Cold Smoked Butter

Smoked butter is extremely versatile.  Its can be used as a flavoursome base for a variety of sauces. Its fantastic to use for basting grilled meats – beef, lamb, chicken, pork and fish.  Or just indulge yourself, and simply spread it on a chunky doorstep of crusty toast.

Try to experiment with different flavours of butter.  In this recipe we’ve used a blend of stilton cheese and sage.  But the world is your oyster – you can try a number of different combinations – both sweet and savoury.  Scroll below the recipe and you’ll find some more suggestions, but get creative and pair up some of your own favourite flavours.

There are a number of ways to generate cold smoke, however we feel the best way is to purchase the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator. They are readily available online, check out www.macsbbq.com and you’ll find one there.

When cold smoking, it’s key that the outside temperature is cool enough.  A hot summers day, and your butter will melt.  Take extra care when cold smoking meats and fish.  Fish, for example begins to cook at around 85°F/29°C, and there are risks with bacteria growing if you leave meat or fish out in warm temperatures for too long. Check out our detailed blog on cold smoking on this website, for further guidance.

Select your wood dust to add to the cold smoke generator- butter will take in all sorts of wood, but strong flavoured woods may be a little too harsh.  We prefer to use alder, which is a light flavoured wood.  Apple will be pleasant too.  Adjust your smoking times to how much intensity you want in your final product – we feel that 2 hours works for us, but go longer if you like a heavier hit of smoke.

Resting times are crucial.  Taste the butter as you progress through the process.  You’ll find the butter may taste quite harsh with a smoky flavour at first, so its best to let the butter rest so that the smoke flavour mellows a little.  48 hours in the fridge after being cold smoked will help.

Cold smoking butter is a relatively simple, easy to follow technique.  Don’t be overawed as its not complicated. Butter is a great place to start for the novice cold smoker.

Give it a go.  Remember, everything tastes better with butter!

Ingredients

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 100g stilton cheese, crumbled
  • 3 large sage leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Method

Soften the butter at room temperature.  Once softened, combine with the stilton cheese, sage and pepper. Roll neatly into a cylinder shape, wrapping in cling film to get a nice even surface (as pictured).

Fill your cold smoke generator with your desired wood and light it.  Remove the cling film, and place the butter on a clean wire rack.  Now put the butter into the smoking chamber.

Smoke for 2 hours, longer if you wish.

Then remove from the smoking chamber and leave to rest at room temperature, uncovered for a couple of hours.  Then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but preferably longer – 48 hours will be fine.  Resting the butter will mellow the smoky flavour, ensuring a more palatable taste.

Now that the flavour of the butter has matured, slice and serve.

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Other recipes…

Use a base of 150g of unsalted butter for each of these recipes.

  • Fruity – add 50g of finely chopped apricots and 50g of honey
  • Herby  – include 75g of finely chopped chives and parsley
  • Savoury – mix up 75g of chopped sundried tomatoes and a clove of crushed garlic
  • Spicy – combine a freshly chopped jalapeno pepper with a pinch of cayenne
  • Sweet – add 75g of finely diced pineapple paired with 50g of orange zest

 

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