Let me introduce myself....I'm Kielbasanova.....and I'm a "Meataholic"! And if it's smoked, don't count on leftovers! Thank you for allowing me to join your forum.
I live in what is called the Susquehanna Valley located in south central PA. My parents were of Russian and Balkan decent. Smoked kielbasa has always been and will always be a staple in my diet. This leads me to fulfilling an item on my "bucket list"...making and smoking my own kielbasa.
I would appreciate any suggestions that address some of my design questions. The enclosure measures 2' x 2' x 6' and is made of 3/16" stainless steel. It has hinged doors front and back with latches. My primary goal is cold smoking kielbasa, but would like it to be capable of hot smoking as well. My concerns are:
1) Heat Source. What will be my best source of heat? Cold smoking temps are generally 90 degrees or less. I'm not sure if a LP burner or electric elements will supply a steady low heat better? I am considering implementing some sort of removable insulation for the outside of the smoker. Temp ranges from 25 to 85 degrees in this part of the country. I would like to be able to smoke year round. There are 4 openings at the bottom of the smoker. One will be used to a burner, the others will be used as additional and adjustable air ports. I would prefer to use LP. If electric is suggested, I would have to look into 110 elements. I can access 220 if needed, but would prefer not to.
2) Smoke Generator. I would like to use the AMNPS. Locating the AMNPS inside the chamber will generate additional heat. I know placement is critical (from posts) to control burn. Once again, can I maintain a cold smoke with the additive temps between the AMNPS and my burner? Using dust instead of pellets will help, but total temp is my concern. I like the concept of using a smoke generator outside of the chamber (i.e. Smoke Daddy). It should provide a colder smoke. The creosote issue is a concern. Has the new design improved the creosote buildup problem?
3) Baffle. As you can see from the pictures, there are shelf supports already built in the smoker. The lower supports measure 9" from the bottom of the smoker. I would like to use these to mount/support my baffle. I am leaning towards using a stainless steel tray/grate filled with @3" of river stone. The stone should help distribute the heat more evenly and I can place the AMNPS on top. That should isolate the AMNPS from the heat source enough to maintain a longer smoke. I'm assuming cold smoking meat generates few if any drippings. If hot smoking, trays can always be set on top of the stone to collect the drippings. I will drill a hole in the bottom of the smoker and place a tray underneath to capture any drippings not collected inside.
Thanks in advance for your help! I've learned so much through the SMF already and know I will continue to benefit from everybody's smoking experiences.