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Smoking is one of the oldest methods of food processing. Originally the only function of smoking was to preserve meat. Many people still prefer this type of meat processing and they are convinced, that only that method ensure the best flavor. Try to smoke meat at home.

Smoking meat goes back to the history of first humans being when they lived in caves or primitive houses. In those spaces were no chimneys, so rooms were quite smoky. Based on the observations, it was concluded that meat subjected to cold smoke doesn't spoil so quickly. Furthermore gives a much longer shelf life and as we know now, extending the date of consumption has been the primary purpose of smoking meat.

But not everywhere, the process took place in the same way. Much depends on the region in which smoking was used. The great impact had the climate, especially the air humidity. The most natural method is drying on the air. Do you think that wrap the meat with a string and hang it on the hook it's enough? This method requires patience and constant temperature checking. It is much easier to prepare meat in a special chamber. There are three basic types of smoking meat: cold, warm and hot.

Cold smoking

In the process of cold smoking, the most important stage is the drying of the meat. This also applies to wood, over which the ham or sausages will smoke. If you intend to use sawdust, you must flat them before laying on the hearth. This way you will avoid reaching a too high temperature. Stick to a range between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius, and the air humidity should be around 75-85%.

Which meat is best suited for cold smoking? Certainly ham, which in the chamber reaches a golden color. In addition, it acquires appetizing aromas and a slightly smoky aftertaste. Smoked meat reduces its volume. Makes it dry, so it's difficult to cut to smaller pieces.

Smoking lasts from several days to several weeks. A longer period of keeping meat in the chamber is recommended especially for ham. Prepare meat that must have access to fresh air during the entire process. The best period for cold smoking is late autumn and early winter. Smokehouse should be located in a cool and airy room.

Warm smoking

This method is slightly different from cold smoking. The temperature is higher and ranges from 30 to 50 degrees Celsius. Warm smoking is great for preparing a Kessel smoked sausage or a cooked ham wrapped in meat netting. An important issue is choosing the right wood, which should be hard. It is worth adding some slightly moistened sawdust to the hearth. In this aspect, chips produced from beech are good. Then it is easy to reach humidity at 80%.

Which meat can be prepared using warm smoking? Above all, those that we intend to eat quickly. The maximum shelf life of meat (steamed sausages and hams) is three weeks. The smoke should heat the meat intensively and there is no need to additionally extinguish the hearth during the whole process.

Hot smoking

This is the shortest way of smoking meat, and the finished product is immediately ready for consumption. As with warm smoking, the best base of the hearth is hardwood, although you can also use soft birch. In both cases, it is worth remembering the choice of wood that has a low resin content.

The first stage of smoking is curing. Then dry the meat thoroughly with a clean cloth and hang on the hook in an airy room. When you preparing ham, you must cook it well, because it can't be raw. The temperature is from 50 to even 90 degrees Celsius. Smoking takes only half an hour, although it is recommended to keep the meat a little longer. And that would be enough. Just cut the meat, sit at the table and taste amazing flavors.

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