Useful Tips

Electric smokers - what are they and what are they?


A true smoked meat lover always prefers products made independently. This is explained simply: such a wide variety of dishes that can be prepared in the smokehouse cannot be found in any store, and the quality leaves much to be desired. But to smoke on your own is not an easy and very long business. This article will help you figure out how to use a smokehouse at home.

To prepare tasty smoked meats, you should thoroughly understand the work of the smokehouse

Types of smokehouses

Smokehouses can be home-made and professional. They are also divided according to the type of smoking: for cold or hot.

Homemade smokehouses are cheaper to manufacture. The design is simple, usually a metal box with grilles inside, a lid on top, a smoke pipe on the side. But the minus is that they can only be used outdoors and on an area of ​​several square meters. Ideally, this is the territory of a private house. Such smokehouses are often used for cold smoking (smoking temperature + 18-25 degrees), therefore they require more time to prepare the product, on average - three days.

Professional smokehouses are designed for large volumes and are not cheap. Usually they are designed for a consumed voltage of 380 volts, which makes it difficult to operate in an ordinary apartment. If you smoke little and infrequently, then the best option for an apartment is a hot smoked mobile smokehouse.

How to choose a smokehouse for an apartment

There are gas and electric smokehouses for home use. They are subject to stringent requirements, which we will talk about right now.

Choose a product from stainless steel with enameled walls - in the future it will be much easier for you to clear them of carbon deposits. The walls should be thick, at least two millimeters. The thicker the product, the longer it will last. Walls 1 mm thick and less can warp and burn out.

Inside there should be grids on which products are placed, and a pallet for sawdust. A prerequisite is the presence of a cover, preferably with a water seal, as well as a special chimney. The presence of removable legs makes it possible to use a home smokehouse outside the apartment.

How to use a smokehouse

Install the smokehouse away from strong winds and possible sources of fire. If you are not using the smokehouse for the first time, then first you need to clean it from old soot and burnt fat. This will eliminate the appearance of extraneous odors, and sometimes the possibility of spontaneous combustion.

Put charcoal or sawdust at the bottom of the smokehouse. If you have a gas model, it is better to put the sawdust in a foil bag, in which there are several holes on top. It is necessary to have a stock of sawdust in case the product does not cook at the expected time.

It is not recommended to use sawdust of coniferous trees: the resin that is in them, burning, emits a persistent smell of turpentine, which will spoil the taste of the product and nullify all your efforts. Sawdust of fruit species (apple, pear, cherry) and deciduous trees (oak, beech, alder) are suitable.

On models with a water trap, fresh herbs can be added to the water. Rosemary or mint leaves are suitable, which will add piquancy to the smoked meats.

We begin to smoke!

First you need to warm the smokehouse to a temperature of +200 ° C, then cool to 100 ° C. Place the fish or meat inside, cover and close the air flaps almost completely to increase the smoke pressure inside the smokehouse. Things have gone, now it is necessary to monitor the fuel and the degree of readiness of the products.

In the process of smoking, it is recommended to use the temperature that corresponds to the recipe and method of smoking. But there are some general tips on how to use your home smokehouse:

  • for large pieces of meat, the temperature should be higher than for small ones,
  • compared to meat, fish is cooked at lower temperatures,
  • at high temperatures (hot method) meat cooks faster,
  • every 2-3 hours, turn the meat, each time it must be lubricated with marinade,
  • opening the lid once again, you cool the smokehouse,
  • an hour before readiness check the product, it’s better not to finish it, than overexpose,
  • check fuel in time.

How to prepare products

For hot smoking, meat or fish is simply rubbed with salt, sometimes other spices are used. Then the products are placed in a wooden box, previously wrapped with gauze or parchment. Large pieces need to be cut for better salting. The products are crushed with a load and left in the refrigerator for about a week. When the fish becomes hard, it is believed that it has been pickled. After that, it must be soaked in water and left to flicker first in the sun, then in the shade.

The process is quite long. For example, a meat balyk must be kept one and a half months until fully prepared. When signs of mold appear, it can be considered that the product has matured and is not over-saturated.

For cold smoking, pickles and marinades are used. Their main rule is not to be afraid to oversalt. If salt is not enough, the product may deteriorate even before starting cooking. Depending on the quantity and size, the products are kept in the marinade from one day to a week, then they are soaked for 24 hours and dried for several days. If a salt crust appears on the surface after drying, you can repeat the soaking. For smoking, choose only fresh products.

In the end, advice from experienced culinary specialists: smoking does not like rush, it is better to smoke products several hours a day for a week than to rush. But in a week the whole piece will be smoked, and not just the top layer, this will extend the shelf life of the product.

Now you know how to use a home smokehouse. After practicing, you will understand which smoking methods are most suitable for your smokehouse and how long the whole process takes. Share secrets and proven recipes on your blog.

With smoke generator

The scheme of the smoke generator with an upper ejector
The smoke generator is designed for cold fumigation. Its main elements are an ejector, a combustion chamber and an air pump. The smoke generator for electric smokers is usually made removable, it is often sold separately. The device allows you to turn the camera for hot smoking into a device for cold fumigation.

There are models with upper and lower ejector. The first is more functional. The second is well suited for small smoke chambers, but does not have natural traction, therefore it requires constant pump operation, and the wood chips in the smoke generator often go out.

With water trap

A water lock or water lock is needed for safe operation of the smokehouse in a confined space: in a house, apartment, garage ... It picks up odors and smoke, prevents them from entering the living room. The removal of smoke occurs exclusively through the fitting in the lid, to which the chimney pipe is connected. Its tip should be brought into the hood, ventilation hole or just in the ajar window. Of course, devices with a water lock can be used in open space.

Scheme of a homemade device with a water seal

Smokehouse for the apartment

Smokehouse for an apartment differs from models for restaurants or small private workshops only in size. Most modern units have all the additional functions: timer, temperature selection, water lock, sometimes even a smoke generator. But cameras for apartments are usually designed for a small load - up to 3 kg of meat or fish.

Cheaper options are also popular when the smokehouse is not equipped with a heating element. Such models are heated by an electric or gas stove; they are used only for hot smoking.

Factory home electric smokers and their prices

Prices for electric smokers differ significantly. A small sealed box without a heater and a timer costs from 500 rubles. A simple domestic device for hot smoking - about 1.5 thousand. Combined units are slightly better in quality - about 3 thousand. Equipped with a water lock - from 4000 and above.

You can’t put such a smoking cabinet in an apartment
The price depends heavily on the manufacturer and the design solution, while the performance of the device may be the same. Finnish models usually cost 2.5 times more expensive than Russian ..

Smokehouse (aka greentechs)

The “smoke”, or “greentechs” is the simplest model for a small price. Structural is just an airtight box with 2 grilles and a heating element, not even a thermometer. The manufacturer warns that the device is only suitable for cooking fish, wings or bacon. He does not recommend smoking for longer than 40 minutes. The weight of the original product is up to 5 kg.

The main disadvantage of the unit is absolutely uncontrolled heating. Of the advantages - the minimum price (from 1800 rubles and above).

Electric smokehouse "Electromash"

The two-level smokehouse "ElectroMash" with enamel coating is also designed for short-term inclusion. Up to 5 kg of food can be placed in the chamber, and 2 levels of wire racks allow you to cook different dishes at the same time. TEN is protected from falling drops of fat. However, the unit is still not suitable for cooking meat, you can only smoke fish, cheese or vegetables.

Electric smoker helia

Home electric smokehouse of a high price category "Helia smoker"

The Helia model is much more expensive and more functional than the previous ones. The double-walled chamber reduces heat loss and, as a result, energy consumption. The device is suitable for preparing various dishes of meat and fish. You can put frozen foods in it. The internal elements (deep and shallow baking sheets, 2 grids for trout and 2 flat grids) are made of stainless steel.

The temperature is set automatically, the smokehouse turns off by timer. The chamber can simultaneously cook up to 14 kg of roast, or 8 chickens, or 48 small or 24 large trouts. But the cost is also high.

Electric smokehouse "Eku"

Universal electric smokehouse with removable heater
The universal Ecu model from TM Alvin is equipped with a removable power unit. It can be plugged in, heated from the stove, or even taken with you on a picnic. Of the additional functions, there is a power regulator and a power indicator. The electric smokehouse is designed for loading up to 20 liters. It contains 3 trellis pans and a cup for collecting fat. Perhaps this is a good option for a large family that loves various smoked meats: meat, vegetables, fish. The price of the unit is about 3 thousand rubles.

