Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by abitibi, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm trying to gather information regarding attempts to smoke at temperature below the food safety danger zone - Between freezing and 4C / 39F, let's call it undersmoking? 

    I built a setup similar to what dcarch posted, which is basically a thermocontrolled fridge with a recirculating fan and a venturi smoker. The smoke is cooled through a long 1/2 inch copper pipe. 

    Question I'd like to answer for are:

    1- To which extent does one needs to prep meat before this type of cold smoking? As I can understand online, brining for cold smoke seems to be there mostly to help with food safety but has been adapted to bring nice flavor, am I missing much there? How does the fat content, tonicity and the moisture of the surface affect smoke penetration.

    2- What effect does cooling down smoke has on it flavor/intensity profile?  What I've experienced is a much lower flavor transfer at lower temperature. I am still not sure if this pertains to temperature and/or surface prepping. Water density and viscosity peaks at low temperature, which might be lead to lower equilibration rate. Usually I get nice flavors after 3 hours but nothing really overwhelming. Could we be condensing off some flavor with the creosotes?

    3- Would there be a difference between the flavor profile of a long infusion time - low temperature vs a short infusion time - higher temperature? 

    4- Just out of curiosity, I have no visible smoke coming out off my smoker, might be due to the recirculating fan but I wonder if anybody saw that. When I open the fridge, it is filled with TBS, and I can see smoke coming in through the glass door.

    Thanks all for your input, I'm very exited about that project!
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I would not eat anything you smoked. low temp smoking is only safe on cured meats , Brineing is not curing, Meat that is kept at refrigerator temps is only safe for so long in the package . when you expose it to air it shortens that time.
  3. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like a high tech way of doing old style cold smoking. Sounds like you need more time in the smoke and then more time to dry.
  4. I usually eat within two to three days max for fish, since, as you point out, this is pretty much same preservation time as just keeping raw fish in the fridge. I treat that as sushi more than regular cold Smoked fish.

    For other meat, that end up being cooked sous vide afterwards, I am absolutely not concerned about keeping them in the fridge for a week. The 2c air* coming in as smoke might not be sterile but it's way better than 40c air coming onto meat cured or not.

    *the smoke is injected directly behind the evaporator and cooled before it reaches the meat
  5. powerslide

    powerslide Newbie

    i'm interested to know about number 4. Mine does the same thing. I am trying to use the cold smoker attachment to prolong my trips back to the smoker but last time i did a butt it didn't seem to be putting out much smoke... Even inside the smoker the smoke isn't that thick and my mom commented about how the butt was lacking smoke flavor
  6. It took me a while to figure out but it appears that the air pump I'm using to push the smoke in was not powerful enough. What seamed to be pulling the smoke in is 1) diffusion and limited flow from the air pump 2) the air expansion and contraction due to temperature fluctuation. 

    I've now put a fan with a flow regulating trap on the out take, much much better taste.

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