Drips Inside Cold Smoker

Discussion in 'Other' started by pokey, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    I'm using an old electric smoker that wasn't very good for regulating heat as the cabinet for cold smoking with the AMNS. Over the years, the inside of the cabinet developed a deep colored coating of smoke byproduct.

    The other evening I smoked a filet of cured (in brine) salmon and a couple of pieces of cheese. The ambient temp was around 50*. I placed a tray over the AMNS with ice cubes to make sure the air in the cabinet didn't get too warm. In the pic below, the place where the circular pan is where I put the AMNS, the tray above held the ice. Notice the dark residue on the back wall.


    After about six hours, when I went to remove the cheese and fish, I noticed that there was a pool of dark water under the cabinet. When I removed the food, the dark liquid had dripped on the fish and the cheese. I vacuum sealed the cheese for aging and the fish for freezing until we're ready for it.


    My question is, are the dark spots toxic? Or bad tasting? Should I trim them before eating? I've only ever used woods appropriate for smoking, i.e. no pine or other heavy creosote producing wood, but now that I think about it, I'm kind of worried about this stuff.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts folks might share

  2. Have you left your smoker outside in the elements???? I had a smoker with a smoke vent on the top and had a simular problem. Rain water had seeped in around the seam where the vent comes thru the top.

    If that's the case, take your vent pipe out and turn up the heat and cook that moisture out for a few hours.

    I'd cut them black spots off.
  3. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    Not out in the elements, but I was thinking the ice cubes upon melting may have released moisture into the air, thus causing condensation on the inside of the box that then dripped.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I really don't have an answer other than if the black spots bother you then I would cut them out. I guess next I would clean the inside of the cabinet. If you are using it for cold smoking only the buildup in the smoker won't affect the flavor of the food, but some may fall off or in your case mix with the moisture & drip onto the food.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Does that cabinet have a vent in the top?

    My son used to have a Cookshack, with the vent right in the middle of the top (ceiling).

    That thing used to drip crap on his food, and it wouldn't be good stuff to eat.

    Don't know why Cookshack put a vent right in the middle of the ceiling.

    Or maybe your ice is causing condensation on the ceiling, and then dripping on the cheese & salmon? just guessing here.

  6. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper


    You can see the two holes in the top. Maybe next time I'll put some aluminum foill on the top rack. That would take care of either situation: drips caused by the vents or condensation.

    I can clean it (and will), but I'm sure it will just happen again. I guess I'll taste the stuff and decide what to do about it then.


  7. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    You could always put some tin foil on the very top tray and clean the other trays really well.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If that is where it's coming from, there could be some really old stuff on the ceiling, loosening up & mixing with the condensation, and dripping on your product. That black stuff might not be too edible. Maybe cut it off & rinse this batch?

    Hate to see you get the GI sheets!  [​IMG]

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011

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