Smoking with Kokko: instructions for use
Would you like to bring originality to your dishes? Nothing could be simpler than with a Kokko! How do you do it? By smoking your food ! We explain everything you need to become the king of barbecue smoking.
Originally, smoking rapidly perishable foods, such as meat and fish, was used to prolong their shelf life. In today's kitchen, this method, which consists of exposing food to smoke produced by burning wood - which can be varied in order to diversify flavours - is used to bring different aromas to your dishes. Whether you're simply flavouring vegetables by smoking them for a few minutes or slowly cooking meat as in the American BBQ tradition, kokko will allow you to make any recipe. Let your creativity speak for itself, your palate should appreciate it!
1- Lighting and setting the Kokko
Nothing could be simpler than smoking your food with Kokko! Just light it by placing a few crumpled sheets of newspaper at the bottom of the black cast iron plate. Then add charcoal and lighters if you wish. Light the newspaper and wait a little minute before closing the Kokko dome. Then open the chimney and the trap door at the bottom to let the air circulate and thus activate the combustion of the charcoal. About 5 minutes later, the charcoal should be red and therefore ready for smoking.
By adjusting the opening of the chimney and the bottom hatch, you will regulate the air flow in the Kokko. When smoking, the chimney and the lid must be closed so as not to activate the combustion of the coal. Only the bottom flap remains open. Adjust its opening according to the cooking time and the desired temperature. The more air enters the barbecue, the faster the coal will burn. Before placing your food on the grill, wait for the coals to cool to the desired temperature, which you can check with the thermometer on the lid. Once the charcoal is ready, cover it with sawdust or wood shavings depending on the desired smoking process.
2 - The different types of smoking
You can smoke anything and everything but, depending on the products and the desired result, the time and methods will be different. There are two kinds of smoking and many tips to vary the taste.
Cold smoking is commonly used to smoke salmon or ham. The food is then subjected to a cold smoke that does not cook it. For this, the temperature must be around 20° to 30° maximum (25° for salmon). To achieve cold smoking, the charcoal must be covered with sawdust.
For this type of smoking, it is advisable to be extremely vigilant about the quality and freshness of the products as they will not cook! It is also essential to prepare your food well before cold smoking. They should be salted (and spiced if you wish) in order to lower their humidity level and thus facilitate the penetration of the smoke's aromas into the flesh. They should also be wiped dry before smoking. Depending on the fragility and the thickness of the product, the salting time can vary from 2 hours to a whole night.
For the fish, after salting, to prevent them from sticking to the grill or the plate, you can rub them with a little olive oil.
Cold smoking is mainly used to smoke fragile products. Among our cold-smoked recipes, discover those of foie gras with smoked Espelette pepper, smoked salmon, camembert with smoked nuts or smoked raclette cheese, enough to impress your guests during your winter evenings around the Kokko.
3 - Barbecue culture in the United States
The art of barbecuing in the United States is not just about grilling hamburger steaks, quite the contrary. In American gastronomy, barbecuing allows recipes to be made using meat, mainly beef and pork, which is marinated for a long time before being cooked slowly at low temperatures. The aim is to smoke the meat and cook it for several hours to melt the collagen to make it tender and juicy. The ideal cooking temperature is around 100°.
Barbecuing in the United States is an art that requires many hours of work to control the temperature and cooking, to put back charcoal, to ensure good air circulation... It has even become a competitive sport through which the "pitmasters", the French barbecue chefs, compete for the title of barbecue master. A reality TV show on the subject has even been created, which shows how much the barbecue is dear to Americans!
4 - Emblematic American barbecue recipes
If each region has its own speciality, one thing is certain, the Americans do not skimp on preparations. A good meat must have marinated for a longer or shorter period of time before being cooked and smoked slowly.
In Tennessee, the queen is sliced pork shoulder, rubbed with spices and garlic and accompanied by a sweet tomato sauce and coleslaw. It is eaten either as a dish or in a sandwich.
Enjoy our recipes for :
Shredded Smoked Pork
Hamburger with shredded pork
In Kansas, ribs (pork chops) are the honor, as well as the famous smoked beef belly that is served with a spicy tomato sauce, sweet and sour with vinegar.
Discover our interpretations of American-style ribs:
Pork ribs with 5 spices
Grilled Pork Ribs in Barbecue Sauce and Whisky
In Carolina, we also find slow-cooked pork in huge braziers. It is accompanied by a different sauce depending on the region: tomato and sweet in the north, mustard in the south and peppery in the northeast.
In Texas, the ribs and breast, of beef or pork, are eaten smoked with oak wood. Slowly smoked meat must come off the bone when it is well cooked. Here is our recipe for Kokko smoked pork belly.
To vary the pleasures, we offer you several variations of the hamburger:
Ground turkey burger
Chicken and Bacon Burger
Mini Pork and Apple Hamburger
Are you ready to embark on a real American-style barbecue but still have some doubts: hot or cold smoking? Chips or sawdust? Discover our guide for successful Kokko smoking!