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Is continuous smoke necessary?

robomann

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Joined Nov 27, 2016
Here´s the question- If a container is air tight and I am cold smoking, why continue to feed the container cold smoke for hours on end? I can understand refilling it with fresh smoke every few hours as the smoke will dissipate.​ Instead of cold smoking for 8 continuous hours could I replenish the smoke every few hours in a airtight container?
 

mike5051

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Welcome to the site!  I don't have any cold smoking experience, but it sounds like you don't need continuous smoke.

Mike
 

forluvofsmoke

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Smoke that's not moving through the smoke chamber will become stale/stagnant in a short time. What exactly causes what follows I have not yet researched, but I suspect that certain resins from the smoke are left behind on the food that are not beneficial to flavor and must also become toxic. At some point in time it will impart a bitter, acrid flavor and cause numbness to the lips and tongue, if tasted (do not eat food). How long this would take with cold smoking I do not know, but I do know that improper venting of a hot smoker will destroy your creation in a relatively short time. It would stand to reason that improper ventilation of a cold smoker would be no different.

For certain cold smoke applications, yes, you can give a shot of smoke into a container, close it, wait 20 or 30 seconds and remove...such as smoked lettuce in a bag. Smoked butter from scratch uses smoke injected into a blender/food processor container, covering and immediately processing the sweet cream until the butter is whipped. It doesn't take much smoke for these applications. Mr T 59874 has posts on these and more. These applications are short duration of smoke exposure. IIRC, he stated that it takes very little smoke to go a long way (in terms of flavoring the butter).

BTW, if you're considering your proposed option in an attempt to prevent smoke aromas from accumulating indoors, it's nearly impossible to completely contain the smoke, unless you have a closed system and were using a smoke pistol or smoking gun. Even then, you have to vent the old smoke/atmosphere from the container to introduce fresh/new smoke. You're going to vent smoke no matter what you do to prevent it. Did I mention that that smoke will permeate through plastic? Now I did. If you apply smoke in it, everything you put in it after that will smell like smoke. Even smoked foods stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator will make your fridge smell of smoke...that could be translated as
...
...or


Eric
 

robomann

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Joined Nov 27, 2016
Thanks for such a informative reply. Makes perfect sense. The answer I get from professional metzgers here in Germany is simply, " This is the way it`s always been done" refering to continuous smoke during cold, warm, and hot smoking.

I`ve built a cold smoke generator that produces enough smoke to have the fire department on my doorsteps in 5 min. It is adjustable and when turned to low should be more than enough to fill my brick oven which I`ll use as a smoker.
 

SmokinAl

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Thanks for such a informative reply. Makes perfect sense. The answer I get from professional metzgers here in Germany is simply, " This is the way it`s always been done" refering to continuous smoke during cold, warm, and hot smoking.

I`ve built a cold smoke generator that produces enough smoke to have the fire department on my doorsteps in 5 min. It is adjustable and when turned to low should be more than enough to fill my brick oven which I`ll use as a smoker.
Remember you don't want a bunch of thick white smoke, just thin blue smoke (TBS).

Al
 

sqwib

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IMHO Air flow is a must, intermittent smoke is fine, however, "Smoke" time is relevant to the food being smoked, like say, cheese compared to fish or Cured Ham.

I'm a bit confused about your "Air Tight System" can you explain this more?
 

seenred

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I'm with SQWIB.  Although I don't do a lot of cold smoking, IMO air flow is critical to properly smoked food, whether hot or cold smoking.  If your smoke sits in a static chamber for any length of time, you can end up with bitter, over smoked product because of creosote buildup on the food, which is what Eric was describing in post 3.  Much better, IMO to keep the smoke moving through the chamber and vent it outside.  This allows continually fresh smoke to "kiss" your food as it passes through the chamber.

Red
 
Last edited:

robomann

Newbie
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10
Joined Nov 27, 2016
Thanks for the advice. Makes perfectly good sense. I'll be sure to have constant flow. Pork tenderloins are being cured and I'll fire up in 10 days. More to follow.
 

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