a simple way of curing and smoking at home
Hot Smoked Loin of Pork
This is one of the black arts and connects us to our primitive past.
They say smoked bacon is the first thing that breaks vegetarians. If you are like me you will find the taste addictive and what is more it is fun to experiment with different variations!

NB This process only partially cures the meat so it will still require cooking afterwards.
Because you are handling raw meat take account of the potential health hazards and handle appropriately.

There are two main types of smoking:

1. HOT SMOKING: Hot smoked food usually undergoes a short ‘cure’. It is then smoked for varying times in a smoke chamber. Food partially cooks from the heat generated by the smoker.
Curing is minimal and smoking times shorter.

2. COLD SMOKING: Cold smoked food must be cured over several hours with some sort of salt mix. This removes moisture and preserves the food.
It then spends long hours in a ‘cold smoke’ chamber (away from heat). The final product does not require any further cooking.

In each case you create smoke from flavoursome wood chippings. Oak, apple, cherry etc.
Experiment with different types of wood but avoid resinous woods like pine as they impart a bitter flavour.

There are a variety of proprietary smokers on the market but any suitable sized metal container with a tight fitting lid will do.
I use a galvanized dustbin for larger items (salmon etc) but a redundant saucepan or even a biscuit tin will do. Use your imagination and experiment with what is to hand.
You will also need a heat source.
Use a small portable gas stove and smoke your food outside.
(Or if you want to live dangerously, you might be able to use your kitchen gas stove. You must be able to ventilate your kitchen sufficiently or your smoke alarm will go off).
WARNING: In either case do make sure you have suitable precautions in place in case your smoker gets out of hand – and they do!

Preparing the pork with salt and flavourings helps to partially cure the meat and enhances the taste.
(You could use several individual pork chops instead of the whole loin. They will require less time curing and smoking).

  • 25g salt
  • 25g Musquovado sugar
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 4 finely chopped bay leaves (experiment with other herbs)

1. Mix the cure and rub well in to the joint
2. Leave for 1- 2 hours. The salt will start to draw moisture from the meat.
3. Pat the meat dry with kitchen roll or a cloth and scrape off any excess salt.

1. Place a small hand full of wood chips on floor of your smoker.
2. Scrunch up aluminium foil over the chips in the form of a boat to provide a platform for the pork to sit on.
3. Place your smoker over a low heat and observe carefully.
4. When the chips just start to smoke adjust the heat so gentle plumes of smoke are visible.
5. Place the lid on the smoker or cover tightly with aluminium foil and time for 20 minutes
(carefully feel the smoker after 10 minutes. You should just be able to touch it briefly with out burning yourself). Turn down the heat if necessary and check there is still smoke being produced.
WARNING: sometimes when you remove the lid of the container the chippings will spontaneously combust. It is too hot!!
6. Turn the joint over and repeat for another 20 minutes.
NOTE: Have a feel and look at the meat before you turn it over. You will get an indication of the heat and amount of smoking your particular smoker is producing.
You may want to in crease or reduce the second period of smoking depending on progress. This is down to experimentation and personal preference.

7. Remove the meat from the smoker and allow to cool.

8. Either roast the joint whole and slice before serving or slice first then fry.
It is very important the meat is cooked properly to destroy any nasties.

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