Does smoking help the meat last longer?

Started by tsuri, April 21, 2013, 02:21:06 PM

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Hi everyone, I'm totally new to this.
I noticed that a lot of people mention "loading up" their smoker.  I'm a family of 4 with 2 small kids, so I'm worried that I'd be making too much food if i "loaded" it up.  Does smoking allow the food to last longer than simply BBQing or baking?


Simple answer no, hard and drawn out answer with out reading the sausage making bible to you kinda of. Depends on what your doing with it.


Many of the things they load up with freeze well. Pulled pork butt, briskets, sausage - all freeze well. Cheese properly wrapped can last a long time in the fridge. (don't freeze cheese)
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I generally do 15 lbs od Canadian bacon, 14 to 30 lbs of pastrami at once in my  4 rack,,, slice it up, vac seal it and freeze it and  use as i need... 


Smoke does have some preservative properties, but only on the outside of the meat.
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In addition to salting and curing with nitrates, smoking was a very effective tool in preserving meats. Besides enhancing the taste and look, it also increases its longevity by slowing down the spoilage of fat and growth of bacteria. Smoking meat leads to more water loss, and results in a saltier and drier product, which naturally increases its shelf life. The advantages of smoking meat are numerous: Slows down the growth of bacteria. Prevents fats from developing a rancid taste. Extends the shelf life of the product. Develops a new taste and flavor. Changes the color; smoked products shine and look better.


Hmmm...  Smoking food DOES lead to less SPOILAGE  ;) 
Ain't gonna be around long enough for that.
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I see.  A vacuum sealer would seem like a good idea.


You're right, it appears that many forum members consider a vacuum sealer to be an essential smoking accessory.  I while I don't own a vacuum sealer, I have had the neighbor's Food Saver on loan for two years or so.  (As long as I keep up the "rent" payments with regular deliveries of smoked goods, they don't seem to be very concerned about when I'm going to return their sealer.)  I find that the vacuum sealer means that I can freeze things for quite a long time compared to putting the same thing in a zip lock.  We only have the freezer drawer in the fridge, so the auto defrost cycle keeps letting things warm up, then cooling them down again.  Not the best conditions for long term storage.  Removing the air from what you are storing seems to more than double or triple how long you can keep frozen products before they start to freezer burn. 


Quote from: tsuri on April 22, 2013, 06:09:54 AM
I see.  A vacuum sealer would seem like a good idea.
For sure.  I do tons at a time, vaccum pack, freeze and share.  This significantly increases the shelf life and keeps everything tasting fresh.


do you find that when you thaw the food out and heat it up, that you can end up overcooking the food?  I assume you re-heat in the oven, not in the smoker? If I'm going to freeze, should I undercook slightly.


I can't say if smoking makes meat last longer, at my house if the meat is smoked; it is usually eaten within 2 days.  ;D
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