Friday, 6 November 2009

Cold Smoked Salmon

Got a nice piece of Salmon from the supermarket, so after the tedious job of scaling the side... why don't people here do the job before they sell the fish (I'm happy to prepare fish that I have caught)???
Anyways, put it a dry cure mixture, some coarse salt, sugar and a bit of black pepper. I will leave this in the fridge overnight, then it's on to the smoker for at least 8 hours tomorrow.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

No Smoker, but still want to cold smoke food?

Now all this talk about smoked cheese must be making your mouth water (the pictures don't help either), so some of you may be thinking... I don't have a smoker/ hooded BBQ, what's the point??
Well just to show you that you can use just about any container to cold smoke in, obviously a bit of common sense is required here, I’ve made a cold smoker using the following items:
  • A cardboard box, the one I’ve used measures 16” x 13” x 22”.
  • 4 x Lengths of wood doweling, I’ve substituted these for some long skewers.
  • 2 x Oven grates, or any other grates that will fit.
  • Wood dust.

Other Bits

Baking tray in place - very important bit of the kit, as this will prevent your box catching fire.
You can use a small paving stone, or something similar that is heat resistant.
Insert the 1st 2 skewers/ dowels
Put the 1st rack in (hope my wife doesn't see this).
All ready to go...
Over the next couple of days, I will be preparing some Salmon, by brining, it will then be the first food item to be cold smoked in the cardboard box.

Smoked Foods

There are 2 types of smoking, Hot and Cold. These processes are 2 completely different methods for preparing food. Hot smoking cooks the food, whilst Cold smoking is a part of the process designed to cure food that will, in most cases, be cooked at a later stage. No one can be sure of when it all started, but it was probably discovered, by accident, sometime during the Stone Age. In the case of Hot Smoking, you can imagine a group of hunters bringing meat back to their cave and hanging it above the fire they used for warmth. Cold Smoking/ Curing may have been discovered in this manner... picture freshly caught sea fish, being filleted on site and then left to soak in a rock pool for a few hours, before being returned to the cave where it was hung further away from the fire, possibly nearer to the roof, where the smoke gathered. In both scenarios, man might have been pleased with the resulting flavour (he may even have been given a hearty smack on the back, known as a pat, from the people sharing the meal, to show their approval). He may have also noticed, in the case of the fish, that the food lasted a lot longer, without spoiling. As with most men, he more than likely got impatient, whilst waiting for his meal and ended up by first moving the meat closer to the fire (Barbecuing) and finally, by throwing meat directly onto the fire (Grilling).