Originally Posted by Carter86
I'm new to cold smoking and have a couple questions.
1. Is it best to let cold smoked bellies sit in the fridge after the smoke before slicing? Would that help mellow out the smoke flavor due to the longer smoking times.
2. Is it best to let the belly come to room temp before cold smoking?
The reason I ask question 1 is because I cold smoked a belly for 10hrs with a amps with apple pellets and the smoke taste was very strong after sitting in the fridge a day after smoking before slicing.
Any input will be greatly appreciated.
I have always hot smoked but I like the texture of cold smoked better since its not concentrated on reaching an IT
I can comment on what I have read/heard only. Where I live a cold smoke is all most assuredly at best a warm smoke.
Any cured meat benefits from a rest after smoking allowing the smoke to mellow or smooth. From jerky to bacon to Pastrami to sausages. AND most definitely nuts do!! This is from my personal experience.
He's how I look at smoke to temp ratio. Think about yourself. When you get warmer you immediately start to sweat, giving off surface water in an attempt to cool back down, and in meats water/fluid blocks the smoke absorption. I ALWAYS do a dewater cycle when attempting to smoke something I have cured. A brined cure or wet cure is impregnating the meat with extra water to transfer spices and other modifiers into the meat. It sucks in, it pulls out.
When you are hot what happens to anything? It becomes less dense allows better transfers thru or into it, as it becomes cooler it traps it inside. Also on the skin area when warmed the pores open allowing additional area from the smoke to adhere.
I warm smoke, trying to maintain the best of both worlds. I want my meat uncooked but I want it to absorb the smoke as quickly as possible. Cold smoking is a slower process. But you get a better textured meat. I try to smoke maintaining a 90 degree to 120 degree IT thus not cooking or rendering the meat and fat.
I think its Dave, he has a cute picture of how the smoke permeates the meat wall using warm and cold. There was a good thread discussing your exact topic.
These are none but my personal observations. It seems to make it easy for me to make sense of it all. But as with all things there are different ideas. These are mine.
I also believe that the best temperature to get the max smoke absorption is 90 to 140 degrees IT. Before and after you still see absorption but as the IT raises or lowers from these temps you see diminished returns from your smoke.
AND last but not least remember that electrics and firebreathers do not have to play by the same rules. Dry heat and wet heat are profoundly different. like a steam room and a sauna.
I hope something in here helps you figure out what you want to do. Remember only you know what you want and how you want to get there.
Edited by Foamheart - 10/18/15 at 12:17am