Ultrasonic fogger for mopping/misting alternative

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by timb, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. timb

    timb Newbie


    I've been lurking on the forums for a few days and finally decided to join the site today.  I'm really impressed with the collective knowledge of this community and hope I can give some back at some point.

    A little background of my smoking experience.  I grew up watching and helping my dad use his offset smoker down in Texas, so I'm familiar enough with the basics.  For the past several years, I've been living in apartment buildings and didn't have the space for my own smoker.  Just this spring a buddy of mine, got a place with enough room for some outdoor activities and bought himself a WSM.  In the process of showing him how to use it on a few separate occasions with salmon, chicken, beef ribs, and even oysters, I got sucked back into the hobby and am dying to have my own.  Luckily, I'm moving this weekend into a new place that has space for me to put a smoker!

    My plan is to do a custom build of a variant on the UDS and have already started ordering parts.  I'll save the details for another post.  My question here is about using these aquarium style ultrasonic foggers for introducing moisture into a smoker like these:  http://www.bigalsonline.com/edealin...medium=Comparison+Shopping&CAWELAID=504572055

    I used to have one for it's visual effect which is pretty cool, and it seems like a novel way to keep the meat moist during smoking instead of the typical water pan, mop, or mister.  Check out the video of a 10 unit assembly to see how it works: 

    Has anyone ever tried anything like this?  Looking around on the forums, I can see that someone used something like this in a sausage fermenter to control humidity, but no one mentions using one directly with a smoker.

    From what I can gather about the specs, it's max temperature rating is 35 degrees C, so it wouldn't be able to be in the chamber with the meat during a medium or hot smoke.  It would have to be in some kind of offset box with a connecting tube, and it would possibly need some kind of fan or pump to push the moisture through.

    Compared to a water pan, this obviously wouldn't have the same temperature moderating effects.  I think it does have one big advantage though in the ability to deliver more than just water vapour to the surface of the meat.  Since it is creating little tiny droplets of liquid, these droplets can carry other things besides just water such as sugars, salts, acids, and other flavors that would just sit in a water pan while the water boiled off.

    Compared to a mop or mister, this has the advantage of not having to open the lid every so often to moisten the meat thus maintaining temperatures better.  (Though let's be honest, we're still gonna lift up the lid to look.)  I doubt this would work with a thick bbq sauce however.  It would have to be a fairly thin solution

    Anyways, let me know what you all think.  Am I completely out of my mind or is it worth looking into this for my build?  Thanks for your help.


  2. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I think most folks just stick a pan of water or whatever liquid they want to use, apple juice whatever in the smoke chamber and simply let the heat evaporate the liquid to provide additional moisture.

    I use an old loaf pan myself and simple tap water.

    I think you might be over engineering it just a tad.

    If the heat doesn't play hell with your transducer the build up of creosote and smoke residue will over time. The stuff is also not neutral in PH so there's also that. Also if you use say a sauce, the higher viscosity is not going to want to play well with the ultrasonics. It'd be a whole nuter dimension.   
  3. timb

    timb Newbie

    Thanks for the response Dick.  You're probably right that I'm over-engineering a bit and not sticking with the KISS principle.

    If you're doing a long overnight smoke with brisket or shoulder for instance, do you necessarily need to introduce moisture throughout the cooking.  If not, will the whole piece of meat be dry or just the outside.

    I really appreciate the help.
  4. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    All I ever do is fill the loaf pan with water, then the meat goes in, the lid goes down and it stays down until the meat reaches target temp. The water evaporating from the loaf pan provides for a more humid smoking environment. I think it helps prevent the meat from drying out while it aids the cooking process at the same time. It probably even plays a part in evening out the heat throughout the chamber. So far it seems to be working for me anyway. Got no complaints from the wife either.

    I cook at 225 so the water lasts for a good long while but usually the loaf pan is almost empty by the time a shoulder or brisket is done. Say 12 hours or so.     

    I have an offset smoker so keeping the cook chamber closed up tight throughout the smoke is easy. One of the reasons I like an offset type of smoker over some of the other types out there.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now that thing could be pretty darn good on Halloween or something like that but for a smoker I don't think so. I will stick with my spray bottle and it works just fine to. Can you swing by Roll Call and introduce your self and your equipment (even this thing) and we can give you the big Howdy we like to give new members.

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