a Ham Be Cold Smoked?

Ham must be cold smoked for up to 6 to 7 hours. It’s important to weigh the meat and monitor it. Also, the ham must be hanged in the curing fridge in order to keep it dry.

Related : How to Cook Bacon on a Pellet Grill

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.