Cold Smoking. Most of you already know, but for those of you who don’t? It’s simple, you smoke your food at a temperature of about 90 to 120 degrees F. It’s how smoked sausage, bacon & hams and chile peppers are done. Oh, don’t forget CHEESE, MmMmm smoked cheese.
Years ago I went through my own trials of cold smoking my own chile peppers and onions. They were the best ever, but it just about killed me. Maintaining temperature & smoke for 24 hours isn’t exactly a love trist. I knew then I needed a smoke generator, a device that would combust wood bits for up to 12 hours without reloading. Heat is easy, an electric hotplate does the trick in a pinch. Combine the two and you have a cold smoker that will run unattended for maybe 12 hours, this is what I knew I wanted and needed.
Well, yesterday Salvage pointed me towards a device that would generate hardwood smoke for 12 hours, cost about 1/3 to 1/4 less than anything else I’ve seen, and it is made by hand by some person I’ll introduce to you later (once I find out who exactly he/she is).
What you see here is my prototype. It’s a 55 gallon steel drum with an old weber kettle lid on top. This will give me a nice domed lid (promotes good heat/smoke distribution) with an adjustable exhaust that looks good and works great. Multiple horizontal racks will be installed near the upper portion of the drum so we can put slabs of bacon & acres of chile peppers for the most awesome smoking adventure of all time! Each rack will have some type of thermometer so I can see what each level is up to.
Ultimately, I’d like to get an industrial heating element that will allow me to put the temperature adjust on the outside of the drum. And as soon as the ordered smoke generator arrives, I’ll let you know.
ps – Please don’t leave any comments about Alton’s cold smoker in a cardboard box. That is so what I don’t want.