The curing and smoking process…
There are several stages to producing the subtle smokey flavour which, depending on the product, can involve either curing using salt or brining with natural spices and herbs added to enhance the flavour. Products are either then cold smoked, hot smoked or for many products such as our Kiln roasted salmon, a combination of both.
Smoking is an art rather than an exact science and it depends on many aspects including, of course, the skill of the smoker, and also the differences in the original ingredients, temperature, humidity etc.
We use two traditional smoking methods for different types of products, to create specific flavours and textures. We are always aiming for a subtle smokiness which penetrates the food and not just a smoky surface. This means we use a low and slow method with various resting periods… It’s a time-consuming process but we believe you can taste the difference in our products.
We use specially built cold smoking kilns for all of our cold smoking. Cold smoking does not cook the fish or meat, but it slowly removes moisture. The intention is to both preserve food and add flavour.
We generate the smoke by smouldering sustainable wood shavings. The smoke is drawn up through the kiln and over the food in a constant flow. The smoke is never recycled because a fresh stream of smoke gives a cleaner, natural flavour.
How long we smoke for depends on the product and other elements such as weather, etc.
The skill of the smoker is key here and there is no substitute for experience. As I said earlier smoking is an art!
Hot smoking (Kiln Roasted)
For our hot smoking, we use large, modern kilns which allows us to control the temperature more accurately. This is essential not only for our low and slow method, but also to ensure food is cooked to the correct temperature to make it safe to eat.
Whilst the temperature control maybe modern, the smoking is very much traditional, using only natural smoke for a variety of wood chips including oak, beech, alder, apple, cherry… and others from accredited sustainable sources.