[Moderator note: The original Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 1)]
Looks great Ron. What kind of smoker is that? I don't think I'd have a prayer of holding mine below 100 degrees, so cold smoked probably isn't a player in this house unless I do some very serious jury rigging.
That is a Great Outdoors brand Smokey Mountain Cooker which is actually propane-powered. In many cases, that gas power is great because it makes maintaining temperature fairly easy. It's basically built for efficient hot smoking. A cast iron box sits in a frame above the heat source and the wood chunks burn pretty evenly over time. I think the manufacturer recommends using chips but I've found that chunks burn longer and produce a better smoke.
Because I was too lazy yesterday to rig my dryer vent-aided cold smoker (a weekend project, it seems), I decided to try something new with the SMC. I only used the gas flame until the cherry wood chunks started to burn. Once they did, I shut down the gas entirely and loaded up the water pan with ice. From there, via the use of damper control, I was able to keep those chunks smoking for about 4 hours. It worked out great because the temperature stayed low and it was largely controllable. During those 4 hours, I dumped the melted ice from the water pan and refilled it with fresh ice 2 times. Also, one time near the end, I placed a single ice cube in the fire box to cool things down a bit.
I'll be curious to see how it turned out because if it did work well, I think there's some cold-smoked salmon in my very near future. At this point, I don't foresee any reason why it may have failed. But, until you taste the final product, you never know for sure. *fingers crossed*
Edited by Mjx, 03 June 2015 - 04:46 AM.