Review – ProQ CSG:
This is one of my favourite bits of kit, why you ask? Because it helps me make my bacon! Time for Review – ProQ CSG.
What is it?
A fairly compact stainless steel maze which you load up with wood dust. The CSG burns the dust slowly allowing you to cold smoke a variety of foods such as fish, bacon, eggs, cheese, butter and anything else you can think of!
The CSG is quite small at 150mm x 180mm x 40mm but it holds enough wood dust to burn for up to 12 hours.
How do you use it?
Fill the CSG with wood dust, light a tea light candle and place it in the holder until the dust is smouldering and smoking. Take the tea light out and place the CSG in whatever you are going to use to cold smoke your food in. I use my Weber Smokey Mountain but you can use your ProQ smoker, Weber Kettle or whatever grill/smoker you currently have.
Meat is best smoked overnight during the colder months to reduce the risk of bacteria forming/growing on the meat from higher temperatures. Anything that can melt is also better cold smoked during the colder months to avoid it melting. I once ended up with a big cheesy mess after trying to cold smoke cheese when it was too hot!
The main thing I use my CSG for is cold smoking bacon. Over the last winter I was cold smoking bacon each week and some of those bacon joints were smoked five times for a 60 hour total smoke time! That is quite extreme and delivers a strong, smokey taste which might be too much for some people but I use that bacon with burgers or for making bacon jam. Anything that needs a good kick of smokey bacon!
Standard bacon is fine with a single overnight smoke but I tend to vary the number of smoking sessions between one and five depending how smokey I want it.
60 hour Oak and Cherry smoked back bacon.
12 hour whisky oak smoked back bacon.
12 hour smoked Apple and Cherry streaky bacon.
My bacon guide is online, it’s a bit out of date so I will update it this winter when I start making more bacon.
Cheese also works well. If you have blocks of Cheddar (preferably extra mature) slice them into chunks so the smoke can hit more sides of the cheese. How long to smoke for is personal taste but I leave them in overnight.
I have also cold smoke meat before cooking it.
This dish was one I recreated after eating it at a restaurant in Edinburgh. Cold smoked steak which is then grilled and seared at a high heat is unreal!
Cold smoked fish which is then grilled is also a winner.
I have even smoked water with it!
A base of apple, cherry or oak then topped up with something else seems to work well as the base layer usually burns well and maintains the smoke throughout.
I have had some wood dust that just didn’t take and led to failed smoking sessions. The best results I have had came from Hot Smoked wood dust so I recommend them. The oak and whisky oak in particular are very good.