How we prepare our foods prior to smoking has changed significantly. The original process of salting or salt-water brining before smoking pre-cures foods and readies them for storage once smoked. This technique combined with exposing the foods to long periods of hot-smoking, up to several days in fact, ensures proper curing. Although this approach is still widely used, there are three methods that are more commonly used at home:
When smoking cured or raw meat, fish or poultry remember to always allow it to form a pellicle, a slightly tacky (not viscous, unless they’ve been brined) layer of protein on the surface of the food you’re smoking. Times will vary based on if the foods are raw, have been cured or depending on if it’s meat, fish or poultry. A good rule of thumb is to do so uncovered, on a rack in the fridge overnight. Fish, for example, creates a pellicle quite quickly whereas meats and poultry take longer. A proper pellicle on the food that’s about to be smoked is what will ensure adhesion of the smoke and will determine the amount of smoky flavour and colour it absorbs. It equally acts as a protective barrier that will ensure your food doesn’t dry out during the smoking process.
Article from Fornetto Grills: http://fornetto.com/blog/an-easy-guide-to-smoking-food/
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