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Thread: Preserving Meats/ Building a Smokehouse?

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    Preserving Meats/ Building a Smokehouse?

    I am thinking seriously about building a smokehouse(cold smoke)

    I understand this is the best method for storing meats. Does anyone have have a working smokehouse that they would be willing to share the way they set it up? How to regulate the amount of heat and smoke entering the smokehouse and using as little wood as possible? (waste not = want not = Work less)

    Recipes would be great also. Mostly pork and fish and maybe some beef and deer jerky.

    Its been kind of quiet around the forum lately! Did the world end and not send me an email?

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    Senior Member vonknabe's Avatar
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    Hi, Wayne! We are also planning on building a smokehouse. My husband found some very simple plans on the internet. I think the most important aspect of having a smokehouse is having an edequate supply of firewood to keep it fueled. Even though we haven't buit our smokehouse yet, I have been stocking up on wood for quite some time. Two years ago, I bought one of these.....(worth it's weaight in gold!)...http://www.ramsplitter.com/ModelHV30.html

    Also, I do a lot of dehydrating of meats now, with a cheap $20 Walmart dehydrator, and vacuum-seal it and "put it up". I didin't want to wait for an actual disaster to have emergency food supplies available. And it's good practice for "whatever may come".

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    I have read a lot of your post and I am looking for a dehydrator now. I really want to be able to live off grid for extended amounts of time before I am forced to. The Wood splitter sure would come in handy. I use one of these: http://www.columbussupply.com/products/?productid=410 I do run out of gas when using it too. Often!!

    I can get plenty of hickory, maple and oak wood, but cherry, apple and mesquite are a little harder to come by. I am guessing that it will be trial and error to regulate the temp in the smokehouse.

    Good news is my wife is coming around slowly. I think it was the baby chicks that got her to loosen up a little.

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    Senior Member Richard's Avatar
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    My grandfather built his own smoker out of an old refridgerator and it worked great for many years. He removed the motor at the bottom and used that cavity for his heat source, placing just hardwood embers in it. Inside the main compartment he drilled dozens of evenly spaced small holes top and bottom to allow the smoke to flow through. Place your meat on the racks, close the door and wait about two days.
    Keep the heat low but use good wood that puts off just a little smoke from the embers, you don't want flames under there. (less heat is best) It'll take practice to learn but works really well with very little tending to. NEVER USE EVERGREENS FOR COOKING OR SMOKING MEAT (your food will taste like turpentine)

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    Senior Member vonknabe's Avatar
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    I got my dehydrator at Walmart several years ago - it was only $18.88 USD about 5 years ago! It's very similar to the 5-tray Oster brand that sells for $39.88.

    Richard, I LOVE the old refrigerator idea for a smoker!

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    Senior Member Richard's Avatar
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    Trust me Vonknabe, I ate a lot of good meat out of that old fridge. It works really well on fish too.

  7. #7
    Excellent thread! Taking notes and looking up dehydrators for sale in the UK! Next investment!!
    Thanks all! M

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    Senior Member Richard's Avatar
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    A note on that fridge smokehouse. You need a lot of small holes, about 1/4" in size (or less), spaced about 1" apart. You need the same number in the top as you do in the bottom so you don't lose your heat too fast. Use only smoldering coals for your heat source (no flame) and use only hardwoods, no pine, or your meat will taste like turpentine. As long as smoke is rising through the top holes, all is well and you shouldn't open the door. The meat doesn't need to be turned over.
    If you get everything right, it'll take a couple of days to smoke small pieces.
    The reason a fridge works so well is because it's insulated and holds the heat.
    Let me know how it works out for you M.

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    Does anyone know where and how to store the smoked meats after the smoking process is done?

    Every site I have found says to refrigerate it or doesn't cover what to do with the finished product, but I want to know how they stored meats before the invention of the fridge.

    I have seen a couple sites that claim to cure meats for up to a year, which would be ideal. The problem is all the recipes I have found only cure for 2 - 6 weeks.

    I have the materials to build a smokehouse and will be ready to experiment with some cheap cuts of meat soon. I hope to gain enough expertise to risk smoking a hog or side of beef this winter. (I understand this is the time when the butchering and smoking of meat was traditionally done)
    "We have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society." Lyndon B. Johnson
    "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton
    What is a prepper?

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    Senior Member Earth Angel's Avatar
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    Hi Wayne

    I have not had a chance to read my way through the enormous amount of information available on the following web pages, but you may find it useful as they also have a forum, to which you could pose questions to their group, in addition to this 2013 site.

    http://www.smoking-meat.com/

    Good luck with your smoking. I look forward to hearing about your success stories.

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