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Understanding Smoke Management - updated 12/08/14 - Page 2

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munsterfan View Post
 

....

I sit here in Portugal with my very first ever home-made Cold Smoker ( a kettle BBQ attached to an airtight 55 gal drum (clean) by 2-meters aluminum flexi hose, I'm wondering if I need a fan to push the smoke from kettle fire to smoking drum? I do have it located a couple of feet below the drum.) 

I plan to smoke the following products at first: garlic, local salt and chilis....later some sardines and mackerel . I guess when I start with fish or meat I'll have adjust my smoking a bit, yes? 

Thank you again for your sagacious wisdom.

Deborah

 

 

You might want to try sucking the smoke through rather than blowing it through.  If you try to blow it you might find that it stokes your fire and you end up with more smoke and heat.  Using a small fan ( like a computer fan ) on the chimney to gently pull the smoke, more like a natural draft if you had some heat going.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munsterfan View Post
 

Tom, THANK YOU. I'm re-reading everything you wrote and your recommended links. This is such helpful material. 

I sit here in Portugal with my very first ever home-made Cold Smoker ( a kettle BBQ attached to an airtight 55 gal drum (clean) by 2-meters aluminum flexi hose, I'm wondering if I need a fan to push the smoke from kettle fire to smoking drum? I do have it located a couple of feet below the drum.) 

I plan to smoke the following products at first: garlic, local salt and chilis....later some sardines and mackerel . I guess when I start with fish or meat I'll have adjust my smoking a bit, yes? 

Thank you again for your sagacious wisdom.

Deborah

 

Deborah, It sounds like you have a good setup for cold smoking. Insure your flexi hose is on a incline to the drum. You mention that the drum is airtight. There will need to be a vent in order to get airflow through the drum and around your product. If the drums internal temps are too high, increase the length of the flexi hose and insure it is not in the sun. You should get enough draft that a fan will not be needed.

 

The only time I cold smoke fish is when they are going to be pressure canned. If canning, smoke for a short time as the the smoke flavor will be intensified by canning. Experience will be your best teacher here. Keep good notes on the type of wood, the color and density of the smoke, and the time.

 

 Hot smoked salmon,   Mr T's "Smoked Salmon From Go to Show" w/Q-View

 

Cold smokers,  My Cold Smoking Options w/Q - View

 

Have fun, and thanks for the kind words.

 

Tom

post #23 of 26

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

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

Deborah, I have sent my response via PM.

 

Tom

post #25 of 26

Heres some pics ...we are up 'n sailing now that we opened the air vent in the bottom of the kettle drum firebox...temperature is steady for many hours now... smoking with seasoned Oak and shortly will try Almond and Carob..taking copious notes. Like how many kilos of wood chips per hour to maintain 20c-30c.

Here's some photos of our homemade cold smoker

 

 

 

 

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

Deborah, thanks for the update. You are off to a good start. Good on you for keeping good notes, they will pay off in the future. Keep us up to date on how well you are doing.

 

T

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