To make smoked food (fish or meat) you need a heated room (like a sauna or just a room with fireplace) and some tying equipment (cord for example). X number of cords will hold a maximum of (10X +9) meat; for example, if 3 cords are used, the maximum holdable is 39 cuts of meat. A maximum of 4 cords, and therefore 49 cuts, can be used at once. The most efficient method of preserving meat, therefore, is to use 1 cord at a time, and 19 cuts each time.
For example, if you are preserving 100 cuts of meat, by using the maximum of 4 cords per recipe, you will end up using 9 cords (49*2=98, one more cord for the last 2 cuts). However, if you use 1 cord at a time, you will only use 6 cords (19*5 = 95, 1 more cord for last 5 cuts).
Smoked meat does not last as long as dried meat, but lasts longer than salted meat. The room must be heated when preparing the meat. The meat then is left waiting for 16 day delay, during which the game does not appear to check if the room is still periodically heated. The tying equipment used is consumed at the end.