Smoked Meat
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Smoked Meat
Smoked meat
O Piornedo, Donís, Cervantes 10.jpg
Smoked meats
TypeMeat or fish
Main ingredientsred meat, white meat, fish, spices, smoke
17th Century diagram for a smoke house for producing smoked meat

Smoked meat is the result of a method of preparing red meat, white meat, and seafood which originated in the Paleolithic Era. Smoking adds flavor, improves the appearance of meat through the Maillard reaction, combined with curing preserves the meat.[1] When meat is cured then cold smoked, the smoke adds phenols and other chemicals that have an antimicrobial effect on the meat.[2] Hot smoking has less impact on preservation and is primarily used for taste and to slow cook the meat.[3] Interest in barbecue and smoking is on the rise worldwide.[4][5]

Smoking with wood

Generally wood is smoked using hardwood or wood pellets made from hardwood, softwood is not recommended due to increased PAH from the resin.[6][7] Wood smoke adds flavor, aroma, and helps with preservation.[3] There are two types of smoking: cold smoking generally occurs below 90 °F (32 °C) and has more preservative value. Hot smoking generally occurs above 160 °F (71 °C).[8] Most woods are seasoned and not used green.[9] There are many types of wood used for smoking; a partial list includes:[10]


African fish smoking

Smoking fish near Dakar, Sénégal

Close to 80% of all fish caught in most African nations is smoked.[11] Traditionally the processing and smoking of fish has been done by women.[12] The primary method of smoking is hot smoking, the flavor from hot smoking preferred by local consumers.[11][13] Traditional smoking methods include using bamboo racks over smoky fires, mud ovens and placing the fish directly on smoldering woods and grasses.[11][13] Modern methods of smoking include using re-purposed oil drums, brick ovens, and Chorkor ovens.[11]

American barbecue (smoked)

American barbecue

American barbecue's roots start with the Native Americans who smoked fish and game to preserve food for leaner times.[14][15] When Europeans first came to North America, they brought with them smoking techniques from Europe and Central Asia and combined those with the Native American techniques.[8] American barbecue has distinct regional differences: North Carolina Piedmont style is pork shoulder with a vinegar & ketchup-based sauce; Eastern style is the whole hog with vinegar & pepper-based sauce; South Carolina is whole hog or shoulder with a mustard-based sauce; Western Tennessee and Memphis are famous for its dry rub ribs, but wet is also available; Kentucky is known for their mutton, pork shoulder and whole hog are also very popular; Kansas City barbecue is more about the sauce, often used with smoked pork, lamb, chicken, beef and turkey. Beef ribs, smoked sausage, brisket are the prevalent meats in Texas.[16][17]


American "streaky" bacon

Bacon originated with petaso, a Roman version of what is now called bacon.[18] The etymology of the word bacon has four possibilities; the Franceis word bacon, the Althochdeutsch word bahho, the Old Low Franconian word baken, and the Common Germanic word bakkon.[19] John Harris of Calne, England, was the first to commercialize production of bacon in the 1770s.[20] Bacon is primarily pork, depending on the type; it can come from the belly, back, loin or side.[21] The preparation of bacon varies by type, but most involve curing and smoking.[22] Some of the types of bacon include American (a.k.a. side bacon or streaky bacon), buckboard (shoulder bacon), Canadian (back bacon), British and Irish (rasher), Australian (middle bacon), Italian (pancetta), Hungarian (szalonna), German (speck), Japanese (beikon), and Slovakian (oravská).[23][24] Bacon can also be produced from beef, lamb, and wild game.[23][25]

Country ham

Country ham

Country ham is a popular ham originally developed by American Colonists who took traditional Native American fish smoking practices and used them for pork.[26] Country hams traditionally were made in the American Southeast from Virginia to Missouri.[27] Most country hams are trimmed, wrapped, cured in salt, sugar, pepper and various spices. In modern times, some preparations added nitrates for food safety.[27][28] After curing the hams are smoked for at least 12 hours, then hung to dry for 9 to 12 months. Some traditional process can take years from curing to being ready to consume.[29]

