Grilling vs Smoking

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by vto47, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. vto47

    vto47 Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    My journey into building a smoker started a month ago when my old Chest Type Freezer broke down. I bought a new on and now, I am stuck with it. I thought of using it for something (or anything) aside from scrap.

    So now, begins my knowledge into SMOKIING. I thought of adding a tube to the base onto a burner (for starting charcoal and wood fire) then using the freezer's insulation case to trap the smoke (which I learn can be quite a feature when it comes to smoking food). BUT then, just the other day, I asked my self; what will I smoke? Is it smart to make a smoker or a griller instead?

    Hope you all can help me. I plan to cook burgers, fish and veggies only. Probably fish? BUT nothing large like I see on videos of Smokers. I have a few questions about Smoker vs Grill...


        I know smoker = slow and low heat while Grill is Fast and High Heat....BUT what type of apparatus would fit what I plan to do?

    2. How can I fully utilize the Chest Type Freezer's insulation and trapping heat in any both a smoker or a Grill?

    3. Aside from the chest type freezer, what else do I need? FYI...I already have a thermometer.

    4. IF I decide to turn it into a Grill, can I still use wood chips over charcoal for flavoring?

    Hope y'all can help me out!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not all smoking is low and slow.

    Your chest freezer would be best as a cold smoker. It will take a bunch of modifications to make it work. The interior will need to be gutted unless it's metal.

    A great solution for a smoker/grill is a Mini-WSM. Check out the Mini-WSM forum.
  3. vto47

    vto47 Newbie

    Hi Dirstsailor,

    Pardon the ignorance but what is a cold smoker? And could you expound on the phrase "Not all smoking is low and slow"?  Thanks!

    I've checked into the WSM (Weber Smoky Mountain)? -- but couldn't find out the whole concept of it. What is it generally and how is it different?
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cold smoking is where the food is smoked at room temperature or below and is used primarily for fish, cheese, herbs/spices, salamis etc. The smoker is essentially an enclosed container through which cold/cool smoke is passed which then interacts with the food. The cold smoker chamber contains the smoke and ensures that it evenly surrounds the food - although it is important that there is sufficient air flow through the smoker to prevent tar build up on the food and to remove moisture.

    Most smokers that are designed for hot smoking will also work well as cold smokers whereas specific cold smokers are much less likely to also be appropriate for hot smoking.

    People turning freezers into hot or cold smokers usually start off with an upright freezer rather than a chest. Also, before you even consider using the freezer for hot smoking you need to know what kind of insulation is has inside. Most fridges/freezers use an expanded foam that is not designed to take heat and you would almost certainly need to remove it all as part of your hot smoker conversion.

    You may find that a chest freezer is not really the best starting block.

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