I'm trying to gather information regarding attempts to smoke at temperature below the food safety danger zone - Between freezing and 4C / 39F, let's call it undersmoking?
I built a setup similar to what dcarch posted, which is basically a thermocontrolled fridge with a recirculating fan and a venturi smoker. The smoke is cooled through a long 1/2 inch copper pipe.
Question I'd like to answer for are:
1- To which extent does one needs to prep meat before this type of cold smoking? As I can understand online, brining for cold smoke seems to be there mostly to help with food safety but has been adapted to bring nice flavor, am I missing much there? How does the fat content, tonicity and the moisture of the surface affect smoke penetration.
2- What effect does cooling down smoke has on it flavor/intensity profile? What I've experienced is a much lower flavor transfer at lower temperature. I am still not sure if this pertains to temperature and/or surface prepping. Water density and viscosity peaks at low temperature, which might be lead to lower equilibration rate. Usually I get nice flavors after 3 hours but nothing really overwhelming. Could we be condensing off some flavor with the creosotes?
3- Would there be a difference between the flavor profile of a long infusion time - low temperature vs a short infusion time - higher temperature?
4- Just out of curiosity, I have no visible smoke coming out off my smoker, might be due to the recirculating fan but I wonder if anybody saw that. When I open the fridge, it is filled with TBS, and I can see smoke coming in through the glass door.
Thanks all for your input, I'm very exited about that project!