Ice smoker?

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by cmsimonton, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. cmsimonton

    cmsimonton Newbie

    I'm in Texas and am new to cold smoking. Right now, there is no issue with finding days cool enough to cold smoke, but it will be a different story in just a matter of weeks.  I am building a small wooden smoke box that I can hang meat in and will be using a homemade venturi-style cold smoke generator. I am wondering if it is ok to put a few bags of ice in the bottom my smoke box to keep the temperature down once things heat up this summer.  I could put a tub of ice with drain holes in the bottom of the smoke box and even plumb smoke generator to force the smoke through the ice. Has anyone else tried this or does anyone see a potential problem with this idea? Like I said, I'm new to cold smoking and don't know if I am opening a can of worms with this idea. I got the idea from an episode of Iron Chef where they had a ice sculptor build a smoke box entirely out of block ice. I don't want to go to that extreme, but thought my idea would be a good compromise this summer.

  2. Hey Chris, I've read a lot of guys on here run their cold smokers with a pan of ice to keep the temps down. looks like the smoke source is below the ice, and smoke passes over it to cool it down some. Don't see why it wouldn't work plumbing the smoke to actually run through the ice, but maybe unnecessary.

    Luckily we don't have much trouble up here with the cold smoking except at the height of summer.


  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When using ice to cool a smoker, be sure it is in plastic bottles or bags or buckets that are sealed.... The ice melting will create a humidity problem.... humidity will "dissolve" a pellicle....
  4. cmsimonton

    cmsimonton Newbie

    I'm in Houston. The humidity here rarely drops below 60% and is often over 90%. Not sure the ice will add much to it. Thanks for the tip though.
  5. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

  6. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    You may want to find thermal gel packs instead of ice. They can store more cold than ice. They are reusable. Just freeze them.

    That's why thermal gel is used in ice cream makers.

  7. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    I am trying to figure out why a person needs to heat up a pit hot enough it needs ice. This sounds strange to country folks. lol. Yall are wild and crazy peeples.
  8. cmsimonton

    cmsimonton Newbie

    I'm talking about summertime in Texas when the outside temperature by itself is over 100.
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We are not wild and crazy folks..... We have a fair understanding of the complexity to properly apply smoke to foods....
    In extremely cold weather, you need to warm the pit to acceptable smoking temps.... say, 40-70 deg... That helps on 2 fronts.. a pit will not draft properly until it has some heat in it..... also, cheese needs to come up to a temp that is above the dew point so condensate doesn't form...... You can't apply smoke to wet food.....

    In warm weather, above 70 ish degrees, any additional raise in temp "may" melt the cheese, rendering the fat, which is not good for cheese... so, some form of cooling is required......
  10. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Ok...I will stick to the original story..yall is wild and crazy
  11. For cold smoking this is what I do.

    I get a block of  cheese to get it tasting great I have a large plastic bucket that I make my brine in for doing my chickens and pork belly.

    Put the cheese on a wire rack held up with wire hooked over the top of the bucket.

    In that I put a metal pan in the bottom and put a electric soldering iron (new one not used for anything else!)  Fill it with wood dust and turn it on.  This generates more then enough smoke to get the cheese tasting great and not much effort.  Also easy to control the smoke by turning the soldering iron on or off. I also have put some of the plastic type ice bricks in to keep the cheese cold.

    Afterwards I wash it out with steraliser solution ready for my next batch.
    thinblueduke likes this.
  12. I have vertical electric smoker. I just throw an unopened bag of ice in the water pan. Works for me !!! Ernie
  13. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Same w/ my MES just a stainless bowl of ice to keep the smoker temps below 75 degrees.

Share This Page