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What is the Difference Between Cold Smoked and Hot Smoked Food?

The smoking of food is something that has its traditions in the distant past. Historically, people throughout the world smoked their meats as a means of preservation. Long before the days of refrigeration and artificial preservatives and additives, the smoking process was used to ensure food was available throughout the whole year.

With its unique flavour and texture coming down through the ages, smoked food is now something to be enjoyed for pleasure – with cold smoked and hot smoked meats from Sussex, at the Weald Smokery, coming to be particularly treasured. Completely free of artificial ingredients and with its complex, smoke-enriched flavours it is now a true delicacy of fine food dining at home.

While the palate-pleasing taste of smoked meats is far from a secret, something that is certainly far less understood is the smoking process – which imparts the unique flavour and simply cannot be achieved with other cooking techniques.

As the leading providers of smoked meats and smoked cheese from Sussex and the Weald of Kent, at Weald Smokery we are well versed in the delicate processes that go into creating wonderfully delicious smoked food – using both cold smoked and hot smoked processes.

Hot Smoked Meats, Fish and Cheese from Sussex

Hot smoking food involves a combination of heat and smoke used in a controlled manner to create meats, fish and cheese that are full-flavoured and ready to eat.

The way the heat is produced varies depending on the smoker and their developed craft, but may include charcoal or wood-chippings or freshly sourced and cut logs. The optimal temperature for hot smoking is usually between 70 to 100 degrees Celsius, but again depends on the master smoker’s exacting touch. The time given to the process depends on the food, but generally takes from 1 hour to 4 hours.

Here at Weald Smokery, we take a holistic approach to our smoked meats. For our artisan hot smoking process, we use a purpose-made kiln, designed by us and built by local craftspeople, to ensure all our smoked foods in Sussex are made to perfection. Unlike many modern smokers, our kiln not only smokes the food but also cooks it – maximising exposure to the oaky smoke and ensuring our meats and cheeses are full flavoured.

Cold Smoked Meats, Fish and Cheese from Sussex

Cold smoking food involves less heat than hot smoking, which is very much determined by the seasons and the ambient temperatures the great British weather dictates. This not only works to prevent the meat from drying out, but also imparts a delicately differing taste each time, while preserving that mouth-watering smokey flavour.

Precision is critical when it comes to cold smoked food from the Sussex/Kent border. For this reason, it is usually best to leave cold smoking to the professionals, such as our Master Smoker, Tom, who’s experience ensures your fine food tastes divine for many weeks after purchase.

From smoked duck breast to our 2017 2 star gold award-winning smoked venison, smoked haddock and hot roast smoked salmon Weald Smokery is consistently recognised as a national award winner and producer for smoked foods, with Sussex and Kent at its heart.

Browse our wide range of products or pop into our shop, deli and restaurant located at The Weald Smokery, Mount Farm, Flimwell, East Sussex to see and taste the smokery for yourself.