[Sca-cooks] Smoked Meats in Northern Europe
phlip at 99main.com
Sun Oct 8 21:03:10 PDT 2006
On 10/8/06, David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com> wrote:
> Reluctantly shifting the thread from fat chipmunks back to smoked meat ... .
Oh dear, and here I was hoping for a recipe for smoked chipmunks ;-)
> Does anyone here have experience with using smoking of meat and fish
> for reasonably long term preservation? My impression is that the
> smoked meat and fish commonly sold uses the smoking mainly for flavor
> and still requires refrigeration. Are there good sources for fish and
> meat that doesn't, and so would help solve the problem of managing
> Pennsic and other long events without a cooler?
Since last we discussed this, I've been reading and looking around. I think
I have an adequate plan for a smoker that would do the job, that you
could make yourself fairly easily, so you could smoke whatever you
wanted. The reason I'm thinking this would be your best bet, is
because the only commercially smoked item I'm aware of is the
Smithfoeld Ham, and somehow, I think that might conflict with your
Now, forgive me for going over what we discussed last time around, but
I'm repeating because I figure there are new folks on the List, and
I'd like them to be on the same page as the rest of us.
The more usual commercial smoking is actually a cooking process,
designed to add flavor to the meat, as you mentioned. It's a hot
temperature process, usually running about 200 degrees or higher. What
you want for preservation smoking is cool smoking, usually in the 80
to 100 degree range (I'm using Fahrenheit, btw). In order to make a
smoker, you need a box with hooks to hold the meat at the top, and
possibly grill type shelves, so that the smoke can reach all parts of
the surface of the meat you're cooking.
You then need a firepit, perhaps a closed barbecue grill, that you can
cut a hole in for the hose to lead from the firebox to the box. And,
you need a hose (I'm thinking dryer hose would work fine) to get the
smoke from the firepit to the smoke box. A couple of thermometers, one
at the top, the other at the bottom, would let you make sure you've
got your temps right.
Basicly, the idea is to start your fire in the firepit, throw your
smoking wood (well soaked) on top, and adjust the length of your hose
until the smoke going into the box keeps the temp where you want it,
and let 'er rip. If you use a fire, obviously you'll hafta tend it.
You do need, however, an outlet in the box, but if you set it up
right, it'll work like a chimney draft. I intend to make one here-
once I have it done, I'll show you pictures.
Things to keep in mind is that the box needs to be fairly high in the
air, with the firebox on the ground, for a good draft, and the meat
would need to be well brined before you do this. And, if you can sorta
see in the drawing, the firebox needs to be offset from directly under
the food box, with the hose at a 45 degree angle for a good draft.
Also, IIRC, you're in Southern California, and you'd need to keep it
The one I improvised at Pennsic, by using my big soup pot and putting
it over the fire with the apple wood in the bottom of the pot worked
very well, but the temps were too high for cold smoking, so I've been
planning since how to distance the heat from the food and still get
plenty of smoke. Simple gates in the hose and the upper vent should do
a good job of ventilation control.
Whole thing should be much cheaper than the commercial ones I gave you
the URLs to, and a lot more fun ;-)
_< vent >______________________________________
| J J J J
| food box
| with hooks
\ hose \
\ | |
\ | |
\ firebox |
\ | |
\ | |
| smoking |
| wood |
| fIrE FiRe fIrE |
Hope this helps somebody ;-)
Heat it up
Hit it hard
Repent as necessary.
Has anyone seen my temper?
I seem to have misplaced it at Stalag XXXV....
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