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Please help with cold smoking meat

nopeda

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Joined Oct 11, 2014
Hi,

I am trying to cold smoke some meat like chicken thighs, pork steaks and swai. Then cook it in an oven or frying pan inside hoping it will retain the good smokey flavor. So far it has not gone well because it seems the meat either cooks or changes consistency/texture while in the smoke. I've been using Hickory pellets and an amazin pellet smoker in one mailbox, then piping that to a second mailbox where I put the meat. Letting it smoke for an hour or a bit more. But when I take it in and cook it like I always do without smoking it gets rather burned and overdone. Does anyone have any suggestions how to get it to come out nice and juicy but still smoke it enough to give it smokey flavor? Also should I poke holes in it with a fork or knife before smoking to let the smoke be absorbed better or would that make it dry out more? Now I'm thinking maybe try poking holes and smoke for 30 minutes instead of an hour? Or...???

Thank you for any help!

David
ME USA
 

Steve H

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I hot smoke uncured chicken or Turkey. Let it cool. Then slice. I wouldn't cold smoke poultry without curing them first.
 

smokerjim

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Try using a cardboard box with a vent on top for your smoke chamber just a thought.
 

Gecko10

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Hi,

I am trying to cold smoke some meat like chicken thighs, pork steaks and swai. Then cook it in an oven or frying pan inside hoping it will retain the good smokey flavor. So far it has not gone well because it seems the meat either cooks or changes consistency/texture while in the smoke. I've been using Hickory pellets and an amazin pellet smoker in one mailbox, then piping that to a second mailbox where I put the meat. Letting it smoke for an hour or a bit more. But when I take it in and cook it like I always do without smoking it gets rather burned and overdone. Does anyone have any suggestions how to get it to come out nice and juicy but still smoke it enough to give it smokey flavor? Also should I poke holes in it with a fork or knife before smoking to let the smoke be absorbed better or would that make it dry out more? Now I'm thinking maybe try poking holes and smoke for 30 minutes instead of an hour? Or...???

Thank you for any help!

David
ME USA
I have a Pit Boss 820 and here is how I do it, with good success.

Put grill on P4 -P5 and smoke the meat for 1.5-2 hrs. Then turn the grill up to 325-350 and cook the meat until it achieves the proper temperature.
 

jcam222

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Cold smoked incited meat sounds like a recipe for food poisoning to me. You can hit smoke at lower temps and finish in your air fryer.
 

nopeda

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Joined Oct 11, 2014
I hot smoke uncured chicken or Turkey. Let it cool. Then slice. I wouldn't cold smoke poultry without curing them first.
I don't understand what curing is. But I take it right from the smoker to the oven to cook so why would it matter very much?
 

Steve H

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I don't understand what curing is. But I take it right from the smoker to the oven to cook so why would it matter very much?
How warm does the meat get? Meat left out of the fridge for longer then 2 hours can start to grow nasty things.

Curing meat first gives you the option of smoking items at a longer slower rate. Not saying that you still won't have to final cook to a safe temp. I'll cold smoke meat for hours in cool, under 40 degree temps.
 

smokerjim

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What is the advantage of that over the mailbox?
I'm thinking a little bigger area may stay cooler and maybe add some frozen gallon jugs of water to help keep temp down so your food dont spoil on you to quick. Also maybe you would get a cleaner smoke flavor also I dont think poking holes will help much other then spreading bacteria
 

thirdeye

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I think there might be some confusion regarding terms. You mentioned cold smoking, which the majority of the time involves adding a preserving cure to the meat (either a liquid brine or a dry mixture) for protection from bacteria that thrives when temperatures are >41° through 140°. Then there is hot smoking (aka smoke cooking) and most of the time the food does not receive a preserving cure because within an hour or two the external temperature of the meat will be above 140°, but it does receive smoke during cooking.

I think what you have in mind is often called flavor smoking. Fresh meat is exposed to smoke for a few minutes (for seafood) to maybe an hour (for pork chops) if the outside temp is low enough. The food is then cooked to the proper doneness in some traditional fashion.
 

jcam222

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What is your end game desired outcome? Why not just hot smoke those things to completion? If it’s the outside texture you can always sear after.
 

nopeda

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Joined Oct 11, 2014
I think there might be some confusion regarding terms. You mentioned cold smoking, which the majority of the time involves adding a preserving cure to the meat (either a liquid brine or a dry mixture) for protection from bacteria that thrives when temperatures are >41° through 140°. Then there is hot smoking (aka smoke cooking) and most of the time the food does not receive a preserving cure because within an hour or two the external temperature of the meat will be above 140°, but it does receive smoke during cooking.

