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Smoking Food in Poland


osiol 55 | 3921  
20 Jan 2008 /  #1
Meat, fish, cheese - I've tried using cigarette papers, but I've found that smoking them just hasn't worked.

So I have got myself an old oil drum. I cut the top off (which was fun), burned off all the oil residue from inside (which was also fun), and next I'm going to give it a serious clean (playing with water is also fun).

But, to make this into something for smoking the various food products I have mentioned, I have a few more things I will need to do.

I have seen in a friend's garden in Poland, a similar oil drum used for this purpose, but I haven't seen it in action.

Firstly, should there be a few holes at the bottom of the barrel so that the fire be inside, or should the fire be somewhere else and the smoke piped to the barrel through a single hole?

And if anyone wants to say anything about home-smoking, now is your chance.
Shawn_H  
20 Jan 2008 /  #2
Taken from Popular Mechanics....

popularmechanics.com/home_journal/workshop/3372796.html

Are you going to do some ribs? Maybe hold a tailgating party at the next football match? Yee-Haw!
RJ_cdn - | 267  
20 Jan 2008 /  #3
Look here: wedlinydomowe.pl/articles.php?id=270
Dice 15 | 452  
20 Jan 2008 /  #4
Maybe instead of a smoker you should build yourself a barbeque? A smoker is a great idea, but a barbeque is more useful. Or can you use a smoker as a barbeque also? I don't know...

How to build an Oil Drum Barbecue BBQ


OP osiol 55 | 3921  
20 Jan 2008 /  #5
I've already cut the top off this oil drum, so it will have to be upright, like the one RJ_cdn posted a link to. Thanks, R.

I can get another oil drum if I want to make a barbeque. That's another plan for when I've finished building my patio.

I read somewhere that in the past, Alder (Alnus glutinosa) wood was very popular across Europe for smoking food, but now Oak (Quercus petraea, Q. robur) seem to be more popular. Fruit trees, especially apple (Malus domestica) is also used a lot, especially (I suppose) in a country with as many orchards and apple trees as Poland.
inkrakow  
20 Jan 2008 /  #6
Yes, fruit wood is used but it's difficult to get. Beech is much more common, but any hard wood can be used.

I've found the following from a cookbook I have:

- hot smoking happens when the fire is in the same place as the food being smoked. It's cooked at temperatures of around 100degC and the smoke just gives it flavour. The disadvantage of hot smoking is that quite a lot of moisture is retained so it doesn't really preserve the food. You can use logs or kindling.

- cold smoking is more subtle and requires greater attention to detail. Hams and bacon are best after a long, slow, cold smoking. The aim is to produce a chamber of smoke at 25-30degC. For cold smoking, fine wood shavings or sawdust are easier to use.

- the book says that bellies of bacon, salted for 5 days and dried for 1-3 days need about 24hrs of continuous cold smoking. A cured ham takes 24hrs of continuous cold smoking. My friend who makes charcuterie near Krakow hot smokes kielbasa for 5-6hrs, fillets, hams and bacon for 2.5-3hrs and dry, mysliwska kielbasa for 3-4 days. In all cases, the meat hangs about 2.5m above the fire and comes out very moist (he also soaks it in a flavoured brine for 7-14 days beforehand).

Let us know how it goes!
plk123 8 | 4134  
20 Jan 2008 /  #7
oil residue

be very careful. personally i don't think i'd use an old oil drum as you really don't know what was in it and if you actually burnt it off.. i'd hate to see the donkey have issues.

but good luck.. smoking can be fun but it requires a lot of baby sitting and attention to details.. you have to be very good with fire.

start with small stuff as it takes less time.. and what inkrak said is about right.. you'll have to kind of figure it out as you go along.

either hot or cold is good. the hot smoked is super to eat now but isn't as preserved; it is cooked though.
OP osiol 55 | 3921  
22 Jan 2008 /  #8
i don't think i'd use an old oil drum as you really don't know what was in it

Umm... oil?

