The Types Of Smoking Meat & Food
Smoking of meat and fish has been practiced for ages. Indigenous cultures around the world may have used smoke during the drying of fish to drive away the flies. They soon found that the absorbed smoke acted as a preservative. Perhaps the most famous "smokers of meat" were the Caribbean natives who smoked it on a rack over a smoky fire, a setup they called "barbacoa". Here are a few types of smoking.
Exposes the foods to smoke and heat in a controlled environment. Although foods that have been hot smoked are often reheated or cooked, they are typically safe to eat without further cooking. Hams and ham hocks are fully cooked once they are properly smoked. Hot smoking occurs within the range of 165°F / 74°C to 185°F / 85°C. Within this temperature range, foods are fully cooked, moist, and flavorful. If the smoker is allowed to get hotter than 185°F, the foods will shrink excessively, buckle, or even split. Smoking at high temperatures also reduces yield, as both moisture and fat are "cooked" away.
Refers to any process that has the attributes of both roasting and smoking. This smoking method is sometimes referred to as "barbecuing" or "pit-roasting". It may be done in a smoke-roaster, closed wood-fired oven or barbecue pit, any smoker that can reach above 250°F (121°C), or in a conventional oven by placing a pan filled with hardwood chips on the floor of the oven so the chips smolder and produce a smokebath. However, this should only be done in a well-ventilated area to prevent. Carbon monoxide poisoning
Can be used as a flavor enhancer for items such as pork chops, beef steaks, chicken breasts, salmon and scallops. The item can be cold-smoked for a short period, just long enough to give a touch of flavor. Such foods are ready to be finished to order by such cooking methods as grilling, sauteing, baking, and roasting, or they may be hot smoked to the appropriate doneness for an even deeper smoked flavor. Smokehouse temperatures for cold smoking should be maintained below 100°F (38°C). In this temperature range, foods take on a rich, smokey flavor, develop a deep mahogany color, and tend to retain a relatively moist texture. They are not cooked as a result of the smoking process.
Smoking with wood:
Cellulose and hemicellulose are aggregate sugar molecules; when burnt, they effectively caramelize, producing sweet, flowery, and fruity aromas. Lignin, a highly complex arrangement of interlocked phenolic molecules, also produces a number of distinctive aromatic elements when burnt, including smoky, spicy, and pungent compounds like guaiacol, phenol, and syringol, and sweeter scents like the vanilla-scented vanillin and clove-like isoeugenol. Guaiacol is the phenolic compound most responsible for the "smokey" taste, while syringol is the primary contributor to smokey aroma. (Hui 512) Wood also contains small quantities of proteins, which contribute roasted flavors. Many of the odor compounds in wood smoke, especially the phenolic compounds, are unstable, dissipating after a few weeks or months.
A number of wood smoke compounds act as preservatives. Phenol and other phenolic compounds in wood smoke are both antioxidants, which slow rancidification of animal fats, and antimicrobials,which slow bacterial growth. Other antimicrobials in wood smoke include formaldehyde, acetic acid, and other organic acids, which give wood smoke a low pH about 2.5. Some of these compounds are toxic to people as well, and may have health effects in the quantities found in cooking applications. The compounds best demonstrated to have long-term health consequences are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, many of which are known or suspected carcinogens. Hotter wood fires make more PAHs; hot-burning mesquite produces twice as much as cooler-burning hickory.
Since different species of tree have different ratios of components, various types of wood do impart a different flavor to food. Another important factor is the temperature at which the wood burns. High-temperature fires see the flavor molecules broken down further into unpleasant or flavorless compounds. The optimal conditions for smoke flavor are low, smoldering temperatures between 570° and 750°F (300-400°C). This is the temperature of the burning wood itself, not of the smoking environment, which sees much lower temperatures. Woods that are high in lignin content tend to burn hot; to keep them smoldering requires restricted oxygen supplies or a high moisture content. When smoking using wood chips or chunks, the combustion temperature is often lowered by soaking the pieces in water before placing them on a fire.
Hardwoods are made up mostly of three materials: cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Cellulose and hemicellulose are the basic structural material of the wood cells; lignin acts as a kind of cell-bonding glue. Some softwoods especially pines and firs hold significant quantities of resin, which produces a harsh-tasting soot when burned. Because of this, these woods are generally not used for smoking.