How long can I keep bacon in smokehouse?

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Gunny
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How long can I keep bacon in smokehouse?

Post by Gunny » Wed Nov 25, 2015 23:08

I am currently smoking my cured bacon in the smoke house. The highest temperatures at this time of year is in the 50 deg F range. I'm wanting to know if I can keep the bacon hanging in the smoke house along with my hams for the winter months. I have some of my dry cured hams that have been in there for over a year. I will be smoking meats occasionally thru out the winter. Cure #1 was used on the bacon at the legal limit along with salt and brown sugar. Cold smoke is all I use (<70deg F). Thank you for any help. It's been awhile since I've been on the forum..............Gunny
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Thu Nov 26, 2015 07:47

Hey Jerald it's great to hear from you once again. To answer your question, 50F is certainly cold enough to store dry cured or cold smoked meats, but you still have to take the humidity into consideration. Bacon which contains a lot of fat is more forgiving so you can hang it in lower humidity. But I would not leave any any meat in a smoke house for extended periods of time. When not used and not heated, the inside of the smoke house takes on that rancid, sour odour that will eventually impart into the meat. So even if you are going to cold smoke, and the smokehouse has not been used for a while, you should heat it, allow it to cool and then cold smoke. You mentioned that you have had hams handing in it all year how are they doing? Have you tasted any?
Gunny
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Post by Gunny » Thu Nov 26, 2015 14:35

Hello Redzed,

Thank you for the hearty welcome and the advice.

My hams turned out as a successful experiment. I wanted to see if I could control skippers and bad bacteria. I started dry curing the hams in October 2014 and in June of this year, we sliced up one of the hams. No larva and no bacterial contamination. Meat was delicious. My next step was to leave the second ham hanging. It's still in the smoke house and I have removed the pillow case used to keep insects out. Temps did reach 100 deg F with high humidity at times. This ham looks beautiful, but really shrank down.

My next set of hams will be going in to smoke in a few more months. At that time I will slice the one year old ham and let you know the results. I have found that I have more success controlling bacterial contamination, by cutting slits into the hams along the bone lines. Next, I pack the dry cure mix into those slits and the entire surface of the ham gets covered. This procedure works a lot better than injection IMHO........................Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all...........Jerald
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