Anyone have experience with the cold smoke plate for the Smokin It?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by kbosch74, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. kbosch74

    kbosch74 Fire Starter

    I am doing my first cold smoke of cheese on the #3.  I have followed the typical instructions...cold smoke plate is in, drip tray resting on top of plate filled with ice, turn smoker to around 170 for 20 minutes, then turn it off.  Outside temp is about 35 degrees. 

    Problem...internal temp of box has reached 122 degrees 20 minutes after I turned the smoker off.  From everything I've read, 90 degrees is the max you want to cold smoke.  So I'm not seeing any advantage to this cold smoke plate.  I smoked cheddar, gouda and Havarti.  The cheddar and gouda, being harder cheeses, held up pretty good to the higher temp.  The Havarti, however, lost about half of it's shape

    What has been your experience with it?

    (I originally posted this same question within the smoking it thread, but thought it would be better to post as a separate thread.)
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a Smokin It 3 but no cold plate. Sorry, but I don't smoke a lot of cheese so not very informed on the cold plate workings. When I have smoked cheese I've just used the AMNS and no other heat. I've seen posts on here where guys just use a cardboard box to smoke cheese with some holes cut into it.....Willie
  3. mark4mn

    mark4mn Fire Starter

    I put a bowl of ice on top of the cold smoking plate. that was recommended by Smokin-it's FAQ. No issues at all for me!

  4. kbosch74

    kbosch74 Fire Starter

    As I stated in the original post, I already do the ice tray on top of the cold smoke plate.

    I emailed Steve, the owner, this same question...and he couldn't understand why the temp would continue to rise after turning the power off.  Well, me neither, but that actually makes some sense.  I've created heated stainless steel and the box is going to trap that heat. 

    I just did another dry run now that all the snow has melted.  Put chips in the smoker box, inserted cold smoke plate, placed tray of ice on top of plate, closed the door, set temp to 125 and let it run for 15 minutes, about long enough for smoke to have developed.  It was 72 degrees inside the box when I turned it off.  20 minutes later, it's up to 117.

    I know I can create smoke other ways, but I'd really prefer this method to work (seeing as I bought the cold smoke plate and would now have to purchase the AMNS.

    Any other thoughts/experiences with this plate?
  5. db28472

    db28472 Fire Starter

    I just got the cold plate and have used it once.  I tried cheese for the first time.  Used mozzarella, swiss, sharp cheddar and pepperjack. I put half the cheese through one round of smoke as per the Smokin-it forum suggestions and did the other half for two rounds.

    I put about 2 oz of hickory in the smoker box.  As you can see from the image, put a large try of ice on top of cold plate too.

    I had a Maverick set up to monitor the internal temp but did not put  a probe in the cheese. I set the smoker at about 250 and meant to only do it for 20 min but forgot and did it for 30.  I had a real brain cramp because I was monitoring temp the whole time.  Temp got up to about 100 and I quickly ran out and opened the door to the smoker.  Guess what happened... nice blast of fresh oxygen flared the wood up and I had a nice fire.  Nothing serious but could have been avoided if I turned smoker off at 20 min like I meant to.  The cheese wasn't melted or anything so after temp dropped to about 85 I closed the door and let it sit in the smoke for a total of 1 hour first round.

    The color changed a little.  I had to nibble but it only tasted smoky without much of a cheese flavor.  I then did the second batch, only watched the time and temp better.  At about 15 min, temp got up to about 90 and I had good smoke coming out the top so I turned off the smoker and let it sit for another 45 minutes.  Temp never got above about 90-95.  I kept the same ice bath by the way as it was still pretty much ice.

    The cheese on the left side was done for one round, that on the right for two rounds.  I wiped the sweat off of the cheese, let it sit at room temp for a few hours then put into ziplock in fridge.  My vacuum sealer came in 2 days later and so I sealed a sample of each type of cheese from batch 1 and batch 2 separately.  I haven't tried them yet as most places say to wait at least 2 weeks.  I plan on having my family blind taste test them to see how much smoke is enough.  I will update this weekend.  

    It's possible that the chips you used kept on burning to give off the heat.  I used wood chunks.  Not sure if that made a difference.  I also went back and edited this post, problem with photos loading.  
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  6. kbosch74

    kbosch74 Fire Starter

    Thank you for the reply.

    I'm doing everything you're doing, exactly.  The key difference for me is that once I turn the smoker off, the temp inside the box keeps climbing and peaks way over the recommended limit for cold smoking.
  7. You might try switching to chunks...

