Food preservation is the method to prevent food spoilage caused by the growth of microorganisms. For a very long time, humans have had the challenge of preserving foods to be consumed for a later time. There has always been a debate on the best and most suitable way to preserve food. The biggest challenge has been preserving the food and maintaining the nutrient composition while keeping it safe for human consumption. Smoking stood out among the rest of the methods and was vastly considered the best by the majority of people.
Food smoking is a technique that began thousands of years ago. It is believed that food preservation dates back to when humans invented fire. It is a practice passed down through generations and is still being used in some parts of the world. The older generation primarily smoked food to preserve it, but today it’s a bit different. Food is now being smoked to cook, flavor, or preserve it using smoke from burning wood chips, charcoal briquettes, and wood dust.
There is a wide range of foods that you can smoke including pork, poultry, beef, and fish. Meat can be easily preserved by smoking. Therefore, smoking with wood and charcoal is the best way to preserve meat.
Smoking food is different from the other food preservation methods because it relies on low heat. Some other methods rely on dry heat, commonly known as frying or grilling. Smoking food for preservation differs from smoking food for immediate eating in that food meant for preservation is placed far away from the heat source, and the food is never dipped in any liquid.
There are two types of smoking food
- Hot smoking
- Cold Smoking
Hot smoking is the commonly known and most used smoke food preservation method. You need to be careful and ensure complete control of the fire and smoke. The temperatures during hot smoking are estimated to be around 160 degrees Celsius as the process entirely cooks the food. The heat produced during hot smoking from the burning wood chips or charcoal will cook the food while the smoke enhances the flavor.
Hot smoking to preserve fish works best as it dries the fish making it easy to be stored and consumed at a later date. Adding moisture to the food during hot smoking helps you obtain moist results as the water evaporates to produce steam that keeps the food fine and moist.
As the name suggests, cold smoking is done at lower temperatures, preferably 30 degrees and below. It differs from hot smoking in that the food is not cooked but rather flavored and preserved. The low temperatures create a conducive environment for the smoke to penetrate the food. It is usually a slow process, and you may have to wait for hours for the process to be complete.
The key to note is that you need to treat the food before cold smoking, most preferably by dipping it into salty water or rubbing salt on the food.
Things needed for smoking
Smoking food is an easy procedure with the right tools and smoker. To start smoking, all you need is a Bradley Smoker and flavored bisquettes. I offers a no babysitting and no hassles experience. Pop your food in the smoker and periodically supervise to create the best recipes!
Some of the necessary things you need to start food smoking include:
- A smoker: Pick a smoker that best works with you, but we would recommend the Bradley Smoker as it will offer you a more comprehensive and easy solution for food smoking.
- Wood: Refers to the wood you prefer to use. Use the wood that fits well with your smoker. We recommend you to use your Bradley Bisquettes which can efficiently smoke food with a pure, delicious taste when paired with your new smoker.
- A water pan and spray bottle are among the other important things you will need to have for a better food smoking experience.
Preparation for smoking meat
Cutting or trimming the meat, especially when it has a huge fat cap, is necessary to create a more extensive surface area for easier smoking. You can apply a rub such as hot sauce or mustard to form a bark.
Smoking the meat
Early preparations are vital to obtaining excellent smoking results:
- Monitor the airflow to control and regulate the temperatures for better results.
You can get yourself a food smoker as they are extensively available in the market and come in varying sizes to meet your needs. Our Bradley smoker is of the best quality offering you simplicity and versatility that will make your food smoking experience totally amazing. For more great ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog where we share a lot of exclusive tips & tricks.