How Does Cold Smoking Work?

There is a lot to learn if you are new to grilling. One of the first things you should learn is how cold smoking works and what do you need to cold smoke. Now, regardless of your grilling expertise and experience, there are some things you should know before you get down with cold smoking. First of all, cold smoking is the best way to smoke your meat and the easiest as well. 

Many experienced professional grillers say it is the best way to preserve meat and get the best taste possible. To be honest, it is all about taste when it comes to smoking meat so, if an expert says that cold smoking gives the best taste, the chances are that he’s right. One of the best things about cold smoking is that you basically don’t need a smoker at all. An ordinary grill will do the trick just fine.

It takes time

Now, many believe since it says cold smoking that they do not need a smoker thermometer, but they are wrong. You need a thermometer because it will allow you to control the temperature and preserve your foods throughout the whole process. The most important thing to understand about cold smoking is that it takes time. It takes weeks maybe even months to complete it. 

So it is not a fast thing at all. As the very name suggests, it is a way how you smoke your meat without any direct heat exposure. This process is ideal for food preservation, and it yields drier salty foods than standard smoking. While it is simple to smoke meat, this way of doing it does require a bit of skill and knowledge. Still, it is worthy because it gives a unique profile of flavor. Most people that start cold smoking fall in love with the taste and the process and they keep doing it for years.


The meat stays raw

Another essential thing to know is that cold smoking does not completely and entirely preserve the meat. You will still need to keep it in a refrigerator to consume it. Cold smoked meat is a beautiful addition to every meal you cook. You can put it in a sandwich or just about anything else that needs cooking.

Cold smoked meat is nothing more than a raw dried and salted piece of meat. You can eat it like that or put it through the further procession, bake or cook it. The possibilities are virtually endless.

​Cold smoking is only possible during cold months

The smokers that people use to smoke their foods, often grill it while smoking it simultaneously. This process is totally different. You don’t expose it to high heat but instead just let it smoke up while staying raw.

That is why there are certain conditions you need to cold smoke your food. It needs to be chilly outside to do it. The best thing to do is pick a snowy period of the year to start the process. High heat is a thing to avoid at all costs because it will slow down the smoking process which is already slow.

The process

Instead of letting the foods smoke up like with the regular smokers, the process here is a bit different. The meat stays in a secondary chamber, and the smoke reaches it through a pipe system. That is why it takes a lot of time to do it correctly, but that is what gives it the special and unique aroma. It’s all about setting the right temperature that allows it to smoke up properly. One of the crucial things is that the food must be at a normal room temperature to get smoked up evenly. The time you leave the foods in also counts as it determines the richness of the flavor.

If you want to get the best flavor of it, use some hickory as it is smokier and produces a richer taste for your meat. The longer you leave it, the better it will be. When it comes to the question of how does cold smoking work, this would be the best and the only answer. Actually, all you need is a small room with two departments and enough place for the pipes, the meat and the grill and that is it. Things work easily; you just have to know where to start.

Salt and spices

Meat is usually salted hard because the salt preserves the meat and eliminates bacteria. The point of salting is not only to avoid bacterial build up but to get that salty texture that this method is known for. There is no other way how you can do it that gives such a flavor, and that is a fact. Old sheds are usually the most used objects for such smoking manners. That is not the best way for everyone, but it does work.

Some people find the distinguished taste cold smoked meat as something close to perfection; others are not that into it. You can even smoke fish if you want, any meat will work. In fact, smoking fish is impossible to do any other way, only this technique will give you the delicious results you wanted.

If we speak about the tradition of smoking, cold smoking is one of the oldest ways of smoking meat. It started a long time ago, and it’s a part of the tradition of many European native people, as well as other cultures all over the globe. That is why it’s the easiest. It helps you to preserve meat for longer periods while giving you extra tasty meat delicacies that are a real feast for anyone’s table.


While many consider this method to be unethical and unhealthy because the food doesn’t undergo any thermic process, you can rest assured that if you give it enough time, maintain the right temperature and use enough salt, you won’t have to worry about any bacteria forming and the food will be safe to eat.

People eat these sorts of dry foods for ages, and it’s a safe and the cheapest way to preserve meat during the year. It takes a bit of knowledge to master the entire process and acquire the necessary skills, but once you get it done, you will never use any smoker ever again. Still, each of these processes has its good and bad sides. It’s up to you to decide.