Who among us has ever tried smoked meat or fish?
Perhaps there are no people who do not remember this amazing flavor and great taste of smoked meat.
Of course, because of the great love of smoked products, many people buy them in stores and supermarkets, for example, at a festive table, but such products are very often of dubious quality.
What to do if you want to eat smoked chicken, but do not want to risk, buying “store” products, and they are not cheap?
There is a way out, and it is very simple - copy products at home! This can be done much easier than you think, and such products are stored much longer than usual, since smoke has the ability to preserve, as well as destroy all harmful microorganisms and bacteria.
Types of smoking at home and the necessary devices
Homemade smoking can be carried out both in the yard of a private house, and in a city apartment. If you want to pamper yourself with aromatic smoked meats prepared at home regularly or from time to time, then first of all you need to take care of a good smokehouse, and it should be factory made. Find such a smokehouse is not difficult, since there are so many of them on the market today. Factory smokehouses make homemade smoking safer, as well as eliminate problems with the removal of excess smoke.
Smokehouse can be made with their own hands, using a conventional tin bucket or a metal box. Capacity can be of any volume, everything will depend on your requests for the number of products produced per unit of time. As a heating element can be used stove.
Before you start smoking at home, you need to prepare the following list of ingredients:
- a bucket or box (in the absence of a finished factory smokehouse);
- cover with a socket;
There are only two ways of smoking: cold and hot. Smoked products also have their own classification: smoked, smoked-baked and smoked-cooked. The latter include products from poultry and meat, and smoked baked - there are fruits and vegetables, but not necessarily, it all depends on the personal preferences of each. It is also worth noting that only cold-smoked products are boiled and baked, this does not apply to hot smoked foods.
General principles of smoking at home
Before proceeding directly to the preparation of smoked meats, you must follow the simple technology of the process of smoking:
1. Do not start the process of smoking in unfavorable weather for him, it is better to wait for “calm” - calm, calm weather, no precipitation is expected.
2. The process of smoking is better to start in the morning. The fact is that if you decide to smoke fish, rabbit, sausage or small meat pieces by cold smoking, then this procedure will not take you too long. But if we are talking about smoking, for example, whole ham, when the process can take several days, and it is better that there is a good amount of time for the mood of the smokehouse before going to bed.
3. In order for the smoke to pass freely, we need pallets, which will be somewhat smaller than the dimensions of the base of the smokehouse itself. They need to be placed between the source of smoke closer to the base and products. You will need the pallets for two reasons:
- firstly, when smoking is smoked by hot-smoking, the pan will close the sawdust from the flowing fat, that is, the quality of the smoke will not deteriorate and the sawdust will give their flavors;
- secondly, during hot-smoked food, suspended products can break at any time, and the first person who gets in the way of food to sawdust will be a pallet.
4. Do not open the lid unnecessarily, because each such curiosity will cost you an extra 10 minutes of smoking. 5. Wood should be exclusively recommended species that do not contain resins;
6. Observe the desired temperature mode for each of the smoking methods. It is desirable to have a special thermometer with you, but you can do without it. To determine the temperature without a thermometer, you can: 50-60 ° C can be determined with the back of your hand, it is quite hot, but you can tolerate it. To determine higher temperatures, for example, 95 ° C, you need to splash a little water on the smokehouse, it will not fizz, but should immediately evaporate.
The temperature can vary depending on the height of the smokehouse, below it is usually higher. Thus, the temperature should be measured at the level where the products are located. You should not worry too much about the accuracy of the temperature; in the smoking technology temperature drops of +/- 5 ° C are allowed.
Recipes (ingredients and preparation method)
Here we come to the most interesting - the immediate process of smoking. As already mentioned, smoking is of two types: hot and cold. Let us examine how you can cook smoked fish or meat at home.
To cook products using the hot method, you need to lay out sawdust (preferably alder) at the bottom of the smokehouse, pre-soaked in water, increase the temperature to 90-100 ° C and gradually reduce it. The products will be prepared fairly quickly, in an hour and a half you will already get ready smoked meats, but they also have a very small shelf life.
Cold-smoked food preparation is a much more complicated and long process. It occurs by prolonged supply of smoke while maintaining a low temperature level:
- meat - 20 ° C;
- fish - 40 ° C.
You also need to prepare the furnace. It is necessary that the trench departs from it for 3-5 meters, at the end of which there should be a tank. Products will be hung in this container, but not too tight to cover each of them with smoke. We put firewood in the firebox, on top of which there are alder sawdust and support weak burning for five days. Cold-smoked products are capable of maintaining their original taste and aroma for a long time, and their shelf life in a cool room is 6 months.
First you need to prepare the necessary products for smoking. To do this, meat or fish must be pre-salt. It is done this way: pieces of meat, 2.5-3 cm thick, sprinkle well with salt and lubricate with spices. Meat that has just been hammered is not recommended to smoke, it should be kept in the cold for at least 72 hours. As for the fish, it should be gutted and put in the salt solution for 25-36 hours, then rinse thoroughly under running water. Then the meat and fish are hung in a well-ventilated area and dried for a couple of days, the fish should be hung upside down.
There are 2 ways to salting: dry and salting in brine. When preparing products in the first way, you need to rub them with salt and put them in a container. When salting in brine, you need to fold the products in a barrel, but not too tightly, and pour the previously prepared cooled brine. To do this, pour into the container such an amount of water to completely cover the product, put 10% of its weight of salt, 1 tbsp. l saltpeter and 2 tbsp. l sugar per 5 kg of product. For cold-smoked cooking, meat should be salted for 30 days, lard and fish - 5 days.
If you need to smoke large pieces of meat, such as, for example, ham or scapula, you need to mix in a separate plate spices, sugar and salt. We rub the meat from all sides with the prepared mixture, put it in a bowl with a deep bottom and sprinkle it abundantly on top of the same mixture. Then we cover the bowl with gauze, fill it with brine and leave it under the yoke for 1-2 weeks. The aging period depends on the size of the pieces.
Sawdust must also be prepared in advance; almost any tree species that do not contain resins will be suitable for smoking; juniper chips give a very good aroma. We grind to small pieces of wood, remove the bark from it, slightly moisten it and scatter it along the bottom of the smokehouse. After that, set in the smoke grate for food and drip tray. Make sure the lid is tightly closed. Spread the products on the grill in one layer. Expose the smokehouse to the fire and tightly close the lid, crushing it with a yoke. Ensure that the internal temperature does not exceed 120 ° C.
If you smoke small pieces of meat and fish, then 30-50 minutes will be enough. Before removing, try to taste whether it is smoked enough. After several self-smoking, you can already more accurately determine the desired time of smoking.
Home Smoked - Tricks and Tips
Well, in the end a few simple recommendations:
- If you are cooking products using the hot smoked method, make sure that the smoke cap is tightly closed. It should be installed above the firebox or fire and give hot and thick smoke;
- the shelf life of hot smoked products is small - only 2-3 days, the most delicious products - smoked meat or fish, just cooked;
- Try adding herbs to the sawdust (sage, mint, rosemary), this will give your products an amazing flavor.
- Do not forget that the smoke contains carcinogenic substances, so too much to get involved in smoked products do not need.
Here, perhaps, is all you need to know before you start smoking at home. If you are planning a festive table, then you can please the guests with meat or fish, cooked by hot-smoked, because they are prepared very quickly - only 1-2 hours.
Cook with pleasure!