Cold smoking is the process of smoking meat, cheese and other food in a closed smoker or grill at temperatures typically below 100 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours. For meat and seafood, the cold-smoking process can take 12-24 hours, while cold smoking cheese takes about two to four hours. Unlike hot smoking, which is smoking food in temperatures higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit, cold smoking allows food to be smoked without cooking so it can be prepared and served at a later time.
One of the most important aspects of cold smoking is ensuring that the temperature remains low. It's best to complete this process during cool weather seasons, as the internal temperature of a smoker will be easier to control and monitor than it would in the heat of summer. Before cold smoking, food is typically cured with salt or a brine to preserve it through the smoking process.
Foods that are often cold smoked