Cold smoking meats

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Zimmy, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I come from a family that always hot smoked brined meats.

    Traditionally we would smoke sausages, briskets, and pork bellies at 160-170 F.
    Sausage for about 5 hours
    Briskets for about 7 hours
    Pork bellies for 16 hours.

    I am now experimenting with cold smoking at ~100 degrees. I smoked a dry-brined pork belly for some delicious bacon last weekend for 14 hours and it came out wonderfully. Since bacon isn't a fully cooked meat at this stage, the internal temperature wasn't as important as a good smoke bark on the outside and penetration on the inside. There was much less loss of fat in the bacon than normal for my prior experience.

    Afterward, I cold smoked a wet brined brisket for 13 hours at ~100 degrees and then stoked up the heat to 300 for 3 more hours to achieve full doneness. Tenderness and flavor were very good. The brisket wasn't falling apart but the brisket was very tender and juicy. The fat had caramelized away wonderfully.

    I was wondering if anyone else had experience with cold smoking.
  2. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    interesting, never even heard of cold smoking, looking forward to seeing more of your experiments!
    Ura-Ki and tacmotusn like this.
  3. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    Canadian Bacon, pepperoni, some salamis and other dry sausages are some more common results of cold smoking.

    I believe Pastrami as well, but that maybe a fermented meat. I'll have to look that up.

    Fermented meats are my next experiment. That'll be next winter.
    3M-TA3, Ganado, Motomom34 and 2 others like this.
  4. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    I do a lot of hot smoked meats my self and have cold smoked some fish also nephew calls it ham fish
  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have never heard of such a thing. I will have to look it up.
    Ura-Ki and Zimmy like this.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    We do both, cold smoking is best for cheese and veggies and beans, but also for sea food as well! It all comes down to the richness of smoke you want, or weather your smoke curing vs smoke cooking! For meats that you don't wish to cook, cold smoking is the way to go, and for brine and smoke curing, it' the only way to do it! Have fun, it's a good way to do things!
    Ganado, Zimmy and Motomom34 like this.
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @Zimmy Do you do this in your oven?
  8. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    No, in a traditional offset smoker.

    I'm experimenting small scale until I can get a new smokehouse built.
    Witch Doctor 01, Ura-Ki and Motomom34 like this.
  9. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    On the farm as a kid we had a brick smokehouse, 10 by 12 or so, and it had two stoves for smoking and all kinds of arrangements for the racks. One was in the building for hot smoking and one outside cold smoking. Dad, Grand dad, etc did the smoking and had it down to a fine art, I unfortunately joined the USAF, didn't learn much, and forgot most of what I did know. The selection of wood to burn and the temperature to heat it to, how long to smoke it etc, are all lost as far as my branch of the family is concerned. Really a shame.
    3M-TA3, Ganado, Gator 45/70 and 2 others like this.
  10. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I've looked at some smokehouse plans , wanting to try smoke curing some meats. If you or anyone has some good plans for a small smokehouse , or just a good way to do this on a small scale , let me know , and post up pics. Pics work best for me if ya got'em.
  11. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I’m 50 and I’m about the only one from my generation that could be bothered to learn the old ways. My family wasn’t an original buy-in on the butcher house Co-op so I paid my way with labor as a kid.

    We had an 8’x10’ tin roofed wooden smokehouse that was about 50 years old when I started in the late 1970’s. Addition of a recirculating fan in the ‘90s was met with great concern but worked out well and cut times down 30% when hot smoking.

    I’ve seen plans for dual purpose hot/cold smokehouses (often with salt boxes) and plan to build one myself this year. I know most of the temps, times, and brines.

    If I don’t get this going and let my kids and other folks get involved what knowledge I gathered will be lost. Thats hundreds of combined years experience in smoking meat, drinking beer, moonshining, storytelling, aggravating, and playing dominoes that would be lost forever.

    I’ll help out as I can with pics as we go.
    SB21, Ganado, Motomom34 and 3 others like this.
  12. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I'm stuck in Az right now, so no pictures a available! Ours is a 5X8 brick shed with cedar lined feeling and walls. The "Stove" is outside and it' a combo of brick and welded sheet steel, with the chimminy providing the smoke for a hot smoke. For a cold smoke, we have a draft fan out the back of the stove that pulls the smoke out of the burn box and forces it in through the bottom of the wall next to the door. The trick part if the teak wood lath floor, the smoke is forced through under the floor and it rises through the smoke racks. The ceiing vent is a simple sliding hatch of tin on the west facing side to use the near constant breaze from the east! It' a pretty simple set up and works quite well! Total cost to build was less then $400 including the steel and cement!
  13. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Here is how I hot smoke fish.

  14. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Back in about 1980, I met a guy at the beach I was working at , he took me out fishing , taught me gill netting , and running a shrimp trawl out of a 16 foot John boat. He used to smoke Spots , man them things were good. He'd gut'em, take the heads off , half'em and lay'em scales down on the rack , pull'em out , peel the scales off and chow down. Good stuff .
    Gator 45/70 and Zimmy like this.
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