Starting the process of smoking meat, lard, fish and poultry, it is worth taking care of safety in advance. Where there is fire, there is always a risk of fire. Therefore, before starting work, you should prepare just in case several buckets of sand. You cannot extinguish a fire with water, as severe burns can be caused by water vapor.
Procedure and general rules for the safe smoking of meat, lard, fish and poultry, cold and hot smoking.
A few simple rules that are relevant for smoking meat, lard, fish and poultry and smokehouses of all kinds will allow you to get high-quality delicacies without too much trouble. And for beginner smokers, these tips will really be worth its weight in gold. First of all, a smokehouse of any design should be as airtight as possible, since air entering it can cause firewood to ignite. Smokehouse depth also matters. Products hung in it should not come into contact with the bottom and smoldering firewood. Therefore, the distance from the hearth to the suspended products should be more than 1 meter.
you need to hang it lower, closer to the hearth, and smaller ones – higher. Also in the immediate vicinity of the hearth is placed what is desirable to smoked faster. Before smoking, pieces of meat, fish and lard should be dried in a well-ventilated place at a low air temperature, because smoke-smoked aromatics penetrate poorly into products that have a moist surface, as a result of which they stain worse and smoke longer.
In cool, dry weather, you can dry the raw materials right on the street. The process will take about 3 hours. In this case, the air temperature should be about 10 degrees. In cooler weather, drying can take up to 24 hours. Take care that during drying, dust and dirt do not get on the products, insects do not sit down. To do this, they should be shielded with a thick mesh or gauze.
The process of direct smoking of meat, lard, fish and poultry.
After the successful completion of all the preparatory stages, you can proceed directly to the smoking process. Raw materials must be prepared in advance: salted or pickled. This is a mandatory step, since in this way the permeability of products for antioxidants contained in smoke is increased. As a result of pre-processing, the products when smoked acquire a delicate texture, a peculiar aroma and taste, and their surface is painted in golden brown.
The shelf life of smoked delicacies directly depends on the method of smoking. As a rule, it is either cold smoked or hot, and the latter method is most popular at home. Varieties of hot smoking are less commonly used – semi-hot smoking and baking in smoke. All these methods differ in temperature conditions and product processing time..
Cold smoked meat, lard, fish and poultry.
It involves the processing of prepared meat, lard, fish and poultry with light smoke with a temperature of 20-25 degrees for two or more days. The duration of the process depends on the size of the pieces of meat or fish. For example, a ham may take 6–7 days. The process should be continuous, around the clock. However, many owners start the process only during the day. Then it drags on for a longer period.
With cold smoking, a smoke center should be arranged in such a way that there is no noticeable flame in it, and the wood was consumed primarily to produce smoke. Clean sawdust or sawdust with a small amount of firewood and wood chips is best suited for this. Dry sawdust should be poured with a slide to the bottom of the smokehouse and set fire to one end with a small fire made of wood chips or put some burning coals in the middle of the hill. If the sawdust is wet, then put a little dry firewood, shavings or wood chips into the base of the fire, set fire to it, and cover it with sawdust, which will smoke perfectly.
In the process of cold smoking, moisture gradually leaves the products, their surface dries up, and smoke substances penetrate from the smoke inside, preserving and giving a special taste. Cold smoked products can be stored from 20 days to 3 months depending on storage temperature. This harvesting method is suitable for fatty foods. Fat does not melt during smoking, and the surface becomes dry and only slightly greasy. At the same time, if the raw materials for cold smoking were not fatty enough or were taken from old animals, smoked products can turn out to be tough.
Hot smoked meat, lard, fish and poultry.
It is so named because the temperature of the smoke for smoking should be high enough – from 40 degrees or more. The process can last from 2 to 48 hours, depending on the size of smoked pieces. In hot smoking, not only smoke, but also temperature plays an important role in the processing of raw materials. Therefore, the focus should be such that it gives both heat and smoke. The smoke temperature in this case can be different and depends, first of all, on the type of product.
If smoked meat is supposed to be cooked after processing, it can be smoked with relatively cool smoke with a temperature of 40-60 degrees. So cooked smoked and boiled ham, brisket, sausages. If the product is only smoked and after its completion must be fully prepared, then the temperature of the smoke should be 80-100 degrees. At this temperature, hot smoking ends in baking in smoke.
The main advantage of hot smoking is the short duration of the process and, accordingly, its less laboriousness. However, the main advantage of this method is the main disadvantage. Since hot smoked products are brought to readiness quickly, they do not have time to lose all natural moisture and thoroughly soak with preservatives from the smoke. As a result, meat delicacies have a relatively short shelf life – from 1 to 3 weeks.
Fish cooked in this way is generally not suitable for long-term storage. It must be eaten within 2-3 days. And although someone may consider the short shelf life to be a drawback, usually such goodies are not stored in the refrigerator. It is thanks to the short processing at high temperature that the products lose little moisture and at the same time are well saturated with fat. As a result, they acquire juiciness, softness, great taste, a delicious smell and contain a small amount of salt, which is another advantage of this method.
All this explains the popularity of hot smoked among fans to cook delicacies with their own hands. Moreover, a method has already been found to extend the shelf life of smoked meat products. In order for them to lie quietly in the refrigerator for about two months, after the end of smoking, they must be carefully dried in a well-ventilated room or in the air in dry weather.
Based on materials from the book We procure poultry, meat, fish. Smoking, canning, drying, cooking sausages.