Cold Smoking - another thread.....

  • Regular Contributors

    Ok guys, I’ve been playing with doing some cold smoking recently, and was wondering if anyone has ever tried smoking at temperatures under 40 degrees F?

    I’ve tried looking for info on the interwebs, but aside from 1 guy that mentioned an issue with keeping sooty condensate off of the product, I don’t see much info on the subject…

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    raider2119 We are talking about the temp in the cabinet right? Not the outside temp? My PK will let me get down to 60° but it doesnt have a way to cool and with our temps being around 100° right now I dont think I can think of a way to test this out…unless I did a bucket of ice…which might work.

    What product were you thinking of smoking, what wood and what duration?

  • Regular Contributors

    Jonathon Yes, talking about the internal temp of the smoker… I was thinking of using a little dorm refrigerator as the smoke box, I have several “cold smoke burners” (several as the result of that failed smoked ice cream project)… I’m thinking I would simply drill a hole in the side of the fridge to attach a smoke daddy big kahuna smoker… Then drill a couple holes in the top of the fridge as a vent… just set a brick over the holes for adjustment…

    Currently I’ve been making Lox, or, smoked salmon… I’ve simply been smoking in my masterbilt smoker using the cold smoke attachment, but that can run the intermal temperature up as high as 100 degrees or more (especially since ambient outdoor temperature currently is about 90 degrees).

    I am making the assumption that I should be computing degree/hours for allowable time/temp above similar to that of making a fermented sausage… I am not sure of the pH fish when putting it into smoke, so therefor I can’t come up with an exact maximum allowable time in a standard cold smoker… Therefor, if I can keep the temp of the smoker box at or. below 40 degrees, I should be able to cold smoke for several days without worrying about creating a bacteria experiment…

  • Team Blue

    raider2119 I’ve used my masterbuilt with the cold smoker attachment during weather that was in the upper 20’s…just for cheese though. I don’t think the cold attachment was doing much heating that day!

  • Regular Contributors

    Based on what you are asking for with the lox. Cure the lox as normal, and for a test get a smoking gun. Keep the salmon cold and put it in a chamber on a rack with ice packs on the outside. The smoking gun produces a high volume of of smoke with a low temperature input. You will need to test the time under smoke, but it will work. I have conducted similar tests. Good luck

  • Regular Contributors

    Jonathon raider2119 the ice bucket is a great concept. You need to pump the smoke through the ice and into the smoking chamber with the lox. They need to cure them in your spice blend then prior the cold smoke. I wouldn’t think it would take very long if you have a high volume of smoke a good contact area. Dr

  • Regular Contributors

    Dave R Thing is, I don’t have a smoke gun, not sure if I have a bucket, and definatly don’t have enough ice… though… I do have an old dorm fridge, a drill, a couple bricks and a Smoke Daddy… which is why I said above, I’d cobble that together if nobody could give me a reason why it would not work… hey, I’ve done failed experiments before… BUT… if it works, I might just have to write a brand new (shortened) HACCP plan… LOL!!!

  • So, I’ve done two things. I plumbed a hot plate from a card board box with dryer ducts, into a cooler with ice, then into another box that had cheese in it. I used a muffin fan to draw the air into the cheese box. It cooled the air, and I did not notice any condensation. It was OK, not great, but it worked given with what I was working with. Now I use an A-Maze-n pellet smoke generator inside my weber grill when I want to cold smoke. My cabinet smoker is too airtight to support the smoldering pellets, although once I ran an air tube from an old aquarium pump I had laying around, and that kept things going. Now if I want to cold smoke, I just bust out the pellet smoke generator and toss it in the weber. For cheese, I like it to be below 60F for ambient air, but I don’t think the smoker generator ever raises the air temp more than a few degrees, if any. However, I do make sure I don’t have anything food products directly over the smoke generator.

  • Regular Contributors

    raider2119 the smoke daddy looks like a perfect option. Sounds like your set

  • Regular Contributors

    I threw together the cold smoker on the dorm fridge this morning (actually took me longer to pull the fridge out of the junk pile on top of it than to get it all set up).

    The next 1.5 lb chunk of salmon is dry brining now… I’m thinking a putting the curing lox into the smoker right now, while it’s still packed in salt… Any thoughts on that? What is the purpose of developing the pelicle prior to smoking?

  • Regular Contributors

    raider2119 I guess it so the smoke penitrates and adheres better.

  • Team Blue

    raider2119 Achieving a good pelicle will help with fat retention and smoke adhering to the meat.

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