Types and features of smoking products. Varieties of equipment, principle of operation, independent production of structures. A home smokehouse is an equipment designed for the preservative processing of products with smoke. Such devices are especially popular with summer residents, as they allow you to cook meat or fish in a natural way without the use of food chemicals. You will learn how to make a smokehouse at home by reading this article.
The principle of the smokehouse
During the smoking process, the products absorb substances from the smoke that give the finished products a specific aroma. Partial dehydration of meat or fish from exposure to smoking smoke extends their shelf life. There is cold, semi-hot and hot smoking. Taking into account its type, you can pick up in the store or make the appropriate equipment at home.
cooking products at a smoke temperature of at least 50 and no more than 140 degrees is called, therefore, in such an environment, bringing them to readiness does not take long. Hot smoking from meat or fish intensively melts fat. This is a good reason to use only non-fatty foods for hot fumes. Ready-made, they can be stored for up to two days. Hot smoking uses an external fire source that heats the sealed chamber from below. At its bottom are smoldering sawdust, and above them are products suspended for processing with smoke.
differs from hot in greater labor intensity and can last for several days. Bringing the products to readiness is carried out by enveloping them with smoke at a temperature of 20-40 degrees. To cool the smoke from the smoldering wood stove to the smoking chamber, a pipe about 2 meters long is laid. The temperature of the medium is controlled by a thermometer installed in the chamber. For smoking meat, 15-20 degrees is enough, fish - up to 40. The shelf life of cold smoked meats is longer than in the previous case.
is a middle option between the two methods described above.
is a sealed container with a lid. The material for the manufacture of such an apparatus can be metal, brick or concrete. Inside the smokehouse there is a grate for stacking semi-finished products on it and a pallet onto which fat emitted during the processing of products with smoke flows down.
The principle of operation of the smoking unit is based on optimal heating of the crushed wood, when it smolders slowly, without igniting, and at the same time emits a significant amount of smoke. Therefore, the main task of a home smokehouse is to create such temperature conditions under which the products cooked in it will be healthy and tasty. The lid should tightly cover the smoking chamber. If its tightness is broken, instead of smoking, combustion will occur, which is highly undesirable.
As mentioned earlier, the design of a home smokehouse depends on the method of smoking. If it is cold, the hearth is located at a distance from the smoking chamber and is connected to it through a smoke channel. For hot smoking, the fire source is located directly under the chamber. Below we will take a closer look at several options for homemade smokehouses.
DIY cold smoking equipment
Of the many different devices for smoking products, we have chosen for you the most suitable for the conditions of a country house, such equipment can be made independently.
Smokehouse on the hill
If the site has any relief, it is not difficult to build a smokehouse on its hill. Relief features can be a small ravine, a pit, a slope, and even a drainage cut.
In addition, when choosing a place, the location of trees and outbuildings should be taken into account for fire safety purposes. They should be at a sufficient distance from the fire source of the future smokehouse.
The place for it should be chosen so that it is convenient to lay out the products and rest while waiting for the completion of the cooking process. When determining the size of the building site, an additional 2-3 m of its length should be taken into account for the installation of an underground smoke channel.
It will be useful to determine the preferred direction of the wind, since you are unlikely to need puffs of smoke in the house.
Work on the installation of such a smokehouse should be started from the device of the smoke channel. You can dig a mine for him with a shovel. The depth of the ditch should be 50 cm or more, the width - 30 cm. The length of the shaft is taken as 1.5-3 m. This is the distance between the fire source and the smoking chamber. When the trench is dug, it is necessary to lay a metal pipe with a diameter of 150-200 mm into it, make a bend in it and insert it into the chamber. This will be more reliable than making a smoke channel out of wood or concrete.
When the channel is ready, you can start making the firebox for the smokehouse. It is a metal or brick cube with dimensions of 40x40x40 cm. One side of it must be connected to the chimney pipe, and on the other side, a valve should be installed that will regulate the draft in the furnace.
The simplest thing to do when making a home cold smoked smokehouse is to assemble a chamber for storing or hanging products to be cooked in it. It can be knocked out of wood and installed above the smoke channel. In this case, the smoking chamber must be sufficiently sealed. It will need to install hooks and grates, a smoke damper and a door for laying semi-finished products and removing finished products. The wooden chamber will give the smoked products a special aroma. You should not worry about its safety due to possible drying out or ignition, since cold smoking does not provide for a high temperature of the smoke entering the chamber.
This is where the work ends. Now you can search for a culinary recipe and start preparing delicacies.
It looks more solid. The construction cost will be slightly higher due to the improved aesthetics of the structure. Such a smokehouse will have a simple concrete foundation, a refractory firebox and a regular brick chamber. An asbestos-cement or metal pipe is suitable for the smoke channel.
