Well I found this site the other day after ruining some trout (way too salty) and I wanted to find out why. That one was WAY too long in brine (24 hours), then 24 hours for drying in the fridge, then 18 hour smoke. What a waste, should have been about a four hour brine at most, next time I'm going to be too shy with the salt and under do it, but 1/2 hour brine is the plan.
Well, cold smoking, or at least control of temperature independent of smoke, has been a long held ambition of mine. I tried an aquarium pump version of a cold smoke generator, BIG MISTAKE:
I ran this thing full of chips (pre lit with a torch) for a few hours with an aquarium pump supplying air, and it billows smoke but also sputters creosote out the pipe. A quick test smoke (1/2 hour of smoke on a piece of ham) was very bitter and bad - "sooty" would be the term I would use.
After reading here, I thought I could do one better than the "soldering iron smoker" so here is the result (brand new 20W weller used):
Sorry about the orientation on the last one there, but you get the idea. I used muffler cement which happened to be sitting on my workbench at the time. I burned the can out first by turning it red-hot with a torch (had some sort of sealing paint inside). It does not fully resolve the issues of wiring, but it sure looks better than a soldering iron stuck in a can. No worry of lead, remove the tip by unscrewing it before you do this.