Having a good fire in it before scrubbing it clean with lots of soap and water should be good enough, I reckon.
The cold-smoking option has always looked like the better option to me.
There seem to be different kinds of set-up to do this. As I said before, the link posted by RJ_cdn looks good, but there are one or two things I'm not entirely sure about - many of you know how limited my Polish is, especially RJ, so when he posted that link, I assumed he did it partly as some sort of challenge.

it requires a lot of baby sitting

In the summer I spend a lot of time in the garden, so this shouldn't be a problem.

My next decision will have to be deciding what kind of tree to plant - I have a corner in my garden where I could fit two or three trees that I could coppice. Beech (Fagus sylvatica) looks like a good option as it appears to be used traditionally for smoking food, it copes with being cut back very hard and looks nice in the winter.
RJ_cdn - | 267  
22 Jan 2008 /  #9
I assumed he did it partly as some sort of challenge.

Sorry about that O. How can I help?
OP osiol 55 | 3921  
22 Jan 2008 /  #10
How can I help?

The top diagram looks like the kind of thing I had in mind. I've looked at it again and it has made a lot more sense this time. There is a brick fireplace and a smoke chamber next to it. I can see how the smoke would be drawn up into the smoking chamber.

It's just the design of the fireplace itself that is more of a mystery as it is shown as a pile of bricks. I assume it needs holes for air to get into it. Is there anything else mentioned about this and how the smoke leaves the fireplace into the smoke chamber?

Other than that, anything else I need to know is at least a couple of months away. Probably.

edit: I have avoided saying 'Yeah! Just translate the whole lot for me. Cheers!'
RJ_cdn - | 267  
22 Jan 2008 /  #11
I have avoided saying 'Yeah! Just translate the whole lot for me. Cheers!'

I hope you did not mean the whole website? lol. Anyway, I am still at work so it will have to wait until later.
Piorun - | 655  
22 Jan 2008 /  #12
If you’re making your smoker out of an old oil drum just look at the URL that RJ send you. At the bottom of the page there’s a link to “Szczegółowy przebieg budowy wędzarni MirkaB...” just click on it and you will see his entire project in pictures. That should give you an idea or two on how to make your own.
OP osiol 55 | 3921  
22 Jan 2008 /  #13
I hope you did not mean the whole website?

I did, but I'm not serious. I've never been one to follow the book too closely.
That seems to include not following the Polish grammar book too!

Szczegółowy przebieg budowy wędzarni MirkaB

I shall give it a whirl.
plk123 8 | 4134  
22 Jan 2008 /  #14
Umm... oil?

maybe.. see, you don't know either.. it could have held xilene or tuolane or a number of extrememly unhealthy things that may not wash out but instead perkolate into your food.

In the summer I spend a lot of time in the garden, so this shouldn't be a problem.

awesome.. multitascing. :)

“Szczegółowy przebieg budowy wędzarni MirkaB...”

v. nice
OP osiol 55 | 3921  
22 Jan 2008 /  #15
extrememly unhealthy things that may not wash out but instead perkolate into your food.

If so, after a damn good scrub, I can't see it even coming close to the number of cigarettes I smoke.
It was some sort of engine oil. I could still find out - there are another four or five empty barrels, all the same.
plk123 8 | 4134  
22 Jan 2008 /  #16
the last fluid they held might have been engine oil but who knows what was in them before.. that's all i am saying osiol. scrubbing with soap and water surely won't really clean out petro chemicals or whatever was in there.. fire will to some extent but most likely not all.. like i said before, i just dont want you to have health issues because of it. i do want you to give smoking a try.. i am thinking it wouldn't be all that hard to make a box out of bricks instead of the darn drum.
OP osiol 55 | 3921  
22 Jan 2008 /  #17
You have made some very good points about the oil drum.

I shall look into it.

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