What exactly is “cold smoking?”
Aaron Ralston published an “ezine article” with a good explanation for cold smoking:
Cold smoking is very similar to hot smoking, except the cooking temperature is much lower. The targeted cold smoking temperature range is between 80 degrees F and 100 degrees F, and the smoking time can range anywhere from 4 hours to 4 days. This process relies on smoke to cure the meat or food being smoked instead of using heat. Some people believe that cold smoking occurs at temperatures between 160-190 degrees F, but smoking at this temperature is really a form of hot smoking.
Types of Smoked Foods
A few examples of foods that are usually cold-smoked include bacon, sausage, ham, cheese, and fish. When smoking fish, a preservation salt is needed to pickle the fish before it is smoked. This will help prevent bacteria from groing while the fish is curing in the smoke.
When to Use Cold Smoking
Cold smoking is very difficult, and even impossible in the summer months, because the outside air temperature is normally as hot as or hotter than the temperature needed for true cold smoking. The best time to use cold smoking is during the winter months when the days are typically cooler.
I’ve wanted to give cold smoking a try and when Ian Mckend the owner of Mac’s BBQ, Ltd in England offered to send me a new “cold smoke” generator to try I jumped at the chance.
I’ve had the product for several months but with the temperatures in the Sacramento area over 100 degrees during the summer it’s hard to cold smoke anything when you can’t get your bbq pit below 125 degrees and that’s without a fire in it. Now that the temperatures have cooled off I decided to give it a try.
I decided to use one of my Weber Smokey Mountain smokers for the cold smoking experiment. After giving the whole thing a good cleaning I set out to smoke some sausages I recently purchased from Lockeford Meat and Sausage Company in Lockeford, California
There are a variety of smoke generation products on the market today. But I don’t think there is one that can beat the “ProQ Cold Smoke Generator.” For pure simplicity and ease of use it would be almost impossible to beat Ian’s new product. I’m going to have to order some more wood dust to try this out again. When I smoked my recent bacon experiment it would have been so much easier to have used this to generate the smoke. I’m no where near an expert in cold smoking but as far as I can tell Ian has come up with another winning product.