NC Cold smoking

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by joezamora, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. joezamora

    joezamora Newbie


     New to the group and I am about to start building a cold smoker in south east NC. I am trying to find out some more information on cold smoking. Once the meat is smoked am I able to leave it in the smokehouse year round? With it getting 100 degrees here at times is the meat ok outside or do I have to bring it in?
  2. joez, if I'm reading your question right, you want to cold smoke something and then just leave it out in the smokehouse? If that's the plan, than be sure not to feed your guests. Anything cold or warm smoked should include either Cure #1 or #2. The consensus is meat should be brought above 140 within 4 hrs to avoid any spoiling. With Cure #1, this time is lengthened which allows us to cold and warm smoke for longer periods without worry. Even with Cure #1, you'll either bring the meat up to safe temps to eat or smoke and then cook later. If no Cure is used, you should HOT smoking at a minimum of 225 F and bring the meat up to a safe to eat IT before serving.

    With Cure #1, your fridge life will vary, but I usually freeze stuff I'm not going to use within a week. Cure #2 is used for long term dried meats.

    Please provide more details on the specific of what you're looking to learn and we'll help. Also use the search function in the sausage section to get lots of helpful information from other's previous posts.
  3. joezamora

    joezamora Newbie

    I was watching bill Dixon cold smoke on YouTube last night. He did a salt cure for 14 days on a hog. Wash off and add another cure then cold smoke for another 10days. He was saying that he could just come out to the smokehouse and cut a piece off and cook and eat. Thanks for the help!!
    bookhead likes this.
  4. joezamora

    joezamora Newbie

  5. Once the meat is cured, it don't see why you would cure it again. I'm no pro, but I don't see this being good for the meat. You cure with salt and Cure so both salt the meat and properly cure it for long term smoking and storage. If you wash the cure off after the process, which is normal, and then add additional cure, you going to have an unsafe product due to over exposure of nitrites and it's going to be very salty. I've never seen the video, but did he explain why he was doing this? Was he splitting up the cure (which doesn't make sense either)? Can you provide some more detail on this?

    As for the 10 days of smoking, many people smoke for hours upon days. But it's usually broken into chunks (i.e. they smoked for 12 hrs then in the fridge for 12 and then back). Also, 10 days of smoke is ALOT of smoke. A possible way I'd see this as a viable option is it's below 40 but not freezing. The temps should help stave off bad things for the meat, and the lower temps would require a longer smoke time.

    Again, more detail on what you saw would be great to hear. Always fun to hear what others are doing....whether is safe or not.

    Edit: Just saw the link. I'll have to check it when I'm at home. Thx
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  6. joezamora

    joezamora Newbie

    Thanks I am so new to this really trying to get all the info together. We raise our own pork, chickens, turkey and rabbits of course I hunt deer and this year hope to bag a bear as well. So that is why I have started looking into cold smoke. Thanks for your help!
  7. You've got a lot of reading to do but it's very interesting learning about. There's additional information about cold smoking game meat rather than store bought also. Be sure to ask as many question here as you can. Lots of people here much smarter than me doing it. Good luck!
  8. bookhead

    bookhead Newbie

    Bill Dixon is awesome... He is as old school as it gets. I have watched the videos with him in them and from what is said, he is doing a salt/sugar/pepper cure and then cold smoking the meat for at least 10 days. The salt, sugar and smoke are preserving the meat while the pepper makes it unappealing to bugs and rodents. So then he just leaves it in the smokehouse indefinitely, and doesn't even wrap it up. I would venture to guess that this would make the chef school charcuterists cringe since he isn't using any nitrates or nitrites. I myself would be nervous about feeding it to my family or friends, but that is mostly because I have been indoctrinated into believing that without the nitrates or nitrites you are definitely making poison. Old Bill Dixon is getting right close to 100 though and he and his family have been eating their product for a very long time with no ill effects. So, his method is definitely worth trying out... I'm going to this fall and winter once I build a smokehouse (more like a smoke closet).

    Jared (Bookhead) Sewell
  9. Bookhead, in the video it shows that he is using Morton's sugar cure which contains the cure. The combination of cure and smoke preserves the meat which is why meat was originally smoked in times before indoor refrigeration existed. The long smoke acts a preservation, now most people do it for the flavor. And the process he and others who have actual smokehouses (which I have), is the true definition of smoke curing meat. The modern electric, propane, charcoal smokers are actually smoke cooking the meats.
    bookhead likes this.
  10. You should only cold smoke cured meat. I'm originally from Lumberton,NC I learned how to cure and cold smoke from my dad and grandpa.  If you want to cure and  cold smoke leaving it in the smoke house then there are some things you got to know. For instance a Ham or shoulder.  You will have to use enough curing salt until the meat is hard. If you can press(with your finger) it making a dimple then it not enough cure.  This is what we call "Country Ham". You will have to soak it before cooking it as the salt content is very high.  You'll have to smoke it about two weeks(that was our rule anyway)... remember these old timers were preserving meat that would last years. The next thing is making a paste to protect the meat from (skippers)  this is a tiny fly which will lay eggs in your meat, then it will have worms.  So, we used brown sugar, black pepper and borax (not even sure if you can buy borax anymore) ... but you can do without it.  Black pepper, red pepper and brown sugar boiling it all together until thick. Coating the meat and top it off with black pepper at a 1/8in thick.  This will protect the ham.  I know what the summers are like around the Piedmont... It does get pretty hot... When I say smoke house, I talking about a real smoke house that during summer temperatures the inside temp is at least 72 degrees.  Now, If you can do all that, then your hams will keep as long as 7 years.  This is funny cause who could let a nice country ham hang for 7 years?  Thats exactly right no one!  but it would keep if needed. 

    We did it this way on the farm because we had big families and had to produce our own meats. It was just our way of life.  It's good to know how to preserve meat in this way, but not a must such as it was with us.  I cure and cold smoke hams, shoulders, bacon and fatback, pork loins but none of it last long enough to go bad, so I always try to use the minimum curing salts.  In the summer months I hang the meat in the keller (cellar) which is about 72 degrees.   If I can be of anymore help let me know.... Happy smoking
    bookhead likes this.
  11. I never saw the video but I know what they are doing.  These guys are curing for long term storage.  They are not curing the meat twice.  Here's what you do.. you use normal salt or sea salt, cover that meat real good and leave it for two weeks.  Some old timers like my grandpa did this using table salt They called it "Sweating the Meat" to draw the moisture out  Then you come back wash the meat and let it soak for a day or two in cold water .  In the winter month the fluids will exchange drawing out excess salt.  Dry it for a day then add your sugar and nitrite. for two more weeks.  After that they made there coating using pepper and brown sugar. Cold Smoking that for two weeks.   This method will produce hams that will last years.  When I say cold smoke it for two weeks, that dont meat constant.  We built the fire every morning and it smoked until it went out.  That's how you do it.... oh and none of us ever got cancer!  Better worry more what they are spraying from them airplanes.
    bookhead likes this.

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