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View Full Version : cold smoking fish...and other non meat items



slowtyper
02-08-2012, 10:51 PM
I would like to start experimenting with smoking various fish, and also some fruit and veg just to see what comes out. Can anyone offer suggestions on an easy way to do this? Can I just put a little bit of wood chips at the bottom of a big pot and heat until it smoulders, then put my fish or whatever on a makeshift rack?

El Pescador
02-08-2012, 10:56 PM
Cold smoke is indirect. Your rack needs to far enough away that whatever you're smoking gets the smoke but not the heat.

Pesky

El Pescador
02-08-2012, 10:58 PM
I'd start with Italian Sausage then work up to fish.

apicius9
02-08-2012, 11:03 PM
okokokok - I always thought that would only work with a large smoker. But could I just have one pot on the stove with wood chips, lead a tube to another pot where I have salmon fillets on a rack and I end up with cold-smoked salmon? Sounds almost stupid to ask...

Stefan

El Pescador
02-08-2012, 11:06 PM
Kinda...wouldn't recommend it in the house though.

El Pescador
02-08-2012, 11:08 PM
My uncle used to build a fire out his smoke house and blow the smoke into it with a fan. Ghetto set up but great smoked sausages.

Pesky

WildBoar
02-08-2012, 11:50 PM
alton Brown had a simple setup on a show a few years ago. All you need are three old high school lockers :) Make the smoke in one, route hoses through/ colied in the second, and discharge into the third, where the meat, etc. can hang or sit on racks. You may be able to rig something a bit smaller. Maybe use a big terra cotta pot for the fire chamber, and the other two could probably be made out of cardboard boxes. Use flexible dryer vent piping to move the smoke.

brainsausage
02-08-2012, 11:57 PM
Cold smoke is definitely the way you want to go, otherwise you'll get a poor texture in the fish- imagine dry over cooked salmon, that's also leathery. Gross, right? When you cold smoke, it's best to cure the fish lightly first. It'll bring out more of the natural flavor of the fish( or add other flavors of your own choosing ), and add an extra safety hurdle, as cold smoking involves low temps- and therefore the possibility of encouraging foodborne illnesses, especially if you invest in some curing salts.... It's also a similar concept with veg. Hot smoke cooks them, and you have less options available to you in regards to the application of the final product. Hot smoking produces amazing meats ( due to the still relatively low cooking temps150-250) But, once again- it's safer and tastier to properly cure your product first. Pick up a copy of Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. It's readily available. Easy and fun to read and a great primer to smoking and curing meats. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0393058298/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1328763454&sr=8-1

sachem allison
02-09-2012, 12:01 AM
make absolutely sure that you have pelicle formation for the best results. let the item dry after marinating, before you smoke that way the smoke stays on the fish and doesn't drip off. Put a fan on it and let it develop a skin of sorts by drying out the surface, it should feel a little tacky, but not moist. Than put it in the smoker.
If your smoke turns black you might as well throw it all out, really bitter acrid flavor will ensue. Always white smoke.
Whole vine ripen tomatoes still attached are awesome smoked.

brainsausage
02-09-2012, 12:13 AM
alton Brown had a simple setup on a show a few years ago. All you need are three old high school lockers :) Make the smoke in one, route hoses through/ colied in the second, and discharge into the third, where the meat, etc. can hang or sit on racks. You may be able to rig something a bit smaller. Maybe use a big terra cotta pot for the fire chamber, and the other two could probably be made out of cardboard boxes. Use flexible dryer vent piping to move the smoke.
+1 locker smoker!!!

brainsausage
02-09-2012, 12:15 AM
We gotta hang out sachem....

sachem allison
02-09-2012, 12:22 AM
I always wanted to visit Maine! Eat me some moose!

mhlee
02-09-2012, 12:32 AM
make absolutely sure that you have pelicle formation for the best results. let the item dry after marinating, before you smoke that way the smoke stays on the fish and doesn't drip off. Put a fan on it and let it develop a skin of sorts by drying out the surface, it should feel a little tacky, but not moist. Than put it in the smoker.
If your smoke turns black you might as well throw it all out, really bitter acrid flavor will ensue. Always white smoke.

+1 pellicle formation is absolutely critical to getting a product that is firm on the outside and easy to cut. In my experience, a stronger or longer cure results in better pellicle formation.

