Smoking is the process of flavoring, cooking or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning or smoldering wood (alder, oak, hickory, mesquite). Meats and fish are the most common smoked foods, though cheeses, and vegetables are also smoked. Because of the low cooking temperatures smoking will take a very long period of time.
Meats are often smoked and stored in a small building termed the smokehouses. They are generally well-separated from other buildings both because of the fire danger and because of the smoke emanations.
Cold smoking (68-86°F / 20-30°C) can be used as a flavor enhancer for items such as chicken breasts. In this temperature range, foods take on a smoked flavor, but remain relatively moist. Cold smoking does not cook foods. Foods that have been hot smoked (126-176°F / 52-80°C) are typically safe to eat. Within this temperature range, foods are fully cooked, moist, and flavorful. Smoke roasting or smoke baking refers to any process that has the attributes of smoking combined with either roasting or baking. This smoking method is sometimes referred to as "barbecuing", "pit baking", or "pit roasting".