Cold smoking is currently on the rise. The goal is, in addition to the nuanced refinement of the flavor, the preservation of foods. With this cooking technique Gasprofi presents you today a supreme discipline of meat preparation.
What is cold smoking?
With the Kaltrauchern the average temperature of the smoke lies with 15 to 25 degrees Celsius – higher it should not be, since otherwise the protein in the meat coagulates. Smoking is done by means of a smoker or smokehouse. First hang the meat or fish on a hook. Fine wood flour, preferably beech flour, is then ignited with a smoldering piece of wood. The process of cold smoking can last several days or even weeks. Cooking time depends on the thickness and texture of the meat.
Sascha Busch, managing director of GasProfi24/BonnGas:
"Cold smoking is often used for whole fish and is so called because the smoking flour is only kept on the coke. The smoke, which develops thereby, pulls then into the grill property."
Preparation for cold smoking
Before each cold smoking is the curing – either with the dry or wet method. For dry curing, rub the meat with nitrate curing salt. Exactly 40 grams of salt are used per kilo of meat. Also spices like z.B. Garlic, pepper or cumin can be added to the mixture.
Then store the salted meat covered in the refrigerator for five days. Then soak it in clear water for about an hour. You should change the water bath about four times and dry the meat thoroughly after this process. Now let it rest for another four to five days at 8-12 degrees, or rather "burn out". In this way, the meat loses even more liquid and the salt can be better distributed.
Only after this procedure goes to cold smoking. To do this, the meat is hung in the smoking oven and the smoking flour is lit. The smoking phase is followed by a fresh air phase. This is important so that the meat can develop its aroma. A long storage time also provides a strong flavor, especially for ham.
What are the advantages of cold smoking?
- Gentle cooking: Nutrients are preserved because only very low temperatures are required for preparation.
- Suitable for thin meat: Especially fine pieces of meat and fish are suitable for cold smoking, as they are already cooked after a few hours.
- Longer shelf life: Smoking lowers the unbound water content, known as aw value. As a result, microorganisms find fewer growth conditions and meat and fish spoil more slowly.
- Smoky flavor: Cold smoking gives the meat a special aroma
- Refinement by woods: Depending on the type of wood chosen for the smoking wood flour, the taste can be affected.
Disadvantages of cold smoking
- Duration: Until a food is prepared by means of the cold smoking method, days or weeks can pass. Therefore, plan the preparation in time.
- Not suitable for all foods: In fact, some types of cheese and vegetables can be smoked – but vegetables with a high water content and soft cheeses are not suitable for this type of preparation.
Marco and Mike Leffringhausen from the "Leffis":
"Cold smoking refines meat and makes it more durable. The long smoking time (one week) and the low temperature of 15-25 degrees Celsius are particularly gentle. It is important to pay attention to air circulation and the right temperature during smoking. In addition, the meat must be salted long enough."
What do you need for cold smoking?
There are several techniques that can be used to implement cold smoking. You can choose between smoker, smoker cabinet and smoker barrel. In addition, smoking flour, nitrite curing salt and a thermometer should not be missing. A butcher’s hook is also essential for larger pieces of meat.
You want to know more about grilling techniques? Then take a look at our overview page on the subject!
Cooking times for cold smoking
For cold smoking are suitable ham and bacon, liver sausage, salami, beef and goose breast and salmon or mountain cheese. Depending on what foods you want to cold smoke, you’ll need to consider different smoking times. Below is an overview:
- 1-2 hours: z.B. Liver sausage
- 2 hours: z.B. Mountain cheese
- 2-3 days: z.B. Salmon
- one week: z.B. Goose breast
- 2-3 weeks: z.B. Ham
Thin sausages require little time in the smoker. Thicker pieces of meat need days or even weeks. Note that when cold smoking the temperature does not rise above 25 degrees Celsius. When buying the meat there is the following to consider: ham should be rather a little shiny and not dull. It is also important that the meat does not lie in its own juice.
Safety instructions for cold smoking
Because we work with very low temperatures, there are few safety instructions to follow. The most important thing when cold smoking is that you watch the temperature. By the way, sous vide cooking is also a method in which the meat is cooked for a relatively long time but very gently.
Conclusion: Cold smoking as an alternative to grilling
For big occasions, cold smoking is the best way to bring a refined meal to the table. A self-smoked sausage or duck breast eats one finally not every day. However, the technique of cold smoking is too time-consuming for everyday use.
Desire for hot smoking? In the GasProfi24 barbecue accessories buying guide you will find our recommendations for smoking on the barbecue.