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smokers and smokehouses (3)

If you are looking for a small smoker for cold smoking which could be placed on your patio or deck, here is an idea: a commercial smoker for hot smoking could be adapted for cold smoking. Well, the means for smoke cooling are rather limited, so active smoking periods (i.e., wood burning periods) should be short and alternated with airing more frequently. Figure on the right shows an adaptation where lid is removed, racks placed on the top of the commercial smoker, and smoke chamber achieved by cardboard packing box over the racks. The chamber can be an extension compartment made with wood or tin.

So far I have built three smoker variations on the above idea. First, I bought two commercial smokers for hot smoking (they were on sale) and mounted one on the top of the other. The top one was serving as a smoke chamber; I would lift the lid during airing periods but there was a mosquito screen in place to protect from flies and other insects. The bottom one, with lid removed, served as fire compartment and smoke cooling conduit; to achieve that, only the lowest rack stayed in place (i.e., above fire compartment) and the smoker volume above it was filled with irregularly shaped stones (pebbles), tennis ball size and large. Smoke was somewhat cooled passing in-between the stones, but wood burning periods had to be kept under twenty minutes and repeated several times daily; this is tiring but OK for sausages and small meat cuts - they are done in two to three weeks.

What I was missing in that first design, was good airing: in cold winter weather I like my smoked meat to stay in the smoker till consumption. So, in the second design, upper smoker was replaced with a wire frame (made of fencing wire mesh, 1x2-inch), wrapped with a mosquito screen. During active smoking periods I would additionally enclose the structure with garden cloth, attached on the structure sides by snap buttons. Airing was superb but snapping the enclose on and off was a bit cumbersome. Now, the third design comprises a well build wooden box on the top of the commercial smoker, a box with several vents of various size, all protected with a mosquito mesh; two large ones are opened only during airing periods.

RELATED PAGES: meat smoking basics

smokers & smokehouses for cold smoking

smokers and smokehouses for cold smoking


UPDATED : 2008-05-13

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