Finnan haddie

Smoking Finnan haddie

Finnan haddie is a cold smoked haddock that originated in medieval times in the Scottish village of Findon.[30] Traditionally the haddock is smoked with green wood and peat.[30][31] Smoked finnan haddie is the colour of straw, newer commercial methods of drying without smoke produce a gold or yellow colour.[30][31] Until the 1800's when regular rail service was established, finnan haddie remained a local dish, now it can be found in markets worldwide.[30]



Katsuobushi is a key umami ingredient in Japanese cuisine, among its many uses bonito flakes.[32] Katsuobushi is made from skipjack tuna that is washed, quartered smoked with oak, pasania, or castanopsis wood, and cooled repeatedly for a month.[33] Some producers will spray the fish with Aspergillus glaucus to promote further drying.[34] After one to 24 months the fish will be katsu (hard) and read for use. To make bonito flakes it is shaved very thin using a Katsuobushi grater box.



Pastrami is most often made with beef brisket; it can be made with other cuts of beef.[35][36] The meat is cured in a brine (most often dry), after drying, it is coated in spices and smoked.[36] Smoking can be done by either cold smoking or hot smoking.[36] Pastrami evolved from the Turkish Huns who would tenderize and dry meat under their saddles.[37]Armenians saw what the Huns had done and created basturma that was spiced and air-dried meat.[8]Romanians first started brining, spicing, and smoking the beef and created what is now called pastrami.[8] When Romanian Jews immigrated to the United States, Canada, and Great Britain in the late 1800s, they carried that tradition of pastrami with them.[8] The Romanians that immigrated to the United States, mostly settled in New York City area and developed the classic New York Pastrami.[38] Those that immigrated to Canada mostly settled in Montreal used a different brining technique and spices and called it smoked meat.[39] Pastrami is still produced in Southwest Asia and the Middle East and is called Pastirma, basterma or basturma.[35] While customarily made with beef, in other regions it can be made with lamb, goat, buffalo, and camel.[35]Corned or salt beef uses a similar brine and spices, but is not smoked.[36]

Zhangcha duck

Zhangcha duck

Zhangcha duck is a dish from Sichuan Province in southwestern China made from the Chengdu Ma duck.[40] The duck is marinated in a pickling liquid then smoked with camphor and tea leaves.[41] After smoking the duck is deep fried, boned and served over rice.[41]

Health concerns

One study has shown an association between the frequency of consumption of smoked foods and intestinal cancer.[42] However, the study was restricted to a small Slovenian population in Hungary, where the local smoke curing process produces levels of contaminants roughly eight times as high as standard processes elsewhere.[42] Smoked meats have the potential for promoting the growth of Listeria bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes can also cause serious neonatal infection and can be transmitted from mother to child before or after birth. The infection can cause serious harm or even infant death.[43] The use of soft woods is discouraged, as the resins in softwood increases the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are known carcinogens.[6]

