The curing and smoking of meat, game and fish is an age old form of food preservation. For us this traditional process is still one the best ways of producing some of the most wonderful, mouth watering foods available. It is a slow process and great care needs to be taken at every step to ensure the end product is of the finest quality.
The first step in our smoking process is to ensure that we start off with excellent, fresh produce. At Staal Smokehouse, we source almost all our produce from selected local farms, the only exception being, Atlantic salmon. This comes from the cold, clean waters off the west coast of Scotland. For me, still the best salmon there is. Our fish are dry cured with sea salt and dark molasses sugar, whilst the poultry is soaked in a blended brine. After curing we give the products time to mature. This allows the salt to disperse evenly through the flesh, initiating a chemical change that enhances the flavour and aesthetics of the end product. It also allows the next key ingredient to work its magic – the smoke.
The produce is placed in a locally built kiln where a blend of oak and apple wood sawdust is allowed to smoulder, generating a fine smoke that is drawn over the product. Everything is cold smoked and for salmon and trout this is enough, however for the poultry we take it a step further and hot smoke, raising the temperature so that it is roasted in the kiln. From the kiln our smoked products are taken into the chiller and are allowed to mature a little longer. This allows the smoke to disperse evenly through the meat and gives our products their wonderful texture and taste.