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Looking for information concerning cold smoking

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    Looking for information concerning cold smoking

    I'm curious about cold smoking. And I do mean cold smoking. We've been waking up to temps under minus 5 F this week and it got me to thinking that this kind of weather could allow true cold smoking... all smoke with almost no impact to the food by temperature. I'm thinking that in this kind of weather the food would never get above 35F, if that.

    I have a vertical smoker but I'd need a means of smoke generation which would not dump heat into the smoker. I've found units like Smoke Daddy's cold smoke generators and A-Maze-N products cold smoking mazes (many of these small maze products seem to exist). I'm wondering if people have had experience with these products or have other products that they recommend.

    I've watched videos on-line and the smoke mazes seem to work but produce very little smoke. They also tend to use sawdust-like burning material.

    Smoke Daddy's Big Kahuna seems to produce a lot more smoke, but I'm curious how difficult it is to control the quality of smoke. Some users comment that they've gotten a lot of acrid smoke and other people just love it. This approach also appears that it would dump more heat into the smoker than would the maze products.

    I'm wondering if any readers have experience with these products and would care to share what they've learned: what works and what has been problematic.

    Thanks for your input.

    I am not familiar with those products. I've had mixed results cold smoking cheese in my Bradley electric.


      I bought one of the Kahuna's with the intention of cold smoking some salmon I caught in Alaska...fell in love with the idea of making my own lox with cream cheese and bagels.

      I ended up going through all of the salmon before I finished the cold smoker build!

      I was using some plans from Ed Kasilof's seafoods in the Kenai peninsula, but there are a lot of good build ideas on the web. One cheap method is to use a small hot plate (electric) with an iron skillet filled with soaked (or dry) wood chips inside a wood structure. Just be careful you don't set it afire! http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/1...a-smoker-build

      Others use old refrigerators and large coolers with the Kahuna.

      Some folks just attach the Kahuna to their grill or make a homemade smoke generator with their gasser.


        The best product I have used for cold smoking is the little chief or big chief by Luhr Jensen. You set the racks on top of the smoker, then place the packing box over the racks. I got this trick from Luhr Jensen publications years ago and it works very well. In real cold weather, say under 10 above, you can dispense with the box trick and just use it normally as they don't hold heat real well. These rigs are old standbys here in Alaska for a reason. These are just for smoking, not bbq. For fish, cheese, nuts, etc., they are great. You can usually get one for under a hundred bucks at Walmart, etc.


          use dried 100% hardwood sawdust with an electric bbq starter coil. position coil to start sawdust burn at center = burns slowly from center outwards. reuse electric starter as needed to sustain the burn. get a very clean smoke for hours with a modest quantity of sawdust between refuels. with sawdust donot get significant heat release as long as keep air flow pinched to stay at or below the max 90 deg f cold smoke temp as measured at the smoker outlet. need some humidity so blend 8 parts dry with 2 parts damp sawdust. use sawdust produced from a circular saw eg hardwood sawmill. donot use sawdust produced from a chain saw - oil problem. test for oil presence by mixing a handfull of sawdust in a small container of warm water - if any oil present it will form a visible sheen on the water surface. several years past i purchased pure hardwood food grade sawdust from a quebec company. donot have that info anymore but found it on the web. expensive but good and was avail in different types of hardwoods.


          • Strat50
            Strat50 commented
            Editing a comment
            One can also use a hotplate with a metal pan as well. I've done this many times, and it works well as you can control the temps easily. Use the enclosure of your choice.

          I do a lot of cold smoking (outside temps < 32). I use an antique caning jar steamer and an Amaz-N-Products cold smoke generator. I routinely do cheeses and butter. I've tried using their generators in a Yoder YS-640. I firmly believe the volume of smoke must be proportionate to the smoke chamber. The results I get from the steamer are more pronounced than those using the Yoder. Time is also a factor and increases when using the Yoder. Here's a picture of my rig in action.

          Click image for larger version

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          If you're interested; it consists of two doors (obviously) and four racks; I only use three of those. I place the smoke generator in the copper bottom. In back (not pictured) is an aquarium air pump that I installed for fresh air supply to the generator embers. On the top right-rear corner is an open port to allow steam / smoke escape (original). Because of its small volume and small open port it really holds the smoke and I've gotten good penetration with cheeses and butter.


            I have kept this tab open on my browser for a couple weeks now thinking of doing something like this pumping smoke into my PBC (using the Smokey Joe version not the cardboard box). Anyone try something like this?



              Please comply with our site's philosophy when discussing cold smoking. Nuts and cheese are OK, but meat... not so much.



                The best setup I have ever cold smoked is to use an old freezer with an aftermarket temperature control set at about 34 degrees. You pipe in the smoke, and the food never heats up. A small outlet hole with an adjustable flue completes this "hack." In cool Alaska weather, this is only needed during summer.You can also add a computer fan to keep the air moving. If you can't manage this type setup(for meat at least) you are taking a HUGE risk. For cheese, nuts, etc., no problemo.



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