Cold food smoking

cold-smoked-fishFrom time to time I have tweeted pictures of my cold food smoking equipment. The last time I put up a picture of smoking trout, I had loads (OK one) request to put up some more detailed pictures and explain more. So, here we go.

I have made a cold smoking set up, rather than hot smoking. This means that the ‘fire’ is away from the food being smoked, providing cold smoke, rather than smoldering in the same container and part cooking the food. My set up was inspired by Dick Strawbridge and his ‘smoking’ book.







The above pictures show my set up. I started with a soot vacuum container from Aldi. I made 2 shelves to fit inside for the food and a separate burner, similar to that used in beekeeping.

food-smoking-coldcold-smokingHardwood shavings are added, and lit, to produce the smoke.

A pipe then feeds the smoke into the container, where the food awaits.

I have found that about 1 hour of smoking gives a delicate flavour. More and it becomes bitter and over smoked.



So far we have smoked fish, cheese and eggs.

All are delicious and I would thoroughly recommend giving it a try.

3 thoughts on “Cold food smoking”

  1. Andy forgot to mention that all the hardwood is the waste chippings from his woodcarving (we re-use or cycle everything possible), and to say that he’s only done ‘fish, cheese and eggs’ is rather under-reporting!

    His ‘offerings’ (all fo them delicious) have included giant shell-on prawns, smaller shell-off prawns, salmon, olives, mozzarella, cheddar, brie, stilton, almonds, hard boiled eggs (delicious mashed up with mayonnaise as a sandwich filling or jacket potato or cracker topping), mushrooms…

  2. It looks wonderful. I have an old galvanised animal feed container that I think would be suitable. I’ve got a lot of sawdust/wood shavings but I don’t know what woods are in them – some oak, certainly, but not sure what else might be there.

    1. Hi Z
      Lovely to hear from you.
      It really is much easier than you might think. I first saw it done in a dustbin with a smoking fire in one side and food in the other, it worked.
      The only thing that is vitally important is the wood. Stating the obvious, but it must not have been treated in any way, so no nasty chemicals or paint etc. The next is that it must be hardwood. Softwood contains a higher level of tar and this will taint the food. It makes it almost acidic in taste and increases the carcinogenic elements within the smoke.
      To make sure you aren’t disappointed at the first atttempt, I would suggest getting some ‘known wood’. A piece of oak roughyl chopped up will do the job perfectly.
      Enjoy and do let me know how you get on.

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