Monday, March 9, 2009

Peat Virgin No More

I finally got around to firing up my peat. That oh-so-strange-yet-so-well-suited Christmas gift from my friend. It was a little slow to get going and did produce a lot of smoke, which is good because I am smoking some cured pork and some sea salt. When it finally got going, it was all I could do to keep the temperature in my smoker from going through the roof. This is the same smoker that I have put a good size pile of charcoal just to maintain the desired temperature of 200 to 250 degrees and a really large pile to get to 350 degrees. 

A small pile of natural hardwood charcoal with five one pound peat bricks has no problem getting to smoking hot temperatures well exceeding 350 degrees. The bad news is that is not what I want. I am looking for the magic temperature of 200 to 250 degrees.  

The good news is that the aroma of the peat did not disappoint. It is briny, salty, and even a little oily. Did you ever eat something so good that you kept your fingers close to your nostrils just so you could vicariously enjoy it over and over again from the residual aroma on your hands? Well I have not even eaten the results yet and my hands continually drift towards my nostrils. More good news is that even the smoker is still running a bit hotter than I like, the bacon will be done sooner and I can go to bed and dream of Scotland.

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