I think what you have in mind is often called flavor smoking. Fresh meat is exposed to smoke for a few minutes (for seafood) to maybe an hour (for pork chops) if the outside temp is low enough. The food is then cooked to the proper doneness in some traditional fashion.
Yes that is it then, flavor smoking. For one thing I don't have a smoker at all any more but the other thing is that when I had an electric one I never could get chicken to be as nice and juicy as I can in an oven. When I what I thought of as cold smoked fish for an hour then cooked in the oven it went great! So I hoped it would work for chicken and pork also using just a second mailbox instead of a smoker. But!! The fish doesn't come out quit as nice as it did when I was using the smoker to 'cold smoke' so I guess it's the size difference? Maybe turn a cooler on it's side and put a rack in it and ice in the bottom to keep the temperature down and cold/flavor smoke that way?
 

thirdeye

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I've seen some pretty imaginative contraptions for smoke generators and smoker boxes. An Asian restaurant in town uses tea leaves to flavor smoke their duck breasts. They do it in modified hotel service pans (I'm sure under a vent hood) and frankly... it's pretty good. I'm not familiar with the mailbox mods... maybe you need more draft?
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chef jimmyj

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Your mailbox containing the meat is getting too warm. As others suggested. Either separate the two boxes with several feet of dryer hose. Or pump smoke into a bigger box with room to cool before the smoke reaches the meat. You are safe smoking 1 hour, without heat, then cooking in the oven...JJ
 

jcam222

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Yes that is it then, flavor smoking. For one thing I don't have a smoker at all any more but the other thing is that when I had an electric one I never could get chicken to be as nice and juicy as I can in an oven. When I what I thought of as cold smoked fish for an hour then cooked in the oven it went great! So I hoped it would work for chicken and pork also using just a second mailbox instead of a smoker. But!! The fish doesn't come out quit as nice as it did when I was using the smoker to 'cold smoke' so I guess it's the size difference? Maybe turn a cooler on it's side and put a rack in it and ice in the bottom to keep the temperature down and cold/flavor smoke that way?
I think with a little help from others you can get that chicken very juicy in an electric smoker. To me it’s basically and electric oven with a smoke source. I have cranked out some pretty juicy whole chickens , quarters and wings.
 

Gort40

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Hi,

I am trying to cold smoke some meat like chicken thighs, pork steaks and swai. Then cook it in an oven or frying pan inside hoping it will retain the good smokey flavor. So far it has not gone well because it seems the meat either cooks or changes consistency/texture while in the smoke. I've been using Hickory pellets and an amazin pellet smoker in one mailbox, then piping that to a second mailbox where I put the meat. Letting it smoke for an hour or a bit more. But when I take it in and cook it like I always do without smoking it gets rather burned and overdone. Does anyone have any suggestions how to get it to come out nice and juicy but still smoke it enough to give it smokey flavor? Also should I poke holes in it with a fork or knife before smoking to let the smoke be absorbed better or would that make it dry out more? Now I'm thinking maybe try poking holes and smoke for 30 minutes instead of an hour? Or...???

Thank you for any help!

David
ME USA
I recently built a cold smoker out of a cardboard box and am using a smoke generator. It works great on cheese. I did smoked some pork cushion meat, 3 lbs.,
Daves Smoker.jpg
Daves Smoker.jpg in it for pulled pork. Smoked for 3hrs. Then cooked it in a pressure cooker with a can of beer. Came out great with a excellent smoked flavor.
 

tallbm

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When you cook the meat in the oven do you use a leave in thermometer?

A simple potential problem is that if you apply smoke in your setup outside and the temperature is 60 degrees outside and you are getting some heat from the wood smoldering you may be warming up the meat more than you realize.

So in this case if you cook in the oven by time instead of internal temp (IT) of the meat. You can easily run into issues.
Chicken from the fridge cooked in the oven for an hour may come out perfect every time because the meat is like 35F IT.
If you apply smoke outside for 2 hours and the meat warms up to 60F IT and you bring it in and cook for an hour you have no overcooked it because of a 25F temperature difference of the meat.

With chicken and pork a change in texture and juiciness is a classic sign of overcooking. If you use a leave in thermometer and cook to IT of the meat (165F for chicken breast, and 145F for pork loin and cuts the dry out) then you really don't ever risk over cooking.

Just figure I would bring that up since no one has mentioned it yet :)
 

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