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Ok we butcher our own hogs, but is there a way for me to use a walmart smoker to cure some bacon? Ham? I don't know if I could get hubby to build a smoker...
-- julie (email@example.com), March 17, 2002
Your "Wal-Mart" smoker is probably a "Hot" smoker used to cook meat, the smoker you would need for curing your bacon is known as a "Cold" smoker.
-- Mark in N.C. Fla. (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 2002.
Ive seen cold smokers made out of a card board box, all you have to do is "piPE" the smoke from your fire to the meat, make it far enough so the smoke is now, "cold"
-- Stan (email@example.com), March 17, 2002.
Smokers have been well covered before - check out Kitchen (Food Preservation - Other) in the Older Messages section, and do a search on "smoke". One suggestion I've seen is to turn a dead refrigerator into a smoker.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 2002.
An older gent my husband knows suggested we build a smoker out of an old electric stove. You need one that the oven works. Put a pipe on the outlet (usually back burner) and turn it on low with sawdust and wood chips on the element. We havn't tried it but he swears it works great. I would use this smoker away from the house though.
-- Joanie (email@example.com), March 17, 2002.
Be careful, some of these ideals sounds like you are going to have cooked bacon by the time you open the door to check on them.
For a old fashioned way you will have to brine cure the slab for about three days and then cold smoke it which consist of hanging the slab up in some type of a structure and pumping smoke in from an outside source. Outdoor temperature will have to be around 40 degrees during the process. However you might get by with brine curing and using liquid smoke either in the brine solution or rub it on after brine curing.
-- r.h. in okla. (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 2002.
I am in the process of "getting it together" to cure and smoke my own bacon and ham. I have successfully used my refrigerator to cure the meat and our barbecue pit to smoke it in. Our pit is made from an old propane tank, 200 gallon, I think. The fire I make is very small and needs almost constant tending. You didn't say how big your pit is, but if you could attach a pipe from one small pit to the air intake on the bottom of the larger one for the smoke to run through, it should cool off enough to smoke your meat just fine. Be sure to leave the exhaust on top open enough to get a good smoke flow. Make several trial runs building your fire or be prepared to eat what you are trying to smoke. An oven thermometer is almost a must for me. Good luck. It is worth trying. Robin
-- Robin in East Texas (Southpawrobin1@aol.com), March 18, 2002.