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Smoke Daddy Cold Smoke Generators

Posted

Pros: Great Idea, and Made in USA

Cons: Just Plain Doesn't Work Worth a Darn

Saw this Big Kahuna, while searching for ways to cold smoke. Checked out the Smoke Daddy Web Site, and watched a few videos of it in action. You have to understand this was before I knew anything about there being such a thing as too much smoke, and creosote forming on your food, due to an improperly working smoke generator. Well, in the videos I could easily see it could put out a huge amount of smoke. I did not know heavy white smoke was bad, so I laid out close to $100 for a Big Kahuna, with an aquarium air pump to help it burn & push smoke into my MES 30. When I received it, in order to test it, before drilling a big hole in my MES 30, I set it up in a garbage can (Very fitting place) first. I tried every mixture of pellets & chips, pellets an a small chunk, just chips, just pellets, etc, etc. I tried no air flow, light air, medium air, and heavy air flow. Nothing seemed to make this thing work properly. It was easy to get to light, but it would get real heavy smoke, then it would stop, and I'd have to jam a big screwdriver in it to bust up the hardened creosote & tar that had formed in the unit, and was keeping the fuel from getting to the fire. I had to be with it almost constantly to try to keep it going. I went back numerous times to watch the videos. Each time I tried it, I had to spend an hour scrubbing the thick black hardened sticky mess that had formed in the bottom of the unit. I also had thick brown/black runs all over the trash can lid, even though I kept the lid open 2 full inches while testing this thing. I found the stuff on the lid to be very bitter, because it was mostly creosote.

I figured I was just not understanding something, or it was just a piece of junk, so I chalked it up as just another gimmick that got some more of my money. At this point I was just glad I hadn't drilled any holes in my MES 30 for mounting this thing.

  About a year later I heard about a modification they were making to it. I watched some more videos, and I was all excited that I could get this thing working, but I wasn't in the mood to drop any more money to ship it back to the company for the change over. I showed my Son, who does a lot of that kind of work, how the new "Back-draft" design works on video. He called Smoke Daddy, and talked to the boss there.

He was very nice, and explained to my Son exactly how to do the change-over.

My son went out & got the parts, and did the change-over. We hooked it up, and tried all the different things I had tried with the original set-up. We got the same results. Nothing but a creosote creator. I totally gave up, and struggled to get my MES 30 to put out just the right amount of light smoke consistently & continuously, but it wasn't until I found the another smoke generator that I could finally relax, and produce the right amount of smoke easily. It is hard to believe how one Smoke Generator can be a hunk of junk, and another one can be so "Amazing".

   

Posted

Pros: solid construction, well-thought out,

Cons: forms creosote which changes flavor of food and difficult to clean

Like many other members on this site, I researched many cold-smoke generators, some over $300.

 

The Smoke Daddy has a simple design and operation.  Mechanically, this product is built like a tank.  Easy to install (with a hole cutter) and seemingly foolproof.

 

Without repeating what other reviewers have already said, this device has some very undesirable outcomes.  With the forced-air design, if you have too much smoke output, you just lower the air flow...simple enough.  But like a wood stove, this causes the combustion to become too rich and you get ALOT of creosote.  Black tar-like goo that drips out the exhaust port into your smoker.  It gets worse.  You'll smell a bitter, sharp, pungent odor which transfers to your food, and grill.  If you are attempting a long smoke (like 8-14 hours as for bacon), you will be using a pipe cleaner to push out the clogged exhaust pipe so you don't choke off the entire device.

 

Okay, so increase the air flow right?  Simple enough, but when you add more air, you get more burn and more combustion.  So now you've got too much smoke (again), and you're going through alot of fuel and putting more heat into your box than desired.

 

I used this device about 6 times with difficulty and poor-tasting results.  Different woods, chunks, chips, etc.  The basic chemistry of reducing air flow for combustion is the problem.  I put it back in the box and probably won't use it again because I don't want to risk the bad taste in my food again.

 

When I did use this, I always kept a metal bucket under the device in case the bottom lid drops off (unlikely but possible) and sparks from falling onto the floor.  Also, again if you have a long smoke, you will need to dump the spent ashes in order to add more wood.



