Every person interested in smoking food gradually comes to dilemma, so to say he finds himself between two options: “Ok, the way I smoke products is good enough, no need to change anything!” and “What if I try to follow the rules and instructions when smoking?”
What is the most complicated thing in smoking process? First, how to maintain necessary temperature; secondly, to watch all the time saturation of smoke, to add sawdust in time etc. The whole process is not short. Any smoking process takes from 2 to 30 hours. Of course, you can tell me how to smoke a product in a plain box or a saucepan, when you just throw sawdust, put a fish over it, place it all on a gas stove or any other fire, and in 40 minutes you get a mouth-watering product, the most delicious one. Ok, I don’t mind but this way you get not a smoked but a boiled fish with a scent of smoke. The fish is far from being smoked like homebrew will never be an original Scottish whisky. For me the difference is evident.
The conditions to compile:
- Air-tightness of the smoker.
- Control of temperature, in camera and inside a product.
- Continuous supply of smoke on the product.
- Dispose much free time.
I used to try many smokers. My first ones were homemade of boxes and barrels for gasoline. Last 10 years I deal with German, American BBQ and Weber grill.
All these devices are well-equipped but they cannot solve one problem: It is hard to maintain the balance between the temperature in camera and the sawdust smoldering temperature. If you make the fire more intense the product starts boiling, less – the sawdust is extinguished. And also you’re obliged to go out all the time to check how the process goes on, every 20 minutes actually.
And now I’m speaking about hot smoking only. Dealing with cold one, be sure, we would not have done without a ground hole with a tube for smoke.
As it turned out the Americans have already invented a device which meets all the requirements mentioned above. Yes, human laziness rules the world and promotes a progress.
The description of the smoking process is going to be short. So, step by step, we put maximum 15 kg of a product on the camera shelf, adding necessary quantity of sawdust. Then on a display we set a desired temperature/ time of smoking, and press on the button “Power”. That’s it, you may do whatever you want, even forget about this device for the next 10 hours. The smoker will perform all necessary functions itself and switch off automatically. Whether you want hot or cold smoking – it does not matter.
The smoker is not cheap and the sawdust should be purchased from manufacturers (by good price, though I’ve found already the recipe to prepare a homemade sawdust).
For testing purposes I bought:
Beef (breast part) – two pieces. Dry salting is used during 13 days. Then rinse with water during 12 hours and drying next 24 hours.
Another two pieces of beef – humid salting, same time intervals like in dry salting.
Salmon (fillet) – 4 kg, salting during 20 hours and drying during 24 hours.
For the smoking I used apple sawdust – 1 hour under 50C; 2 hours under 80C; and 1 hour under 100C. The fish was ready in 2,5 hours.
I was impressed by the results. Before I never managed to maintain the structure of meat and often failed trying to preserve the oiliness of fish. With a new Bradley device I can get a real smoked product, not a boiled one.