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A Smokehouse You’ve Got to ‘Meat’


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Today’s meat processors are navigating unprecedented challenges, from supply chain disruptions and labor shortages to meeting consumer demand for the highest-quality products at an affordable price. Bringing efficiency to the manufacturing floor is key.

Let’s take bacon, for example. The beloved breakfast staple is more popular than ever, and experts suggest that the global bacon and ham market will grow at a CAGR of 3.8% through 2028. To streamline production and improve yields, manufacturers are eyeing automated systems that can help them do more with less.

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One system that’s generating excitement is the Protech Automated Spiral Cooking, Smoking, Freezing System. This fully automated cooking, smoking, and freezing system for bacon and other smoked meats drew crowds in 2022 at IFFA, the world’s largest trade fair focusing on technology for meat and alternative proteins.

First off, it’s fast. Able to process continuously, the Protech Automated Spiral Cooking, Smoking, Freezing System cooks and freezes 8,800 pounds of product per hour, making the system ideal for meat processors who want to boost production capabilities and product quality, improve yields, and optimize labor.

“Typically, bacon operations are manual and can require up to 40-plus employees to operate,” said John Bobak, founder and CEO of BAK Food Equipment, the exclusive distributor of the Protech system in the United States. “But our automated system takes just two people to fully operate.”

Spiral Bacon Smokehouse
Spiral Bacon Smokehouse 2
With a linear combination of integrated technologies, the Automated Spiral Cooking, Smoking, Freezing System transforms bacon from raw pork bellies into a perfectly seasoned, cooked, and smoked product — from start to finish. The process begins with a NOMA, formerly Nowicki Food Machinery MH-516 SAS Injector, a 516-needle dual-head injector designed to precisely penetrate pork bellies. Next, spiral #1 dries the bellies. Forced air circulation is generated by a heavy-duty centrifugal fan controlled by a frequency converter that ensures an exact air flow. Users can set the air flow to produce the optimum result for each individual product. Next, spiral #2 handles natural smoke application and the final cooking process. Finally, spiral #3 efficiently freezes the pork bellies, which are then ready for pressing.

Reliable output is a major benefit of the Protech system, and it accomplishes consistency by ensuring that every piece of product enters and exits the oven in the same position and at the same temperature, which is monitored and controlled throughout the cooking, smoking, and freezing processes.


With its integrated technologies, the Automated Spiral Cooking, Smoking, Freezing System delivers a high throughput of uniform product with minimal manual labor, bringing critical efficiencies to the plant floor and giving food manufacturers the edge they need to meet and overcome market challenges. Spiral oven technology isn’t new to the meat processing industry — but a fully automated, all-in-one system is, and Protech is the first and only manufacturer to offer it.
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