Can anyone recommend a good book on cold smoking?

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by bandyka, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Hello fellow passengers,

    I am a very happy smoker so far enjoying the journey however soon as winter comes it will be time to master cold smoking especially sausages and salamis.

    I am looking for a good book on the subject such as "Jeff Phillips' on hot smoking".

    Any recommendations appreciated.

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas.......   that's the book that I learned from....  then I came to this forum and my knowledge grew exponentially...   I learned from the First edition, 1976.....  the new editions are very much expanded...  My edition has some misprints as do all books and internet recipes...   basic knowledge on the amounts of cure to use, to be safe, are available here....  1 tsp. cure #1 per 5#'s of meat is the basics....  

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  3. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Thank you!

    Bible ordered.

    My only issue is I am in Australia so temperature is a big issue. Tried cooling the smoker with ice brick which was OK however due to condensation the sausages got wet and did not take in any smoke. I hope this will not be the case during winter and also hoping I will be able to hang-dry the sausages.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Use plastic ice filled bottles....   Use the AMNPS in a Mail Box Mod with flex aluminum pipe to cool the smoke....     Unless you are in the outback where it gets to 120 F, you should be good to smoke...   You can smoke at night and refer during the day also....

    In the original version, like I have, there is some good detail on how the "smokers" of old operated....   fans etc...  drying the meat and how to form a pellicle.... 

    I hope the new expanded versions still hold the "old ways" methods.....
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  5. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    hmm OK I can't wait for this book I am really anxious to cold smoke some sausages.

    The problem is not the temperature of the smoke, the issue is the outside temperature. I was able to hold it below 5 degrees C but it still got humid inside the smoker hence no smoke effect on the sausages and no drying either. 

    I use an electric bradley smoker with the cold smoker attachment.
  6. Bandyka,

    I am reading the book Meatsmoking and Smokehouse design by Stanley,Adam and Robert Marianski,

    And in there is a great chapter on cold smoking.
    rob sicc likes this.
  7. May have to pick me up one of those

  8. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Thanks Chef,

    The bible by Rytek Kutas has just arrived and seems to have a nice chapter on cold smoking but once finished that one I might get your recommendation as well. I can never get bored of the topic.
  9. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    OK so I've been reading the book and so far it does not really talk about true cold smoking. It details the curing process which is great but it says the minimum temperature should be 80 F and looking for an internal temperature of around 150 F, so far I read and heard from the old folks that cold smoking needs to be done below 60 F.

    What am I missing here? I understand curing and is all well however I am not 100% clear on drying and smoking temperatures yet.

    If temperatures are low enough and the sausage is cured can I just hang them in a room to let them dry? Will the cure do its job even if the sausage is freshly made? What is the safe temperature range for this?

    What is a true cold smoking temperature where the sausage will not cook?

    Just trying to be sure.
  10. The definition of cold smoking will vary a bit depending I who you talk to, but IMHO, anyone who says that they're cold smoking above ~85 degrees may be partaking of other forms of smoking. :biggrin:

    The Marianski's pretty much have it right......
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  11. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Thanks Martin,

    That's what I thought:)

    Well that pretty much confirms what my old folks were telling me, sadly some of them are no longer with us to give me some proper advice. They used make the best Hungarian sausages I ever tasted. I miss them so much (the folks and sausages too)  hence my quest to learn and continue the tradition the proper way.

    Now if someone could answer my other question in regards to drying please?
  12. In regards to the drying...the answer will depend on what exactly you're making (the specifics of the recipe.)
    In other words, drying means something different in the context of different types of sausages....semi-dry, dry, etc.
    There are varying safety considerations and the like.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  13. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    the one I am aiming for is Hungarian Csabai.

    Made of: pork shoulder and leg, pepper ,salt, curing salt, paprika, garlic, caraway and pork fat.
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just finished today what I call a warm smoke. A cold smoke is for folks that live where it gets cold. Where I live that just don't seem to happen enough to be able to plan a smoke around it.

    I use a small amount of water just before putting the sausage in the casing to make it more fluid and easier to load and its a great way to better mix the cure in the meat.

    This added water must be reclaimed in the smoker. I call it a dewater cycle, or a drying cycle. Its when you heat the smoker with all vents doors and windows open to allow the water to evaporate and travel outside the smoker. Then after about and hour I shut it all back down allow the box to cool down and and start my smoke cycle.

    I have found that if I keep the box at less than 140 degrees I never worry about fat rendering or meat cooking. Actually I try to stal less than 130 to be safe.

    So anyway, could that be the drying you are asking about?

    Like I said there are numerous reasons for a warm vice a cold smoke. Warm smoke the meat takes the smoke much better. I can in 6 hours apply as much smoke if not more than it would take a cold smoker 60 hours to do. My region of the country doesn't have cold weather so I have to warm smoke. It is just the only way I can come close to a cold smoke.  It will never get cold enough to smoke butter here, But I never had smoked butter so I don't know what I am missing. I have smoked cheese, but you must be prepared for that one day that is cold this year ahead of time. I have learned what I can and can not do basically, what I can't do I'll just have to do without.

    I can do bacon, sausages, hams, etc.... remember the 4/140 rule. you can smoke for 3 hours then an ice bath then in the reefer overnight to start again the next day (or night!). Cured meats change the rules.

    We were just having a discussion about cured meats this last week. These guys around here are really a wealth of knowldge,  I just read the texts and it sort of soaks in like a brine cure. LOL

    I just posted a bacon thread and it also has some pictures of a sausage warm smoke which might help.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  15. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Thank you kindly for the lengthy post however no that's not the drying I am asking about. I am facing the same issue with climate here it only gets to around 10 degrees C during winter too.

    However it should be fine to cold smoke it seems.

    I've attempted a few batches and failed during summer even though I was able to maintain a very low temperature in the smoker. I've learned the hard way that it was due to humidity and the sausages not dried before smoking. I kept them in a fridge hence they could not dry out in fresh air hence they were not able take the smoke in.

    So returning to my original question:

    If temperatures are low enough and the sausage is cured can I just hang them in a room to let them dry? Will the cure do its job even if the sausage is freshly made? What is the safe temperature range for this?  

    Many thanks
  16. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your folks were making the csabai sausage in Hungary I assume. In winter.

    You are in Australia, so the game changes. Let the sausages dry overnight in a cool room ( you said you get 10C in the winter) and bring them to room temp a few hours before smoking. Hang them for drying in the same cool room.
  17. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Atomic thank you that's what I was asking as simple as that.

    Csabai is definitely not a salami it is the most basic and typical Hungarian smoked sausage. I've been reading about the topic for months now and am familiar with the curing process but I need to hang them out to dry due to conditions here. I just wanted confirm if it was safe to do so.

    So in plain words if they are properly cured they are fine to hang it seems. I assume yes as that's what butchers do.
  18. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    BTW I just bought this book as well and it seems to be very informative too. We'll get there:)
  19. Apparently we define csabai differently.
    The Hungarians in this area call it a salami.
    I wish you the best of luck! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015

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