See also


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  2. ^ Ray, Frederick. "Meat Curing" (PDF). Oklahoma State University. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Smoking as a food cooking method". MSU Extension. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Move over, foie gras: The latest rage in Paris is . . . classic American barbecue". Washington Post. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "2017 State of the Barbecue Industry: HPBA's Consumer Survey Reveals Grilling and Barbecuing Is a Growing, Year-Round Lifestyle > Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)". Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b Ezike, C.O. (2018). "Hydrocarbons (Pahs) in Hardwood and Softwood - Smoked Fish". Journal of Animal Science. 2 (1): 1012 – via JSTOR.
  7. ^ Mattison, Lindsay (2018-03-27). "Every Type of Wood to Use for Smoking Every Type of Meat". Wide Open Eats. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b c d e Durham, T. R. (2001-02-01). "Salt, Smoke, and History". Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. 1 (1): 78-82. ISSN 1529-3262.
  9. ^ Savell, Jeff (2016-01-07). "Importance of seasoned wood for smoking barbecue". Texas Barbecue. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Choose the Right Wood for Your Smoker". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved .
  11. ^ a b c d Adeyeye, S. A. O.; Oyewole, O. B. (2016). "An Overview of Traditional Fish Smoking In Africa". Journal of Culinary Science & Technology. 14 (3): 198-215 – via JSTOR.
  12. ^ "Methodologies and Guidelines for Training/ Orientation on Standards to Non-Standards Experts and Cross-Border Trade Compliance" (PDF). World Fish. World Fish & ARSO. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ a b Tall, Amadou (5 November 1976). "OBSTACLES TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL SCALE FISH TRADE IN WEST AFRICA" (PDF). Infopeche. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
  14. ^ Bennet, M K (October 1955). "The Food Economy of the New England Indians, 1605-75". The Journal of Political Economy. The University of Chicago Press. LXIII (5): 369-397 – via JSTOR.
  15. ^ Driver, Harold; Massey, William (1957). "Comparative Studies of North American Indians". Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. 47 (2): 165 456 – via JSTOR.
  16. ^ Solares, Nick (2016-06-16). "The American Barbecue Regional Style Guide". Eater. Retrieved .
  17. ^ Bove, A.; Drawdy, J.; Mitchell, D.; Moye, L.; Thompson, S.; Turnquist, T.; Wagner. "Adaptations of Barbecue". Mercer University.
  18. ^ Boitnott, John (2014-08-08). "The Bacon Craze Will Never End". Retrieved .
  19. ^ Bule, Guise (2018). "The History of Bacon". The English Breakfast Society.
  20. ^ "History Of Bacon". English Breakfast Society. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ Adamson, Brynne. "History of Bacon". The Silver Scribe. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Bacon - Do you know how it is made?". Retrieved .
  23. ^ a b "17 Types of Bacon You Probably Haven't Tried Yet". 2019-07-03. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Australia from 13 Ways People Eat Bacon Around the World Gallery". The Daily Meal. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "20 Different Kinds Of Bacon From Around The World". TheRecipe. 2018-11-05. Retrieved .
  26. ^ Northrop, Jo. "The Washington Post". September 23, 1979. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ a b Rentfrow, Greg; Suman, Surendranath (2014). "How to Make a Country Ha". Agriculture and Natural Resources Publications. 145 – via JSTOR.
  28. ^ Sula, Mike (2014-10-29). "Ghosts in the Ham House". Eater. Retrieved .
  29. ^ Marshall, Howard (1979). "Meat Preservation on the Farm in Missouri's "Little Dixie"". Journal of American Folklore. 92 (366) – via JSTOR.
  30. ^ a b c d Hopley, Claire (September 1997). "FINNAN HADDIE". British Heritage. 18 (6): 56 – via EBCO.
  31. ^ a b "Slow Food Scotland - Ark of Taste". Retrieved .
  32. ^ "The 8 Most Important Condiments and Ingredients in Japanese cuisine". Japanology. 2017-04-18. Retrieved .
  33. ^ Travis Wall (2017-04-28), Japanology Plus 2016 12 0 Katsuobushi, retrieved
  34. ^ Hesseltine, C. W. (1965). "A Millennium of Fungi, Food, and Fermentation". Mycologia. 57 (2): 149-197 – via JSTOR.
  35. ^ a b c Benkerroum, Noreddine. "Traditional Fermented Foods of North African Countries: Technology and Food Safety Challenges With Regard to Microbiological Risks". Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 12 (1): 54-89. ISSN 1541-4337.
  36. ^ a b c d Mouritsen, Ole G., author. Umami : unlocking the secrets of the fifth taste. ISBN 9780231168915. OCLC 932317386.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  37. ^ Nurten, Cekal (2014). "Traditional Foods in Turkish Cuisine". The Social Sciences. 9(1): 1-6 – via JSTOR.
  38. ^ All Peoples, Initiative (July 2009). "Romanians in the New York Metro Area" (PDF). Unreached New York. Retrieved 2019.
  39. ^ Saberi, Helen. (2011). Cured, fermented and smoked foods : proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2010. Prospect Books. ISBN 9781903018859. OCLC 767899626.
  40. ^ "Chengdu's Application to Join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Gastronomy" (PDF). The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. February 2008.
  41. ^ a b "Sichuan Cuisine and Snakes ". (Chinese traditional culture vocabulary). Retrieved 2019.
  42. ^ a b Fritz, W.; Soós, K. (1980). "Smoked food and cancer". Bibliotheca nutritio et dieta (29): 57-64. PMID 7447916.
  43. ^ "Listeria (Listeriosis)". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 22 October 2015. Retrieved .

External links

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