I'm new to the forum and smoking meats in general. I have couple ideas and was hoping for some input from the "masters".
Here's what I'd like to do:
I'm a fisherman and catch a ton of Salmon and Steelhead. My mom gave me her MES30 Analog controlled unit. I've put a few batches through the smoker and it's been good, but....
I can't produce smoke under 180degF. To me this is too hot. It cooks the fish very fast and it seems to lose some of it's fat content out of the fish. I've heard if you slow smoke it, say 80 for 2 hrs, 100 2hrs, 120 2hrs up to 160 degF etc until the fish reaches 160 temp is a better solution and you do not lose the fat content. The existing smoker cannot do this.
I purchased the cold smoker adapter for MES's and am waiting for that to show up. I was thinking I could adapt that unit to the older MES Smoker that I have and produce a colder smoke. Then I'd have to manually adjust the temperature to maintain the temps I'd like to see. This should produce smoke at 100degF and up...
This will require manual control. I've looked at the Auberin Units that provide step control for temperature and auto shut off etc. That's about 200 bucks.
My questions are:
I'd have about 250 bucks into the MES with Smoke Generator and Auberin Controller. Would this be a pretty solid unit? Or, should I investigate other smokers that may be better? I looked at the first gen MES40, but the digital control just maintains temp unlike the auberin that has step control.
I don't plan on doing this commercially at this time, but I'm getting a ton of requests for more smoked fish and want to "up my game" a bit.
Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!