Miami Smokers - Urban Bacon Smokehouse
Miami Smokers - Urban Bacon Smokehouse
A smokehouse on a mission to bring timeless curing/smoking techniques and heritage pork to the sunny streets and shady peeps of the 305
A smokehouse on a mission to bring timeless curing/smoking techniques and heritage pork to the sunny streets and shady peeps of the 305 Read more
15 years ago Andres and I became friends while attending different high schools in Miami-Dade. While our paths separated the common factor has always been food. 3 years ago we started working while he was the Executive Chef at Aaron's catering. I quickly worked my way to Sous Chef and we executed some of Miami’s top events.
During summer 2012 we hosted a pop up brunch series. The desire to make everything from scratch introduced us to curing our own bacon. A table bite of sweet and nutty Candied Bacon quickly became a fan favorite and Miami Smokers was born. Our passion for crafting quality delicious food lead us to Alan Benton, The God Father of Smoke. After days of driving and many Red Bulls later, we found ourselves in middle of nowhere Tennessee arriving at Benton’s Country Hams. The Godfather of Smoke graciously showed us his operation and shared his 50 year’s worth of knowledge from smoking bacon. Alan saw our love of the craft of smoking and before we left he sat us down and started the conversation with “If I was you I would….”
During many more hours in the car we combined the knowledge acquired from The God Father of smoke with our diverse South Florida culinary experiences. Following some of the best advice we ever received, has helped craft Miami Smokers Vintage Bacon Shortly after arriving back we ran into our next challenge. No one makes a small commercial smoker for bacon. After days of research we decided to built our 1st smoker, designed specifically for bacon.
So what makes our bacon different? We start with some of the best heritage pork, pastured raised in the USA. The pigs are raised humanely and fed wholesome diet with no hormones or antibiotics. http://www.betterpork.com/ The pork bellies are cured without nitrates over the next 30 days honoring traditional methods with our Miami twist. Our curing process is what differentiates Miami Smokers from most all other bacon producers. During our curing most of the moisture in the meat is removed unlike many store bought bacon brands that are injected with a smokey brine solution. What results is that when cooked you retain a lot more Miami Smokers Bacon After curing the bellies are then smoke for at least 24 hours using Apple wood, Hickory and Sugar maple. From our curing and smoking process Miami Smokers Vintage Bacon is more like lardo and jamon. It really is some of the best in the country.
Miami has no charcuterie/smoke houses and there are very few bacon producers in Florida. The demand for Miami Smokers Vintage Bacon has provided Andres and I the opportunity to build Miami’s first custom meat curing “Urban Smoke House” located in the heart of Miami. Stage 1 construction is complete and we have begun delivering to some of Miami’s top restaurants including, The Federal, MM74, Eating House, Marriott Biscayne, Azucar and Blue Collar.
Miami Smokers has been recently featured in Miami New Times, Edible South Florida and Ocean Drive for their creative culinary approach when curing meats. Our next step is to build a USDA curing facility. The design is at the architects and we plan to file permits for construction January 2014. We have additional space not being used and over a few beers and lots of bacon, we came up with the perfect solution. A scaled down curing facility that can be used by chefs and local artisans to produce delicious charcuterie in a controlled and monitored environment, the Artisans Curing Center (ACC). One of the greatest challenges we had while developing Miami Smokers was a proper curing environment. Most all commercial restaurant kitchens are not set up to cure meats. The coolers are not humidity controlled and temperature cannot be adjusted because the space has to be shared with other products. Delicious charcuterie can be crafted in Miami using controlled and monitored curing rooms despite our unpredictable weather
So here is where you come in, to build the ACC we need help funding the coolers, slicer, and packaging equipment. We have the space for the ACC and will provide assistance, mentor-ship and monitoring for artisans interested in further innovating the Miami Culinary Scene
First the space dedicated for the ACC will be built to commercial kitchen standards. Non-slip floors, Sanitation area, Work tables and proper lighting will be installed. We envision filling the space with at least 6 separate humidity and temperature controlled curing rooms. This will allow the flexibility to create everything from country ham to lardo. Slicing and packaging equipment will be installed for processing and distribution of products. While the architects are planning the Miami Smokers USDA Facility, it will be easy to incorporate the ACC into the design. After permits are issued construction will begin. Construction will take 2 months.
Planned purchases from Kickstarter
- Coolers $14000
- Slicer/Stacker $7000
- Vacuum Sealer $2500
If we are lucky enough to hit our target we have some exciting stretch goals and additional gifts to be offered.
Risks and challenges
-Potential Delays -
• Architect Design and Permits
• Construction overruns
• USDA Approval / Facility Certification
After having just finished constructing the kitchen ourselves. We had to overcome many obstacles. Using the knowledge gained the next one should be easier. Andres and I will be doing the construction ourselves, saving money and costly delays.
The most time consuming part of having Miami Smokers facility USDA approved is the paperwork. The most important document is the HAACP plan. We have been studying HAACP guidelines for the last year and have developed a very through HAACP plan for Miami Smokers.
The local community and City of Miami have embraced our “Urban Smokehouse” and we expect few challenges with the local and state government.
- (30 days)