However, many cures out there are waaaaaay too strong. You'll end up with something closer to salted salmon than a smoked salmon. Be very careful when choosing a recipe to use.

By the way, I've used a standard 22.5 inch weber very successfully to smoke most things. As Pesky recommended, do it with an indirect set up. I wouldn't do it inside or in a pot. To cool the smoke, you can put a baking pan or pyrex pan full of ice to cool down the smoke. And, it's also best to do in the morning or late at night so that the outside temperature doesn't get too high to start causing your fish to degrade while it smokes.

brainsausage
02-09-2012, 12:41 AM
I always wanted to visit Maine! Eat me some moose!

I just picked up a Mossberg 930 12 gauge, gas-fed semi auto. Pretty sure a slug or two'll drop a moose. Might find out next season;)

sachem allison
02-09-2012, 12:53 AM
moose steaks, moose chili, moose stew, fricasee moose, moose jerky, moose pot roast, moose ribs, bbq moose, moose stroganoff, moose bolognese, moose burgers, pickled moose tongue, moose hump, moose pepper pot, moose stir fry, moose casserole, moose bougonione(may not have spelled that right)

brainsausage
02-09-2012, 02:27 AM
moose steaks, moose chili, moose stew, fricasee moose, moose jerky, moose pot roast, moose ribs, bbq moose, moose stroganoff, moose bolognese, moose burgers, pickled moose tongue, moose hump, moose pepper pot, moose stir fry, moose casserole, moose bougonione(may not have spelled that right)

Moose sausage, moose bresaola, moose bacon, moose mac'n cheese, moose ham, moose fritters, moose confit, moose rillettes, moose terrine, braised moose, moose ravioli, moose n' beans, moose pastrami, moose pot pie, moose mousse!!!!

sachem allison
02-09-2012, 02:38 AM
see, now your just getting ridiculous.

brainsausage
02-09-2012, 02:46 AM
see, now your just getting ridiculous.

Most food is ridiculous, in regards to strict dietary concerns... In all honesty- I just chose the items I'd find most challenging to accomplish in the kitchen/fun to eat...

Kyle
02-09-2012, 03:00 AM
Sounds like you're mainly concerned about the how of doing this. One of the easiest ways to do this is to buy a cold smoke generator. The Smoke Daddy is very popular. Basically just attach it to a chamber (large pot, barrel, refrigerator, regular smoker/grill, etc) and it produces smoke with no heat.

http://www.smokedaddyinc.com/smokers.htm

I actually bought this little guy. It's essentially just a mesh maze that burns very fine wood chips very slowly with no heat produced, only a slow plume of smoke. It works really well, but you need to use the wood dust they sell, or it doesn't burn very well.

http://www.macsbbq.co.uk/Default.html

Finally, my dad simply bought a hot plate, set a 6" cast iron skillet on it and bought food safe saw dust. This only smolders it and never causes it to flame up. He sets this little set up at the bottom of his vertical smoker.

Jim
02-09-2012, 12:51 PM
If you have a Weber grill with the ash pot on the bottom you can put a couple of charcoal briketts and some fine wood shavings in the ash pot and have the smoke rise through the air vents into the grill. Works very well. I saw a guy use the frying pan and burner mod with a cardboard box once and it worked fine.

Lucretia
02-09-2012, 01:42 PM
Don't know that I'd use charcoal briquettes--they contain some nasty petroleum products that can give off flavors to your food. Use a lump hardwood charcoal instead.

Kyle
02-09-2012, 02:06 PM
Don't know that I'd use charcoal briquettes--they contain some nasty petroleum products that can give off flavors to your food. Use a lump hardwood charcoal instead.

I have had zero issues regarding off tastes using charcoal briquettes as a heat source when hot smoking meats. Use a quality brand (Kingsford, Stubbs, Royal Oak) and don't get match light and it's not really an issue. I haven't used briquettes for cold smoking, however.

That said, I do prefer hardwood lump over briquettes, but I won't hesitate to use them if it's all I have and I always stock up on briqs when Home Depot and Lowe's run their charcoal sales around Memorial Day.

Jim
02-09-2012, 04:10 PM
I use stubbs as they have no mineral coal or other additives in them and have less ash than the Kingsford. As A rule I hot smoke with lump, but the briquettes burn longer for this cold smoking deal.