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How to make a cold smoked smokehouse

The cold smoked smokehouse helps to preserve the taste of products for a long time, and at the same time makes them even more delicious. Fish or meat products processed in a smokehouse will not lose their properties after months, and in some cases even after years of storage. We will consider how to make a cold smoked smokehouse further..

Table of contents:

Features of the cold smoking process

The cold smoking process involves the processing of pre-prepared products with cold smoke. As a result, the products are endowed with a specific taste, and a certain amount of substances that are in the smoke make the products fresh for a long period of time..

The main difference in the process of hot and cold smoking is that during hot smoking, products are processed using high temperature, and during hot smoking – using cold smoke, the temperature of which does not exceed 26 degrees.

Cold smoking is more laborious and difficult, as it lasts from several days to a week. These products taste more salty and richer, while the texture is smooth and similar to the appearance of raw products. Since the smoke acts on food gradually, their taste develops slowly..

Cold smoking is a lengthy process, during which there is a risk of food spoilage, especially if the temperature is not properly controlled. It is much easier to do cold smoking in winter, since there is no risk of bacterial growth in raw products during this time..

Another important factor on which the taste of products depends is wood chips. It should not contain moisture. The chips should be slid so that they do not crumble at the bottom of the smokehouse, thus limiting contact with air, which means there is no risk of a strong fire. The most popular trees that are used as chips for a cold smoked smokehouse are wood:

  • apple trees,
  • cherries,
  • pears,
  • maple,
  • oak
  • alder.

Preparing products for the cold smoking process is a complex process. Previously, they are rubbed with salt and remain in this form for about five days. When using frozen fish, the salting process takes even longer. After the salting process is completed, the products are cleaned of salt and soaked in cold water for about four hours. This procedure removes excess salt from food. Products are soaked with a clean cloth and cling in a well-ventilated area. While the product is drying, be careful not to get flies or other insects on the surface. After drying, the cold smoking process begins..

Cold smoked smokehouse device

The main components of a cold smoked smokehouse are:

  • a cover that is connected using dowels;
  • reflective partition;
  • a smoking chamber, for the construction of which a metal container in the form of a barrel is required;
  • knee;
  • chimney;
  • a roof and a place for making a fire;
  • chimney.

The construction of a cold smoked smokehouse consists of a chamber in which wood is burned and a chamber in which food products are located. The cold smoker is characterized by the presence of a longer interval between these chambers, since the smoke that passes from the combustion chamber must cool slightly before it reaches the food.

A pipe with a diameter of about 300 mm should be used for the chip combustion chamber. A pipe protrudes from it, the diameter of which is 100 mm. This pipe leads to the chamber in which the food is stored. To make a chamber with products, you will need a wooden beam or boards. There is another pipe in the combustion chamber that goes up. Its function is to remove excess smoke, which accumulates during strong combustion of wood chips. In this case, smoking occurs evenly and gradually..

In the construction of a cold smoked smokehouse, an important factor is the presence of draft, which contributes to the movement of smoke through the pipes. Previously, to provide traction, they used the slopes on which the chimneys were installed. Now, a very long chimney is required, to which a collector, fan or smoke exhauster is installed. If the premises of the yard does not allow placing a long chimney in the yard, it is possible to locate the chimney in the basement..

A cold-smoked smokehouse with your own hands is universal, since both fish and meat or poultry are smoked in it. Purchased smokehouses are of two types:

  • universal;
  • for individual products.

The universal smokehouse allows you to smoke not only meat and fish, but also vegetables or fruits, for example, to make prunes.

The length of the chimney installed in the smokehouse must be at least 10 meters.

Cold smoked smokehouse photo:

Sometimes, a cold-smoked smokehouse is set up right in nature, for example, going on a fishing trip or on a picnic. The main thing is to equip two chambers, in one of which a fire will be kindled, and in the second, products processed with smoke will be stored.

This design will be appropriate on a cliff. In order not to take a chimney with you, a previously dug trench is used between the two chambers. The smoke, after burning the chips, moves along the trench and enters the food storage chamber, for the manufacture of which a frame is suitable, with a cloth stretched over it. Before smoking, the fabric is moistened with water, in order to adjust the amount and temperature of the smoke, the length of the trench should be changed.

Cold smoked smokehouse drawing:

When making a cold-smoked smokehouse in a country house or in a private house, fire-resistant brick is the best option for building a food storage room. The exterior of the building is decorated to match the exterior of the entire courtyard. The main condition for the construction of such a smokehouse is the correct calculation of the chimney length along which the smoke moves. Since the smoke entering the chamber with food must be cooled down. In professional smokehouses, it is recommended to use refrigeration chambers, which contribute to a faster cooling of the smoke..

In production conditions, electric type smokehouses are used. The principle of operation of such a device consists in the operation of an electric motor, which, as a result of friction against wooden blocks, emits smoke transported to the chamber with products. This method allows you to significantly save on firewood, and at the same time smoke a lot of products..

Another advantage of this type of smoking is the absence of the need for cooling the smoke and the construction of long chimneys. Products cooked in an electric smokehouse taste a little different from naturally smoked products. Although in general it is in no way inferior to her.

Cold smoked products production: the main stages of the process

The process of making cold smoked products begins with placing the products in the smoking chamber. To do this, they are hung or installed on special grates..

