and how long do you smoke the various products for ?
I do not use any spices yet, as I am going to get the base cure that I like first, and then start adding, I am on a maple syrup and curing salt mix at the moment, I've got a couple of days to go before it visits my frying pan
What spices do you find work best ?
My hot smoking method, is a fish kettle, put the wood shavings in the bottom, fish tray on top, and salmon or meat on the tray, lid on Put on BBQ or in WFO, ..........and guess the cooking time
Nick, I use a ProQ cold smoker and a Bradley. I'd recommend the ProQ to anyone interested in cold smoking, it might seem expensive for a bit of metal but I find its very reliable and I wouldn't waste the time and effort on replicating it. I find a full ProQ lasts about 10+ hrs and I use the ProQ inside the Bradley, without any other heat, the Bradley just acts as a container but it usefully has a controllable exhaust slide. If you are using your wfo to cold smoke I wouldn't close the door fully, you do need some air flowing in to help with the smouldering wood and also to let the smoke out, I don't know the detailed science but its generally considered that smoke becomes quite acrid over time.
Have you any idea what the cure contains, in percentage terms? For bacon, I personally use a curing mix of salt, sugar, sodium nitrite and saltpetre plus whatever herbs and spices take my fancy. Some people don't like the use of curing salts and use just plain salt.
The ProQ looks great, but with the volume of my oven, I wonder if it will produce enough smoke, the videos I have seen shows it producing a narrow wisp of smoke, and if it's meant to last ten hours, so it must use about three inches of sawdust per hour, I just have my doubts on the volume it produces, also like you say, you require some air flow, so some has to escape, albeit a small amount
Half the fun I have is experimenting, and as SWMBO says wasting my time and money
As for the cure, It says it contains "salt and Sodium Nitrite in the correct ratio for safe and effective curing."
Lets face it botulism is not on any of our menus
I have added maple syrup in my last cure, and have just two days to go before heating my pan
I am trying to get a nice balance of salt and sweet without the flavour being overpowered by the salt
I would welcome any ideas you all have on additions to the cure
I started off using the bacon brine mix from river cottage and then played with it over the years. I am lucky I have ( at the moment ) an unlimited supply of fruit and nut shavings so I can mess about. As for how long it really depends on what I am smoking and wether I want a long or short smoke. Cheese , mushrooms , flour, rice, butter etc takes abouthe length of a good hot smoke or BBQ cook, for longer smokes after the BBQ I shove a casserole etc into the hot smoker and carry on cold smoking. I don't use salt Peter but as I am not using the smoking technique for preserving I feel it's okay. We tend to have a smoke up as we need it. From building the makeshift smoker it's all been a hit and miss type of thing, great fun as well!