Hot Smoking or Cold Smoking

Hot Smoking or Cold Smoking

The smoking of meats, fish, cheeses and even vegetables is an old traditional way of cooking, flavouring and preserving that goes back in history thousands of years. Right now, it’s back in a massive way. There are two main ways to smoke your meats, fish and vegetables. Hot Smoking and Cold Smoking, but what’s the difference?

Hot Smoking or Cold Smoking? What’s the Difference?

Before I get into the main differences, I’d like to point out that both hot and cold smoking include curing the meat or fish before smoking usually using a combination of salt and sugar in the form of a rub or brine. Here is some more information on curing.

Hot Smoking

To put it simply, hot smoking is a way of cooking with heat and flavouring with smoke at the same time. Generally, with hot smoking, you maintain a cooking temperature between 100°C and 120°C or 212°F and 280°F. Here is a list of meats and fish that are commonly hot smoked:

  • Slow-cooked Spare Ribs
  • “low and Slow” Pulled Pork
  • Hot Smoked Sausage
  • Beef Brisket
  • Hot Smoked Salmon
  • Smoked Mackerel
  • Hot Smoked Trout

Hot smoking is not just for meats and fish. Try smoking some of these vegetables:

  • Chillies
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Garlic
  • Aubergine
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms.

The list is endless.

Hot smoking is cooking with temperature and flavouring with smoke.

Cold Smoking

With cold smoking, you do not cook the food during the smoking process however you flavour it using smoke. Cold smoking does not include direct heat as hot smoking does. The smoke is often created in a separate compartment and fed through a tube or pipe to the main smoking chamber. Cold smoking can often be a much longer process lasting anywhere between 1 and 30 days and often used as a way of preserving. Here is a list of foods that are commonly cold-smoked:

  • Salami
  • Salmon
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts

Cold Smoking can often involve higher risk so I would highly recommend doing plenty of research and maybe starting with some of the lower risk foods such as, butter, cheese, olive oil, nuts and garlic to gain experience.

Which Wood should be used for Smoking?

Using hardwood is recommended for smoking so avoid using softwoods. Hardwood for smoking is available in many forms including logs, shavings and dust. Which one you use depends on the techniques and equipment you’re using. I will list below some of my favourite wood and equipment you will need to get started for both hot and cold smoking.

  • Weber is another brand that I’ve personally used and loved so I highly recommended especially for hot smoking.
  • Remember Smoking whether hot or cold takes attention and experience to do it well.

You can check out more of my blog posts here or if you’d like to get cooking you can have a browse of my Good Day Recipes and Bad Day Recipes.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Shaheen Reviews

    That was very interesting, thanks for sharing 🙏👌👌👌

    1. tjrmint

      Thank you! My pleasure, I’m glad you found it helpful.

  2. Arhaaths

    Interesting blog.A lot to learn on the art of cooking.

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