One of the reasons the tree bog has taken longer than planned is that we took advantage of a cold night to kill one of our pigs. If you’ve read the butchery posts from previous years, you’ll know it takes about a week to process the meat for ham, bacon, sausages etc. This year, we also got into smoking.

I say “we”; what I really mean is Her Outdoors, who built this:

The half hot water tank at the bottom is our barbecue, on which is a rack holding damp sawdust and wood shavings, over which is a hood we took out of the chimney when we gutted the shack, from which is some chimney tubing I scrounged off a builder friend, which goes into a cardboard box sitting on a found tripod, set into which is another grill, on which is some streaky bacon taken out of the brine a couple of days ago.

The first batch ended up being hot-smoked, which we’ve tried and is delicious. The second batch was cold-smoked. I don’t know how Her Outdoors did it, as I was working on the tree bog, but it would be a safe bet to say trial and error.

(I’ve only just realised how negative that expression is. Trial, error and success might be better. Reminds me of when I met someone last year who has loads of experience of low-tech living. I was complaining about how we have to do everything at least twice, because the first time doesn’t work very well. ‘But you have to do it like that,’ he said. ‘If you got it right the first time, you wouldn’t learn anything.’ A great attitude.)

Total cost of new smoking habit: €0.