View Full Version : Basic smoking guide.

03-15-2012, 05:05 PM
Basic smoking guide.

We all talk about smoking, so here are some basic smoking facts.

There are three types of smoking; they are defined by temperature.

Cold smoking: Smoking at or below 100 degrees F. Cold smoking does not cook the food. This is the most difficult method for small home smokers, uses only a few coals, is tended continually, is fed live coals to maintain temp and can take six, eight or more hours.

Hot smoking: Smoking at between 150 and 200 degrees F. Hot smoking cooks food gently and slowly for a long time while being flavored by the smoke. This method can be ideal for the home smoker wishing to obtain a rich-moist smoke flavor.

Smoke-roasting: Smoking at 300 degrees F. or more. This cooks the food as if it were in a hot smoke-filled oven. This is what most home smokers do when they ‘smoke’. It is fast, can be drying and allows for the least permeation of smoke.

Most recipes involving smoking require Pink Salt or sodium nitrite (93.75% salt & 6.25% nitrite), as an insurance against the possibility of botulism. In most instances of smoking I recommend using Pink Salt. Food that is smoke-roasted, that goes from the refrigerator into a hot smoker (300 degrees F. or more), does not require Pink Salt.

The all-important pellicle. It is important to allow the food to dry long enough before smoking to form a pellicle. Dry your meat in the refrigerator uncovered overnight. Yes, food will still pick up smoke without a pellicle, but the end results will be superior if you do.

The composition of smoke depends, of course, on the substance you’re burning. When smoking food over wood, use only hardwoods (hickory, maple or fruitwoods). Avoid soft woods such as pine, heavy sap-producing wood, green wood or any TREATED wood. These woods can release harmful resin and their smoke coats the food with an unpleasant flavor. Hickory has a strong flavor and is suitable for hearty meats. Fruitwoods are preferable to harder woods for their mild sweetness. Herb branches and tea leaves give off tasty smoke as well.

Stay tuned for the Pastrami recipe. Yes, I will be cold smoking this bad boy.:bananadevil:

03-15-2012, 07:46 PM
Very nice info, man.. By pink salt, do you mean Himalayan?

03-16-2012, 03:00 AM
Very nice info, man.. By pink salt, do you mean Himalayan?

No, Himalayan salt is a different pink salt.

Pink Curing Salt (or sodium nitrite) is the common name used in smoke recipes, commercial kitchens, butcher shops and smoke houses. The Pink Salt is gets its 'slang' name from the fact it has a pink hue to it.
Curing salt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curing_salt)

Pink salt is a curing salt and sold under different names (tinted cure mix or T.C.M., DQ Curing salt and Insta Cure #1). No matter the name it is all the same: 93.75% salt and 6.25% nitrite. Nitrite does a few things to meat: it changes the flavor, preserves the meat’s red color, prevents fat from going rancid and prevents bacteria from growing.

If you can’t find it locally you can have it shipped to your door via online sales.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need more info.


05-04-2012, 06:16 PM
Some of the smokehouses use a "pink salt" that is acutally a mix of salt, raw sugar, and paprika (for color). The fish is cured with this for about 12 hrs, then washed off and smoked. Me I like the brine method with a vaccum sealed container........Jetspray