My grandmother's property had a special little building used for smoking food that was called the Meat House. By the time I was around, it was used for tool storage, but I could still see the charred walls and smell the smoky residue.
Smoking food helps to dry it out and leaves a fine layer of soot residue that repels most insects and bacteria.
You don't need a whole shed unless you are butchering a couple of hogs at a time and curing meat. Most people just want to do a little meat or cheese, so a small contained food smoker device should be sufficient.
We plan to build a homemade smoker that can also serve as a grill and bread oven. The plans were published in Mother Earth News a couple of years ago and are available online for free.
I'll share our experiences and photos here when it happens! Please share your homesteading adventures, too.
The type of woods you choose to use for smoking will affect the food's flavor.
Obviously, you need to choose woods that are safe for people to eat. Always inspect it carefully.
My family's traditional recipe for smoking the hog meat was apple and
hickory with a little bit of sassafras. The wood should be green to
smoke well. Learn more about my family's traditional foods and historical food preservation in my recipe book full of homemade recipes from our little corner of the mid-Atlantic region.
Ideas for foods that can be smoked include bacon, ham, cheese, salmon, jerky, chicken, or whatever. What will you make?