One of the oldest forms of food preservation, having arisen after the development of cooking with fire. Heat and smoke infuse a flavor into fish, ham, poultry, and meat and prevent the growth of microbes. Is an effective way to preserve food but care must be taken to avoid contamination and illness. By supplying a consistent temperature of around 150 to 275 degrees F, with your wood chips at the heat source and food on the top rack with vapor continually flowing over your food. Will increase their palatability by adding flavor and imparting a rich brown color.
In North America, the woods used are alder, oak, hickory, pecan, mesquite, maple, and some fruit trees, like apple, cherry, and plum. Alternative materials have been used with the addition of seasoning ingredients. In Europe, the wood used most commonly for smoking is Adler and oak.
Some ham and bacon suppliers smoke over burning corncobs. Barley malt for liquors is dried and smoked using burned humate. Hot smoking fish in New Zealand is done with the wood from the tea tree. And in Iceland cold smoked lamb, whale, mutton, and fish is done with dried sheep dung.
On the western farms, a smokehouse was used for preserving meats, this building was away from other buildings due to the fire danger, and the smoke emanating from it.
Smoking can be done in four ways: Cold smoking, Warm Smoking, Hot smoking, and Liquid smoke.
Cold smoking 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, food is typically preserved by fermentation, salting, or curing before smoking and should be cooked before consumption, food remains raw and takes hours to weeks.
Warm smoking 77 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, food remains raw and needs to be cooked before eating.
Hot smoking 10 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, food is cooked by the heat of the gasses of the fire, and smoke adds flavor. Hot smoking is a fantastic way to add flavor to your food, it is much faster than cold smoking and creates mouthwatering results. It is worth bearing in mind that hot smoking is not an effective method of food preservation and your products will require consumption within a couple of days even if kept refrigerated.
Liquid smoke is a product derived from smoke compounds in water. A brownish-yellow liquid made by capturing and condensing the vapors from burning wet wood chips (usually hickory). Liquid smoke is used to add a smoky quality to foods in an attempt to capture the flavor of wood-fired grilling.
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