Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About
This is one of the most ancient methods of preservation. Many different types of woods can be used to successfully smoke (and consequently flavor) food. Hardwoods, such as hickory, ash, mesquite, and all fruitwoods, are best, as their smoke is clean tasting and often adds a slightly sweet flavor. Woods with high resin content such as pine should be avoided, as they will impart an unpleasant taste to the food.
Smoking is separated into two categories, cold smoking and hot smoking.

Cold smoking is achieved through two phases. The product must first be cured, usually brined, and then the smoke is applied at temperatures below 38°C (100°F). This cold smoke prevents the coagulation of the protein in meat and fish, which means that the product remains uncooked. When using cold smoke to cure, it must be done in a controlled atmosphere and the heat source must be separate from the unit holding the product to be smoked to avoid cooking. An example of a cold-smoked product would be Scottish smoked salmon.