The ancient art of smoking

Ever since the human being learned thousands of years ago to master fire, they realized that by exposing their food to smoke, they were kept fresh longer. That great knowledge continues now as an ancient culinary technique.

In order to achieve a quality smoked, several factors such as the type of wood to be used, must be taken into account, oak is an excellent choice for most meats because of its versatility.

In general, any wood that is hard and free of resins will be good for smoking, however we must consider the type of meat to determine the smoking time and therefore, the following 5-step process is usually carried out:

  1. Salting or brine

Salting is used when the pieces to be smoked are large as legs or loins and the brine is used when small pieces like fish are smoked, in both cases, salt serves a dehydrating function.

Photo via carnicorocota on Flickr.
Photo via carnicorocota on Flickr.
  1. Rinsing

After leaving the pieces in salt for the proper time, they must be submerged in water to rehydrate and remove excess salt.

Photo via fishingqueen07 on Flickr.
Photo via fishingqueen07 on Flickr.
  1. Seasoning

Now it’s time to add flavor to the meat, covering it with spices such as black pepper, paprika and/or cinnamon. Thus we also avoid the establishment of bacteria.

Photo via Mike on Flickr.
Photo via Mike on Flickr.
  1. Smoking

An important factor to consider is the duration of exposure to smoke, being of short duration (one or two days) for small pieces such as trout, or long duration (eight to ten days) for large pieces.

Photo via Paul O'Mahony on Flickr.
Photo via Paul O’Mahony on Flickr.
  1. Maturation

This is the last and simplest step, since it consists of removing the meat from the smoker and hanging it in the air for a few days so that they lose the high concentrations of the elements acquired inside the smoker and they are balanced from the first time that they are consumed.

Photo via Varchar N on Flickr.
Photo via Varchar N on Flickr.

Do not miss our Roast and Smoked Day during the 23rd International Gourmet Festival and discover this great flavor for yourself!

Bon appétit!