Hello from Portugal....newbies Cold Smokers with lotsa questions

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by munsterfan, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Hello everyone, We are a happily retired couple (Irish Munsterfan husband & Oregon Ducksfan wife) living in Portugal in the Algarve. We are newbies at cold smoking. Love hiking, music: blues, western and classical, Rhodisian Ridgebacks, our 12 grandchildren, dancing, cooking (eating) & sitting in the sun chattin' with friends over a glass of 'vino tinto'......

    We have several trees on our land and actually lots of trees and lots wild herbs on all the lands around us.

    We built a cold smoker from an old Weber BBQ and a clean 55-gal drum. We're now preparing to smoke: garlic, local harvested salt and the Mexican chili's that we've planted. Later on down the road we are thinking of curing and smoking sardines and horse mackerel.

    1st QUESTION:

    We don't know which trees and herbs would be good, sweet smoking wood or herbs. 

    Trees order of abundance:
    1. Carob
    2. Almond
    3. Olive
    4. Orange and Lemon
    5. Fig
    6. Persimmon
    7. Vine, grapes
    Wild Herbs
    1. Thyme (acres and acres)
    2. Rosemary many kilometers of hedges
    3. Bay laurel (Yes it's a tree but we can only get the leaves)
    2nd QUESTION: To cold smoke something at 50C/60C how many kilos (lbs) of chips would be used on average for say...1-hour? We just don't have a clue. I realize that different woods burn/smolder at different rates etc....I'm just look for a ball-park answer.

    3rd QUESTION: Must the tree branches that we gather for chipping be tinder dry before smoking? or is semi-green OK?

    FINAL QUESTION Do we 'soak' the chips before smoking? If yes; then in water or beer or wine ( we've LOTS of cheap tasty wine here)?

    Thank you very much  in advance for your help any/all thoughts and comments welcome. I also posted this under 'wood' section but perhaps that was wrong so here it is again in the "ROLL CALL" area

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