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Smoking in combi oven: another useful function of the equipment 15.09.2014

Smoking in a combi oven - another useful feature of equipment

Combi steamer is fit for many culinary applications, including baking, roasting and cooking. Smoking is its another useful function. This is the topic of the following article.

Most leading manufacturers of professional equipment for the kitchen (in particular, Rational and Angelo Po) produce combi steamers with the function of smoking. With the help of these machines meat, fish and vegetables can be hot and cold smoked thereby expanding the menu of catering establishments. Smoking in the combi steamer requires minimal efforts of the operator and provides high quality of smoked product.

Function of smoking

Combi steamer is equipped with smokehouse – capacity of compact size, made of stainless steel with heating elements. Wood chips are to be placed into this capacity, then the device is connected to controller and placed into the upper pan of the working chamber or outside on the top of equipment. The operator can adjust the temperature and the intensity of the product heating, thereby determining the degree of cooked dish with smoke flavor saturation. 

How smoke effects the food

Wood chips that are used for meat and fish smoking, effect the taste of the product on the final stages of cooking. Wood smoke surrounds and permeates the product, regardless of whether it is placed in any shell or not. Different types of wood effect the flavor of the cooked dish differently. 


The peculiarities of fish smoking  

Alder, plum, viburnum, pear-tree, apple-tree, red currants, raspberries, gooseberry and blackberry wood chips are usually used for fish smoking. These types of wood when heated emit the least amount of resin, and, accordingly, do not affect the product. All of these types, especially alder, acacia and rowan, have antibacterial properties. In addition, they enrich the fish flavor range and give the product a lasting aroma. 

Freshly cut and dry wood can be used for smoking. First one makes the smell of fish more tart, and the color more bright. The last one makes flavour more tender and color  light golden. The core has to be on the branches that are used for smoking. 


Hot smoked fish quality parameters

Parameter

Characteristics and standards

Doneness

The product is cooked. Meat can be easily separated from the spine, the blood completely clotted.

Appearance

The top is clean, not wet or slightly moistened; spices on the top of the fish if it was cooked by "spicy" salting method.

Subcutaneous yellowings that are not associated with the oxidation of fat.

Acceptable: small swellings of the skin; minor protein and fat incrustations on the surface or minor burns; prints of mesh or bars on the surface of the fish.

External damages

The fish is without external damages

Acceptable: punctures, cuts, breakdowns of the skin; abdomen bursting; broken head; no more that 3 damages on each fish

no more than
2% of the fish (in a row) for dace and sculpin;
20% of the fish (in a row) for capelin;
10% of the fish (in a row) - for the rest within each package.

Damage of the gill covers and fins.

Color of fish skin

Uniform, from golden light to brown.

Acceptable:

small light spots caused by contact with the grid; bright spots that were not covered by smoke.

Splitting

In accordance with the requirements of 2.2

Consistency

From soft to tight, juicy.

Acceptable:

Dryish, slightly crumbly

Inherent for this type of product.

Taste and aroma

Ill-defined oozy or iodide aroma, as well as specific sour taste that are typical for some types of ocean fish.

Fraction of total mass of salt, %:

1,5-3,0

for scad oceanic “Aromatic”

2,5-4,0

Fraction of total mass of fat in fish, %:

for oily capelin

4,5

for mackerel Kuril

12,0



Food additives

Oak, eucalyptus and hornbeam branches can be used in small amounts as additives. In this case, alder wood chips should be used as the main type of wood, giving the dish a classic smoked taste. 

Oily fish smoking 

Branches of young acacia ought to be added while cooking oily fishes such as herring, halibut, mackerel, horse mackerel, mullet etc. They give oily fish great taste and piquancy

Recommended temperature and time for fish smoking 

Fish species

Temperature inside the product

Time of cooking

Indicators of product doneness

Trout

74°С

35-50 minutes

- bright golden color of the fish;

- delicious taste and smell of smoking;

- dry and shiny surface of the product;

- juicy and tender texture of fish;

- 60-70 % of moisture;

- fraction of total mass of salt up to 4 %;

- 68-74 °С temperature inside the product (depending on the species of fish)

Carp

74°С

30-40 minutes

Pike

74°С

30-35 minutes

Grouper

74°С

30-40 minutes

Whitefish

74°С

25-35 minutes

Fillet of red perch

74°С

25-45 minutes

Mackerel

74°С

35 minutes

Herring

74°С

35 minutes

Salmon

68°С

35-50 minutes

Eel (depending on the size)

74°С

до 50 minutes



Size of wood chips

All pieces of wood chips must have the same dimensions, because otherwise twigs and shavings will smolder when the temperature is high. The product, which was smoked properly, has a steady golden-bronze or light brown color without traces of soot. 


The peculiarities of meat smoking  

The best wood for meat smoking is alder wood chips. Alternatively, you may use also apple-tree, birch, chestnut, hazel, maple, poplar, beech, oak, pear and ash wood chips. But pine and other conifers are not recommended because they do not burn, but create smoke or burn to ashes. The smoke makes the meat taste bitter. If, however,  pine wood chips are used, it is recommended to wrap the meat in a double layer of gauze fabric. 


Hot smoked meat quality parameters

Parameter

Ham

Ham

Roll

Loin

Brisket

Bacon

Cross-sectional view

Muscular tissue has pale pink color, no gray areas, the color of bacon is white with a pinkish hue

Adipose tissue with muscle tissue inter-layers

Specific for bacon, with alternating layers of muscle tissue

Taste and aroma

The aroma of smoked, aromatic ham; salty flavor

The thickness of the subcutaneous layer of bacon, sm, not more than

3,0

2,0

2,0

2,5

2,5

2,0

Fraction of total mass of salt, %:

2,5

2,5

2,5

2,5

2,5

2,5

Fraction of total mass of nitrite, %: not more than

0,003

0,003

0,003

0,003

0,003

0,003



How different types of wood effect the flavor and color of the meat 

Different types of wood effect aroma and color of the product differently. For example, redwood gives meat golden hue. Oak and alder wood chips make a dish of dark yellow or brown color. Deciduous trees, such as beech, linden and maple, give meat golden-yellow hue. 


Recommended temperature and time of meat smoking

Product

Temperature inside a chamber

Time of cooking

Indicators of meat doneness

Chicken (1,2 kg)

120°С

110°С

first 15 minutes

2-2,5 hours

- tender texture of crust;

- lasting fragrance;

- Fraction of total mass of salt 2,5-3,5 %;

- temperature inside the product (poultry - 82-90°С; pork - 73-75°С; lamb - 54-55°С; beef - 55-65°С)

Chicken legs

110°С

60-80 minutes

Pork (1-1,5 kg)

110°С

2,5-3 hours

Pork ribs

110°С

60-80 minutes

Pork leg bone

120°С

2,5-3 hours

Mutton ham

110-120°С

2,5-3 hours

Meat rolls

120-130°С

60-80 minutes

Sausages

80-100°С

20 minutes



The peculiarities of other products smoking  

Rabbit meat is recommended to smoke using alder wood chips. For lamb and poultry smoking beech wood chips are suitable. For making the taste of the dish more intense and rich, you can add a small amount of raspberry branches, eucalyptus, blackberry or black currant and mint, almond shells, rosemary, sage and bay leaf. 





So, combi steamer is a perfect machine for smoking with minimum efforts. You will be able to get new clients and consequently more profit by including smoked meat and fish into the menu of your catering establishment.

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