Update Sep 16, 2012

Today I used hickory/apple pellets. It started up very quickly and produced large quantities of smoke in a few minutes. I turned down the pump to about 25% and left it alone for an hour. Came back and it was running fine, but the smoke was noticeably white or grey, unlike the amznps smoke generator which smells more like asset cigar smoke. The big kahuna produced a sharp, eye-burning, bitter smoke. Very harsh, I repeat...very harsh.

After a few hours it was just too harsh of a smoke. I opened the kahuna and there was creosote bubbling like marshmallows when you burn them on a camp out. Easy enough to clean, just torch it and burn it. But I know what is causing the harsh smoke and that's the creosote. Nasty stuff. I smoked 30 lbs of cheese and I hope it will mellow out as I age it.

So I've tested th big kahuna with wood chips and now with pellets. Not a fan of this product, results are the same.

Posted

Pros: simple to use and install

I bought the Notorious P.I.G. after reading "Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design", I wanted to cold smoke and this looked like an easy introduction to the process.  I haven't built a proper smoke house yet, I drilled a hole into  the bottom of my "Little Chief" to get started with this right away.  I didn't have too many issues with it, I did end up using a tinfoil shield on my smoking rack though, I found that with using such a small smoker box that the smoke that exited the pipe would nail my sausage directly on the bottom and it would end up with a sharp taste.  That was a pretty minor set back, I've done cutthroat trout, whitefish, cheese, pork loin, salt, and my favorite, Polish sausage with much success.  The Little Chief was never plugged in, it's an older one that is fried, so I did my cold smoking all winter here up in Canada and threw my fish and sausage into the oven to finish it off.  As far as wood goes, I've used hickory pellets, apple and maple chunks, and my favorite so far has been some local choke cherry logs.   I had used some small chips and that was just a failure, I found that the bigger the material the better, I was a little worried about the choke cherry logs and how it would work but I crammed about 4 or 5 in the Barrel and gave them a good lighting on the bottom and it worked out great, I think with this size they say you can get a burn of about 8 hours but with the logs I saw about 4 to 5.  I hope this review is helpful, I don't regret buying the biggest one and cant wait to hook it up to a proper sized smoke house this summer.

Posted

Pros: Adjustable smoke and can use lump w chips!

Cons: smoking time

Some on here said they had a creosote mess and had to chip out creosote etc.... NOT if you use it properly, I let mine heat up with lump charcoal with the fan on high until it gets really hot.  The trick with not having creosote is heating up the unit and fittings prior to putting wood chips or pellets in.  After i heat it up i just add some chips in w/ a little lump charcoal which is AWESOME because it gives you a little better flavor vs chips or pellets alone.  I don't even have to clean mine out because i get zero creosote mess, the only time i do anything is if you don't snuff out the fire you'll have to take a pipe brush and run it through the pipe before the next cook...very easy.  One thing i did was order a bottom cap w/out holes to snuff the fire out quickly which helps save left over chips and cools it quickly and prevents any build up.   Sometimes on cold smoking after it gets going i just take the air hose off and let it draft in.   Can't be happier with the outcomes of my cooks and the unique flavors i get with lump/charcoal in my propane burner.  Great unit and recommended but the directions aren't the best, BE  PATIENT and heat it up prior to chips!   For those that have had problems this works!   

Posted

Pros: Easy to light

I started playing with the Big Kahuna at about 9am a cool 29 degrees here in SE Kansas. At about 11am it was a little over freezing so I pop a whole butterflied chicken the smoker. All who tasted said good mild smoke flavor. 
I started out with 2 pieces of kingsford charcoal  lit those got a fair amount of ash then added wood chips and some pellets then wood chips and pellets and wood chips. I did this 3 times with starting at 9am and ending at 5pm and it still has some to burn. Do I have some creosote in the cold smoker yes. Found I could controll the amount of smoke by the air pump( mostly off) and adjusting the lid usually in the half off position. I have some country style ribs coming off in a few minutes. So far so good. I hope to smoke cheese next weekend

Posted

Pros: Easy to operate, runs a long time

Cons: None

I bought the Magnum model. Easy to light with a propane torch. Smoke got going immediately. Had to give the remaining fuel a stir after about four hours to get it going again. No creosote inside the smoking chamber. Have to experiment with the air blower settings, but on high, it cranked for those four hours and I got a nice blue smoke. I used a combination of lump, chips, pellets, lump chips, pellets.

