This article is from the Food Preserving FAQ, by Eric Decker firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Smoke gets in your eys and hurts, on and in food it tastes great.
Smoking food in order to preserve it is a bit different than smoking food on
the barbeque. Generally, the meat or fish to be smoked is salt cured, which
preserves the tissue throughout, then is smoked either for flavor, or to
preserve the surface of the meat. Other items can be smoked to preserve
them and concentrate their flavors, e.g smoked hot peppers. Smoking provides
the flavor, but dehydration preserves the pepper. If you are smoking or curing
meat, you need to be concerned the health of the animal (i.e. trichina).