Cold smoking + Sous Vide?

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #1

How many of you use a smoker in conjunction with your Siouse Vide cooking ? Do you do a pre-smoke, or smoke after the Souse Vide ? Heck, if you did both, would you even need to sear it ?
What meats do you / have you done ? Im thinking mostly beef and pork. Pork roasts are especially intriguing as I love pork in the first place, plus its cheap ! I can get big bombing pork roasts for like $1.89 a lb…
Im looking at this one…

(Bob M) #2

I’ve done both of these, and both are excellent:

I followed the recipes and used the sous vide, then cooled down and refrigerated (sometimes putting on ice then into the fridge in the morning, then smoking later that day, or putting in the fridge for a few days), then smoking. Smoking from cold is supposed to be better, as the smoke adheres to cold meat better.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #3

Nice :slight_smile: Think I’m going to get that smoker soon :slight_smile:

(Central Florida Bob ) #4

I’ve done both sous vide followed by finish for a few hours in the smoker, and the last pulled pork I did was pre and post sous vide. There are a couple of threads on here where I post results. The long one is:

The most recent, about pre- and post- sous vide is:

I don’t see any reason to sear after smoking. While the double smoke method gave better bark, it took half as long as cooking the pork butt only in the smoker.

I have an electric smoker sorta like the one you picture, a Masterbuilt “digital electric” - sort of like this one, but without the glass in the door.

Because glass doors can be seen through for about 1/2 hour out of your first smoke.

I also have one of the external smoke generators for the Masterbuilt, the cold smoker, that I use for smoking cheese, and the (very occasional) salmon.

I’ve seen guys make their own cold smoking attachments with an aluminum mailbox, mounted a few feet from the smoker, connected by aluminum drier duct.

Barbecue (low temp, slow, smoking) could be a thread by itself. We had one once, several months ago.

(Bob M) #5

The nice thing about the recipes I posted was that you only smoke for 1.5 or 3 hours. I’ve done both at a time. The rest of the time, they are in the sous vide, and you do nothing. I have cooked pork and beef at different temps and times (according to those recipes) and then cooled them down, then smoked them both at the same time. It makes it easy.

Meanwhile, I remember doing low temp smoking for hours, checking all the time to see if it’s done, taking the temperature, maybe covering it in foil…

So much easier this way, the results are great.

I use this:

With this:

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #6

Nice. I’m going to look into those smokers. Thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #7

Hey BTW, I’ve been thinking about smokers… And maybe I’m putting too much thought into this, but it seems to me that tempature controlled cold smoking would be critical, as with Souse Vide, say you cook your meat at 138 degrees for a certain doneness… Well if your smoker gets to 150, wouldn’t that over cook it ?
Having the hardest time deciding on a smoker, as most are not cold smokers with a fully adjustable temp gauge… Except the really expensive ones, and I still don’t know how accurate those would be ?

But then I suppose anything less than your Souse Vide cooking temps would be fine too… Hence a “cold smoker”…

Please help me clear my mind over this…

(Central Florida Bob ) #8

Since no one else has said anything, I’ll take a stab.

I need to make sure we’re talking the same language. Cold smoking means no heater in the box and is kind of specialized. Only (relatively) cool smoke touches the food. Electric smokers have a problem that the wood chips don’t usually produce good smoke until the temperature in the box is over 200. Of course, wood burning smokers have a similar or bigger problem with heat.

For cold smoking cheese with my electric smoker, I put a large pan full of ice directly under the cheese. A temp probe next to the cheese says it’s in the 60s. Not refrigerator cold, but way below 200 (the cheese would turn into a puddle at 100). This is mostly for adding flavor. Those are two blocks of sharp cheddar and one of muenster cheese . I’ll just say I’ve done cheddar and jalapeno jack many times, but muenster only the one time. :smirk:

There are other recipes that call for temperatures below that 200 degree floor, like smoked fish, and lox which is salmon but smoked at a colder temperature. I’ve smoked regular (not lox) salmon by using the external smoke box and the heater in the electric smoker to get the temperature to 150. The electric smoker wouldn’t generate smoke on its own at 150, so the cold smoker chip allows me to get good smoke flow while keeping the temp lower.

So for things that need temperature control, I use the thermostatically controlled heater in the electric smoker. For things that need cold temperatures to preserve the food, I don’t. I don’t cold smoke much but another advantage to the external smoke maker is that while the chip tray in the Masterbuilt runs for about an hour to 90 minutes, the external box will run for about 6 hours. Better for overnight cooks. I still have to break up chip jams (due to wood resins accumulating in the feed column) but that means getting up every couple of hours overnight.

