Many on the forum have added a mailbox (MB) or similar mods to their smokers. These mods are meant to cool the smoke and decrease the creosote entering their product chambers/smoker. In an attempt to help those who are experiencing a bitter taste on their cheese directly out of the smoker, I asked forum member driedstick to do an experiment for me using his MB mod. Hoping, the result would be cheese ready to eat with no bitter taste after being removed from the smoker. This in no way means that an equalization period isn't beneficial after smoking.
To produce a cleaner and smoother smoke, I personally use an external smoke generator either attached to or inside a cast iron stove which is used as a heat sink and a 8' run to one of my cold smokers. This intern provides products without any bitter taste.
Mass is needed for an efficient heat sink and an aluminum mailbox provides very little mass.
As mentioned above, I ask driedstick to use a small block of cheese to smoke as he normally would, but also place a 1- gallon zip bag with enough ice in it to simply lay flat on top of the mailbox. Optimistically this would help cool the smoke and collect more creosote inside the mailbox itself, rather than in the product chamber/smoker. Hopefully, the result would then produce a much cleaner smoke and cheese without the bitter taste. Of course, a longer run from the mailbox to the product chamber/smoker would be helpful in cooling the smoke also.
Thank you driedstick for your time and effort in this experimentation.
If anyone else would like to contribute to this experiment, please do so and post your results here.
Things to look for: Increase in moisture and creosote on the inside of the mailbox, a decrease in the draft, changes in color, density and temperature of the smoke.
Good luck and have fun,
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