The Smokehouse and the Smoke

It is not necessary to have a regular smokehouse—although it is a delightful addition to any farm or house. Some rural communities have meat rings, which is a great advantage to all members. One regular size smokehouse will answer for many families.

This is the ideal arrangement and it can easily be managed if you are progressive and anxious enough to supply your family with delicious meat the year around and want to save time and money.

If, however, you have to do your own smoking and smoke only a small quantity at a time a barrel or large box will answer.

The meat which you are going to smoke should be removed from the brine the day before the smoking. A half hour soaking in cold water prevents a crust of salt from forming on the outside. Do not hang the meat so that any two pieces touch as this would prevent uniform smoking.

The Smoke & Smoking

Green hickory or any of the hardwoods or maple should be used for the smoking. Pine or any other resinous woods should not be used as they give a disagreeable flavor to the meat.

Always start with a slow fire so as to warm the meat up gradually. Thirty-six to forty-eight hours of heat as near 120 degrees F. as possible will be sufficient under most circumstances. Overheating of the meat must be guarded against.

NOTE: Never use softwoods for smoking meat. If it is impossible to get hardwood use corncobs rather than soft wood. Keep in mind that  the corncobs will leave a dirty deposit on the meat, which is carbon. Most people think that it is not really objectionable, only from the standpoint of "looks" , but we suggest not to use corncobs.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Alder is traditional wood for smoking salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Alder also works well with other fish and has a light delicate flavor.

Apple and Cherry woods produce a slightly sweet, fruity smoke that's mild enough for chicken or turkey, but also capable of flavoring a ham.

Hickory is the king of the woods. It has strong, hearty taste and it is perfect for pork shoulder and ribs, but it also capable to enhance any read meat or poultry.

If hickory is the king of barbecue woods, oak is the queen. Assertive but always pleasant, it's the most versatile of hardwoods, blending well with a wide range of flavors.  What it does to beef is probably against the law in some states.

Maple wood has mildly smoky and sweet taste, and mates well with poultry, and ham. FREE Recipes