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homemade cold smoker...struggling to achive & maintain heat

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Here are two photos of my homemade Cold Smoker. Is there something obvious that I'm doing wrong? It takes nearly an hour to get the temperature right IF not 2-hours....hmmmm all advice and questions welcome. Buring at the moment with Almond chips tomorrow with Olive and Carob not mixed.


AlgarveColdsmoker.jpg 28k .jpg file  


Coldsmokerfirebox.jpg 27k .jpg file  

post #2 of 7
What temps are you trying to achieve? What are you wanting to smoke? When I cold smoke I'm normally in the 40-60 degree range.

Hard to tell from the photos how you are getting your chips to burn. We need more info on your process.
post #3 of 7

Do you have air flow through the smoker...  I don't see inlets and exhaust....

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

 Hi folks, thank you for you comments and questions. Very sorry for late reply we had storms and no internet.


1) we are smoking: chilies, garlic and salt. 


2)  We opened the vents underneath the kettle- fire box and thought that because the ill-fitting lid let out some smoke that there was enough air ventilation  to get the chips to smolder....but no go so far...temp staying at 21C  but I think I've been thinking ALL WRONG (shoot, not again!) I thought I needed to be a t 40C-50C for cold smoking but TODAY I found that cold smoking is best between 20 to 30 °C?   IS this temperature correct? 


Algarvesmokeductingshowingelevation.jpg 27k .jpg file


Algarvefireboxwithsmokeducting.jpg 29k .jpg file


Algarvefirebox2.a.jpg 18k .jpg file

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Success: we realized that the wood chips were still a bit too green...switched to tinder dry and opened the air vent at the bottom of the kettle drum fire box... maintain steady temperature
for 3+-hours now

post #6 of 7
post #7 of 7

Temperatures for cold smoked fish are best maintained at 70 degrees fahrenheit. The reason for that, is at 70 degrees, the fish is optimized for gaining a pellicle which is necessary for attaining the smoke. Now, depending on the humidity, you may have issues around the seasons, so its best to have some sort of heating and cooling coils to heat/cool down the temperature of the house (internal).

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