Smoking

W16OEN

Well-Known Member
I have recently been experimenting with hot smoking of mackerel, salmon and chicken on a home made smoker - results not bad, edible without any ill effects?

Anyone out there smokes venison and if so any tips on brining, dry rubs, temp, time etc. Next roe buck will in part, end up on the smoker.

​Many thanks.
 

Munty1

Well-Known Member
Do not use chippings or sawdust from pine as it poisonous, I use a 50 – 50 mix of beech and oak. If you are using chippings or dust from a saw make sure it is not a lubricated like a chainsaw or it will have oil in it. .
 

Harry mac

Well-Known Member
At work they're chucking out some 6'x3' steel lockers. Do you think one of these could be used as a hot smoker?
 

Paul 600

Well-Known Member
Do not use chippings or sawdust from pine as it poisonous, I use a 50 – 50 mix of beech and oak. If you are using chippings or dust from a saw make sure it is not a lubricated like a chainsaw or it will have oil in it. .

Mmmm, if you go to Norway and Sweden its what they use. It's called using your local resources. I wouldn't personally use it as its quite bitter and I have the choice of many timbers in my yard!:cool: If you cold smoke it is less likely to become unpalatable!
 

Paul 600

Well-Known Member
At work they're chucking out some 6'x3' steel lockers. Do you think one of these could be used as a hot smoker?

Harry almost anything can be used to hot smoke. You just need a fire chamber and you harness the smoke. You could drill holes in the bottom or insert pipes to allow the fire to breath. Galvanised metal should not be used! A good book to get is Keith Erlandson smoking and curing.
 

Taff

Well-Known Member
have to agree on the erlandson book, but a lot is trial and error, I only cold smoke, so cook the venison after. I use beech or oak from our timber mill, the smoker is a plywood box, mainly because it's easy to put shelves in, metal boxes can have problems with condensation.
 

jthyttin

Well-Known Member
In Finland we use a steel container over a campfire. So the chippings (mostly alder, maybe a hint of juniper) are placed in the bottom of container and the fish or meat above them on wire trays (sp?). I've never used anybody using pine, and wouldn't do it either (not questioning whether done in Sweden or Norway).

Newer designs use electricity for heating, mostly targeted for suburb users I guess. I have a small electric heater to use for cold smoking, though (avoids the setup for cooling the smoke, since it's not too warm to begin with).
 

Jagare

Well-Known Member
Never heard of anybody smoking with pine. You would get a better result useing an old car tyre. Plenty of good hard wood to use here. Oak, beech, alder and as jthyttin said , a hint of juniper.
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
Interesting info on the do's & dont's of particular wood types, I am interested as to the workings of smoking foods, how does it "cure" or cook stuff? I understand about salt curing / air drying.
 

Paul 600

Well-Known Member
Never heard of anybody smoking with pine. You would get a better result useing an old car tyre. Plenty of good hard wood to use here. Oak, beech, alder and as jthyttin said , a hint of juniper.

There must be thousands of wood burners using pines, I sell loads of it for burners! It certainly wouldn't be my choice for a smoker but each to there own!
 

Jagare

Well-Known Member
There must be thousands of wood burners using pines, I sell loads of it for burners! It certainly wouldn't be my choice for a smoker but each to there own!
In the main people like to burn birch in their wood burners. Of course you can burn pine and spruce in a wood burner but thats not the same as useing it to smoke food.
 

Paul 600

Well-Known Member
In the main people like to burn birch in their wood burners. Of course you can burn pine and spruce in a wood burner but thats not the same as useing it to smoke food.


​I totally agree but I'm sure I read it in a journal about the smoking though.
 

Harry mac

Well-Known Member
Harry almost anything can be used to hot smoke. You just need a fire chamber and you harness the smoke. You could drill holes in the bottom or insert pipes to allow the fire to breath. Galvanised metal should not be used! A good book to get is Keith Erlandson smoking and curing.

Does the fire chamber need to be connected remotely to the main compartment, or could you just have your hot embers in the bottom?
 

Paul 600

Well-Known Member
Probably best to create a separate fire chamber in the bottom, do not use galvanised steel. Also place a baffle above the chamber to deflect the heat. This could also be used to sit the sawdust on and stop any fat landing on the fire and flaring up.
 

jthyttin

Well-Known Member
Harry, if you want to use the steel lockers you mentioned, they should be stainless or bare steel. Some form of enameling etc. is suitable (as used in commercial barbecues) but regular paint and probably galvanizing also as said is a no go.

Finnish way of smoking means you have somewhat airtight container where you put fish/meat on wire trays and in the bottom the chippings of the wood that generates the smoke when you heat the container from below. The chippings wouldn't be actually burning but smouldering (sp?) because there's no oxygen (air) being fed to the container. You control the heat somewhat with the fire underneath the container, but the process is always quite quick (like 15 minutes from small fish).

It would be possible to lower the heat by separating the chamber where chippings are put and connecting it with a pipe to another container where fish/meat is put. I have only seen this when cold smoking, and then the pipe could be like 10-15 meters long and buried in the soil. In cold smoking you absolutely cannot go over 40 degrees Celsius (proteins start to coagulate so it's not cold smoking anymore, although result can be very good). This process would last something like 10+ hours but the fish/meat is not in very thick slices, maybe an inch at most.

There's also a process called "palvaus" or "palvaaminen" which is a traditional way to cure big chunks of meat. The temperature is around 100 degrees Celsius as it's done using savusauna (i.e. smoke sauna). You can introduce smoke or not, of course depending on your heating procedure there's always a little smoke since savusauna doesn't have a chimney but you can add the chippings etc. just like when smoking. I guess the wood should be fresh so it would generate a lot of smoke because otherwise it would just burn away as there's plenty of oxygen available. Palvaaminen is like cold smoking it takes 10+ hours but you can use hams etc. so the meat wouldn't have to be cut in slices.

Nowadays there's electric devices available which make especially the cold smoking much easier. Since they don't introduce huge amounts of heat there's no need for long cooling pipes. In fact you can cold smoke using a carton box if the outside temperature is suitable (say 10 degrees Celsius).

Enough of Finland, if you want to use hot ambers in the same container as the meat, that would be barbecuing with indirect heat. Just use lump charcoal and make sure the meat doesn't get any direct heat. You can put the charcoal on one side of the barbecue and meat on the other side. Put a metal tray below the meat to catch any drippings (little bit of water in the tray is a good idea). Then yo ucan add chippings on top of the charcoal from time to time. Depending on moisture they burn or smoulder but add the smoke flavour anyway. I have also seen a version where metal tray was put on top of the charcoals, chippings in the tray and meat above the tray. The chippings would smoulder not burn because the heat was lower (and the tray itself shielded the meat from direct heat). Indirect barbecue would take something like 2-5 hours depending on meat and your preference.
 
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