Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cold Smoking vs. Hot Smoking

Steve from Billings, MT asked: 

Brad, what’s the difference between a cold smoked wild game product and a hot smoked wild game product?

Thanks for the great question Steve!

Cold smoking sounds pretty simple but doing it properly takes a little work and monitoring. Let's begin with "Hot Smoking," which is the standard practice of smoking & cooking meat products at the same time.

Generally, you will place your products in the smoker and turn the cabinet temperature up to 140F - 160F, add your wood chips and smoke for 2-3 hours depending on how many pounds of product and the diameter of the product in the smoker. Next, you will begin increasing the temperature in the cabinet until a final determined internal temperature is reached. This is the standard practice of "Hot Smoking" - defined as applying heat to the product while smoking at the same time.

Now let's discuss "Cold Smoking," which is a favorite practice of mine! Cold smoking is the art of applying smoke to a product without applying heat. To do this, you will need a smoker with a separate smoke generator, like the Bradley Smoker Series. This smoker has two separate heating elements: one for the cabinet heat and one for the smoke generator. In this situation, you can simply turn on the smoke generator and leave the cabinet heating element turned off. I also add ice to the cabinet to be sure the temperature doesn't raise above 41F during the smoking process. Now you can smoke for extended periods of time without drying out or overcooking your product and the ice will keep the product cool to prevent the growth of bacteria. This technique works very well for heavy smoked products and smoked cheese!

Thanks again for the great question! I enjoyed it.

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood

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