Smokehouse for summer cottage: design options for cold and hot smoking

What could be better than a pleasant vacation in your own country house, when a hearth has been bred on an open area, and you enjoy unity with nature in the emotional company of relatives and friends. For complete happiness it remains only to try a dish of smoked fish or meat, prepared with your own hands. To diversify your table with dishes with an unforgettable taste and exquisite aroma, you just need to make a smokehouse for summer cottage.

Many people know that there are two ways to cook smoked meats: cold and hot.

Cold smoked products retain their texture and density. The technology is quite lengthy, but it is not worth rushing things, because not fully cooked fish or meat can cause poisoning.

When hot smoked, the products are prepared due to the heat emanating from the coals, soaking in a pleasant aroma of smoke and acquiring a more saturated taste.

The cold method involves smoking products for several days at a temperature of 30 °. The products are simply suspended from the smoke of a smoldering fire and aged for 5-7 days.

The hot method involves smoking fish or meat for several hours at a temperature of 90 ° to 150 °. The lower the temperature in the installation, the longer the product is smoked

The principle of the smokehouse

The main principle of smoking is that with optimal heating, wood chips, not igniting, gradually smolder, while emitting a large amount of smoke.

The main thing in arranging a smokehouse is to maintain the temperature, creating conditions under which tree branches and sawdust do not light up and carbonize, and the dish turns out tasty and healthy

The optimal method of smoking in the absence of special thermometers at home can only be determined empirically.

The lid should fit snugly against the body of the smoking chamber, otherwise, instead of smoking, you can get burning. Since during repeated use, the metal tends to warp to ensure a snug fit, the lid can be pressed down with ordinary brick.

The design of the smokehouse is determined by the method of smoking.

When building a device for cold smoking, the pit for the hearth is placed aside, connecting it to the smoking chamber with a special pipe

During the construction of a device for hot smoking, a fireplace with coals is located directly under the smoking chamber

Smokehouse Option # 1 - Hot Smoked Design

There are many design options for smokehouses that you can do yourself. It all depends on the availability of free time necessary for the manufacture of materials and skills of the master.

The simplest version of the smokehouse is a structure made of two hundred liter metal barrels.

At the bottom of the tank, wood chips are poured. A reinforcing grill is located slightly above the middle, the thickness of the rods in which is 8-10 mm

The upper part of the barrel is covered with a piece of burlap, which prevents the exit of smoke. The structure itself is covered with a wooden shield. The barrel is placed on posts made of bricks and a bonfire is made under it.

The same principle of arrangement can be applied by making a smokehouse from a metal bucket. To equip the lattice, we used willow rods from which we formed a ring and braided it with wire so that a coarse-mesh net was obtained.

The moment of the right choice of sawdust is also important. In no case do not take coniferous sawdust, otherwise you will receive a guaranteed failure option. It doesn’t turn out tasty when cooked on aspen filings.

For smoking, it is best to use shavings and ground branches left from the autumn pruning of fruit trees: cherry, sea buckthorn, apple tree, apricot

A delicious dish can be obtained using branches of birch, bird cherry and dry alder. But they should first be cleaned of bark, because it gives bitterness.

Smokehouse Option # 2 - Cold Smoked Design

To provide yourself with a variety of delicacies, you can make a smokehouse yourself.

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Choosing an installation location

On the one hand, the place should be convenient so that there is where to lay out the products and sit down, waiting for the completion of the process. On the other hand, it is better to place a flammable structure away from green spaces and buildings, since a raging flame can cause permanent damage.

When choosing a place to install a smokehouse, it is important to consider not only the convenience for those involved in the preparation of the dish, but also the safety of the structure

It is also necessary to provide enough space for arranging an underground chimney 3 meters long, whose average height is 25-27 cm and a width of 30-50 cm.

Procurement of materials

For a smokehouse camera, a metal barrel or an iron box is ideal. For work, it is better to use a tank whose area does not exceed one meter and a height of one and a half meters. You can make it by cutting and bending a sheet of metal, and then welding a box from it without a bottom and a roof.

When arranging a smokehouse, it is better to use natural materials that, when heated, do not emit substances harmful to human health

Chimney arrangement

The upper wall of the channel can be decorated with the same brick or covered with a sheet of thick metal. On top of the chimney we place a damper that will block the exit of heat and smoke. It is better to cut it from a sheet of metal having a thickness of 4 mm.

The chimney channel is laid above the level of the smokehouse. We lay the walls of the chimney with a brick, installing their edge and fastening it with clay mortar

We connect the chimney to the smokehouse so that the entry is equal to 20 cm, ensuring uniform distribution and timely removal of smog out. The joints of the walls of the smoking chamber and the chimney are sealed with clay mortar.

Installing a smoke chamber

To equip the firebox, we tear out a hole in the ground with a depth of 40 cm and a diameter of 70 cm, providing for the presence of space for air intake.

We put the smoking chamber out of brick using sand-clay mortar, or we use a metal box for this purpose

Since we will light the fire for heating sawdust directly on the ground, we completely remove the bottom of the box. The smoking compartment itself is built from a lattice made of iron rods. An excellent complement to the design will be metal hooks, on which it is convenient to hang carcasses of fish and pieces of meat.

In the process of smoking, meat and fish begin to secrete fat. In order to let him drain, we place a shallow pan under the grate, leaving gaps between the walls of the box and the edges of the pallet for the passage of flue gases.

A wet burlap stretched over the firebox will allow smoke to pass through without hindrance, but at the same time protect products from pollution by ash and foreign substances.

To be able to control the process, we fix a mechanical thermometer on the wall of the structure.

First device test

Inside the smoking compartment, we place the fish or pieces of meat so that they do not touch.

In the sawdust department, we fill in the chopped wood of any fruit tree and flood the stove. Close the shutter, waiting until the smoke chamber warms up and fills with smoke. The preparatory phase takes a quarter of the total cooking time and lasts from 10 to 15 minutes.

It is not at all necessary to limit yourself to smoking only fish. Chicken stuffed with garlic pork neck and lard

When the temperature rises to the required mark, open the outlet. You can determine the temperature in the smokehouse using a mechanical thermometer or using the method with water. To do this, drip water onto the lid and observe: if it does not hiss during evaporation, the smoking process proceeds correctly. If it is necessary to lower the temperature, it is enough just to move the coals a little.

It remains only to wait until the product is completely smoked, becoming hot to the touch and acquiring a golden hue.

For the first time, you can check the product’s readiness right in the cooking process, removing the lid for a split second and returning it with the same speed, thereby violating the production technology somewhat. With the acquisition of experience, the need for this will disappear, and you will be much better oriented, creating culinary masterpieces in the fresh air.


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