Not like you’d think. The heat has to be conducted to the inside of the food, and that’s why they often sear a steak. It’s also why you’ll see recommendations to chill the food after sous vide - to make the heat difference between inside and outside higher. Searing is very high heat, very short time - too little for the heat to conduct in, but enough to get the maillard reaction and the flavors you want. I’ve found that a couple of hours in a 225 smoker will add the flavor but the inside doesn’t get gray and the texture is set by the sous vide cook.

Hope that helps

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #9

Thank you Bob, that does help.

So just as an experiment, I bought one of those smoking tubes. I’m going to load it with mesquite chips…
Then (after 60hrs at 145 degrees) I’m going to put a whole pork roast, bone in, on our BBQ’er. Then put the smoking tube on the rack beside it. Going to hit one end of the tube with my torch to get it started, then close the BBQ’er and hopefully the tube will make smoke for 3-5 hours. It doesn’t seal very tight (allows for a little airflow) so I’m hoping it’s enough air to keep the smoking tube going, but tight enough to trap a lot of smoke, and of course I’ll check it from time to time.
Anyway after that, I’m going torch the whole roast for a good sear…
And see how it comes out :slightly_smiling_face:

(Marie) #10

My favorite dish: Short ribs sous vide at 135° for 48 hours, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. Then onto my smoker at a low smoke for about 2 hours. THEN crank it up and sear over open flame, brushed with sauce. OMG - so delicious.

(Marie) #11

Another tip. Baby back ribs cooked sous vide until done - about 36-48 hours at 135° or so. Then smoke for 2-3 hours, brushing with sauce if desired. Beats a long slow smoke - they say most of the smoke flavor penetrates the meat in 2 hours anyway. Sous vide + smoker = perfection. I have a Camp Chef Woodwind smoker - I’m very attached to it.

(Central Florida Bob ) #12

Marie, I think you’ve just chosen my Friday dinner. Just enough time to defrost a package of short ribs that I’ve had waiting through the longest period of rainy August we’ve had in years and get them into the sous vide bath by early afternoon tomorrow. Only a 30% chance of rain Friday, so this should work.

Have you tried leaving them in for 72 hours at 130? Last item here:

(Marie) #13

No Bob I haven’t tried 72 hours - I’d be interested to hear how that works though. 48 seems perfect because they go on the smoker, cook some more, and you don’t want them to fall apart, but maybe you could go 72 and they’d be even better! Always open to trying new methods.

(Central Florida Bob ) #14

I did it once. Wonderful stuff. Now that it’s months later, I don’t recall as well exactly what they were like. It’s what I had in mind when I bought this package of short ribs, but weather and schedules interfered.

(Central Florida Bob ) #15

Just for “completeness sake” - I did the 135 for 48 hours as @Maried suggests, finishing yesterday. Really good, and while the 72 hour version might be a tiny bit more tender, these are excellent. I heartily recommend. Copying Marie’s approach, I kept over indirect heat (in the smoke) for about two hours (2-1/2?) …

and then seared over the high heat area with some sugar free barbecue sauce.

There was enough for dinner last night and brunch today - sliced into a barbecue salad with home made mayonnaise made into thousand island with some sugar free ketchup.

Thanks, Marie!

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #16

Hey Bob, I saw where you used sugar free BBQ sauce ? What brand ? Or did you make it your self ? We have been using G. Hughes SF BBQ sauce, and it’s awesome ! :slightly_smiling_face:

(Central Florida Bob ) #17

It was G. Hughes, but I modified it because I modify just about anything that’s bottled. I don’t remember how much of each, but I added Worcestershire sauce, ACV, granulated garlic, and some G. Hughes ketchup to about a cup of G. Hughes barbecue sauce. That makes it just about the only thing I haven’t added diced jalapenos to.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #18

Okay, interesting. I didn’t even know they made G Hughes ketchup. Will look out for that :slightly_smiling_face: Thank you.

(Central Florida Bob ) #19

It’s my wife’s favorite, so since it’s a rule of life that if we really like something it goes away, our local Publix stopped carrying it. They’re pretty ruthless about cutting things that don’t sell, and I swear it’s one reason I’m buying the Rebel ice cream.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #20

Well considering it uses Splenda, I’m not surprised it wasn’t selling :frowning:

I used to get SF syrup with Splenda, also Sparkling Flavored waters… And they pushed “Splenda” with a little label right on the front of the bottles. Then, it queitely went away when they went to Aspartame :confused:
Like who the hell would prefer that cr@p over Splenda ?! I guess a lot of people :slightly_frowning_face: