People learned how to fish and smoke with meat smoke for a long time, it is likely that the problems that arose when hunting for mammoths inspired the then geniuses to search for a cardinal solution and the discovery of smoking as one of the ways of long-term preservation of meat products. There is a legitimate question, how does smoke smoking allow meat and fish stocks to remain edible for a long time?
The fact is that the smoke contains bacteriostatic substances that have a preservative effect. Therefore, the deeper these substances penetrate into the product, the longer it will be stored. This effect is achieved with cold smoking because it lasts for many days at a low smoke temperature. The product acquires antioxidant properties, and bacteria can not reproduce in it for a very long time. It must be assumed that the meat of mammoths was subjected to this kind of smoking.
Smoked chicken, of course, does not require such long procedures, but the meaning and principle remain the same. Both to cold, and to hot smoking the hen should be carefully prepared. Usually chicken is divided into two equal parts along the back, abundantly salted, sprinkled with herbs and ground bay leaf. Leave in this state under the yoke for several hours, from 3 to 24 hours. Also, the chicken can be marinated in a weak solution of vinegar with the addition of salt and spices. The time in the marinade depends on the size of the bird.
Firewood not all types of wood are suitable for smoking, we immediately sweep away all coniferous species - the meat on such firewood will acquire an unpleasant smell and bitter taste. Best of all, sawdust of fruit trees, this is the influence of Chinese cuisine, and in Russia from time immemorial smoked on alder and juniper. Chestnut, poplar, willow, ash and hornbeam are also quite suitable. But our beautiful birch does not go for smoking - it gives a lot of soot.
Smoked chicken will be much more delicious, if it is stuffed with garlic, it is done just before the beginning of smoking, we make several cuts with a knife and insert garlic cloves into them. It's simple. What if there is not a special smokehouse? The way out, oddly enough, lies on the surface. We find any metal bucket with a lid, pour on the bottom of the sawdust of the rocks that were mentioned above (a layer of no more than 10 cm). Suspend the halves of the chicken to the lid, close the bucket and put it on the fire. The chicken smoked about one hour. By the way, the smoked chicken in the bucket is obtained no worse than in the brand smokehouse.
Our chicken is ready. Hot smoking does not allow storing the product for a long time, but this method of cooking gives the meat a unique taste, and, whatever you say, the smoked chicken looks very aesthetic, and what flavor!
The king among all products made in this way is the smoked ham.
Smoked ham - the process is long, but it's worth it. First, the meat must be salted, it is rubbed with a mixture of saltpeter, salt and sugar, placed in a brine of the same ingredients. Every 5 days the brine is changed, and the whole process lasts up to a month. Before smoking, the salted ham is soaked in water for 4 hours, then it is dried in a draft in a cool place for the same amount of time.
If the ham is supposed to be boiled after smoking, the smoke temperature in the smokehouse should be about 45 ° C. Smoking is done within 10 hours. To cook the ham, pick up the dishes in which it could fit vertically. First, the water is brought to a boil and a ham tied to it for the crossbeam is placed in it. The water temperature is maintained at 85 ° C. Each kilogram of ham requires 40-minute cooking. The calculation is done this way: multiply 40 by the weight of the ham, the result is the cooking time in minutes.
Try it, and you will definitely appreciate the result!