Electric Smokehouse "Aroma"

The Aromat unit from TEMP cannot be called compact, but it is the only one on this list that can be used for the hot and cold smoking method without buying additional accessories. For the first time, the device began to be produced more than 20 years ago, and the design, apparently, remained the same.

"Aromat" is an inexpensive universal smokehouse designed for semi-industrial loading. Suitable for use in the country, in a private house. The apartment will take up too much space due to its height and cylindrical shape.

Smoking in an electric smokehouse - features, advantages and disadvantages

Home smokehouse products
Fatty foods are best cooked using cold smoked. At the same time, they are fumigated by smoke and dried up, and excess fat flows down. Such dishes are prepared for a long time, but they can also be stored for several months. For fish, wings and vegetables, the hot method is more suitable. High temperature leads to the rapid formation of a crust, and the product remains tender and juicy. But you can store the dish no longer than a week.

An electric smokehouse allows you to cook delicious smoked dishes quickly and safely. You are in full control of the process and are confident in the quality of the finished product. Today they are inexpensive, although the general interest has led to a not always justified price increase. The only drawback of electric smoke is the lack of versatility, but most compact models with a removable heater lack it.

What does a smokehouse for cold and hot smoking consist of? Use in home, apartment

The smokehouse is metal capacitysecurely closed by a lid:

  1. Chips are poured into the bottomwhich, when heated, begin to smolder and produce smoke.
  2. Inside are located semi-finished grills and a grease collection pan.
  3. In order for the device to work, must be connected to the grid at the bottom of the transformer wire.
  4. At the top you need to hang productsto be smoked. In addition, each of them must be connected to the opposite pole of the transformer.
  5. Smokehouse needs to be closed with a lid and set fire to the smoke generator.

Attention! The transformer must be turned on after smoke appears from the fitting on the cover.

There are smokehouses two kinds, namely: working on the principle cold or hot smoking. They differ in the fact that the latter disinfect products by heat treatment, and the former due to the long exposure of food to smoke.

Photo 1. Cold smoked electric smokehouse made from an old refrigerator.

Another difference is the cooking time. The cold smoker should work for 1-2 days, the smoke in this device is fed through a special pipe. The hot smoker will cook for 2–4 hours. Here smoldering sawdust is below, and smoky masses just rise.

The principle of operation of the electric smokehouse is to action of a charge. With it, smoke rises and envelops products, and then exits through an exhaust pipe.

For home use, the smokehouse for cold smoking is not suitable. In the walls of an apartment or house, it is better to use an electric mini smokehouse for hot smoking.

On sale you can find models in which both smoking modes are present, they are complemented by a function oven cabinet. Making a smokehouse on your own is not difficult if you heed the recommendations.

Do-it-yourself steps for making an electric smokehouse

Anyone can create such a device, if he has at hand a barrel of the desired diameter and other components.

Using such materials, you can make a device for hot smoking, subject to following algorithm:

  1. The case is being prepared. It must be checked for leaks. A hole is drilled in the upper housing element. In the future, a chimney will be installed in it.
  2. Below you need to put an electric stoveon which there will be a tray for smoldering sawdust.
  3. Mounted a pallet designed to collect fat. It can be made from sheet metal. To be able to place products, you need to mount grilles or hooks.

Important! Knowledgeable people recommend checking the smokehouse before use. It is worth evaluating the level of smoke concentration, the absence of open flame in a pallet with sawdust, the location of food racks, and how efficiently the heater works.

A quality check is the key to a long and uptime smokehouse. If you ignore this step, you can ruin all products along with the smokehouse. With good assembly and quality control, the service life of the device is significantly extended and the quality of its work increases.

How to prepare for the assembly?

To properly assemble such a device you do not need to have a lot of building skills, but it’s worth preparing certain components, such as:

  1. Metal container with a lid. The best option in this situation is a metal barrel with volume 200 l. It is better to take a container in which various oils or chemicals were stored. You can get rid of residual contents by thoroughly washing the barrel before use. If it used to store oil, you need to put dry firewood into it and set it on fire. After everything has burned out, it is necessary to process the container from the inside with a cleaner for cleaning the floor or dishes.

