What next for my second smoke?

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by pfaas, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. So I trialed my Cardboard Box smoker successfully on Veg, Butter, & Cheese - Conclusion it works, but probably need 4 hours rather than 3.  Also there is minimal temperature gain, which probably helps with cheese and butter, but on more advanced stuff will not help moisture reduction.

    So I'm just getting my head around my next Smoke.  I'm intrigued by the thought of smoking steaks after a salt rub for an hour or two prior to pan cooking.  First question - The advice on cheese was to rest it for 2 to 4 weeks, is it ok to smoke meat and then conventionally cook it straight after?   I love the idea of smoked pork ie. can I give a pork shoulder 2 hours in the smoker and then slow roast it or will the smoke taste get lost?   I know across the pond they're expert on pork, but I'm looking for some easy UK versions for my second smoke.     Third smoke will be Salmon but I'm after simple cold smoke meat ideas first.
  2. [​IMG]   You make me smile my brother.  You are DEFINITELY doing things old school.  I would say that for a steak ct about 25mm thick 10 minutes in good smoke will do you fine ( see the link below ).  WOW!  A pork shoulder?  Cold smoked and then in the oven?  Afraid this one rings food safety alarm bells for me.  2 hours in a cold smoker with out curing worries me.  I am not an expert on the subject but I know a couple folks who are.  Steaks you will be fine with but please hold off on the shoulder so that I can have someone better experienced with food safety have look at your post.  I would advise NO but I have been wrong before.  Keep Smokin!


  3. Thanks, for the feedback.  I wasn't sure how much flavour I'd get on the steaks with a short smoke, but I definitely don't want to make them tough which I read can be a down side.  My logic on the shoulder is that 2 hours out in the smoker at say less than 18c shouldn't produce anything that won't be killed by a few hours in the oven  ie. any bacteria would develop on the surface and therefore will be killed by an initial dose of 200c in the oven.  Combine this with an hours salt rub before hand.   If I was smoking and then leaving the joint some time before cooking I'd worry more.  I fear that a short smoke will lose its taste as the juices run off the joint, although I guess continued basting with those juices will help.  

    Didn't know it was old school, but I'm happy to work my way through the history of smoking - minus the bits where the consumer dies!
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    One to two hours at any temp below 74°C is ok especially with the addition of a salty rub. The only caution I will add is, any meat that has had the surface broken. as in injection, deboning and/or punching holes for garlic/herbs and such, should be cooked at temps over 120°C. And it is best to go from cold smoke directly to heat. Resting this meat adds the cool down time to time spent in the danger zone. Two hours of cold smoke does best with small cuts like Steaks. Cold smoking and roasting a big hunk of pork will only add a hint of flavor because the small amount of smoke flavor imparted will be mostly lost when mixed into the large volume of pulled pork. But hey, a little smoke is better tan no smoke...[​IMG]...JJ
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I cannot add much to the excellent response from JJ other than maybe to give a little more explanation as to why he has made the points that he has. I apologise in advance if this is a lesson on egg-sucking.

    The important thing is to get the areas of the meat that are at higher risk up to temperature as quickly as possible. Usually with a chunk of meat this is the surface and as JJ says, putting it in an oven at 120C plus will do what is required. The point that JJ also made about puncturing the meat is less intuitive but is nonetheless just as critical a point to remember. Once you pierce the meat for any reason - injection, additional of herbs/flavourings etc. then the cut or injection hole that you have made has now just taken the "surface" of the meat deep inside the meat itself. These new "surfaces" that you have created by piercing the meat will take much longer to get to temperature, especially when cooking at low temperatures. This will mean that they will stay in the danger zone for both the time you have taken to prepare the meat before cooking and for the cooking time itself. If you have cooked for several hours and the deep inside temperature does not actually go above 71C (160F) then you are significantly increasing the risk from bacteria like salmonella.

