Cold Smoking

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by pineywoods, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    "Cold smoking" can be used as a flavor enhancer for items. The item can be cold-smoked for a short period, just long enough to give a touch of flavor or longer to impart more smoke flavor. Foods are ready to be finished to safe internal temperatures at this point by such cooking methods as frying, grilling, sautéing, baking, and roasting, or even hot smoked to the appropriate doneness. Temperatures for cold smoking should be maintained below 100 °F (38 °C). In this temperature range, foods take on a rich, smokey flavor, usually develops a deep mahogany color, and tend to retain a relatively moist texture. They are not cooked as a result of the smoking process, however. Any meat that you intend to cold smoke should be cured first to safely allow it to be in the lower temperatures for the amount of time used in cold smoking.

    Notes from Cowgirl

    During the cold smoking process, the internal meat temperature is not monitor the temperature of the smoker.

    People always ask how do you know when it's done?.. it's done when you have the amount of smoke that suits your taste. Some like a smokier flavor in their bacons and hams than others.   The internal temperature of the meat is not a factor in cold smoking.
    coffeekittie likes this.
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice summary.  thanks.  Many folks get the two methods crossed up -- which can lead to safety problems. 
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Excellent !

  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great Info!

  5. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I guess we could have mentioned that preserving via cold smoke was not included. Rule of thumb, the lower the temperature of the smoke and the longer amount of time smoking...the longer the shelf life. ....But...

    If you do smoke to preserve, remember to do your research first. Proper curing of the meat is essential whether you brine cure, dry or combination cure... the meat has to be cured to the center to prevent spoilage.

    After hams have been "properly cured", they can be cold smoked then "aged" without refrigeration for 9 months to over a year. Some like the strong flavor of aged ham.. some do not.

    Hope everyone has fun with the new forum! Looking forward to seeing some cold smokes. [​IMG]
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I think another thing that needs to be pointed out is that you don't have to have a smokehouse to cold smoke. The key is the temps with things like the A-MAZE-N-SMOKER  google_ad_section_end and other smoke generating products out there you can cold smoke in your smoker or even a cardboard box. You can lay stuff down on the racks of your smoker and cold smoke it just fine. I like my smokehouse but the truth is that right this second its pretty useless the way I have it set up. It has a metal roof and sits in the hot Florida sun so the temps in the summer are usually well over 100 inside of it just sitting there.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Until I found this forum, I thought cold smoke was when my wife gets really peed off at me, and stands there with that Cold look, and Smoke starts rising from her beautiful long hair.[​IMG]

    Note: I put the "beautiful long hair" in there, in case she reads this post!  Been married over 41 years, and I know how to cover my butt![​IMG]

  8. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    lol.. good save Bear! [​IMG]
  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Great explaination, you should wiki this. [​IMG]
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hoping you meant the explanation Jerry did----Not the one I did.

    If I'm in a crazy mood, I'm sorry. I just got my blood test results back today. I still have the heart, aorta, and lung problems, but my A1C, HDL, & LDL have all gone back to the good side of the border line. Makes me feel a little better.

  11. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    That's what I meant, no worries. Good to hear your feeling better.
  12. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    I am waiting until winter (when my basement gets just a little more consistently 55 degrees) to start working on semi-dry cured sausage.  What I am reading says Cold Smoke for color (aka bloom) and flavor (aka fermentation) then raise it for safety.  But I am still confused:

    For example: Rytek Kutas in GSR&MC hold the Sheboygan Summer Sausage at 90 degrees in heavy smoke for 24 hours, then at 130 for four hours, & finally 150 for for four hours (internal temp of 140.)

    It is a pork/beef recipe that DOES include InstaCure #1, but never gets above 140. Is it the cure that makes the meat safe to eat? Or the cure plus time above 80 degrees?


  13. what is the maximum temp for aging ham after curing and cold smoking?  Wondering if it can be hung in garage during winter months (not freezing)?  
  14. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Instacure #1 does not make it safe to eat it must still be cooked/smoked to proper temp before eating
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I only use Tender Quick---Never used Instacure #1 or #2. With TQ, it is using the right amount of TQ, for the right amount of time, in the right way. Once Bacon or Sausage or Beef is cured, it is the cure and the fact that it is cooked to the proper internal temp that makes it safe to eat. How long it takes to get to that temp is not important.


    There are very few guys on this forum that would go through that method. And I am not one of them. Unless you are a curing & smoking veteran, I would try the easier methods first.

    Just my opinion,

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  16. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    Ok... so what you are saying is that Rytek Kutas is wrong, and that regardless, I must still get the temp up?  (That's exactly the clarification I am looking for!) PLease confirm.

    This may be important, as MANY people on this forum read/use his cookbooks regularly, and if SO much of the information in there is grossly off, we should let people know it, yes?

    Thanks in advance!

  17. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    If what I am reading is correct, TQ and InstaCure1 are brand names for the same active ingredient: sodium nitrite

    To be fair, I think TQ is chemically closer to IC2, but that's not my point just yet. :)

    Pineywoods, says no, this is not correct. That I must still get the meat to "proper" temp before eating. The cure makes no difference.

    Bearcarver, you're saying I absolutely need both the cure and the "proper" temp, correct? That the cure is what allows me to hold the meat at botulism level temps for so long, but that Rytek is wrong? That I still have to get the meat to 150 minimum?

    So how do you guys make prosciutto? Or pepperoni? Or lardo? Or any of the other tasty meaty goodies that are NEVER cooked at all?

    I'm just boggled right now. [​IMG]

  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I would never say that Rytek is wrong. I have the best of his books, and I have a very hard time translating his recipes to Tender Quick, so I more or less use it as a confirmation to what I'm planning to do, before I do it. He doesn't even mention the words "Tender Quick" any place in his book. I got the small book for home curing from Mortons, and I search all over the place for my plans of attack. I wish somebody credible would write a book using nothing but TQ.

    Everything I said in my last reply was for TQ, and I believe for Instacure #2, but I don't know a whole lot about #1, and I haven't looked into #1 as yet. I've been having too much fun with TQ to worry about it, and once I started reading about #1, it got too confusing to me to bother with it for now.

    When I made Pepperoni, I used the recipe for All Beef Pepperoni from the Morton book, using TQ, and I smoked it to 160˚ internal. To be honest, it tasted GREAT, but in my opinion, it really didn't taste like Pepperoni. Then I changed the recipe (only slightly), made the sticks smaller, and call them my "Unstuffed Beef Sticks", which you can see in my "signature".

    I can't tell you any more about the other cures, because I don't know much about them, but with my TQ, I always bring my products to the proper internal temp (or higher), either during smoking, or just before eating (like Bacon).

    Just off the top of my head, I take my Canadian Bacon to 160˚, Beef Sticks to 160˚, Pepperoni to 160˚, Dried Beef to 160˚, Summer Sausage to 165, Bacon to anywhere from 100˚ to 140˚, but then fry it, and my Smoked Salmon to 140˚/145˚, but I don't cure it, and I freeze it first for over 30 days to 0˚ to eliminate any parasites.

    I hope this helps,

  19. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now that is funny - Only us old married guys would think to cover like that !!!! [​IMG]
  20. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    If Morton would pay me to do the work of writing, and provide me with the FACTS needed to write the book, I'd be thrilled to be a part of that project.  :)

    Looks like I am hitting the library for this one... Let's get some facts, BearCarver! :)



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