The main difference between cold smoking and hot smoking is that hot smoking is a faster way to cook meat than slow cooking.
Smoking is the process of flavoring and cooking food by exposing it to smoke from smoldering or burning materials, usually wood. We often use smoking for cooking food like meat and fish. Cold smoking and hot smoking are two types of smoking.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Cold Smoking
– Definition, Features
2. What is Hot Smoking
– Definition, Features
3. Difference Between Cold Smoking and Hot Smoking
– Comparison of Key Differences
Cold Smoking, Hot Smoking
What is Cold Smoking
Cold smoking is a process that helps preserve food and gives them a unique flavor. We mostly use the cold smoking method for meat. Cold smoking is usually used with cured food. Curing food, especially meat, helps to remove moisture and inhibit bacteria growth. But some food can be cold smoked without curing.
All cold-smoked food can last for a long period of time. However, the cold smoking process takes a long time, even several days. Cold smoking for several days ensures that the food absorbs the smoked flavor well. The main feature of cold smoking is exposing the food to smoke without overheating it.
In cold smoking, food remains raw rather than cooked. It does not cook food. This is why meats are typically cured before cold smoking. Cold smoking usually occurs within temperatures of 20 to 30°C. At this temperature, the food remains somewhat moist but takes on a smoked flavor.
What is Hot Smoking
Hot smoking is the process where meat is cooked and smoked at the same time. It exposes food to smoke and heat in a controlled environment. Hot smoking usually occurs between the temperatures of 52 to 80 °C. At this temperature range, food is usually fully cooked, moist and flavorful. It usually requires smokers, which generate heat from a charcoal base or from a stove-top or oven. Food gets hot smoked by cooking and is flavored with wood smoke at the same time.
Hot smoking takes a briefer time than cold smoking, but it takes a few hours longer than regular barbecuing or grilling. Most people reheat or cook hot smoked food again, but it is usually safe for eating without further cooking. For example, hams can be fully cooked after hot smoking, and they can be eaten as they are without further preparation.
However, when the food is cooked at higher temperatures, the food can shrink more and even get split. High temperatures can also reduce yield as both fat and moisture are cooked away.
Difference Between Cold Smoking and Hot Smoking
Cold smoking is the process where cured meat is smoked, while hot smoking is the process where meat is cooked and smoked at the same time
Cold smoking is a slow process and can even take several days, while hot smoking is faster and takes only several hours.
Moreover, cold smoking usually occurs within the temperature range of 20 to 30 °C, while hot smoking usually occurs within the temperature range of 52 to 80 °C.
In cold smoking, food is usually cured before smoking, but not in hot smoking.
In cold smoking, food remains raw rather than cooked, while in hot smoking, food is cooked and flavored with wood smoke.
In brief, cold smoking and hot smoking are two types of smoking. The main difference between cold smoking and hot smoking is that cold smoking is a slow process and can even take several days, while hot smoking is faster and takes only several hours.
1. “What Is Cold Smoking and What Is It Used for?” David Alan Caterers, 5 Dec. 2020.
2. “Smoking (Cooking).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Jan. 2022.
1. “Cold Buffet Salmon Salad” (CC0) via Max Pixel
2. “Hot smoked salmon on racks” By Beeblebrox – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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