hot smoking, cold smoking uses a low temperature in the 80f to 100f
range, and because of the lower temperature, this means that smoking
food can take anywhere from a few hours up to four days.
Cold smoking results in food
that is “cured”.
curing is more often used for flavor rather than preservation, the
smoke acts as both an antimicrobial and antioxidant.
put, the smoke particles stick to the outer surfaces of food which
inhibits bacterial growth and oxidation.
What types of food can
be cold smoked?
anything! The most commonly cold-smoked foods are cheese, ham, sausage,
pork and fish. The only food that sticks out in cold smoking is fish,
as this requires salt to be added to the fish in order to pickle it
prior to smoking.
This bolsters the anti-bacterial effectiveness of the
smoking process and is necessary to producing properly cured, cold
Cold Smoking – The
Implications of weather
the warmer months, cold-smoking is difficult at best, and sometimes
impossible, as the external temperatures are too high for a cold smoker
to work within the correct temperature range.
The most reliable time to
cold smoke is during winter, when the cooler air can be consistently
relied upon to deliver the ideal cooking temperature.
For Your Smoker
How does a cold smoker work?
clue to properly cold-smoked food is in the name! At low temperature.
order to achieve the correct cold-smoking temperature, the heat source
is ideally located in a box that is situated outside of where the
food is positioned, similar in some respects to the way an
BBQ smoker works.
The heat is generated to a desired temperature
and is then “ported in” to the cooking chamber where the residual heat
is kept at a constant temperature, and as such, is considerably easier
to regulate than if the heat source was present with the food.
Cold Smoking in a BBQ
smoker with an offset firebox
conventional BBQ smoker with an offset firebox can be used for cold
smoking, albeit with limited success, as due to its inherent design
qualities, means that the temperature is still fairly hard to regular
due to the close proximity of the firebox.
It can be made to
work provided that the temperature in the firebox is closely monitored,
and relatively little wood or charcoal is used so that the temperature
does not soar outside of the top-end 100f cold-smoking range.
downside to using a regular smoker is obvious, as it means that you
would have to give the charcoal or wood constant attention for a long
period of time as the food cooks, and attending the fuel constantly for
several days to cure some fish may well be a task that you don't want
to take on!