Currently smoking ram bacon - what temp?

I'm in the process of making ram bacon from a mutton belly. I cured it for about 10 days and it's in the smoker as I type.

Then suddenly I realized, mutton needs a different temp than pork. What is the internal temperature I need to achieve in my mutton?

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Susan W
Susan W May 26, 2015

Why would it be different than pork belly? The consensus is smoke at 200 degrees f. I think that's 100 degrees c, right? Here's an old thread.

https://food52.com/hotline...

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trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese May 26, 2015

For raw meat, the cooking temps are quite different. Going by google, mutton wants an internal temp of 145F and pork is 160F. But hot smoked cured meats don't necessarily benefit from being so high a temperature.

My smoker's thermometer is inaccurate, so I go by the internal temp of the meat, or use my oven to finish off the cooking if the bacon is especially large.

Any other thoughts on what internal temp I should get the cured mutton to?

Susan W
Susan W May 26, 2015

Yes, I realized you meant internal temp of meat. I've only made pork belly bacon in my oven. I just have cooked it x minutes per lb. I think the 140-160 are for roasts. I'm going to go poke around and see what I can find.

Susan W
Susan W May 26, 2015

I just realized you meant the temp of the meat, not the temp of the smoker. I don't think that thread covers that.

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Susan W
Susan W May 26, 2015

Here's the technique I use. He says 150 for pork which is what I cook a roast to, but I would have guessed bacon would be cooked to a higher temp, but not sure why I think that. The cure changes the texture and color so much that it looks thoroughly cooked where a pork roast has a nice pink blush at 150. I have not found any info on ram or mutton bacon.

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Susan W
Susan W May 26, 2015

Oops..here you go.

http://slimpalate.com/homemade-bacon/

trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese May 27, 2015

In the end I went with 140, the same I do for pork. I know a lot of people go to 150F for pork bacon, but my books say so long as it's over 140 and your thermometer is accurate. I cure mine a lot longer than most, so I'm confident with my temperatures.

Since the raw temps for mutton are lower than raw temps for pork, I figured if I cook the mutton bacon to pork bacon standards it should be fine. It turned out quite a bit dryer than I expected, but then again, I did smoke it for four hours.

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Susan W
Susan W May 27, 2015

I'll have to take the temp of my next pork belly bacon. I usually take my pork roasts out at 140-145. It ends up being juicy and a nice pink. I don't find that carry over cooking happens. Maybe one or two degrees at the most. Bummer that yours turned out dry. I'll bet the flavor is great.

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