Within my younger days I suppose I never really understood the real significance of smoke flavoured food and smoked products. I ate Bacon and Ham readily without having a single thought of how that magical taste was developed, when i grew older smoked onion soup, smoked Trout and Salmon and various other smoked goods found their place upon my plate. While I was experiencing the flavours and taste of the products but not really thinking too hard about how it was made.
The ability of successfully check this link right here now has long been shrouded with much mystique and secrecy; many home recipes have been handed down through generations of families and closely guarded by those that practice it regularly, commercial producers guard their proprietary recipes with the law……serious business this smoking sometimes.
Smoking is probably the oldest methods of preserving plenty of fish, meat and game. Long before there was any technology like refrigerators and freezers, people learned to use a combination of salt and smoke to keep fish and meat from forming harmful bacteria and spoiling. It was not endemic to the particular region, race or country and folks from cultures around the globe have relied on the smoke-curing of fish and meat products for longterm storage.
How many of you have even been slipped a piece of fish or meat through the old guy later on every so often that tastes just magnificent and wondered how he manages to make it taste so excellent, or a mates mate who turns up in a garden BBQ with some smoked foods that end up being the key conversation topic as much a alcoholic beverage is consumed.
For quite some time now I have practiced, experimented, failed dismally and sometimes produced some fantastic smoked foods and located the most difficult part of the whole process is consistency…….constantly producing a product that’s is great is rarely an easy task and needs complete charge of many aspects.
Hopefully inside the article that follows I can dispel some myths, offer some facts and science and direct you to being able to produce some terrific smoked foods and impress your families and mates with many tasty morsels.
In more modern times great post to read is not considered a necessary process for retardation of food spoilage nevertheless it remains popular for the complex and tantalising flavours it gives to a lot of different foods. Through the mid 1800s the industrial revolution influenced much of the food world as well as in particular the water-fishing industry. Transportation of fresh fish produce was a hugely difficult job though with the advent of rapid transportation for foodstuffs a long shelf-life was will no longer so essential. As this became more widespread so did the accessibility of fresh fish, the buzz of heavily salted, heavily smoked products of history then started to decline.
This is where the smoked fish products we now regard as traditional came into being; these are mildly smoked and dried and contain minimum salt content when compared to the heavily salted fish of before.
Throughout the mid to late 1900s the marketplace for smoked fish underwent a major change yet the actual technology of smoking fish remained much exactly like it had been for hundreds of years. What we do see much more of is now commercial cures that colour and flavour the products to please a massive consumer market and less in the traditional smoked produce according to these age old processes.
Ideally, smoked fish should get its flavour and mahogany colour through the smoke, however, many cheaper smoked fish have smoke flavour added, plus some varieties, like some hot-smoked and garishly coloured ‘kippered’ salmon, use artificial food colour also. In fact, a few of the brightly coloured cured fish purchased in supermarkets are not smoked at all, simply flavoured with a cure which includes smoke flavouring.
There are 2 main reasons to smoke food, one is for preservation and also the other is perfect for texture and flavour, with food preservation not nearly as important as it once was the western world smoking today is used mainly to impart an enjoyable mild smoky flavour.
What can’t you Smoke…!! This really is basically up to your imagination and personal tastes, Fish, Meat (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey), Game (Venison, Wallaby, Duck), Vegetables, Cheese, Eggs even Salt…..if you can eat it fair bet you can probably smoke it, uncertain how smoked Apple would go though…?? I am certain at one stage or any other just about every kind of food has probably been experimented with to determine if it could be smoked. As the old saying goes though….
You can’t produce a top class smoked product from second rate food, should your smoking the fish you catch address it well from the very beginning, straight on ice and remove all gills and gut contents, same goes with your meat if you hunt yourself, slaughter quickly, take care of it well and address it with respect as well as the final product will be definitely worth the extra effort. Should your buying products use reputable butchers and fish processors, go for the best quality produce and with regards to poultry always buy organically raised birds…..trust me it will make a big difference.
Some individuals are frequently of the opinion that smoking can cover up mouldy or stale fish and meat off-flavours, this can be completely untrue and any unpleasant odours or flavours will be readily apparent quickly.
Smokers come in all shapes and sizes and all kinds of styles, you can buy them from many tackle stores and camping shops and you could even make one at home from many thing, the majority of you would be very familiar tgyika the tiny box shaped galvanised or browse around here, a few things i term the “lunch box” smokers of which I am certain lots of people have performed much of their smoking in. These come in a range of shapes, sizes and brands, are simple to use requiring only a bottle of methylated spirits for your burner or burners along with a bag of sawdust. They actually do however only provide a hot smoke product and they are not recommended for any foods apart from fish as there is little if any control over the temperature or smoke quality, any attempt at cold smoking will demand a much more sophisticated setup.