Smokehouses are used for heat treatment and to add flavour, colour, and aroma to various food products, including pork, beef, sausages, poultry, fish and cheese. A typical process will include most or all of the following steps
• Colours set
Chamber temperature, product temperature, relative humidity (RH%) and calculation of Po-Values are critical parameters for smokehouse processing.
The two types of smokehouses that are almost exclusively used are batch and continuous smokehouses. Both types of systems circulate air at the desired process conditions (temperature, humidity, and smoke density) over the surface of the products.
Batch Cooking-Smoking Chambers
Commercial chambers, mostly made from stainless steel, have independent systems for smoke generation and cooking. Smoke generators either using wood smoke or liquid smoke are typically used. Gas, Steam and Electricity Systems are the most common heat sources for ovens. Elaborate air handling systems reduce hot or cold spots, to reduce variation in the finished product. Racks on wheels or rails are used to hold the product and facilitate movement.
Continuous Cooking-Smoking-Chilling Tunnels
In continuous smokehouses, the meat is hung on sticks or hangers and then conveyed through the various zones (smoking, heating, and chilling) within the smokehouse. Following processing in the smokehouse, the product is packaged and stored for shipment. Validation of these can only be performed with wireless dataloggers.