    That's the only place I can see the heat would come from after you cut the smoker off...

    This smoker model #3 has the capacity to hold approximately 45 pounds of meat or seafood. It has a 1200-watt heating element with LED indicator light, 10 amps 120-volt single phase. Temperature range is from 100F to 250F and is insulated with fiberglass to reduce heat loss.

    Also why are you setting the temp on 125 if you are wanting to keep the heat down?? Why not the lowest setting of 100??

    I Don"t know if any of this helps but just what I thought when I was reading through.

  8. kbosch74

    kbosch74 Fire Starter

    Thanks, PJ.

    The first several times I tried this I was using chunks, same results.  I tried chips this time to see if I would have different results.

    As for the temp...Smokin-It suggests 170.  Videos I've watched show 145.  I'm not sure that it matters since we're cutting off the power prior to it reaching the dialed temp anyway (I don't believe the element gets hotter dialed at 250 versus 150, for example, I think it just stays on longer until it reaches dialed temp).  I appreciate the thoughts, though.  And correct me if you see it differently.
  9. divotmaker

    divotmaker Smoke Blower

    Sorry to hear you're still having problems cold smoking, Kbosch!  I'm at a loss...I use my cold smoke plate the same way, and have no issues with the box getting too hot.  A real puzzler!  I use a small chunk, and only keep the element on for 15-20 min (or until I see smoke).  Also, you are right about the rheostat; it's either on or off.  It really doesn't matter what temp you set, as you've isolated the smoke box from the thermocouple.  The temp controller doesn't know what temp the box is at.  I know this may seem like the obvious (like those troubleshooting instructions that ask if the appliance is plugged in), but are you certain the element is completely "off" during the sit periods?  If I had this problem, I would probably unplug the unit at the point I turn the dial off, just to eliminate the possibility.  Just a thought.  I'll keep researching!
  10. kbosch74

    kbosch74 Fire Starter

    Thanks DM.  I did not try unplugging it, although I should.  Good suggestion.
  11. It was just a thought ,,, I would be interested to here what you figure out if you can???


  12. db28472

    db28472 Fire Starter

    Just to close the loop on my first cheese smoke, it's been two weeks now and I tried my cheese. I had my son blind taste test too. In the photo, the top row with the toothpick had one round of smoke, the bottom had two rounds. One round was enough for the Swiss and pepper jack. The cheddar was better with two rounds and I liked the mozzarella better with two rounds.
  13. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds successful to me.
  14. divotmaker

    divotmaker Smoke Blower

    Any updates, KBosch?  I thought about this while testing the new model 2; the "20-minutes on" rule may be way too much for a #2 or 3, but fine for a #1 (like mine).  With the #2's 700-watt element, I was producing smoke at 11-12 minutes!  If I was using the cold smoke plate with that, I would have cut power the second I saw smoke.  The goal, with cold smoking, is to fill the box with smoke, not cook, right?  So, the #2 or 3 smokers should only have to be on 10-12 minutes - not 20.  Just a thought.
  15. kbosch74

    kbosch74 Fire Starter

    Thanks DM.

    I decided to return the plate.  I think I'll go the AMNPS route.  Thanks for checking in.
  16. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    A lot of folks like the AMNPS for a lot of reasons.  But be aware that keeping it lit may be a problem due to air flow as reported elsewhere on this site.  It doesn't appear to have problems with the MES smokers but some users of the SmokinTex and Smokin-it smokers did report a degree of difficulty, but managed to overcome it by modifying their smokers.

    Here are some links.  Some are rather lengthy but worth reading.

    Good luck and happy smoking.

  17. peteydaman

    peteydaman Newbie

    I know this thread is a year old, but I felt I had to chime in on this one. I too have the Smokin-it model #3 with the cold smoke plate and I'm running into the EXACT same issue with the temps getting out of control. Did the exact same 20 minutes on - temp went to about 75, then turned it off and the temp continued to rise to over 110 when I finally opened the door to try and cool it down. Even with opening the door and dropping the temp a few degrees, as soon as I closed it back up, the temp started rising again. I tried using both chunks and chips, neither made a difference. I also used a full pan of ice on top of the cold smoke plate. I know the element was off and never turned back on after the initial 20 minutes so that wasn't it.

    just figured I throw that out there
  18. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Try this link.  No cold plate.  Just the Smokin-it smoker and the AMNPS.  Seems it can be used without drilling additional holes in the smoker for added air.  Remove the wood box, drop the drip tray so as to not block the drain hole and give it a try.  More information at their site.

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