Cold smoking - an equipment question

Discussion in 'Other' started by smokewagon, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. I do a bit of smoking and have devised a way to cold smoke, sort of, with my electric Big Chief smoker.  I'm wanting to take the cold smoking to a higher level for cheeses, eggs and the like.  Maybe try some fruits, veggies, etc.

    I know commercial smoked cheeses are smoked at 40-50 degrees.  Unless we're in the middle of a record breaking cold spell, I can't get my smoker that cold.  So I'm thinking of this....

    With a small dorm type refrigerator, a Johnson control, some 4" metal tubing and a external smoke source, I could keep the fridge at 45-50 deg F and apply smoke for any number of hours, any month of the year.  

    Anybody see any issue with this?  I think I could do it for less than 200 bucks and if it didn't work, I'd have a target at the local shooting range (landfill) that would last for a few months.  

    Comments appreciated
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can go through the trouble or just cut an Intake air holes or add a small air pump and a Vent and use a A-Maze-N Products AMNPS Smoke Generator inside the Refrigerator. Inexpensive, super easy and you can load it up with Pellets or Dust for up to 10 hours of smoke. The Pellets do generate a little bit of heat, around 25*F, but that should be no problem if you use the Refer. The nice part is the AMNPS will go into your regular smoker for set it and forget it long Hot smokes...JJ
  3. slownlow

    slownlow Smoking Fanatic

    I live in NC and It gets very hot here in the summer.  I cold smoke in the summer at night time when my smoker is off and it'll be 70 -80* in there.  I cold smoke cheese with the AMNPS smoker no problems.  You could also fill up some gallon jugs and freeze them and put them in your smoker to keep temps lower. 
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ice Jugs work great

    Smoking in the early morning or evening is best

    Keep your smoker out of the sun.  You would be amazed at how much heat is generated from the sun!

    I've thought about converting a small dorm fridge, but not sure how well it would keep up.  Many small fridges do not have a typical compressor in them, and the recovery is very slow.

    Think "Bigger is Better".

    A larger box will hold more food, but will also dissipate more heat.

    An insulated box may hold out ambient temps. but also holds in any heat generated by your cold smoke generator

    You may want to look for a 1/2 size proofing cabinet or a 1/2 size holding cabinet

    I recently picked up a full size working proofer for $185 and a full size holding cabinet for $85

  5. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    For less than 10 bucks I bought a wood burner for doing engraving and art work .  I used an empty clean can poked a couple holes in it, place the tip of the burner in one of the holes and fill it with chips don't even soak them.  If its hot out I place a pan of ice cubes with a rack over that and put the cheese on the rack just above the ice.  I open up the bottom vents on my weber and run the cord through that as well as the grates, then I place the can with burner on the charcoal rack under but off  to one side of the ice pan and this has worked great.  It would help if you did it at night or early morning if its going to be a hot day, and leave the top vent wide open.  This whole system takes about 10 minutes or less to make.

    The only concern with the fridge is with any off gas from the plastic inside but I am probably being a bit overly concerned with it.  Good luck.
  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup, a cheapie soldering iron from Harbor Freight, soup can and some chips works too


  7. Thats pretty much how I usually do it, or if it cold out I set a rack on top of my big chief and set a larger tupperware over that.  

    I'm looking for a method to do larger amounts in a more controlled environment
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, since you asked.....

    $39.99, and i throw in 2# of Pellets

  9. Todd, Right?  I bought one of your AMNPS a couple a couple weeks ago.  Used it yesterday for the first time.  This thing is an amazing piece of simple technology :)  I loved it.  I got 11 hours of smoke out of one fill (as I've read).  I made a couple mistakes that have been mentioned and since I'm hard headed had to make them myself, but it worked as advertised if not better.  I'm going to be raving about it on a couple other sites, so look for you sales to increase.

    That said.... it will be my external smoke source if I do this small refer thing.  I'm beginning to think everybody here thinks I'm over thinking this.... which is normal for me.  
  10. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

  11. A couple frozen jugs of ice and the following setup would work good.

    "I spent several weeks looking for a reliable and inexpensive way to do indoor cold smoking.

    I settled on rolled cigarettes (LOL) heated with a soldering iron because it’s possible to smoke with pure tea leaves, herbs, sawdust, etc. without the fuel burning up too rapidly.

    I invested about $20 in the cigarette roller, papers, soldering iron, spring and clamp."


    "Below is some rosemary being rolled."


    "Maple smoked butter, rosemary smoked foccacia, tea smoked hard-boiled eggs….the possibilities are endless."


    "The cigarette must be able to slide freely inside the spring. The soldering iron raises the temperature inside the cold oven only about 10 degrees above room temperature. Each cigarette smokes for about 30-40 minutes. A vent hood is recommended. My vent hood doesn’t vent to the outside, but that wasn’t a problem with a window open and the ceiling fan running. : )

    It's habit forming!!!!!"  :D
  12. Interesting and very creative. That one pick kinda reminds me of college.
  13. rosemary, right   [​IMG]
  14. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Nothing wrong with rosemary but I would not leave one laying around in my car.[​IMG] But the concept is very unique and just goes to show how ingenious people can be.

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