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steel rods
first venture
Cold Or Hot Smoked Food
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My venture into the realms of smoking food dates back to my army days. It was found that by using an old oil drum with holes drilled into the base,a fair degree of success could be acheived in just smoking food for the flavour. We used steel rods to suspend fish etc. but couldn't use any shelves. I was in Greece at the time so we could experiment with all sorts of fish, goat and rabbit. We did not know that we should have preserved the food before smoking,so the end product soon went rancid---we blamed the heat!

Back in Blighty I thought I would have another go at smoking food but this time I bought a book!! So following instructions I rescued a chest freezer from the tip drilled holes in the base and the top to provide air draft and smoke escape. Stood the "smoker" on bricks and used an old tin tray as a base for the fire/smoke. The book told me that I should put the raw food in brine for a certain time then dry it before smoking.

The recipe I used-one which I still use to this day is for each pint of water one pound of ordinary salt, quarter pound of sugar and whatever herbs I can find, Let the food soak for the required time e.g.herrings,sprats,mackeral and haddock only an hour or so but some other products like meat need longer.

Time of smoking varies according to the product, as a rough guide --smoke as long as the preserving (salting) time.If a strong smoke taste is wanted try moving the shelves so that more smoke is circulated, It is to start,a case of trial. An extreem case a friend who has a purpose built smoke house decided to smoke a turkey--it took the best part of a week!

Going back to my first venture with the freezer -it ended in disaster.I was alerted by flames coming out of the top of theFreezer a wind had suddenly caused a terrific draft and the plastic on the inside caught alight. I had forgotten to take all the plastic out. Everything of course was ruined. I thought long and hard and decided I am sure I can get to grips with this smoking lark.

So back to the drawing board,designed a super effort like the proverbial brick built....house in a secluded part of the garden. Off to the builders merchant ordered bricks cement and what have you. Laid a concret base andstarted laying the bricks when,a visitor who introduced himself as the building inspector,asked me if I was building a smoke house. It had been reported by ??? I was told in no uncertain terms that I couldn't carry on with my smoker. (it was going to be a commercial venture).

However nothing ventured I bought a made to measure quality smoker which I keepin a shed.


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