  1. Electric thermostattemperature adjusting from 20 to 90 degrees Celsius.
  2. Special tile.
  3. Palletmade of metal. Fat will flow into it.
  4. Thermometer.
  5. Metal grid.
  6. Cableby which an electric current will be supplied.
  7. Wire rack or old sawdust pan.
  8. Can be screwed furniture wheels to the bottom of the smokehouse. Moving heavy equipment becomes easier, increasing the mobility of the entire installation.

Reference. It is worth remembering that no matter how high-quality the assembly, a home-made smokehouse is inferior to a professional one. power and speed of cooking. The devices from the store have a more beautiful appearance, but you have to give them away 10,000 to 20,000 p.

Do not forget that the manufacture of a smokehouse should be carried out in certain conditions:

  1. Room temperature should not exceed 25 degrees Celsius.
  2. Humidity above 80% is not allowed.
  3. If the products are located in a working installation, You can’t touch it.
  4. All components performing their functions under voltage, need to be insulated.

Additionally, it is worth preparing:

  1. Drill for drilling holes in the housing.
  2. Furniture castors.
  3. Screwdriver or screwdriver.
  4. Metal scissors or wire cutters.

These tools come in handy during assembly.

Как изготовить, фото процесса

When creating a cooking device, you must adhere to following algorithm:

  1. You need to decide which project an electric smokehouse will be made. When creating the installation, you can use 4 different patterns. The choice is left to the person involved in the assembly. The smokehouse can be made from buckets, metal sheets, barrels, bricks and stainless steel.

Photo 2. Drawing of the electric smokehouse. The order of the elements from top to bottom: mesh, thermometer, a bowl of water, a pan for grease, a container for sawdust, electric stove.

  1. Getting down to making the case. Are looking for metal barrel and prepare as described above. Furniture wheels are mounted at the bottom. To do this, you need to drill a few holes. Make holes for the exit of smoke from below. Their optimal diameter is 10 mm.
  2. The installation base must be created from dielectric materiale.g. wood or plastic.

Photo 3. Cutting a metal mesh with scissors for metal. From it you can make grates for the smokehouse.

  1. Need to make gratings. They must correspond to the width of the housing and securely fixed in it. It is worth choosing a metal mesh and, if necessary, trim it with nippers or scissors for metal.
  2. As a pallet, you can use ordinary pan, but you need to make sure that the diameter allows it to be in the case.

Photo 4. The grid and the pallet, which is made of a pan, in an electric smokehouse.

After all preparatory procedures are completedproceed to assembly:

  1. Need to fix product rods using fasteners. They must be made of dielectric material.
  2. Need to wear smoke exhaust hose to the nozzle and put it into the ventilation.
  3. We connect a cooler. To do this, take a plastic or metal hose of a small diameter and wind it in a spiral fashion around the chimney. Then one end of it is connected to the tap, and the other to the sewer.
  4. Suspend Products, we set fire to the fuel and when smoke appears, we connect the transformer to the network.

If everything is done qualitatively, then you can not worry about the life of the smokehouse.

What difficulties may arise?

Inexperienced people may not be able to immediately prepare the materials and assemble the unit efficiently.

If you encounter such problems, it is better to check the algorithm mentioned above and not start the smokehouse until the check is successful. Important prevent excess smokesince food may have an unpleasant aftertaste. If there is a similar phenomenon, you need drill additional holes.

Rules for using a home electric smokehouse

It is worth remembering that the electric smokehouse is a dangerous device, during its operation it is necessary observe some rules:

  1. Humidity should not be higher than 80%.
  2. Smoked Products should not touch walls or electrode grid.
  3. The electrified elements of the apparatus are necessary isolate from housing.
  4. Do not touch products. while the installation is working.
  5. The unit must be installed on a dielectric base.

If you follow the rules described, the smoking process will only bring pleasure to the person who created such an apparatus.

Features of different types of smokehouses

Before you consider the process itself, you should understand the issue of the necessary equipment. In order to give the products a “haze”, you need to purchase a smokehouse. Let's see how the smokehouse is arranged.

There are several types of equipment:

  • professional, semi-professional and home-based (we advise you to read the article on the manufacture of industrial smokehouse do-it-yourself),
  • for hot, semi-hot and cold smoking,
  • gas, electric, coal smokehouses,
  • portable and stationary.

