Skip links

Cold Smoking Production Process & Equipment 


Cold smoking is a centuries-old technique that imparts a unique smoky essence to meat, fish, and cheese without cooking them. It’s not just about flavor; it’s about preserving food while enhancing its taste.

At Klever Equipped, we’re all about delivering top-notch cold-smoking equipment along with unmatched expertise and service. By embracing the art of cold smoke, you can take your culinary creations to new heights!

Crafting Flavors with Cold Smoke

Panoramic smoke on a black backgorund

To begin our discussion on commercial cold smoking, it is important to understand how this process can be used to craft flavors in food.

Cold smoking allows for the infusion of a rich, smoky taste without significantly cooking the product.

This technique has been used for centuries as a method of food preservation, and it continues to be popular for its unique flavor and ability to extend the shelf life of certain foods.

Commercial Cold Smoking

Cold smoking is a popular method in the food industry for infusing foods with delicious, smoky flavors while maintaining their quality and extending shelf life.

To achieve this, commercial producers rely on cold smoke units, also known as cold smokers. These units are specially designed to produce smoke at low temperatures, typically below 100°F (38°C), without cooking the food. Smoke chambers within the unit ensure controlled exposure of the food to the smoke, ensuring proper flavor infusion while keeping the food safe to eat.

With its ability to enhance taste and aroma, cold smoking has become an essential tool for commercial food producers. From cheese and fish to meats and other smokehouse products, cold smoking offers a unique way to elevate the flavour of various foods.

Understanding the Cold Smoke Technique

To truly grasp the advanced technology behind cold smoking, it’s crucial to explore your options for wood chips and the best production solutions.

The type of wood used can profoundly influence the flavor of the smoked food, so selecting the right wood chips is essential to enhance your meat, cheese, fish, or other products.

Moreover, choosing high-quality cold smoking equipment and accessories ensures consistent and efficient smoking processes.

Here at Klever Equipped, we provide top-of-the-line European solutions from industry leaders like Fessmann and Travaglini. With their rich history of supplying some of the finest cold-smoking products on the market, you can trust in the quality and performance of our equipment.

Unlike hot smoking, which cooks the meat as it smokes, cold smoking imparts flavor with minimal heat, ensuring your products maintain their integrity throughout the production process.

Wood Chip Options

wood chips for cold smoking

The selection of wood chips plays a crucial role in achieving the desired flavors and aromas when cold smoking food. Different types of wood chips can impart distinct flavors to the food being smoked.

Here are four wood chip options to consider for your production facility:

  1. Fruitwood: This includes apple, cherry, and peach wood chips, which are mild and provide a subtle sweetness to the food. Fruitwood is commonly used for cold smoking cheese and delicate fish.
  2. Hardwood: Woods like oak, hickory, and maple produce a stronger flavor. These wood chips are excellent for smoking meats like bacon and sausages.
  3. Mesquite: Mesquite wood chips deliver a bold and robust smoky flavor. They are often used for smoking beef and game meats.
  4. Alder: Alder wood chips have a delicate and slightly sweet flavor. They are ideal for cold smoking salmon and other seafood.

To achieve cold smoke, the wood chips are placed in a smoke generator (or smoke source). Once the smoke is produced, it is then directed into a smoking chamber via a smoke tube where the food is ready to be infused with a rich, smoky flavor, enhancing its taste and aroma.

Cold Smoke Essentials

A commercial cold smoking set-up requires specific equipment to effectively infuse the smoky flavor without raising the products internal temperature significantly.

Provided below is a list of most essential pieces of equipment for a commercial set-up:

  • Wet Curing/Preparation Room

    • Before smoking, meat products should to be wet cured. This process involves soaking the meat in a brine solution or applying a dry rub to enhance flavor and promote moisture retention during the smoking process.
    • A dedicated room for this process should be considered.
  • Commercial Cold Smoke Generator

    • Generates cold smoke without increasing the temperature within the smoking chamber.
    • Some models can be attached externally to the smokehouse, allowing for greater control of the smoke output and reducing the risk of raising the internal temperature.
  • Large Smoking Chamber or Smokehouse

    • Provides ample space to process large quantities of product at once and ensures even distribution of smoke for uniform flavor and preservation.
  • Temperature Control System

    • Maintains the required low temperatures for cold smoking and monitors internal conditions to prevent fluctuations that could affect the quality of the smoked products.
  • Humidity Control System

    • Regulates humidity levels to aid in proper drying and preservation of smoked products, and helps in preventing bacterial growth and ensuring a safe smoking process.
  • Wood Chip or Pellet Feeder