 

Sometimes meat only needs the smoke for a few hours, as absorption reaches a max. As with most BBQ toys, the quality of the Q is more a function of how the cook makes use of the toys. I am very satisfied with this product, but since the smoke output is greater and more constant than just using chips in a box over the burner, it'll take some playing with to cook food the way I like.

 

I will try an A-MAZE-N just for the heck of it.  From the looks of it, you get a constant (i.e., non user variable) output.  That could be okay, but again, it's all in how you're using it.

Posted

Pros: if you want smoke you got it.

Cons: Cost

I have used a few differant types of smoters .This is about the best cold smoker you can get.This is another step to get  a nice amount of smoke to your pruduct. If you are good you can make a kock off.

Posted

Pros: Made in the USA; easy to load/refill; easy to light; durable; very well made; can use a variety of fuels from chips to pellets

Cons: Sometimes goes out; can be difficult to regulate quantity of smoke, more expensive than some alternatives (but less expensive than others).

Price was $125.00 plus $10.20 S&H.

 

Like some others, I was looking for an alternative to the lack of smoke in my MES 30 (before retrofit) when I was trying to smoke at lower temperatures. I also wanted to try cold smoking things like cheese where the built-in smoke generator was not suitable. A friend bought an A-Maze-N-Smoker, and I saw it as well as the results of his use of it. However, even though it limited the heat, by burning within the cabinet it still generated a significant amount of heat, enough to melt some of the cheese he had smoked. I saw among the alternatives the Smoke Daddy smoke generator. I went on the web site and viewed the videos and liked what I saw, so I ordered the Big Kahuna, which was the newer backdraft model.

 

I made from the stock chip loader and some scrap parts a mount for the Big Kahuna which fits in place of the chip loader and which did not require drilling the cabinet. Details of that modification are posted here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/97076/my-mes-big-kahuna-modification if you wish to check it out.

 

I noticed also that the amount of smoke generated seems to be excessive. especially the initial amount of smoke after it was first lit. I was concerned too, so I wrote to Smoke Daddy, who suggested using larger chunks of wood instead of smaller chips to reduce the amount of smoke. Unfortunately, the design with the backdraft tube limits the size of the chunks that will fit to smaller ones so I still end up using chips since most chunks would require splitting down to smaller sizes to fit the opening available. He did say that pellets would burn slower and thus generate lower quantities of smoke as well. I have not tried pellets yet, but may in the future. The third suggestion was to leave the top lid ajar to let excess smoke escape from the top instead of going into the box. Finally, he said that the air on the pump should be reduced as far as possible and the vent valve should be opened also. He also suggested (and it seems to work okay) removing the hose from the BK and let natural air convection work.

 

What I found works fairly well is to light the Big Kahuna and let it get the initial large quantity of smoke burned off and for the initial load to burn down a bit. Then, when the smoke level decreases, I load whatever it is I want to smoke into the MES 30. I also find that loading smaller quantities of chips a bit more frequently instead of a large quantity and trying to get it to smoke for extended times works better for limiting the quantity of smoke. However, it also means checking more frequently as the smaller quantity of chips means that it can (and will) go out if it runs out of fuel. I usually try to check about once an hour and that seems to work okay. I also have the vent no less than half open when using the smoke generator to allow sufficient airflow through the smoker. That seems to work pretty well.

 

Edit:  I just went on the Smoke Daddy web site, and there is a good how-to video on how to get it to generate a more appropriate amount of smoke. It comes down to using a combination of fuels in the same load, including hardwood lump charcoal. This should solve some of the issues I and others have encountered with too much smoke. The video link is here: http://www.smokedaddyinc.com/howtouse.htm

 

I think that the Big Kahuna would have worked better for a much larger smoker than the MES 30. I had bought it for the longer burn time as I did not want to be continually checking it. However, the chip loader for the MES required checking at least as often as I have been doing with the Big Kahuna, so it isn't that bad.

