February 22nd, 2017
First food smoking course of the year at the Wild Boar
Smoky Jo’s courses for this year are already underway!
We met a wonderful group of people at the Wild Boar at the beginning of February – it was a good day, the weather was OK and the Wild Boar staff were on top form – a big thank you to them. Especially to Matt who was there when we arrived before 9 am (he’d probably been doing breakfasts since 7 am) and was still there when we finished our smoked banquet around 10 pm.
If you would like to learn to smoke food with us – we’ve been smoking food for years and teaching home smoking and commercial smoking since 2006 – please check our website for our course dates and content. Playing with food and playing with fire – what’s not to enjoy?!
Earlier this month Smoky Jo received a surprise telephone call from a grateful student. We met members of the Butchers Q Guild a couple of years ago at a trade fair in the north east, and ran a smoking course for their members last year at The Wild Boar. Gordon Atkinson was one of the
Matt, chef at the Wild Boar trying to avoid the camera…
butchers on the course and rang me to say he had just won two golds for smoked meats and the top award for Best British Bacon Product – and he wanted to thank us!” This is from their press release: Elite Meat is run by Gordon Atkinson, who said “We are over the moon to clinch a Smithfield gold awards hat-trick and especially Best English Bacon product. I attended a Smoky Jo’s course on meat smoking with the Q Guild last year, so to have two smoked products in the top places is fabulous!”
We were really thrilled for Gordon, and touched that he took the trouble to call us. He said our course had been fantastic and he couldn’t thank us enough. We have taught hundreds of people to smoke foods over the years and some have gone on to open artisan smokehouses but this is the first top national award for someone who we have taught to smoke – as far as we know! We are looking forward to getting over to Harrogate to sample some of his smoked streaky bacon – and congratulate Gordon in person – as soon as we can!
A final note that I can’t believe I didn’t blog about last year… Jo was one of the chef’s at Ludlow Food Festival in 2016 and we had a great couple of days out touring and tasting… and tasting… oh yes, and shopping!
Smoky Jo being introduced on the Wot’s Cooking Stage at Ludlow Food Festival
Gordon Atkinson of Elite meat receiving his award for his Smoked Bacon
March 4th, 2016
We were lucky enough to receive some flowers a couple of years ago in a delivery box that was just perfect for smoking in with the cold smoke generator … and we decided to save it as we had been using our eco-smoker for years… but I have lost it… we have only just retired our original one, after four years of valiant service on courses, at shows and just for our own salmon.. and mushrooms… and nuts… and things.
The four year old box and the new flat pack one
New and old smokers
Putting the racks in
Inner and outer layers of the box smoker
Well used smoker and newly made
Nuts and olives in new smoker
When we first came across the eco-smoker we thought £25 was a lot of money for a cardboard box – but it really is a very good piece of kit! Ours has travelled the country with us, smoked no end of olives, nuts, cheeses and salmon and even spent the night in a large puddle – but that’s another story…
It took me about 5 minutes to put together, then I was able to light the cold smoke generator and off we went! NB – Always remove the nightlight from the CSG before putting it in the cardboard box!
Smoky Jo has just been asked to do a demo on 20th March at Rheged for the Marmalade festival… we’ll see what we have time to do!
December 7th, 2015
We have our last smoking course of the year on Wednesday, it’s at The Wild Boar and it promises to be great fun! (We have a couple of places available if anyone can make it at short notice – contact 015394 45225.)
There is a fantastic new room at The Wild Boar which we dined in on the last course – wonderfully welcoming!
Banquet in the new Room at The Wild Boar
Bobby the Boiler – A home made smoker created after attending one of our courses
Here’s an email from a recent Smoky Jo-er… Bobby the Boiler is his DIY Smoker
Dear Jo and Georgina,
I suspect that you get many emails from people saying what a great time they had. Well please allow me to be the latest.
The day was excellent. Informative and enjoyable in equal measure. I have not stopped talking about it and must confess to becoming a smoking bore!!
You will see a picture of Bobby the boiler. Recently finished his life as a central heating boiler and with a few well placed self tapping screws and some hardboard he has now found a new lease of life as a cold smoking cabinet.
This is his first outing. We have successfully smoked some salmon and haddock fillets along with flour and a couple of generous blocks of cheese. The haddock has made some wonderful fishcakes and the salmon found its way into a risotto. The flour will soon become the first mince pies of the season and the cheese just enjoyed for its own sake.
Once again thank you for a great day and the start of a whole new way of enjoying food.
Have a great Christmas and I wish you both all of the very best in 2016
May 14th, 2015
I’m not sure where the time goes but it’s time for a quick update!
Smoking in a wardrobe
Catching trout to smoke
Smoky Banquet at The Wild Boar
We’ve had a cracking start to the smoking season – our first weekend course saw EVERYONE catch at least one trout; we continue to work happily with the Wild Boar in spite of the fact that our friend Andy Lemm has been promoted within the English Lakes group to manage the Lancaster hotel. Head chef Marc remains as a rock of calm at the heart of his busy kitchen and the banquets and the end of our smoking days remain outrageously wonderful! This is what Arthur and Pearl said about last week’s event:
“I just wanted to say a big thank you to you both for such a wonderful day on Wednesday at The Wild Boar. I thought the course was excellent and enjoyed the day immensely. You are both so passionate about smoking food and i hope that some of that passion will been seen in my smoked food very soon!