To prepare a small amount of products for personal use, a small home smokehouse is enough. You can do it yourself or buy a ready-made one. They differ in design and volume, working principle and materials.

If you live in a private house or have a cottage, it is quite possible to equip yourself with a stationary brick stove or a separate wooden chamber. You can also freely use appliances that heat up on fire and coals.

Such a device is suitable for use on fire, that is, for hot smoking

A limited number of models are available for use in the apartment. Mostly these are electric devices and combined multifunctional equipment. Miniature gas smokehouses with a water trap are also popular, which keep the smoke inside and prevent it from spreading throughout the room.

Delicious meat and fish can be cooked even in the apartment, using a stove

Before choosing a smokehouse, you also need to think about what functions you expect from it. Miniature apartment samples are mainly suitable for hot smoking. Other methods are available only for electric models, but they cost a lot. It’s much easier to equip a cold smoking chamber on a site, but keep in mind that it occupies a decent area due to its constructional features. The smoke in it should go from the firebox to the chamber itself in order to cool to the desired temperature. To do this, organize intermediate sections or build an underground chimney.

Such equipment allows you to apply all methods: hot, half-hot and cold for a vertical chamber

Tip: the optimal solution for home use in any environment is a gas smokehouse with a water lock. It can be operated both in a private house and in an apartment. Please note that it is suitable for the hot method of processing products.

Preparatory stage

Let's consider directly the rules of using the smokehouse. In order to understand the difference between different cooking methods and the principle of operation of the equipment, you should turn to two main methods - hot and cold. In this case, the process of preparing for the main process will be the same for both options. Here we can distinguish several main areas:

  • selection of firing materials,
  • preparation of the equipment itself,
  • pretreatment of products.

Any mistake at one of these stages can significantly affect the final result. In order not to spoil the products, you must adhere to the following recommendations.

Selection of firing materials

One of the main criteria for a successful end result is the right choice of furnace materials. On sale there is even a special chip for the smokehouse in bags, containers or bags. This material is used to create a fragrant haze.

For electric smokehouses use special briquettes

For one approach, not so much fuel will be needed, since it is necessary to achieve the effect of slow material decay, rather than burning. You can use shavings or sawdust that remained after cutting firewood for the smokehouse. Shredded small branches are also suitable. It is quite possible to harvest wood chips with your own hands. If you often plan to cook products this way, it may make sense to buy a special machine for crushing branches.

As for wood species, there are also some nuances here. The use of conifers, especially pine, is strictly unacceptable. The fact is that such wood contains a large amount of resin, which when heated begins to stand out and evaporate. At the same time, it creates a large amount of burning and soot, and gives the products a bitter taste.

For kindling a smokehouse use hardwood. In particular, such varieties as:

  • alder,
  • beech,
  • maple,
  • oak,
  • hornbeam,
  • aspen,
  • fruit trees (apple, cherry, cherry, pear, peach, apricot, etc.)

Fruit Chips - The Best Choice

Important: Each type of material gives the processed products a unique color, from golden yellow to reddish bronze.

Various tricks are used to add a special flavor. For example, you can add a small amount of rosemary or juniper branches to the furnace, almond shell, herbs. In this regard, the main thing is not to overdo it so as not to spoil the taste of the product. The vine has proven itself well.

Dry smoking is traditionally used for smoking. Wet increases the amount of burning, but it gives more smoke and a special aroma, so this option is also used in practice. To prevent burning sedimentation on products, a filter in the form of a grate or a damp cloth is used. It is also worth remembering that it is not allowed to use wood affected by a fungus and other infection, as well as treated with chemicals, resins, paints and other materials that can produce harmful fumes.

Equipment Preparation

Before loading smoking products into the chamber, it is necessary to properly prepare the equipment itself. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Clean the chamber, chimney and furnace from products of previous use. If the old ashes, ash and grease remain on the equipment walls, this will ruin the taste of the new batch. In addition, it is much easier to get rid of a small amount of contamination than to then clean out a thick hardened layer of waste.
  • Warm up the empty smokehouse. Initially, you need to bring the temperature inside the chamber to 200 degrees and cool it to the level you need, depending on the technology used. At the same time, you will prepare the equipment for loading chips directly.
  • Fill the main firing material. Perhaps the most pressing issue at the equipment preparation stage is how many sawdust to pour into the smokehouse. For different products, you may need from 2 to 6 tablespoons of wood chips, in the future watch for its burning and toss in small portions as necessary.

