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DIY miniature smoke house


ChrisTaylor
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I've arrived at a cold-smoker that is dirt simple.

 

A $7 hardware store hotplate, the weber propane grill that I already have, and a roll of aluminum foil.

 

The hotplate goes in a corner of the Weber.  A bunch of applewood twigs are wrapped tightly in foil and laid on the hotplate. Put a new packet on after about 15 min so it'll start smoking when the first dies out

 

Figure out the lowest setting that gets the wood smoking after 5 or 10 min.

 

The meat never gets hotter than the ambient temp and get smoked nicely.

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Look into Venturi style cold smoke generators, you need much much longer than 1-2 hours in the cold smoke for many applications such as bacon or some sausages.

Edit to add and as you saw a soldering iron is unreliable at best.

Edited by Dave W (log)
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Interesting. The longest I've smoked bacon has been for maybe 15, 16 hours. I wonder if the smaller volume of the smoker, plus a potentially higher smoke output, means bacon and other products attain a smoky flavour more quickly than in a full-sized smokehouse. 

 

And, yeah, the soldering iron ... I'm wondering what I could replace it with. A single burner electric stove and a cheap pan? Maybe. The base of the smoker is large enough to accommodate such a setup.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Parked some short ribs in there for a couple hours with a view to cooking them sous vide later. Happened to walk by the smoker and smelt ... plastic. Melted plastic. Sure enough, the handle of the soldering iron--not in direct contact with the smoking box--had melted. Mmm ... hickory/toxic-smoked beef. Shame to throw the just-purchased meat away but I couldn't take the risk. I'll have to rethink the design of the smoker. This may be as simple as buying a new soldering iron and removing the plastic handle. Or finding another bran that doesn't have any plastic on it at all.

I've used a soldering iron for several years before it just stopped working and had to be replaced. Mine is runs into a metal can with a vent pipe elbow into my Masterbuilt smoker. The handle doesn't even get warm. With such a small smoke house and a really nice one at that. Great job. You may want to consider an external smoke generator piped into the smoke house. You could then manage the smoke generator without opening the door and would be do heat added to the smoke box

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I know I will be doing smoking for many years, especially cold smoking, I decided that I should put some effort into a more complicated smoke generator.

 

Basically it is an external smoke generator made from a stainless steel cylinder. The fuel is wood chips or pellets. 

 

The smoke is piped out thru a 24"  brass flexible accordion stove gas pipe. The smoke is cooled by the accordion brass pipe and lots of black liquid (creosol?) is condensed and collected into a bottle (cancer in a bottle?) before it enters into the smoker.

 

The smoke is pulled by a small motorized blower with a speed control for smoke density adjustments, and blown thru a viewing window. The viewing window is lit with LED light to allow for visual view of smoke density going into the smoker without having to open the smoker.

 

The system is very stable and economical in pellet use. I have had over 24 hour continuous  smokes with no need for supervision or adding more fuel.

 

dcarch

 

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2013-04-03 18.09.11.jpgChris, I use a homemade cold smoke gene that I built out of two cans, two pieces of pipe and a fish tank pump.  I use cherry or apple pellets and it works great. Found the design on youtube a few years back from a fella in N.Z. Does not warm the box up at all. Nice job on the box!

 

 

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Scubadoo,I use a small butane torch it get it lit. Then the vortex from the pump and pipes keeps the fire slow burning. Here are the youtube links I used to do the build. I don,t smoke unless it's below 60F, but the box temp is always stays the same as the ambient outside temp. That is salt in the pan. Love smoked salt on my eggs, beans, etc.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpNYaDGkMPw

 

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Very cool Willie. That's a hell of a lot of smoke pumping out. I use an aquarium pump as well but it's a different set up and so not quite the volume of smoke

The only thing I wish I could get away from is the white smoke. I think flavorwise you get a better tasting smoke from "blue" smoke

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Scubadoo, you may be right about the white vs blue smoke ( I have heard this before). I have not up to this point been unhappy with or noticed any off or bitter taste.

 

During the winter months I smoke a lot of cheese for friends and family and ever one seems loves the stuff.

 

I have to apologize for saying I use a aquarium pump, it is actually a small pond pump with a control dial for the air out put. It gives you a lot more control over the speed of burn and smoke amount.  

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I get blue smoke with dry wood. The traditional advice to soak the chips makes a steamy smoke, which to me tastes acrid.

 

Dry wood wrapped tight with foil (exc for a single hole) mostly eliminates air and keeps the wood from catching fire on my hotplate set-up

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gfweb I agree. I use pellets now and never cared for the flavor of soaked chips. The burn with the pellets is consistent all the time, and I can set my timer and count on it 95% of the time.

 

I can get a big selection of pellets at the local cash and carry. They cost about ten bucks for twenty five pounds.

 

With the BBQ I use hard or fruit tree wood off the property and smoke large cuts of meat with that.

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I do not soak chips, whether I'm hot smoking or cold smoking. I alternatively use pellets, 'saw dust' (food grade) and larger chips: it all depends on mood and availability. Anyway, I don't have the tools on hand to hack serious holes in metal but I've nonetheless devised a new smoking device.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I never soak any wood. But when chips start burning there is a lot of white smoke. Blue smoke occurs when the chips are black near charcoal. About the point where you don't really see much smoke but you can smell it. Works best with big hunks of wood. I sometimes take wood and torch it and let it burn until there are no more yellow flames. After it goes out and there is an initial burst of white smoke then you get blue smoke. Something I can't do well with cold smoking in my smoker

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  • 2 months later...

Chris,

 

If you were to build it again what would you do differently?

 

I see that the oak boards were oriented horizontally. Wouldn't it have been a little simpler to orient them vertically so that there were fewer pieces to assemble?

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I'd possibly want to further investigate the idea of an external smoke generator. The panels aren't something I remember occuring to us yet weren't overly difficult to assemble.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Chris,

 

If you were to build it again what would you do differently?

 

I see that the oak boards were oriented horizontally. Wouldn't it have been a little simpler to orient them vertically so that there were fewer pieces to assemble?

 

Shorter members have less warpage.

 

Shorter span is stronger against bending.

 

dcarch

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Anyone ever smoke eel?

 

I've never actually smoked it but I have eaten it. Not something I really enjoyed but not terrible either.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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