Quote from scep on November 27, 2011, 19:34
Most things need to be cured/brined beforehand for extra antibacterial. The temperature is critical in cold smoking - the cooler the better generally and if you are entering the late 20 degrees C then you need to know what you are doing. Botulism can really ruin your day
Hot smoking is perhaps an easier route into smoking to gain confidence and skills.
In French farms, we slaughter the 300 Kg pig in January, when the temps are at their lowest. For charcuterie, you just need proper quantities of salt and pepper, and it's less salty than commercially available "saucisson". It's just carefully selected piece of meat, minced and mixer with proper quantities of lard fat. The pieces of meat who have not good drying abilities goes into fresh sausage or other things (pâté wich is sterilized in small glass jars). No curing, smoking or brine, just air drying ! Some good molds develop on the skin. (pig gut, in fact !)
The fresh saucissons are then hanged on the ceiling of a north oriented room, with shutters partially open for air circulation (you adjust opening according to temps, dryness of air and meat, quite an art !)
Do you know "frittons" ? The fatty parts are minced and melted in a large deep copper pan over the fire in the fireplace. When melted, it's strained, the pork fat is jarred for later use as cooking fat (you can deep fry French fries !). The remaining fried bits of meat togehter with some unmelted hard fat are packed into a container with some wheight of top to remove excess fat and obtain a block which can be sliced.
And with all charcuterie, the thinner the slice, the better, you should see the blade through the slice while you are slicing !