In a cleaned chamber you need to pour a very small amount of wood chips

Tip: it is convenient to put wood chips in foil or a special pallet maze. This will facilitate its removal after completion of the process and allow you to better control the smoldering process.

  • When using a smokehouse with a water trap, pour water into the gutter to block smoke. Additionally, you can put spices and herbs.

Water is poured into the water trap and spices are added as desired.

After bringing the camera to the desired temperature, you can lay food in it.

Product Processing

As for what can be smoked in the smokehouse, there are practically no restrictions. The variety of products is simply stunning:

  • meat (whole pieces, balyks, sausages),
  • bird,
  • fish,
  • fat and brisket
  • cheeses
  • fruits, such as pear,
  • vegetables,
  • prunes.

We advise you to study in more detail options for smoking smoked bacon on our portal.

So that during the smoking process animal products do not deteriorate, they need to be properly prepared. For this, the salting method is used. For hot smoking, you can, in principle, do without it, since processing does not take much time. However, it is pickling that brings its own flavor to every dish.

Marinade is prepared on the basis of saline and selected according to the recipe of spices

Salt should be from several hours to several days, depending on the recipe, the products used and the size of the pieces. To remove excess salt, the future delicacy is soaked in clean water. Some recipes require additional boiling or curing products.

Pre-meat can be dried and dried

Smoking method

In order to answer the question of how to smoke in the smokehouse, it is necessary to consider both methods. They differ in process technology and end result.

General provisions are the methodology for preparing products and equipment, as well as the basics of its operation. In order to prevent over-saturation of delicacies with smoked smack, it is impossible to pour too much wood chips. Also note that excess smoke must be vented through an ajar shutter or a special chimney. This is especially true for home models of mini-smokehouses.

Video: instructions for smoking fish

Also consider how you will place food inside the smoke chamber. It is necessary to achieve the effect when the entire volume of the workpieces is evenly enveloped with smoke from all sides. To do this, they can be laid out on a grill or suspended vertically. In the future, the chamber can only be opened to grease meat or fish with marinade, as well as to replace the filter and the pan. The rest is not recommended to intervene in the process and cool the smokehouse.

It is best to tie the carcass with twine and hang it in the chamber on rods

Important: Before closing the food chamber inside, install a fat catch pan.

Hot method

For starters, consider how to smoke in a smoke-cured smokehouse. The essence of the method is that the products lend themselves not only to smoking, but also to intensive heat treatment. This allows you to bake and dry meat or fish, melt excess fat.

Hot method great for quick chicken cooking

The time for one cycle is much less than with other methods. From 1.5 to 5 hours is enough to process a batch of meat. On average, it takes 3 hours to cook a balyk.

The temperature in the chamber is maintained at 80-100 degrees. A fluctuation of +/- 10 degrees from the originally set temperature is allowed. For some recipes, a value is set in the range from 60 to 140 degrees.

The smoke enters directly into the chamber, so it does not have time to cool. The furnace is located under the smokehouse or at its bottom. In the second case, it is necessary to observe the minimum distance from the fryer to the products of 30 cm and be sure to use a filter from soot. You can wrap the balyk with gauze to prevent burning from settling on food.

Scheme of the simplest smokehouse for hot smoking

Cold method

With cold smoking, the temperature in the smokehouse drops to 20-40 degrees. This effect is possible when cooling the smoke and air coming from the furnace into the main chamber. The taste of such products is deeper and more interesting.

Cold Method Great for Smoked Cheese

In order to apply the cold method, equipment with forced cooling of the smoke can be used. These are mainly electric smokers. A wet rag valve can partially help.

The main option is the use of a chimney 2-3 meters long. While smoke travels through this channel, it lowers its temperature to the desired level. The process of cold smoking requires more chips, as it takes from 3 to 7 days. It is important to prepare the products for pickling, so that they do not deteriorate during their stay in the smokehouse.

When cold smoked, the combustion chamber is located at a certain distance so that the smoke cools down

Important: The more salted the marinade, the better the product is conserved.

Follow the basic rules of smoking, but do not be afraid to experiment. This is the only way you can create a unique recipe for smoked delicacies.