First-Time Cold Smoking for Beginners

First-Time Cold Smoking for Beginners

Posted on: January 16, 2023

It’s common to hear individuals brag about how good they are in hot food smoking, but hear nobody brag about excellent cold smoking skills. Generally, it is difficult for anyone to organize a cookout to cold smoke food.

It’s common to hear individuals brag about how good they are in hot food smoking, but hear nobody brag about excellent cold smoking skills. Generally, it is difficult for anyone to organize a cookout to cold smoke food. The reasons behind this are obvious. Cold smoking is mainly meant to preserve food and it is not fun to do. On the other hand, hot smoking is quite fun and a great way to bond with friends or family.

Cold smoking is different from hot smoking as it does not cook the food. It is a process to add flavor to the food you are cooking or preserve it by exposing it to smoke containing the necessary ingredients. It is a process that requires curing since the smoke is only supposed to penetrate the food’s surface and leave the inside untouched. You have probably heard of curing being used as a way to preserve food from harmful bacteria.

Types of foods to cold smoke

There is a wide variety of foods that you can cold smoke, including smoked salmon, meat, cheese, and even vegetables. Furthermore, cheese and vegetables are among the preferred foods for cold smoking beginners as you can quickly get away with a few mistakes. The risks are also relatively low with these foods. The following list has the best foods that you can start with when you want to familiarize yourself with cold smoking.

  • Bacon
  • Vegetables
  • Boiled eggs
  • Garlic
  • Tofu

It is important to note that we have chosen the foods that require cooking before serving to minimize the risks. But this does not imply that we have tied you to only the above-mentioned foods. You may also come across other recommendations for beginner-friendly cold smoking foods.

Smoker to use

You have probably been questioning yourself on the type of food smoker you should use for cold smoking. A simple smoker may not serve you best as most of them are designed best for hot smoking. A good cold food smoker should have two chambers, one for the fuel and the other for the food. It is different from hot smoking, so the food has to be separated from the fuel. You can check out our Bradley food smokers when you are considering cold food smokers.

Wood To Use

We recommend getting Bradley Bisquettes compressed from hardwoods and designed to offer the best cold smoking experience. They come in a variety of flavors allowing you to choose your preferred flavor. They will impart your food with the flavor of your choice, thus making your food tastier.

Simple cold smoking steps

  • Go to a cool place or wait for a time when the temperatures will be cooler.
  • Heat is the biggest enemy of cold smoking; therefore, you constantly need to monitor the temperatures throughout the process.
  • Allow the food to come back to room temperature, especially If you had stored it in the fridge. You will reduce the time it will take to smoke the meat by allowing it to return to room temperature.

You can store your healthy cold smoked meat for at least four weeks. The meat can last for 1-2 months.

Safety precautions for Cold Smoking

Cold smoking has its own risks and challenges. Therefore, you should exercise the following precautions to minimize or eliminate the risks.

  • As a beginner, avoid foods such as fish, sausages, and other cured meat you can consume without cooking. Significant risks lie here, and you need to avoid such foods. Instead, focus on the beginner-friendly foods mentioned in this article that will make your learning experience more fun and less risky.
  • Carefully monitor the temperatures when you are cold smoking. Be more careful than hot smoking and make sure you keep the temperature at favorable levels.
  • Do not be fooled by the myth that curing kills all bacteria on your meat, making it safe for direct consumption. Your health remains a priority, thus you need to cook the meat before serving.

You should also never serve people with chronic illnesses, mostly the elderly, due to the dangers of cold smoking.

Make it a habit to consult cold smoking experts where necessary to make your cold smoking experience more fun and healthy.
To get more ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Blog for more tips & tricks.