Smoking is a thermal process during which food (fish, meat and meat products) is subjected to temperature and smoke under various conditions – from low temperature (cold smoke) to high temperature (hot smoking).
The temperature action of smoking is of great importance in improving food durability. It is associated with the removal (evaporation) of water from tissue. In addition, the smoke is a great refiner of smoked products, improving their taste qualities.
The smoke obtained during the combustion reaction of the base wood (alder, beech) and its derivatives (chips, sawdust, pellets) may be additionally flavoured – dried herbs, fruit wood, essential oils, alcohol – Brenda, Bourbon, etc.
The amount of smoke and the type of chemical compounds depend on the type of wood, the degree of drying and the conditions during combustion – rain, sun, frost, high pressure (high), low pressure (than), time of day (morning, noon, evening, night).
The chemical composition of smoke from wood burning is quantitatively dependent on wood moisture.
The main constituents of smoke are:
- Vapour (water and spirits)
- Aldehyde formic acid
- Aldehydes above
- Acetic acid
- Form acid
- Carbonyl compounds (formic aldehyde, furfural, acetone, vanilla)
- Carbon monoxide
Związki żywiczne (fenole, aldehydy) dają swoisty aromat wchłaniany przez tłuszcz.
Rodzaj drewna ma znaczący wpływ na aromat (patrz artykuł Drewno).