Cold Smoked Bacon
Cold Smoked Bacon with Cold Smokers

 

What is Cold Smoking

The Quick answer to What is Cold Smoking

To put it simply, Cold smoking is smoking food without heat and in a cold environment.

Cold smoking is exposing food to wood smoke for and extended period of time without the presents of heat. A variety of wood flavors can be used for imparting unique taste to the food being smoked.

Cold smoking is the process used to smoke meats that are not cooked. Ham, bacon and some sausages are examples. Smoked cheese is another example of cold smoked food as well as apples and spices like smoked salt or smoked paprika. Throughout history cold smoking has been used to help cure meat as well as flavor it. Cold smoked salmon or Lox as well as beef jerky are preserved and flavored by being cold smoked while curing.


Cold smoking food is easy because there is no need for fancy equipment. A smoke generator like the SmokePistol® or the GrillKicker™ together with a box or cooler is all you need to build your own cold smoker.


While cold smoking the meat is kept at a temperature well below 140º F which means that food safety is critical because the meat may be inside the danger zone during smoking. This is not a problem if the meat is cured in advance, if an electric cold smoker is used or if the smoking temperature is otherwise kept below 40º F. Smoking times during cold smoking are typically between 2 and 24 hours depending upon the food being smoked and other conditions.

 
Sometimes food is cold smoked and then cooked on a grill or in the oven. Hamburgers, hot dogs, smoked shrimp and even BBQ pork spare ribs can be prepared this way. Other foods that do not requiring cooking after cold smoking can be wrapped up or vacuum packed for a time period while the smoke flavoring further penetrates into the food and mellows however this is not necessary and cold smoked food can be enjoyed immediately after smoking. Whether the food is cooked, cured or eaten directly after smoking, cold smoking lends a great and unique flavor to food of all kinds.