This is a question we get asked a lot from people who are just starting out with food smoking.
In very simply terms hot smoking is when you cook your produce at the same time as smoking and usually serve it hot. The food is exposed to smoke and heat in a controlled environment such as a Bradley Smoker. One of the easiest ways to understand the process is to describe it as cooking in the presence of smoke as an ingredient and flavouring.
Cold smoking is used when you would like the produce to have that lovely taste of smoke and rich colour but do not want it to be cooked at the same time. A great example of this would be traditional smoked salmon, bacon or perhaps smoked cheese which if it were hot smoked would end up as a runny mess!
It is important when cold smoking to keep the temperature of your smoker cabinet below 30° C, and it is recommended that cold smoked produce is cured before smoking. The importance of keeping the temperature below 30° C is because above this temperature the heat burns or liquefies fat and the produce is more likely to deteriorate.
Cold smoking was originally a method used to preserve food before refrigeration were invented. By using the naturally occurring compounds in the smoke to preserve by extending the food’s shelf life. We are now aware that there are naturally occurring chemicals in smoke that possess anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties which aids in this process. Nowadays we have excellent refrigeration but we still enjoy smoke flavour on our foods which is why we tend to cold smoke and in a lot of countries, particularly in Europe it is part of our food history and culture.
Bradley Smokers CleanSmoke™ Technology is one of the main things that sets us apart from the rest. The purest form of smoke flavour guaranteed from using our Bisquettes® with our innovative Bradley Smoke generator system which you can read more about on our website.
Most of the Bradley Smoker range can hot smoke and cold smoke with the cold smoke adaptor enabling you to do both.