Thank you Tom, The kettle BBQ fire pit is a good meter below the smoking drum and the flex-hose is on an upwards incline from the kettle. Everything is located beneath a close knit copse of Olive trees on a hillside with a level area that I dug out to work the smoking & drying process. I've another 6-meters of flex-hose at the ready to help manage the temperature in the summer heat (40+C some days). I have a heavy iron lid sitting on top of the vertical 55-gal smoking drum. I imagine I can move this a wee bit to manage the air-flow and still maintain the temperature? or? My husband wired together 4-oven grills that I can lower in and pull out of the smoker so I don't have to reach down too far. The simple temperature gage is also on a long wire so I can raise an lower it up and down and check the temperature at different levels within the drum. My smoker cost about 100 Euros (cheap Chinese kettle BBQ 40E + temp gage 5E + fire bricks for bottom of fire 10E, 9-meters flex-hose 40E)...the rest I scrounged from scrap metal places and alleys.
QUES: do I need an air-vent for the kettle-fire or does the fact that smokes escapes from under the poorly fitted lid create enough flow?
I have a few finely chipped kilos of Almond and Olive, Carob, Fig and Orange. Bay Laurel, Rosemary & Thyme are everywhere for a more subtle flavour enhancement.
So I guess I'll just experiment a bit myself with each species of wood, weigh what goes into the fire, then log the usage of chips per hour to maintain a sustained target temperature of 20C-30C/68-86 °F, to gain an accurate consumption value. I'll now add your recommendation of recording the density and color of the smoke to the values. I'll smoke some garlic bulbs each time and test taste difference of the single species wood smoke at the same time.
I'm hoping to start a little cottage business for Smoked Garlic, seasoned Smoked Garlic Salt and Smoked Chili's....
Well we'll have to wait and see if there is a 'viable' market for these products in the EU. There are some similar items already selling in the UK and southern France. Proper market research, creating a clean repeatable product line and managing the cost of logistics and fulfillment are some of the critical steps; so I think any way. If it's a no-go for profitability then I will make myself happy smoking what I love to eat!
Finally broke down and invested in the purchase of a 6kw chipper as there are NO, NONE, NADDA, NO chips to be bought in Portugal.
Thanks again for your words of wisdom