Too Cold to Cold Smoke?

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by jakeanderton920, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Living in MN, things can get a bit chilly. Yesterday's high was 18.

    I have the AMNS and am using a 18.5" WSM. Does anyone have any tips on trying to cold smoke in freezing temperatures or how to get the heat up to 40 degrees? I am going to try to do salmon, cheese & bacon soon and do not want to put this off till spring.

  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now living in sunny Fla I'm not sure how much I can help but here we go. You can use an electric hot plate to get the temp up. Now that your using a AMNS yu need to get the temp up alittle bit. That should get you wear you want to be. I bought mine at Walgreens for like 9.99 so they are cheap.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think the hot plate idea would work, especially if you wrap a thick blanket around the smoker. But I'm in Florida too. [​IMG]
  4. Thanks for the ideas. Someone suggested using a 100 watt bulb as well to get the heat up.

    Generally, what are good temp ranges for





    Smokin'Al, you in Highlands Ridge by chance?
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Either a hot plate or a light bulb would work depending on the size of bulb and the size of the smoker. I will cold smoke year round here. As long as the temps aren't below freezing in my smoker I have had good luck no matter what the temps are. But like you said it has been well below freezing lately so use the hotplate or light bulb idea to get the smoker temps up over freezing at least. I think there was a tread on something similar to this a while back. If I remember right there was some good discussion on what temps work best for cold smoking. Just remember if you are cold smoking meat it needs to be cured for it to be safe to cold smoke with.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    For cold smoking you would want the temp between 40-90 degrees.

    The IT of the salmon must not get above 90 degrees.

    If your temp starts getting close to 100 the cheese will start to melt.

    The bacon will start to render fat at 120 ( I think ) I always cold smoke my bacon.

    I'm very close to Highlands Ridge. I live in a community called Tanglewood. It's off 27 about a quarter mile north of Walmart.
  7. I am confused. I use a pellet burner like the amazns and just the heat from the pellets alone will get the temp up past 40. Have you done a temp reading on the inside of the wsm while they are burning??

    My temps are in the low 30 and high 20.

    Good luck and happy smoken.

    By the way the cheese i use to smoke a lot of the time is the slices of processed cheese and it will start to melt at 85.

  8. For the temp control you could get a temp control unit that works just like an extension unit the you can plug into and have exact control on the temp.

    Thats what i use for my Big chief smoker so it with not get to hot for my cheese and or sausage.

    I am really spoiled with it

    It is the Ranco control i use.


  9. Thanks Al. My grandparents live in Highlands Ridge, which is why I ask.

    I did some lox two weeks ago and it turned a little too smoky, after a 10 hour smoke. The WSM was in the sun and the temp inside the smoker was up to about 60 degrees. This was all in the high 30 degree weather.  I think I will try the AMNS with the moving blankets and a hot plate and see what kind of temps I can reach with that.

    Does anyone dare try the AMNS in their garage with the garage door cracked?
  10. tjohnson

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


    Lots of good ideas!

    Smoking in cold weather can be a challenge

    I preheat my Masterbuilt to 100° and then watch the temp.  When it gets below 60°, I turn the smoker on to bring the heat up

    An easy way to add some heat, is to place a 100 watt light bulb in your smoker.

    You could use a hotplate, but this may generate too much heat for your WSM

    Burning charcoal may work, but would be tough to control the temp for salmon and cheese.

    I also use  a moving blanket for extra insulation on my Pellet Grill

    With temps in the teens, it's tough to smoke.  We're supposed to get a little warmer weather, and this may be your opportunity to smoke your cheese and fish.

    Try a 100 watt bulb, and wrap your WSM in a blanket

    Keep us posted!

  11. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As long as you are getting temps around the 40's you are fine but if the smoker  is running below freezing then you would want  to add some heat in the smoker.
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you don't have a hot plate handy just toss 2 or 3 lit briquets down in the fire ring.... and cover it over with a blanket (leave a hole for the exhaust). Might have to add a lit briquet once in a while, but should work in a pinch.
  13. where do I buy cure #1 that is used for the lox rub?

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