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  • Writer's pictureGary Mack

My first smoke - An introduction to home smoking.

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

The day has come!  Poor Jonathan knows that when I can get out of bed on a Sunday morning, bright and early, something is about to happen. Gary is excited and there is no stopping him. Raring to go, I get things ready

I have decided that the safe produce to start with will be garlic, cheese and cashew nuts, all of which we love smoked. Nice and safe. But more importantly, very, very

different textures. I am very interested to see how the smoke penetrates and clings. Then I want to know how the taste mellows, or intensifies, as time goes on, after the smoker has done its job. So who do you home smoke cheese? How do you home smoke nut and garlic! after lots of reading i think I could make this work! read on -

I was intrigued to find that the smoker ProQ was very subtle. The sawdust burnt very slowly and without heat. But I was nervous: When cold smoking, the temperature should be between 20 and 30°C. The temperature outside was around 24°C (not bad for May - they're calling it a mini heat wave). So I have about 6°C to play with. All was fine in the morning, when the sun was low, but it was a very different situation at midday - I had to chase the shade. When the smoker was in direct sunlight, the temperature rose to 37°C. Bad news for my cheese and very bad news if I was smoking raw chicken breasts (danger danger..... as far as i know)

I attached my meat thermometer to the smoker and popped the sensor inside. I set the alarm to go off if the temperature rose above 31°C.

Confident that the smoker was in the right place, I got on with my next task for the day! 

Hot Smoked Whole Chicken. click here

The cold smoke was a triumph. Even our next door neighbours said the cheese and nuts were lovely! Very easy to do. The smoking takes time, but leave it do it to do its own thing and you'll be rewarded

See the results

The picture of the cheese on the plate from the right - five hours - three hours - two hours smoking.

There was a difference in the flavour but not a massive amount. I would be very happy to eat the two hours smoked cheese any day. Saying that, the five hours smoked cheese is very lovely as well. Sadly it did not keep very long....... We ate it (and the nuts), far too quickly! 

As for the garlic, I need to investigate how to get the smoked flavour right inside the bulb. You can smell that it had been smoked but you can't taste it. Back to the drawing board for this one. I think a very very long time smoking would work. The ProQ Smoker grid can burn for 10 hours. Nothing ventured nothing gained! 

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