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  • Smoking is back. Cigarettes may have been shown the (restaurant) door more than a decade ago, but these days chefs are all over smoke - in food this time. It's not just meat and fish, either: butter, fruit and vegetables are all candidates for a dose of smouldering flavour, and it's even cropping up in cocktails such as Bristol's Hyde Co's Cherry Tree Empire "served under a vale of peat and cherry wood smoke". Professional chefs aren't the only ones to catch the smoking bug: Amazon says that sales of home smokers have shot up by 200per cent, and the Waitrose kitchenware shop has started selling woodchips. There's something universally appealing about a whiff of fire in our food. According to Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, it may be that "evolutionarily speaking, fire and smoke signal meat roasting, so we may have been programmed to find them desirable in expectation of what is to come". Heston Blumenthal, whose revamped menu at the Fat Duck includes dishes such as smoked caviar with crab, and a "Twister" lolly made with tea-smoked salmon, points out the evolutionary importance of fire. "It's almost primeval. The smell of woodsmoke is linked to fire, not only providing the heat source to cook but also keeping us warm and wild animals away. It provided safety and survival." You don't have to shell out for specialist kit, though - a large pan, one that you don't mind getting blackened, will do the job. You'll need a small, shallow metal dish (an old cake tin, say) to act as a drip tray, and a metal rack that sits over the top for the food. A well-fitting domed lid is ideal, but you can make do by tenting foil over and sealing it tightly around the edges. Where the purpose-built stove-top smokers do win out is their built-in thermometers Buy Cheap Cigarettes Online, which allow you to regulate the temperature. Most aficionados recommend sticking to around 100C for hot smoking (which involves a combination of smoke and heat that cooks the food as well as flavours it), meaning that relatively tough cuts of meat can cook slowly to tenderness while picking up that delectable smoke flavour. Bear in mind that the kind of wood will affect the final flavour. Oak is a classic mellow choice, a good all-rounder, while hickory gives a strong, American bacon flavour, which is great with pork. Apple wood is sweet and light, good for chicken and fish, while mesquite is the most powerfully flavoured wood, good for red meat. Can't get woodchips? Some loose tea leaves will work as well, as will a small handful of hay from the pet shop. Cold smoking involves keeping the food in a container filled with smoke, at a temperature of no more than 30C, long enough for the outside to pick up a smoke flavour - ideal for smoked salmon Discount Cigarettes Online, butter or cheese. Creating smoke without heat isn't easy, so Irecommend splashing out on a smoking gun Menthol Cigarettes Brands. Brad McDonald, of London's Shotgun restaurant, which specialises in smoking, recommends curing meat or fish before smoking, to draw out the moisture. Now you're ready to smoke. Put your smoker pan on the hob and pop your woodchips in the middle of the pan base - you'll only need a couple of teaspoonfuls Best Menthol Cigarettes. Rest the drip tray, half-full of water Cheap Cigarettes Online, on top. Position the rack over the top and place your food on that. Cover with a slightly ajar lid or a tent of foil and heat until you smell smoke. Reduce the heat to a minimum and cover tightly. Small cuts such as fish fillets or duck breasts are quick, but a large beef brisket may take several hours, so use a thermometer to check its progress. Don't forget vegetables: spuds, given half an hour in the smoker, make the best potato salad ever. Smoking hot? You bet. If playing with fire isn't your cup of tea, then there are other ways to give some smoky magic to your food. Four smoke hacks Don't fancy smoking your own? Add flavour with one of these clever smoky condiments. Smoked water Anglesey-based Halen Môn's smoked water works as smoke essence - just add it to casseroles and soups. They also make a smoked salt, which gives a hint of flavour, but not enough to make much difference if mixed in as a seasoning - so keep it to sprinkle over bruschetta, say.
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