Am I cold smoking or not?

Discussion in 'Fish' started by sjm1027, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Hi I am new to smoking. Would like to know if I am on the right track with cold smoking.
    I have a Weber Summit 4 Burner with rotisserie and rotisserie burner. This propane grill has a smoke box and it's own smaller burner. For a test I smoked 2 pieces of cheese using apple wood. I soaked the wood for 10 minutes, filled the smoker box and kept it on for an hour, just to see what temperature I could keep the grill at. My goal was to keep it 100 degrees or lower. I could only keep it between 120 and 123 degrees. I am getting good smoke and color on the cheese. No melting has occurred but I was wondering if these temperatures are good enough to smoke fish and cheese. Or is this considered cold smoking?

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In my opinion, cold smoking is temps under 70 degrees F...   Generally, if it don't melt the fat, that "could" be considered cold smoking...   

    Check out Todd's inventions for cold smoking.......

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  3. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is my understanding that cold smoking is anything under 80* At least that is always my goal when I cold smoke butter, cheese and Salmon for lox.

    Tapayakin' from my iphone
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Below is "sort" of a definition of "cold Smoking" based on "old world" recipes and techniques.....


    Cold Smoking

    Cold smoking at 52-71° F (12-22° C), from 1-14 days, applying thin smoke with occasional breaks in between, is one of the oldest preservation methods. We cannot produce cold smoke if the outside temperature is 90° F (32° C), unless we can cool it down, which is what some industrial smokers do. Cold smoking is a drying process whose purpose is to remove moisture thus preserving a product.

    You will find that different sources provide different temperatures for cold smoking. In European countries where most of the cold smoking is done, the upper temperature is accepted as 86° F (30° C). The majority of Russian, Polish and German meat technology books call for 71° F (22° C), some books ask for 77° F (25° C). Fish starts to cook at 85° F (29.4° C) and if you want to make delicious cold smoked salmon that is smoked for a long time, obviously you can not exceed 86° F (30° C). Cold smoking assures us of total smoke penetration inside of the meat. The loss of moisture also is uniform in all areas and the total weight loss falls within 5-20% depending largely on the smoking time. Cold smoking is not a continuous process, it is stopped (no smoke) a few times to allow fresh air into the smoker.

    In XVIII century brick built smokehouses a fire was started every morning. It smoldered as long as it could and if it stopped, it would be restarted again the following morning.

    Cold smoked meats prevent or slow down the spoilage of fats, which increases their shelf life. The product is drier and saltier with a more pronounced smoky flavor and very long shelf life. The color varies from yellow to dark brown on the surface and dark red inside. Cold smoked products are not submitted to the cooking process. If you want to cold smoke your meats, bear in mind that with the exception of people living in areas with a cold climate like Alaska, it will have to be done in the winter months just as it was done 500 years ago.
    Cold smoking at its best. Smoking continues through the night.

    Using dry wood is of utmost importance when cold smoking. It is recommended to keep wood chips in a well defined single pile as they will have less contact with air, thus will smoke better without creating unnecessary flames and heat. By following these rules we achieve 75-85% humidity, creating the best conditions for moisture removal. Once the moisture content drops low enough, the salt present in the meat will further inhibit the development of bacteria and the products can hang in the air for months losing more moisture as time goes by.

    Lox (smoked salmon) is smoked with cold smoke for an extended period of time. Applying hotter smoke (over 84° F, 28° C) will just cook the fish, the flavor will change and we will not be able to slice it so thin anymore. Cold smoking is a slow process and the hams, which lend themselves perfectly to this type of smoking, can be smoked from 2 to even 6 weeks. During smoking they will slowly be acquiring a golden color along with a smoky flavor.
    Cold smoking allows us total smoke penetration inside of the meat. Very little hardening of the outside surface of the meat or casing occurs and smoke penetrates the meat easily.Hot smoking dries out the surface of the meat creating a barrier for smoke penetration
  5. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a whole lot of good reading while I'm out here sitting by a campfire chomping down some Salmon with white wine. Oh yeah!

    Tapayakin' from my iphone
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    SURE.......   Where's the camp fire....  Do I need to bring chairs and a cooler full of iced beverages.....   I'm only about 1200 miles away....
  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's the wife doing a smores while I am belching from dinner[​IMG]

    Tapayakin' from my iphone

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