There are basically two kinds of smoking to prepare food. Meat is commonly smoked; cheese and vegetables can be smoked as well but sometimes the smoke overpowers their flavours. The most common smoking is done for pork, beef, venison, and poultry. Certain kinds of poultry and pork are smoked more than others. These smoked items are often given as gifts if they come from a respectable supplier.
Hot Smoking vs. Cold Smoking
Hot smoking and cold smoking are the two different ways to make food. As the name implies, hot smoking involves producing a large amount of smoke at a high temperature to cook a piece of meat. Cold smoking means producing a much lower temperature while still producing smoke. You can cook meat by cold smoking it, however, this process takes much longer. The benefits of hot smoking are that the food comes out thoroughly cooked at the end. Hot smoking is great for poultry that will then go into gift boxes in Sussex. It is especially important for chicken.
Chicken needs to be thoroughly cooked to a certain temperature before it is safe to eat. If you are giving someone a gift that includes smoked chicken, it needs to be a fully-cooked chicken. The best way to fully cook chicken is with a hot smoking application. The chicken needs to be brought up to temperature within about four hours while it is being smoked. Otherwise, bacteria might have a chance to multiply. The alternative for other types of meat is cold smoking.
Venison and Beef
Meats such as venison and beef do not have to be thoroughly cooked to be safe. Those meats also tend to have tighter protein bonds, which means they take longer to absorb smoke when they are being smoked. However, they will also hold onto more of the smoke flavour. Therefore, venison and beef are often cold smoked. Cold smoking allows the meat to absorb more smoke without the meat being cooked too quickly. When venison or beef are cooked too quickly, the protein and collagen bonds tend to squeeze together and force liquids out. That results in dry and tough meat. However, cold smoking means that the collagen will break down as it is smoked. The protein will not force liquids out from between the bonds. Cold-smoked venison or beef is tender and flavourful.
The last kind of food that is most commonly smoked is cheese. Smoked cheddar and smoked stilton are both very desirable cheeses. Cheddar and stilton are commonly smoked because they are already very strongly-flavoured cheeses that will not be overpowered by smoke. They are cold smoked for hours; oak is a common choice of wood. Oak is chosen because it has a desirable flavour without being too strong. Cheese has to be cold smoked because it would begin to lose form if the heat were too high. A cold-smoked cheese should have a delicate smoky flavour that complements the flavour of the cheese.