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  • Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Article: Smoking Food

    I lived in MaCall Idaho for a few years and made a living by bar tending, and working in construction—neither paid very well.

    I've always loved cooking and food. I remembered having smoked fish in my younger years and to save some cash I went to the local library and got a book on smoking fish and game. I fished a lot but didn't hunt. However, guys I worked with did.

    I decided to build a smoker out of an old refrigerator. The plans were in an old Popular Mechanics magazine, and it was awesome. You had some duct work buried about ten feet from the smoke unit, and it went into the old fridge.

    The other end went into a fire pit; have the fire going, throw in the wood of choice for the smoke, cover it up. The smoke would go into the fridge, and you had a damper on the top to control the heat and smoke!

    I started smoking trout, and catfish. A friend from the bar gave me bundles of Cherry tree wood and apple tree wood. My friends who hunted brought me wild turkeys to smoke. I would do 4 of them and keep one for me. Pretty soon I was making deer and elk jerky, smoked salmon, and even pheasant.

    Also, I learned that after you’re done smoking something, if you put one-pound blocks of cheese in the smoker (with no heat), let it sit there for a day or two, the cheese absorbs the flavor. It turned out great! Have you seen the price of smoked cheese lately?