Smoked food can be moreish, but teaching yourself how to do it can be tricky. The Kiwi Sizzler Smoking Book does not get lost in the details of how to custom build your own backyard smoker. It helps you to work with ready made equipment options, from simple fish smokers, to hooded bbqs, to bigger dedicated and discretely temperature controllable smoking cabinets.
As a keen amateur at charcuterie I have found other books fail to enable me to simply construct the latter sort of cabinet at home – fine temperature control is required especially for cold smoking. This can be important for meat especially such as salmon, bacon and ham and some cured sausages. Cold smoked garlic is a good option to have also.
Enough fundamentals are covered to get you quickly to the point: smoking great food. These include the difference between hot and cold smoking and the importance of preparing many meats with brining or curing techniques.
Chris Fortune's techniques work . His recipes are really great and because he explains the principles so well allows you to easily innovate without wasting time and money.
I have used most of the books' recipes exactly. I have hot smoked several sides of salmon, Kahawai, Mullet, chicken nibbles, a turkey buff, turkey sausages, beef sausages, several chickens, a lamb leg, rock salt and made up Chris Fortune's spice rub with the smoked sea salt. I have cold smoked middle bacon and streaky bacon and some cured cabanossi. The spice rub makes a great dry cure for bacon I have found.
I plan to try cold smoking some tomatoes this summer for next year's batch of tomatoe sauce which will be my first attempt at smoking fruit and vegetables, there are more recipes for veges in particular and even a few desserts.
I have had the book for perhaps 18 months now during which time I have been able to refine my water/hot smoking techniques with my hooded bbq after giving up on my basic fish smoker (operated on methylated spirits). Two months ago I purchased the proprietary Kiwi Sizzler gas smoking cabinet online and it has really delivered.
The Kiwi Sizzler gas smoker can be bought at a competitive price. Its versatility gives me all the options that I wanted and certainly complements Chris Fortune's book perfectly. The only recipe that I have not had success with is the smoked lamb, I am inclined to think that the leg of lamb may have been part of the problem though I might consider brining a leg some time in the future prior to smoking.
If you need to know about smoking food, start here. This book rocks!