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Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Smokehouse

I've been too busy to use my smokehouse lately. I usually smoke bacons and hams at 65 degrees, jerky at 115 or higher.
Just checked the inside temperature of my smokehouse.... it's 95 degrees F.
The outside air temperature here at my farm is 108.... I think I will see what I can do, at least smoke some spices and honey.

If I can get a bit of smoke to the house without raising the temperature very much above 100 degrees I will be happy. :)


Will Rees Fine Wood Working said...

I'm building a version of the cowgirl smokehouse in my backyard, i just picked up some materials to convert my old reptile vivarium into a fish smoker. In fall we get huge runs of bluefish that are supposed to be excellent for smoking, though i don't eat them usually i can't wait to utilize this resource. Also i'd like to try smoked flounder and smoked bream...well smoked anything i catch really. I know i've got some good saw dust. I just have to make up my mind and experiment with hot or cold smoke. I've never smoked fish or anything else before. I'd like something i can store in the fridge vacuum sealed for 4 months(all winter) and eat on a sandwich without additional cooking.

cowgirl said...

Will, that sounds great!
Hope you take pics of your smokehouse build, I'd like to see what you come up with.
I already know you are an artist when it comes to working with wood, buidling a smokehouse will be easy for you. :)

I've never smoked anything but catfish, salmon and trout. That's about all I have access to here.
I imagine breem, flounder and bluefish would be excellent smoked.

You've just got it made Will, I love fishing. To be able to catch the variety you have available would be heaven.
I can't even imagine the variety of woods and sawdust you have on hand too! are one lucky guy. :)

I've got my smokehouse loaded down with spices today. Honey, nuts and olives too.
So far it's holding at 110. I'm happy with that.

Good luck with that smokehouse Will. Looking forward to hearing about it.


cowgirl said...

Will, the more I think about it, you are probably wanting to hot smoke the fish.
This would cook the fish while smoking it and after vacuum sealing, you could eat it right out of the package.
I'm not sure about the shelf life of vacuum sealed food, but you could keep it in the freezer, then keep a pack or two in your fridge.

One thing about cold smoking, the lower (temperature) and longer you smoke, the longer the shelf life of the food.

For long term storage, have you thought about canning? I can a lot of meats, venison, pork, beef, fish, etc., and would be willing to help you with any questions.

Just one more option to keeping your harvest.


Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

I don't know Jeanie, it almost sounds like you might have to run your smoke through ice before it gets to the smokehouse, or it will probably be at least 108 degrees. But, I don't know anything about smoking, just a thought.

cowgirl said...

Good idea Mark!
I've heard of putting bowls of ice in small smokers to bring the temperature down.

It stayed at 109 to 110 all afternoon. I'm still smoking now... just checked and the temperature is at 95.
Not sure how much longer I will smoke the stuff. I'm getting sleepy. lol

Isn't this an exciting way to spend a Saturday night? lol least it's peaceful and the star gazing has been nice. :)

Will Rees Fine Wood Working said...

Thanks! The canning is a great idea, the oysters and clams around here in the winter are delicious, i'd love to do some smoked canned oysters and clams for my wintertime seafood chowders. For some good advice i'd be happy to mail you some sawdust and some fillets and let you smoke em' your way. Its still a few months off till i'll be doing any smoking. Late summers here are very hot and humid, like 90 degrees in the shade w/ 95% humidity. I've also been picking some prickly pear cactus for cooking, do you come across or use prickly pear in Oklahoma? I'm looking for some recipes. Thanks again. Willy

cowgirl said...

Oysters and clams too Will, dang you have it made. :)
I love seafood so much I raise shrimp in my windmill pond. lol
Wonder if I could raise clams too.

Shoot Will, you don't have to mail anything to me, I'm happy to help you if I can. Maybe we can trade info. I'm looking to buy a classical guitar. There is no way I can afford a hand made one... maybe you could recommend a good manufactured one? Oh yea, are guitar kits any good?

It's a long story, but my classical guitar was destroyed. Someone ran over it.

I do use prickly pear cactus and the fruit too!
I've posted a cactus jelly recipe somewhere in the list of recipes here on my blog.
Also some cactus salad recipes.
I use the cactus pads almost like a green bean. Scorch them with fire to get any small thorns out then peel the pads, cut into strips and par boil in a bit of salted water til just about tender.
You can then use them a lot of ways... sauteed in bacon drippings with minced onion and garlic is pretty good.
I like to make a cactus and jicama salad sometimes.
I made a cactus salsa the other day using cooked cactus, minced jalapenos, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, salt...Hmmmmm I think that was all.

Guess I didn't know that they grew in your area. I'm learning new things every day! Thanks!

I imagine the humidity there is pretty high. It's so dry here I can smoke year round with no problems.

Now I'm hungry for smoked oysters. Maybe I can hot smoke some tomorrow. lol

Will Rees Fine Wood Working said...

I use to own a "La Patrie- Etude model, mahogany with a cedar top classical guitar, made in Canada with all solid woods. It was around $300 new but i sold mine used on ebay for under $200. I thought that it was a great guitar for the money. You can probably get one cheap right now. You can also take your chances with some older guitars but beware of necessary repairs as getting your guitar fixed is expensive. I'm thinking i might dice these cactus pads after cooking and pickle them with some mixed peppers and vinegar, sort of like a cactus/pepper relish, good on hot dogs tacos burgers, or maybe some salsa.

cowgirl said...

Thanks for the info and advice Will! I will check into some La Patrie guitars. Right now I'm playing my old Yamaha acoustic, but I miss my classical.

Your cactus recipe sounds great! Let me know how it turns out, I'd like to try making some.