A fire is ignited in the combustion chamber, which delivers cold smoke to the food chamber. This process lasts from two days to five six days, it all depends on the size of the products and their quantity. During the entire smoking period, a uniform temperature must be present in the combustion chamber. In no case should it fade or flare up strongly. Therefore, it is difficult for one person to keep track of this process..

Since the cold smoking process is very laborious, handmade products are very expensive..

Manufactured meat or fish products are cheaper due to the fact that substances such as liquid smoke or additives are used in the smoking process. They saturate the products with the aroma of smoke, but thereby degrade their quality..

To build a cold smoked smokehouse you should work very hard, but the result will please everyone.

Practice on the semi-hot alternative before starting cold smoking. It occupies a middle position between cold and hot smoking. This process practically does not differ from cold smoking, but the smoke temperature is about fifty degrees. Therefore, the length of the chimney should be almost two times less, and the process of salting the product takes no more than 24 hours. The smoking process lasts from 10 to 26 hours. To equip a smoking chamber, you will need a conventional oven, similar to a potbelly stove, or a wide box, but always without a lid. The product is positioned in the area where the smoke enters from the chimney. This type of smoking is more popular, although its only drawback is the short shelf life of products, which is no more than 10 days..

Step-by-step instructions for making a cold smoked smokehouse with your own hands

There are many options for making a cold smoked smokehouse at home. We bring to your attention a simplified version of the construction of this device..

To do this, you will need to purchase two meters of the densest quality plastic wrap. One side of the film must be sewn up in such a way that a bag-like structure is obtained..

To make a smokehouse, you need a little space, one and a half meters of square area will be enough. The corner parts of the site are equipped with high stakes, the length of which is up to two meters. They are connected to each other using a crossbar. In this process, you need to monitor the power and stability of the structure. You will get a structure of four stakes and four crossbars, resembling a rectangular parallelepiped.

Using metal rods, connect adjacent stakes to each other in four places, starting from the top to the bottom..

Pre-prepared products in the form of small pieces of meat or fish are placed on rods. Make sure that the pieces do not touch each other. A pre-prepared plastic bag should be pulled up to the middle part of the structure. Pour burning coals on the area under the film and sprinkle them with green grass on top.

Now lower the film completely and secure with stones or other devices so that the structure becomes airtight. For a thicker smoke, periodically add fresh grass a few more times. After three hours, remove the bag and leave the fish to ventilate completely. If the pieces are rather large, repeat the procedure again, but after a day.

Another option for making a cold smoked smokehouse with your own hands

Before starting construction work, you should carefully consider the location of the smokehouse, since it should not be near flammable objects. Please note that the chimney is about 2.5 m long, and not all neighbors will like the smell of smoking.

For the construction of the chimney, it will be necessary to dig a trench, the length of which reaches 2.5 m, the width is about 50 cm, and the depth is 35 cm.A brick must be laid along the side walls of the trench, its fixation is carried out using a clay-sand mortar, in a ratio of three to one … The upper part of the chimney is closed with steel sheet or asbestos cement mortar.

When the chimney is installed, proceed with the construction of the chamber in which the products will be located. This will be a room with an area of ​​up to one square meter and a height of about two meters. To make the camera look attractive, it is recommended to use red brick when arranging it. A simpler option involves the construction of a chamber for products from an ordinary steel barrel. In order for the smoke to spread evenly in the chamber, the inlet part of the chimney must be at least twenty centimeters in the chamber, and the junction of the chimney with the chamber is treated with clay mortar.

The upper section of the chamber is intended for placing products in it, therefore it is necessary to equip hooks in it, on which meat or fish will hang. Hooking devices will be located a little lower, with the help of which the sacking moistened with water is pulled. It prevents ash or pieces of wood from getting onto the products. To adjust the strength of the smoke, a special lid is used in this type of smokehouse, which rises up.

When the smoking chamber is ready, proceed with the construction of the firebox. For its arrangement, take sheet metal, the thickness of which is at least three millimeters. The standard size of the firebox is:

  • length – forty centimeters;
  • width – thirty-five centimeters;
  • height – thirty centimeters.

One side of it is equipped with a door and a hole, the diameter of which is 25 cm. The main function of the hole is to provide the smokehouse with traction. On the second side, an opening should be provided that connects the firebox to the chimney.

Recommendations for the preparation of homemade smoked meats

At the test stage, it is better to stock up on the minimum amount of products in order to determine the exact smoking time, the amount of firewood required to complete the full smoking cycle and the cooking time..

When you already have experience with a homemade smokehouse, feel free to experiment with smoking different types of meat or fish..

It will take at least three days to smoke large hams or pieces of meat, at a smoke temperature of up to 25 degrees. After the end of the smoking process, the products are placed in a cool place for two weeks, and only after that they are used for their intended purpose..

Small twigs from oak, cherry, plum, apple and other fruit trees are suitable as fuel. To enhance the effect of smoking, sawdust, before placing in the smokehouse, should be soaked for 10 minutes in cold water.

A strong rope or twine should be used for tying meat or fish. For these purposes, an ordinary rag or film is not suitable, as there is a risk or burnout, and the product will fall into the dirt..

If you plan to smoke a brisket or loin, the process of tying them includes longitudinal and transverse fixation with twine. A small loop is made on the top, and the meat is hooked onto the hook. To prevent contamination of the ham, wrap it with gauze.

Cold smoked smokehouse video: