Cold Smoke vs Hot Smoke

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cold smoke vs hot smokeAre you sick and tired of the traditional cooking techniques? Are your common recipes tedious? So, step out of your daily routine. Add some flavor to your unique dishes. How to do it? First of all, match cold smoke vs hot smoke.

What is the basic difference? Let’s check, how to smoke meat or fish securely. We are to avoid any risk and dangers. Contamination, bacterial or parasitic infection is to be completely prevented. Which way? Maintain the proper temperature, smoking time and procedures.

Select the top small smoker. Are there any other details we are to know? Let’s check.

Smoking Basics

Smoking is the process of cooking food. It helps to preserve it, flavor and brown. The common heat source is a smoldering and burning material. Split wood is the most traditional. It helps to add a distinct flavor.

smoking basicsThus, selection of the timber species matters. The real BBQ masters distinguish them. For example, oak has a mild, pleasant flavor. It burns even and slow. The wood works well for meat smoking. Hickory and mesquite smell is a bit stronger. The flavor of cherry or apple is even lighter.

Additionally, pellets, charcoal or gas can be used as a fuel for smoking. The common food to smoke includes:

  • meat;
  • fish;
  • cheese;
  • sausages;
  • nuts;
  • vegetables;
  • rice.

For example, according to Wikipedia, Chinese traditions are very special. They use the mixture of tea, rice, and sugar to smoke a delicious duck in a wok frying pan.

Cold Smoking vs Hot Smoking

Cooking meat, we need it to be perfectly roasted, well-done and brown. That’s why the hot smoking method is applied. The temperature of 165-200° F is beneficial. It promotes killing all dangerous bacteria. They die or stop growing at a temperature of about 140°. It’s the ideal temperature for smoking meat. The common smoking time is from 1 to 3 hours.

Hot smoking temperature

Meanwhile, it can last up to 24 hours. The food is cooked perfectly well. Therefore, this technique is considered safe. It is commonly used to smoke chicken, turkey, all kinds of meat, such as:

  • lamb;
  • beef;
  • pork.

The best smoker for fish can be based on these techniques. Vegetables, like corn or potatoes, can be hot-smoked, as well.

See interesting information about best fish smokers!

Cold smoking temperature

cold smoking vs hot smoking The cold smoking temperature is under 110 °F. The process lasts for several days. It allows yielding and developing the most complex flavor. Fish and meat cooked this way are perfectly preserved. How comes?

Heat is generated in the separate chamber. It is delivered to the food through the pipes. Cold smoker vs hot smoker commonly maintains dry conditions. Quite naturally, the cold smoking temperature depends on the type of food. However, it’s only a bit higher than in the room.

So, to avoid contamination, the meat is commonly very salted. It can be also precooked, before, or after the cold-smoking.

What is the Best Temperature for Smoking Meat?

So, as we see, the basic difference is in time and temperature. Let’s chart it on a table.

MethodAverage temperature. °FAverage time, hours
Hot smoking1804
Cold smoking7048

Meanwhile, not only the conditions matter. The smoker construction is important. Thus, in a hot smoker, the food commonly remains in the same chamber with the burning fuel. A smoker for cold smoking features several chambers, separate and isolated. The smoke is cooled before reaching the fish or cheese. Wind drying is applied.

Smoker vs grill

best temperature for smoking meatWhen you want to eat meat hot, the other cooking methods are also available. The grill is a simple device. It lets us roast the dishes fast and easily. The vegetables or meats just have to be rotated frequently. You are to avoid burning. Meanwhile, this technique is:

  1. healthy;
  2. intuitive;
  3. quick.

The basic vitamins are preserved. Less oil can be added, as well. So, the difference between smoker and grill is in the fish or meat surface. Do you want it to be browned and crusty? Or tender and sappy? The distance from the food to the flame may be much shorter, in this case.

Smokehouse vs smoker is much larger. It’s a construction made of concrete blocks or wood. It’s a sort of small building, while a smoker looks like a metal box. A smokehouse allows cooking of large food quantity simultaneously. However, suitable ventilators are necessary.

What is Cold Smoker?

Unlike the other devices of this kind, a cold smoker has several chambers. It’s the most sophisticated.

how to cold smoke meat at home

The smoke comes to the food department through the pipe. So, only the aroma reaches it. The temperature is absorbed by water or ventilation system. Your meat of fish remains virtually raw, just flavored.

Therefore, cold smoking techniques are a bit challenging. Operating the smoker is especially complicated in winter. The minimally acceptable temperature is to be maintained. Any wind or frost should not prevent it.

So, can you cold smoke meat? Is it really safe? According to the NCHFP Center, it’s not recommended doing at home. The inherent risk is too high. If pathogens remain in your food, it can cause contamination. Therefore, cold smoking is possible, only when the ambient temperature is below 80°F. Meanwhile, a lot of foodstuffs, such as cheese, nuts, sausages, vegetables, and fruits are preferable for cold smoking.

How to Cold Smoke Meat?

Do you insist? Do you still want to attempt it? Well, cold smoking meat at home is still possible. Yeah, I mean the safe cooking procedures.

There are 3 ways to eliminate bacteria:

  1. Salt the meat hard.
  2. Brine it in beforehand.
  3. Cook the food after smoking.

The chicken or pork is to be kept in the refrigerator. Buy only the fresh, top-quality meat. Start cooking when its temperature is still under 40°F. Mustard can be applied on the sides. Add ice to the smoking chamber. Follow the instructions and expert recipes. Refrigerate the food after cold smoking.

Common Representation

This way, you can cook the delicious cold smoking meat. It stands out by smooth texture and strong flavor. It remains rich in nutrients, fats, and proteins. However, follow the safety precautions. Finally, the smoked meat shelf life is long. But, don’t let it expire!

Expert knowledge. Recent research data. That’s all you need to select the best yard accessory. Outdoor cooking is fun. It’s attributed to great holidays and a friendly atmosphere. It will be even more pleasant and easy with a perfect fire pit or smoker.

  1. You will love the delicious fish and other seafood you’ll be able to cook in smoker! I’ve already done it! And my family is crazy about the taste of smoked salmon, for example!

  2. Can a vertical smoker be used for hot smoking or just for cold smoking? Is a horizontal smoker required for hot-smoking?

    • Hi Jonathan,
      Keep in mind that, first of all, the design of the smoker is important. For example, in a hot smoke smoker, the food is usually in the same chamber as the burning fuel. That is, if you have such a smokehouse, you can safely cook hot-smoked products. If you haven’t purchased one yet, but are just choosing, check out, for example, this great smokehouse.
      Honestly, cold smoking is usually a problem. Hot-smoked foods are quite easy to prepare.

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