Pearl and i thought the evening meal was amazing we have never eaten so much wonderful food in one evening.
Keep up the good work”
February 6th, 2015
I have just loaded the car with the equipment for the first food smoking course of 2015 at The Wild Boar near Windermere!
So looking forward to the banquet that is served up at the end of the day…
If you think you would like to learn to smoke food with the experts please see what dates we have available.
October 28th, 2014
Hi there again. You asked me to let you know about the Landmann gas smoker.
I couldn’t get on with the Tennesee and charcoal but this gas one is great, So easy to use and control the temperature to a constant 100 degrees.
The only gripe I have is the temperature gauge is not accurate and you have to fiddle with the ignite mechanism to get it to work for the first time. I use a temperature probe.
I used it to do the American style BBQ for my son’s birthday in August for the first time. There wasn’t much food left.LOL
You do need really thick BBQ gloves to pick up the smoker box to refill with the wood chunks as it gets very hot. I use chunks of fruit wood that I get for free, but you can also use the commercial wood chips.
The proQ cold smoker (Cold Smoke Generator – or Gizmo as those who have been to Smoky Jo’s will know it as! – Ed.) will fit where the hot smoker box usually sits, so you can use it for hot or cold smoking, so it is a good all-round multi purpose smoker.
Hope this is useful. I sooo love your book, and re read it often to try out new smoked foods. It is my smoking bible.
I hope you don’t mind a new smoker suggesting a couple of ideas.
You have probably done it already but have you tried smoking dark chocolate? I smoked some overnight and used it to make some chocolate truffles with some smoked raisins which I had soaked in Jack Daniels. The smokiness made the chocolate even more chocolaty.
And I made some into ice cream too.
I smoked some tinned chickpeas which I made into houmous with garlic, lemon and yoghurt for a lighter option and I am hooked on it.
Landmann gas smoker
October 10th, 2014
Owing to a cancellation we have two places available on our last weekend course of the year – 25th and 26th October.
If you would like to make some sausages and smoke them, catch a trout and smoke it, learn to hot and cold smoke all sorts of other goodies please get in touch!
July 25th, 2014
We had booked a stand at the 2013 fair but it was cancelled. Last year Smoky Jo did demos in the kitchen theatre, this year we had a stand opposite the theatre where the fourth incarnation of our filing cabinet smoker (after Freddy 1, 2 and 3 we now have Florence) caught the attention of many!
Jo showed how you can quickly hot smoke salmon, slowly cold smoke cheese and then create pates, dips, snacks and meals…. as a result of the demonstrations we booked a few courses and sold a few smokers and met lots of lovely foodies… one of whom has already started smoking and emailed us yesterday – I’ve copied it below the pictures!
Our stand with filing cabinet smoker
Smoky Jo in the cooking theatre
CLA Game Fair ambulance!
And then it rained…
Dear Smoky Jo and Georgina,
I saw your demo at the game fair and bought a cold smoker and wood dust from you. This evening we witnessed the magic for ourselves. I successfully smoked rainbow trout fillets cold in our BBQ and then attempted to hot smoke them using foil parcels. The hot smoking didn’t work so well but the fish tasted deliciously smokey and unique.
Thank you for inspiring us!
June 27th, 2014
Aren’t there lovely people out there, who take the trouble to write emails like this?!
Hi Jo & Georgina.
Something like 16 years ago a (now departed) friend bought me a ‘Shakespeare’ portable smoker as a Christmas present. My partner – another Jo – was (and is still) a flyfisherwoman as well as being a cracking cook and we had great ideas of eating freshly smoked trout/sea trout/salmon. Except the one thing missing from the smoker was any kind of instructions.
Of course back in the day there was no internet to interrogate for information so, not wishing to appear ungrateful for the present by enquiring about its provenance etc, it was quietly slipped into the loft where it remained until a few weeks ago. And then I discovered your book via Google. “Aha” I thought “this is the book for us!” Simplicity itself to follow and written in such a way as to positively encourage experimentation rather to intimidate.
So, meths and oak dust bought, brine prepared, we had a go; trepidatiously placing a couple of rainbow fillets in the smoker, sliding on the lid and lighting the burner. As you predicted we were very surprised at the almost complete absence of smoke from the container. On the other hand the smell of smoking fish was unmistakeable! Thirty minutes later (just a tad longer than expected) and the fish was done. The verdict? In a word, excellent. We tried it straight from the smoker which was nice enough but after a night in the fridge (again as predicted) the smokiness was more pronounced – delicious with some horseradish sauce, thinly sliced cucumber and brown bread and butter.
We obviously have a long and interesting road ahead and we’re looking forward to experimenting: thanks for the inspiration!