    Taking basic care to ensure that all of the meat reaches the required temperature and that it stays within the danger zone for as short a period of time as possible will mean that you and your guests will remain safe.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  6. Thanks, I fully understand the guidance,  and as a cook who enjoys the science of the process there are no surprises.  I am still keen to hear from anyone who has done a cold smoke followed by cooking, on whether they've been successful in getting more than a faint hint of smoke.  I was thinking of doing some peppers which I could add as an accompaniment to help accentuate the taste.    I'm also still interested in the difference between the smoking of cheese ie rest in fridge for 2 weeks+ for flavours to mellow and other foods  ie.  which foods are fine straight from the smoke, and which really need leaving to mellow.  
  7. Hello Pfaas.  Well there you go.  I have not done a great deal of cold smoking and I can get the 40-140 in 4hrs wrapped round my neck so I wanted Chef Jimmy to offer advice.  Now we both know for sure.  Wade offered some good clarification also.  I can't explain the science but for some reason the smoke seems to "stick" on the outside of cheese making it very strong right out of the smoker.  I really don't know of anything else that "needs" resting time to mellow.  The one thing I can think my be affected is butter.  I have never tried smoking butter but I know Wade does this often.  Might send him a PM and ask about resting smoked butter.

    I love your idea of a simple cardboard box as the smoker.  More than once in my younger days have I dug a hole in the ground, threw in some mesquite wood to burn, stolen a rack out of the oven and cooked some really nice steaks.  Haven't had the opportunity for years but I still think campfire cooking is my favourite way to cook.  It's just instinct cooking. What's the temp, how long to cook????  Well I guess that's another thread.

    I wish you well with your next smoke.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Pfaas. I am on holiday at the moment with a bit of a dodge Internet connection. I will get back to you about this over the weekend.
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The way I prepare my salmon these days is an initial cure and cold smoke then either chilling or freezing before cooking later. The curing and smoking are best done at below 11-12 C (50 F). Using a dry cure the cure takes about 2 hours for the size of salmon we usually get in the UK and the smoke usually takes about 8 hours. I usually do this overnight when the outside temperatures are lower. This will impart a strong smoke flavour to the fish. It can be cooked and eaten immediately, however the flavour does mellow noticeably if left for 24 hours in the fridge.

    Cheese takes a much shorter smoke (2-3 hours) and this really does need time to mellow. 1 week is the minimum but 2 weeks plus is desirable.

    Butter takes longer to smoke as it is usually done at lower temperatures than cheese and it too benefits from being rested for at least a week.

    It is relatively common for chefs to smoke meat (often duck) in the kitchens as part of the preparation. This is often done in the UK using tea rather than wood (but wood would work just as well) The meat is only usually smoked for about 10-15 minutes before immediately being cooked. The smoke flavour is quite pronounced - probably because the smoke particles adhering to the surface of the meat will be very fresh.

    Smoking something like bell peppers or chilies will depend on what you are trying to achieve as the end result. If you are looking to smoke them and use them fresh then you can smoke them whole at ~200 F for a couple of hours (until wrinkled) - or for more smoke penetration cut them in half before smoking. If you are smoking to make a chipotle or chili powder then you will need to dehydrate them completely. This can take more than 24 hours in the smoker alone or you can smoke for several hours then finish off the drying in a dehydrator. To assist the drying and help smoke penetration you can make a slit in the side of the chili before smoking. These can be used immediately after smoking and do not require time to mellow.

    If you are going to use the smoked bell peppers as an accompaniment then after smoking whole for a couple of hours simply cut them in half, de-seed and remove the skin before serving. 

    In my opinion however, a quicker way of making tasty pepper accompaniment is to get a nice hot BBQ set for grilling and place the whole peppers directly on the grate over the coals. Turn the peppers periodically and let the skin of the peppers completely char and blacken all over. Then place the hot peppers inside a zip lock plastic bag and leave to steam in their own juices for 10 minutes. When you take them out of the bags peel off the charred skin before serving (it will just rub off). If you do not have a BBQ handy this can also be done directly over the gas burners on a kitchen stove.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  10. Thanks Wade, you're tempting me to do Salmon before meat.  I think the answer to all these things is, as long as you understand how to take the risk out of the process - experiment!   
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Absolutely - experiment and also share your successes and failures so that others can benefit from your experiences.
  12. Hello Pfaas.  Wade is absolutely correct.  We don't have a lot of info from you but you seem to understand the food safety side of things so experimentation is the name of the game.  That's how most of us learned what little we know.  The beauty of SMF is that we can bounce ideas and share what we learned.  We have all learned a trick or 10 from others here who are experimenting.  I made a joke one night about smoking lettuce and sure enough the next day MR T posted a thread on how to smoke lettuce.  Keep Smokin!


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