Originally Posted by Mr T 59874
It's not as much the smoke generator you use but, more how you introduce the smoke. I'm busy tonight but, will get back to you soon.
As you well know, you can take a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. I will take you to the water, you decide if you want to drink.
First a bit of history. Centuries ago, smoking food was a way of preservation. Communities had structures some two or three stories tall where residents would take their meat to be smoked. A fire was maintained inside the structure to provide smoke required to preserve the food. The residents would place and remove their meat, as they wanted. Old timers on the forum most likely remember smoke houses scattered around at houses and farms. Some utilizing fires inside the larger smoke houses while others with smaller houses placed their fires outside the house and piped the smoke to the house in order to cool the smoke and minimize creasote. Of course, these began to disappear when electrical appliances began to appear.
My first walk in smokehouse was built to resemble a three hole outhouse from the outside. The fire pit was placed twenty-five or thirty feet away and the smoke traveled through six-inch clay field tile buried a foot deep and on a slight incline to the smoke house. A fire was made using available hardwood in the woods where the smokehouse sat, hickory, maple, oak, beech and so on. After a good fire was started, it was then smothered and allowed to slowly burn until it went out. Believe it, there was no TBS here. By the time, the smoke reached the smokehouse it had greatly cooled down and a good amount of the creosote was removed by remaining in the tile. A lot of bacon and cheese was smoked in that three holer. This is what we want to replicate today only on a smaller scale and perhaps you will see were problems suffered today by many come from.
To help you understand the principles behind a successful smoker, look at it as you would a fireplace in your home. You have a hearth a grate and a chimney. The hearth is where the fire is placed in our case a firebox, a grate is what the fuel is placed on, in our case a tray or smoke generator, and a chimney, in our case a product chamber. As in a fireplace, the grate burns clean and the smoke travels up the chimney. As the smoke travels up the chimney creosote and other deposits collect on the chimney walls eventually clogging the chimney if not cleaned. The very same thing happens with food smokers only on a smaller scale. Naturally the hotter the fire the less deposits will be collected but, we are talking about cold smoking, not hot. I find it amusing that those who have used the smoke generators that produce voluminous amounts of smoke complain about the tar buildup on the inside of the generators and eventually mothball them. They do not seem to realize that the goo collected there is not being collected on their food, oh well, I have no problem cleaning mine.
Now, how do we replicate the smokers of old in today’s environment? We start by using a remote firebox and pipe the smoke produced by your smoke generator of choice to the product chamber, which could be your smoker or a cardboard box, whatever you want to use. The firebox is also used as a heat sink in order to cool the smoke as much as possible, the more mass the better. The pipe used (preferably single wall stovepipe) to transport the smoke will also act as a heat sink so the longer it is, the better the results.
The provided threads will help you understand how to use different smokes to your advantage. There is no need to worry about producing only TBS, by doing so you are hobbling yourself to a few products when by using different smokes in different manners, there is nothing that you cannot smoke.
I understand it is a lot of reading but, you will have a good understanding about smoking food products after doing so.
Enjoy and most of all, have fun.
My Cold Smoking Options w/Q - View, New to smoking or have a new smoker? -- "How to optimize your smoke",
AMNPS & Smoke Daddy Myths?, Understanding Smoke Management - updated 12/08/14, Smoke Color Chart.
Mr T's "Smoked Cheese From Go To Show" w/ Q- View