 

Cleaning can be a challenge. The tube that enters the box definitely is a challenge to clean. Dawn Power Dissolve sprayed on the caps can help loosen the residue and a steel wool soap pad such as SOS or Brillo can also help make short work of the residue. However, the inside of the tube is too small to get to easily. Being a retired Soldier, I am used to using a bore brush to clean rifle and pistol barrels, so I looked for something the right size and shape to use in the tube. What I found was that an old-fashioned battery terminal cleaner has a brush that is the right size and shape. Some of them have a wire stem that is curled around, and when straightened, is long enough to go through the tube (Please use a brand-new brush for this. You DON'T want lead residue in the tube!). For extra power, after it is straightened, it can be locked in the chuck of a power drill and will make short work of the residue build-up. The body is another challenge. It is too small to reach into easily, so I just get that as best as I can, concentrating on the cap ends. I remove and clean air tube separately. To help make that part easier, I spray it with non-stick just before assembling it to use. I also spray the inside of the caps. It helps keep the residue from sticking so tightly. I am open to suggestions as to what else could be safely used to coat the parts to reduce the adhesion of the residue and make clean-up even easier.

 

The bottom line is this: I think it is a great device. It works for what it was intended. I would caution anyone wishing to purchase one to consider the size of the device for which one wants to generate smoke. Although the Big Kahuna and Magnum P.I.G sizes are capable of hours of smoke generation, they will also overwhelm smaller smokers such as the MES 30 (and probably 40). If you have a large smokehouse, then go ahead and get the larger models. If you have a smaller smoker, then consider strongly getting one of the smaller 6 or 8 inch smoke generator models. They will cost less money and will likely generate a more appropriate amount of smoke.

Posted

Pros: can reload without opening the door

Cons: none

  I like the smoke daddy alot. LIghting it was easy and produced smoke right after I got it started.

     Wish I would have got the biggest one but didnt want to spend 100$ more. I have the smoke daddy on one side and the bradley generator on the other and the smoke daddy big kahuna puts out more smoke then the bradley.

 

Posted

Pros: Easy to refill.

Cons: Couldn't get the TBS I wanted from it.

I owned this unit for over a year. It was quality built and I liked the idea that you could cold smoke with it.

I easily adapted it to my MES with a large magnet to use the existing chip loader hole so I didn't have to mount it permanently to it. It made it very easy to remove and clean. You need to clean it after every use. I used hardwood charcoal and a mix of chips and pellets. I could never get it dialed down far enough to produce the TBS I was looking for regardless of the airflow used. I tried every combination imaginable. It just wasn't for me. The concept is great and I believe the company is a good one with excellent customer support. I also liked the fact it was made in the USA. But with all that it just wasn't the product for me and I have sense moved on to another smoke generator and it has been amazing.

Smoke Daddy Cold Smoke Generators
Description:

The Smoke Daddy cold smoker can be used on your BBQ grill to turn it into a smoker. Also, they work well for providing smoke to your homemade smoker. After being loaded with wood smoking fuel just light from the bottom with a propane torch. Smoking time varies by size of smoker, and the air pump option that is included. The Smoke Daddy with the back-draft design generates flavored smoke without adding heat to your smoker. Its patented design dissipates the heat before it enters your smoker to produce a true cold smoke. The generator only provides smoke. Perfect for smoking meats, cheese, fish or for smoking at temperatures below 100° . Just adjust your heat with your propane burner or electric hot plate. There are no expensive cartridges to buy- you can use pellets, wood chips or wooden material of your choice. We also offer high quality, 100% Hardwood Smoking Pellets. We recommend a mixture of pellets and wood chips in the Smoke Daddy for the best results There are no moving parts to wear out! The smokers are made from heavy gauge SCH 40 6061 precision machined aluminum for a proper seal and long life. You can easily attach it to your smoker by drilling a 11/16", 7/8" or 1" hole and inserting the outlet tube into your smoker. To light it, remove the end cap and fill the smoke chamber with your favorite wood chunks,chips/pellets. Then light it from the bottom with a small propane torch or you can also use a match and a crushed piece of charcoal. Place the end cap back on with air pump running and you’re smokin'. Any Smoke Daddy can be refilled at any time during the smoking time without relighting and will not raise the temperature of your smoker. Great for cold or hot smoking.

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