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smokers & smokehouses for cold smoking

smokers and smokehouses (2)

There is an extensive list of smokers and smokehouses built by do-it-yourself and professional builders. So, beside the dedi-cated smokehouses, there are boxes, barrels, chimneys, old refrigerators, chicken houses, backyard barbecues, and tool sheds all successfully converted into smokers or smokehouses (although some of them shouldn’t have been: some construc-tion materials and traces of previous usage could produce smelly and/or poisonous gases).

Chimney smoking, if roof shape allows a smoking chamber in the attic, is very convenient: chimney serves as a cooling conduit, smoke source is in the living quarters, no need to run around in rain or snow. A chamber larger than the chimney cross section could be built in the attic if the smoke is guided out of the chimney and then back in.

Backyard sheds could be converted into smoking chambers providing that the smoke source is placed aside so that a smoke conduit (preferably under ground) does suitable cooling of the smoke. The smoke source (fireplace) could be a simple fire pit but a more ambitious approach is to make it a backyard grill (barbeque) at the same time.

If a shed is not there to be re-dedicated to a smoke chamber, a box chamber or a barrel chamber will do. A clean, 50 gallon (200 liters) barrel, wood or metal, with both heads opened, will accommodate two hams or four chickens or two turkeys or whatever can be fitted in but not touching another or barrel. A wooden box is a more versatile smoke chamber, particularly one with a door, where removable trays could be installed. Trays could be translated from top to bottom during smoking; they are handy for smoking small and tender items; sausages can also be smoked on the trays. A 3x3x4-foot box (roughly 1 cubic meter) is a convenient size that can take 6 to 8 hams or 30 pounds (15 kilograms) of sausages. For a permanent structure, of course, the outside wooden box or barrel (drum) should be covered with shingles or some other weatherproof material.

Good venting conditions of the smoke chamber, i.e. suitable position and design of the lower and upper vents, should be emphasized for the all above smokers. It helps if backyard placement of a smoker ensures natural breeze of air. Also, it is important to notice that active smoking periods are only part of the smoking process; additional openings on the chamber, protected by mosquito screen and closed during active smoking, are beneficial when airing periods are alternated with active smoking.

See even more improvised cold smoking on the next page.

smokers and smokehouses for cold smoking

UPDATED : 2008-05-12

WEBSITE  EDITOR : Krešimir J. Adamić