In terms of design and principle of operation, a homemade smokehouse made stationary with your own hands is not much different from the above-described option, but for its construction you will not need to look for a hill on the site, it can be installed where it is convenient.
The work must begin with the construction of the foundation for the smoking chamber. It should look like a platform. Therefore, first of all, you should dig a rectangular groove in the ground with a depth of 0.5 m and a branch from it in the form of a trench with a length of at least 1.5 m for laying a chimney towards the future firebox. Then sand, gravel should be poured into the recess in layers and everything should be tamped thoroughly. The remaining space must be poured with concrete, pre-reinforcing the future foundation with wire, mesh or metal rods. The thickness of the concrete slab should be 30-40 cm.
The chimney shaft for its connection with the smoking chamber must be made during the process of pouring the foundation. It can be made in the form of a brick box, or you can simply lay a pipe with a diameter of 150-200 mm to the firebox from the chamber.
When the smoke channel of the smokehouse is ready, it's time to start building the firebox. It should be erected at the opposite end of the chimney relative to the smoking chamber. The furnace can be made of metal in the form of a metal box tightly adjacent to the smoke channel, or in the form of a cube made of refractory bricks and equipped with a special valve.
After the concrete foundation slab has hardened sufficiently, the brickwork of the chamber should be started. Its walls can be laid out in 1/2 bricks, make internal ledges for shelves in them and decorate the outside with facing materials. But the main thing in this matter is not to forget to install transverse steel rods in the chamber when laying the masonry. They will then be needed to hang raw food on hooks before smoking.
The smoking chamber must be equipped with a special lid. To make it, you need to make a wooden frame and cover it with burlap, which will need to be moistened during the smoking process.
Any stationary smokehouse can be simplified as much as possible. For example, if instead of pouring the foundation and building a brick chamber, you use pillars as an alternative to a concrete base, and an old iron barrel for the chamber.
There is another way - to leave simplicity and build an expensive structure. Such a smokehouse will look as reliable and beautiful as possible. It can have a large chamber volume in which a huge amount of food can be placed. The principle of operation of an expensive and massive smokehouse does not change, but the durability and quality of such a building will be much higher. After all, now it will be a separate building, helping not only to provide the owners' table, but also to make good money. In such an apparatus, it is possible to organize both hot and cold smoking by erecting 2 fireboxes at the smoking chamber and using them alternately.
How to make hot smoking equipment
Hot smoking of products is faster, they are more aromatic than those obtained by the previous method, but also more harmful. However, if the products are of high quality, and the recipes for their preparation are original, the latter circumstance will not matter much.
Consider the option of manufacturing equipment for hot smoking from metal sheets. In fact, this is a closed container, the capacity of which depends on the owner's needs in terms of cooking products at a time. The volume of the smokehouse should allow the installation of a grate for storing semi-finished products and a tray designed to collect dripping fat during smoking. If there is no such pallet, then the fat falling on the coals can impair the taste of the finished products during combustion. The lattice can be made by welding from steel rods.
Before making a home smokehouse for hot cooking, you need to get a grinder, a welding machine, a square, reinforcing bars and two sheets of metal with dimensions of 1500x600x2 mm.
The work should be done in the following order:
- One of the sheets needs to be cut with a "grinder" into four identical parts, then the finished smokehouse will have a rectangular cross-section.
- Using welding, the sheets should be tacked in pairs along the edges, forming a box from them without a bottom and a cover. In the process of work, you need to actively use the square, placing the side planes of the box strictly at angles of 90 degrees.
- After assembly, the joints of the sheets must be carefully welded with electrodes from the inside to create the tightness of the future apparatus.
- The second sheet of metal must be cut into two parts to make the bottom and lid of the box. After the necessary measurements and adjustment, the bottom of the planned smokehouse should be cut from one part and welded to the assembled workpiece. Also cut the lid out of the sheet in accordance with the dimensions of the box.
- From the remaining metal, you need to cut four strips of the same width with a length slightly longer than the dimensions of the smokehouse. Then these strips should be welded to the ends of the sheet cut for the cover. After that, it will be easy to put on and hold on to the body of the smoker.
- It is necessary to complete the process of making a smokehouse by installing metal rods inside the apparatus. They should be on two levels. At the lower level, the rods will serve as a support for the pallet, at the upper level - as a "hanger" for hooks with meat, fish, bacon, etc. The rods should be attached to the walls of the smokehouse by welding. It is advisable to make comfortable carrying handles for the new smokehouse.
How to make a homemade smokehouse - watch the video:
By the same principle, you can turn metal buckets and barrels, old pots and much more into small home hot smoked smokehouses with your own hands, from which you can make an airtight container that you do not mind putting on a fire. Good luck!