You can buy the Smoke Generator on its own, and many people use them in their (switched off) BBQs for cold smoking. But the full EcoSmoker kit doesn’t cost that much more, and it means I can play with cold smoking even when the pellet grill is in use. The smoker body is actually made of cardboard, but is pretty sturdy. The kit also includes metal drip trays and 3 nice chrome plated food racks.
Tonight, I have a number of things stacked in there, as my first experiment:
- Mature English Cheddar
- Medium Strong Hard Goat’s Cheese
- Mild Hard Goat’s Cheese
- Soft Goat’s Cheese
- A Small Capricorn Soft Goat’s Cheese
- Goat’s Butter
- Three Small Trout Fillets
Note that the cold smoke is mainly for flavour, it only has a small preservative factor. In the case of the trout, I really should have brined or salt-cured them first, to make them proper smoked trout. However, they should taste good, and I intend to use them over the weekend.
Lesson number 1: not the best time to try cold-smoking on the hottest late-september afternoon I can remember.
The cheese came out the smoker ok, but some bits a little sweaty. Now cling-wrapped and back in the fridge.
When hot-smoking, I find it a frustrating to have to wait an hour for a beef joint to rest after cooking, or – for pulled pork – overnight to develop the right flavour.
However, I’ve been told that for cheese, it is best left for a minimum of 5 days before eating.