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Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A different book on meat smoking that came out in April 2006. This is not a cookbook loaded with recipes but rather a tutorial on the art of traditional smoking. It excels at explaining the differences between smoking, barbecuing and grilling. Great information on cold smoking and hot smoking techniques. It gets great reviews not only from readers but also from noted experts in the field of making meat products and sausages. It consists of two parts: Meat Smoking, about 75 pages and Smokehouse Design, about 145 pages. About 100 drawings and 50 photos. Anyone considering building his own smoker should read it first- the book explains concepts of draft, smoke delivery, pipe length, diameter and the pitch, fire pit basics and controling temperatures when burning wood. Plans exist for a concrete block smoker, barrel smoker, masonry smoker, and four USDA drawn plans for big smokehouses etc.
Interesting chapter on the history of smokehouses with some nice drawings.
You can read reviews at: Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design
post #2 of 11
yo seminole dude,
i followed your link,
i read the reviews,
i copied his explanation of the 3 ways.
thanks for the info

Excerpted from Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design by Stanley Marianski, Adam Marianski, Robert Marianski. Copyright © 2006. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
1.3 Smoking, barbecuing, and grilling.

A lot of people don’t understand the difference between smoking, barbecuing, and grilling. When grilling, you quickly seal in the juices from the piece you are cooking. Grilling takes minutes. Smoking takes hours, sometimes even days.

Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that by throwing some wet wood chips over hot coals you can smoke your meat. At best you can only add some flavor on the outside because the moment the outside surface of the meat becomes dry and cooked, a significant barrier exists that prevents smoke penetration.

A properly smoked piece of meat has to be thoroughly smoked, on the outside and everywhere inside. Only prolonged cold smoking will achieve that result. Smoking when grilling is no better than pumping liquid smoke into it and claiming that the product is smoked now.

Let’s unravel some of the mystery. All these methods are different from each other, especially smoking and grilling. The main factor separating them is temperature

Smoking – almost no heat, 52° – 140° F, (12° - 60° C), 1 hr to 2 weeks

Barbecuing – low heat, 200° – 300° F, (93° - 150° C) few hours

Grilling – high heat, 500° F, (260° C), minutes

The purpose of grilling is to char the surface of meat and seal in the juices by creating a smoky caramelized crust. By the same token a barrier is erected that prevents smoke from flowing inside. The meat may have a somewhat smoky flavor on the outside but it was never smoked internally.

Barbecuing comes much closer, but not close enough. It is a long, slow, indirect, low-heat method that uses charcoal or wood pieces to smoke-cook the meat. The best definition is that barbecuing is cooking with smoke. It is ideally suited for large pieces of meat, like whole pigs. The temperature range of 200° –300° F is still too high to smoke meats since the fat that binds meat in sausages will melt away through the casings, and the final product will taste like bread crumbs.

Smoking is what it says: smoking meats with smoke that may or may not be followed by cooking. Some products are only smoked at low temperatures and never cooked, yet are safe to eat. Generally we may say that smoking in most cases consists of two steps:


After smoking is done we increase the temperature to about 170°F (76° C) to start cooking. We want to cook meats or sausages to 152 F° (67° C) internal temperature and here the quality and insulation of the smoker plays an important role. Nevertheless the main smoking process is performed below 140° F.

There are important differences between smoking and barbecuing. Barbecued or grilled meats are eaten immediately the moment they are done. Smoked meats are usually eaten at a later date. When smoking foods a higher degree of smoke penetration is needed and that can only be achieved at lower temperatures. Furthermore, smoked meats are eaten cold. Many great recipes require that smoked products hang for a designated time to lose more weight to become drier. It is only then that they are ready for consumption.
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post #3 of 11

Re: Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design

Seminole, thank you for keeping us informed of a great product! Larry, thank you for taking the time to post that info! Great stuff guys!
post #4 of 11
Adam Marianski the author has just sent to the publisher the 2nd edition of this book. He states it should hit the book stores around June. He rearranged the book and added stuff including BBQ. I agree with Seminole that this is a great book on smoking. I built my smoker ( Stonehenge) based on a design from the 1st edition and it rocks. Photos of my smoker are included in the second edition of the book. I just got 6 copies of the book from Adam.

post #5 of 11
This is the book that helped me design the smoker that I am currently building. I must have read the book about half a dozen times. Every time I learn something new, and gather new ideas. This book was written with a lot of input from the europeans (the masters of sausage making). I am finishing up my smoke house, and couldn't wait to put smoke to it. I have insulated well so she holds temp good, and is easier to control smoke, compaired to my el cheapo Brinkman.
Check my previous posts for pictures. I will update with final pictures soon
post #6 of 11
That's a hell of a good looking smoker Pete. Can I ask what the door to the left of the smoking chamber is for?

Edit - I finally got around to ordering Adam's book (ended up with the first edition from Amazon UK though) it's a great educational read, not just explaining what to do, but why. I've got so many plans now....

My only complaint is when he says the English invented the Torry Kiln. Torry is in Scotland icon_mrgreen.gif - it's like me saying Memphis Barbeque is from Canada. PDT_Armataz_01_04.gif
post #7 of 11

I just recently bought this book.  I can't say enough about it.  I learned so much from the information available in it.  up till now my smoking experience has been mainly fish, but this year I got into making jerky.  I am the type of guy who likes to understand the how and why of what I am doing, that way when I want to make a small change in the cooking guidlines (some folks call that a recipe) I can do so with good results instead of just guessing and hoping to get it right.  one of the most suprising bits of info was the measureing of salt he talks about.  I had use a couple different typs of salt and measured by volume and gotten very inconsistant results.  I had never considered that the different brands of salt had different crystal formations characteristics and that drastically changed the amount of salt by volume, in some cases as much as double!


I would recomend this book to anyone who wants to understand the art of smoking.  if you are looking for a recipie book this is not really what you are looking for, although he does have a section on recipies they are really more of a guideline.  I am in the process of building a smoker and the information I got in this book was priceless!!



post #8 of 11

I've had this book ( second edition) in my collection for over a year now. Absolutely one of the best books i have on smoking. Like stated above it's not really a recipe book even though it does have a few in it. Its more of a "how" and "why" book about smoking meat. Love it.

post #9 of 11

    Hi, My name is Jim and I was rased in henery co. IL, about 20 years ago I started playing with smoking pork and turckey's.  I could not find any thing about making baken or ham , and I rund close to two hogs before I got things down.  I gotten perty good cureing and smoking meat's ,  but im stilling willing to learn more or help other people . Any body that has the patience to try home curing and smoking meats will soon have some pride and be willing to try more things !   Good luck and keep trying, it just get's better- eating : )               Jim    Crawford                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

post #10 of 11

I just received a vertical smoker for fathers day and I was looking for a good book that will help me learn how to use the smoker.  Based on these reviews, I think I've found what I am looking for in this book.  I will be ordering it shortly.


Thanks all.  This is a great place for information on BBQ and smoking

post #11 of 11

Hi Jeff I am new in to this great forum. I want to place order for the book but in PDF how can I get it done because Amazon do not deliver to Nigeria. Moreover, I learnt from the abstract you wrote above.

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