Get into the culinary rewarding world of cold smoking for artisan style results. All you need is a smoking compartment with a lid and ventilation, our cold smoking accessory, some wood dust and a little know-how. Your compartment could be a regular BBQ, an off the shelf or a homemade smoking chamber. Filing cabinets, kitchen cupboards and log stores have all been given a new lease of life as a smoker. Here’s our quick guide to cold smoking.
The first step to successful cold smoking for meats and fish is curing. Not as technical as it sounds, this is a process by which moisture is removed to stabilise raw foods using a salt and sugar mixture. Moisture in foods is a home for bacteria, removing it with a cure mix and adding a seal of cold smoke at the end of the process helps both intensify flavours and preserve food. Foods such as cheese, nuts, chillis, salts or oils don’t need curing and can go straight to the smoking stage.
CURING & DRYING
Create your own cure mix using salt, sugar and spices. You can apply a dry mix which is rubbed onto the surface of your food or dissolve in water to create a brine into which the food is submerged. Leave overnight for fish or up to a few days for larger meats such as bacon joints, pouring away excess moisture. Your food will have shrunk and darkened and it’s flavour intensified. Rinse carefully and allow to air dry for several hours before moving to you smoker.
GENERATING COLD SMOKE
The challenge of creating cold smoke without heat is expertly answered by the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator. A mesh maze structure which, when filled with wood dust and lit from an outer corner, will smoulder gently releasing cooled aromatic wood smoke flavour without heat. Place this in the bottom of your BBQ or smoking chamber, add your food, shut the lid and leave to smoke. The smoke will seal the surface of your food adding delicious woody flavours. Allow your smoked dishes to settle before tucking in.
If you want a ready made smoking solution try one of our off the shelf smoking cabinets. These are designed to accommodate the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator, provide just the right ventilation and plenty of shelving and hanging space for your food. There’s even a cardboard option, an Eco Smoker literally made of robust cardboard with metal inners and a fantastic starting point for cold smoking.
LOOKING FOR RECIPES
For cold smoking inspiration check our recipe pages. Once you’ve created your own home cured and smoked salmon or bacon, cheeses and ingredients you’ll not want to buy shop bought again!