UK BBQ Mag Winter 2016/2017 - Page 30

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Ten tips to help improve your cold smoking.

1. Always ensure you use fresh produce when cold smoking. Remember you aren’t cooking what you’re smoking so the food you use has to be fresh. Smoking won’t transform stale or off food you’ll always end up with an inferior product.

2. Control the temperature when you smoke. The generally accepted upper limit when cold smoking is around 30C, this is a limit though and ideally one should aim to smoke at temperatures way below this level. This is important to prevent spoilage. Controlling the temperature in your cold smoker can be difficult even if you are using a remote source of smoke piped into your smoking chamber. Make sure your smoker is out of direct sunlight as this can have a dramatic impact on the internal temperature of your smoker. Sunlight can add up to 20C to the internal temperature pushing your smoker over your temperature limit for cold smoking.

3. Cold smoking fish or meat is a two stage process. Fish and meat will need to be cured with salt before smoking. Your choice of curing method will largely depend on what you are looking to produce.

4. If you are making Scottish style smoked salmon then you’ll be using a dry salting method and if you are producing a fillet of smoked haddock, cod or a kipper you’ll need to use a brine method.

5. Cold Smoking is a delicate process and less really does mean more. You don’t need to produce clouds of dense billowing smoke to achieve good results. Some of my best results have been achieved using the slightest wisps of smoke over a 12 hour period.

6. If the summer days are proving too hot for cold smoking, consider using the smoker at night. In the UK the average night time summer temperature is somewhere between 14C and 16C. Consider smoking your food overnight to take advantage of the lower summer temperatures.

7. If you are looking to make yourself a cold smoker you could do no worse than looking for any enclosure that keeps the smoke in the same place as the food. This is an interesting way of thinking as it really opens up your options. As you’re cold smoking at low temperatures there is no interaction between the food and the enclosure so choice of materials is less important. the heat out of the smoke allowing it to cool further.

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