    • Feeds smoking chips or pellets into the smoke generator and ensures a steady and consistent supply of smoke.
  • Wood Chips or Pellets

    • Different wood types offer varied flavors, allowing for product customization.
  • Stainless Steel (Food-Grade) Shelving or Racking Systems

    • Used to organize and support products within the smoking chamber.
    • It is vital to ensure adequate air circulation and smoke exposure for all products.
  • Air Circulation System

    • Ensures even distribution of smoke and maintains consistent air temperature.
    • Helps in preventing “hot spots” and ensuring all products receive equal exposure.
  • Cooling System

    • Some products may require a cooling period post-smoking. If necessary, a cooling system ensures products are brought down to safe temperatures before packaging or further processing.
  • Monitoring and Logging Software & Tools

    • Tracks temperature, humidity, and other critical parameters.
    • Ensures compliance with food safety standards and provides data for quality control.
  • Quality Control Lab

    • Though optional for smaller operations, for larger operations or those focused on premium products, having in-house quality control can ensure product consistency and safety.

Savoring the Cold Smoke Classics – Salmon, Cheese, and Bacon

Whether it’s the delicate flavor of smoked salmon, the creamy notes of smoked cheese, or the irresistible smokiness added to crispy bacon, these timeless favorites are elevated to new levels thanks to cold smoking. The marriage of smoky aromas and rich flavors creates a culinary symphony that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate and leave your customers always coming back for more.

Cold-Smoked Salmon

Smoked fillet salmon on craft paper over dark stone background

Salmon, a popular choice among seafood enthusiasts, is a versatile fish that can be enhanced with the flavorful touch of cold smoking.

Cold smoking involves exposing the fresh fish to smoke in a separate chamber for hours, resulting in a strong smoke flavor that complements the natural taste of the salmon.

Before cold smoking, the salmon is typically cured with a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices to enhance the flavor and help preserve the fish.

The salmon is then placed in a cold smoker, where it is exposed to low temperatures and a continuous flow of smoke. This slow smoking process imparts a rich smoky flavor without significantly cooking the fish.

The longer the salmon is smoked, the stronger the flavor will be. The intensity of the smoke can be adjusted based on preference.


Cold-Smoked Cheese

Smoked cheese wheel on wooden table

As cheese is exposed to cold smoke, it absorbs the complex compounds present, resulting in a unique smoky taste.

Also, the cold smoking process can enhance the texture of cheese, giving it a smoother and creamier feel.

The gentle application of smoke at low temperatures ensures that the cheese retains its original characteristics while gaining an added layer of flavor.

This makes cold-smoked cheese a delightful and versatile ingredient for various culinary creations.

Cold-Smoked Bacon

sliced smoked bacon on white background

Cold smoking bacon allows for the infusion of a rich, smoky flavor without cooking it, as would happen if you were to use a hot smoker.

We recommend choosing a high-quality pellet made from 100% hardwood, such as hickory or applewood. These pellets provide a clean burn and produce a consistent output.

For a stronger smoky flavor, consider using stronger woods like mesquite or oak. These woods will impart a more robust flavor profile to the bacon.

Aim for a thin, wispy smoke that appears white or gray. This indicates a clean burn and prevents the bacon from becoming overly smoky or bitter.

Start Your Smoke Generator with the Help of Klever Equipped

male seller with smoked fish tray at fish shop

Klever Equipped offers a comprehensive range of high-quality equipment and services to help you unleash the full potential of cold smoking for your food production facility. It is a popular method of food preservation that slows down the growth of bacteria and extends the shelf life of certain foods, making these types of products popular in the food production sector.

With Klever Equipped, you can ensure that your cold smoking process is efficient and effective. Our equipment is designed to provide consistent smoke generation and optimal smoking time, allowing you to achieve the desired smoky flavor in your products. We cater to a wide range of customers, from small artisanal producers to large-scale commercial operations.

In addition to supplying high-quality equipment, Klever Equipped offers installation assistance, maintenance services, and consulting on best practices for cold smoking. Our team is dedicated to helping you maximize the potential of cold smoke in your food production facility. Contact us to discuss your specific needs and unleash the full flavor of cold smoke in your products.

Klever Equipped, with its range of high-tech systems, stands as a trusted companion, guiding both artisans and commercial producers on their journey to unlock the full potential of cold smoke. Let us be your palette, as we elevate your culinary creations to new heights.

Leave a comment