by which food
) is exposed for an extended period of
time to smoke
There are basically two types of smoking: cold smoking, and hot
smoking. Cold smoking is using low temperature over a very long time
(days). Moisture is removed from the food, and thus the food is
preserved. However, it is not truly cooked. Bacon is
typically cold smoked--you still have to throw it in that cast iron
skillet to make it suitable to go along side eggs.
Hot smoking, on the other hand, goes significantly faster(hours),
and involves a higher temperature. The food is cooked, though it is
not necessarily preserved (make sure you have your refrigerator
ready). Salmon is usually hot smoked.
In both cases, a cure is applied to the meat. It is put in a
chamber where it is exposed to the smoke. In the case of hot
smoking, the smoke source is basically in the same chamber as the food
being smoked. Cold smoking, on the other hand, has one chamber for
smoke, some ducts to allow the smoke to cool, and another chamber
for the food (connected by the duct).
In either case, hard wood is allowed to smolder, producing the
smoke. Though the type of wood can introduce flavor, it typically
takes six hours for such difference to be realized in the food.
When it comes to cooking, my mom and Alton Brown really taught me
everything I know. This writeup is all Alton.