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Cold smoking bacon with a mailbox - Page 2

post #21 of 37

It would have been simpler asking how to cook an egg. Whatever it is you do, it will be a learning experience so keep good notes. Just grab the bull by the horns and hope for a soft landing.

 

T

post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. If I can get the amnps to stay lit I think I will give it a go tonight. On the test burn it looked like a lot of smoke was just hanging out in the smoker. I'm wondering if putting a light bulb on the top rack will get some more draft going. I could probably put it I. The bottom as well. The temps have been in the upper 30s at night. Will take some notes and let you know what happens.
Jason
post #23 of 37

Your lightbulb may well work. When I have draft issues due to smoke temps being the same or lower than the ambient temp, I use a simple aquarium air pump to push air past the tray type smoke generator. It provides just enough air to keep the smoke moving through the 22cf. product chamber.

 

T

post #24 of 37

Did a test for you on my 22 cf. cold smoke product cabinet. It is a converted, well insulated, soda cooler with an florescent light along the door. 

Ambient temp 73° product cabinet temp 69° -  florescent light off

Ambient temp 74° product cabinet temp 84° -  florescent light on

 

The temp difference with the light on would be enough to create air flow.

 

Hope this helps.

 

T

post #25 of 37

Great help with a great test....    Thumbs Up .....

post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the test mr T. I also took my chicken light apart and stuck it in. I was also able to maintain about 10 above ambient. I still can't keep the amnps lit. I tried nuking the pelets again. Almost light the microwave on fire. They still die out after about 30 minutes. I have about 25 1/4 inch holes drilled in the mailbox and it still won't stay going. I was hoping with the light in the cabinent would get a draft going and suck enough oxygen into the box and keep it going. No dice. Decided to throw the tube back in and hope it doesn't ruin the bacon. The fry test wasn't as good as the last batch. I liked the salt level. I used pops brine again. I put in 1/2 cup salt per gal this time. I think the salt level is on. It just didn't have the yummy cured bacon flavor like the last batch had. We will see how it turn out in a few days after it rests. I used the pitmasters blend I this batch in a shorty amnts. I will try the amnps again tomorrow and get that working better.
Thank you guys for the tips and hints. Will let you know how it turns out
Jason
post #27 of 37

The AMNPS can be temperamental if it doesn't have sufficient air flow, it gets too cold or the pellets are cold or wet. Some pellets just seem to burn more reliably than others. I am not sure what altitude you are at but many on here have reported difficulty keeping it alight at higher altitudes. The reliability of the burn depends on several factors and whilst some do not seem to have a problem with reliability others do.

 

The mailbox orientation is not ideal for keeping it alight under non-ideal conditions as it burns for some of the time with the air flow and at other times against it. I used to have a problem with burn reliability until i rotated the AMNPS through 90 degrees so that it was never burning against the air flow. This means that the burn is always heating the new pellets in front of it helping to keep them dry. 

 

 

Augmenting the air flow also helps both keep the generator alight and also to keep a good flow of smoke through the chamber. Rather than pump air in through the smoke generator I prefer to suck it out through the flue. When pumping air in you can have the effect of fanning the burn in the generator which makes it burn faster and hotter and produce more smoke. By sucking the air through the flue the flow of air is maintained - but at a more gentle rate. The easiest way to increase the flow is by using a small computer cooling fan. If you can get one that is variable speed then that is ideal. You don't even need to permanently fix it to the smoker as it can be held in place with something like bluTack while you are cold smoking. One I use for this purpose is the SilverStone

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=118&area=en

 

I do not have a photo of it connected to a UDS but here is one of it temporarily in place on a Weber Kettle.

 

 

This isn't using a mailbox but you may find this useful for tips on preparing the pellets for a smoke.

 

 


Edited by Wade - 5/7/16 at 8:31am
post #28 of 37

Perhaps we can start narrowing the problem down. Does your smoke generator work outside the mailbox?

 

T

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T 59874 View Post
 

Perhaps we can start narrowing the problem down. Does your smoke generator work outside the mailbox?

 

T

 

Yes - Which problem are we going to narrow down first, It seems that there are a couple of separate but related issues here...

  1. The initial problem was that using the tube smoker in the UDS the bacon came out too bitter to eat after only 6 hours
  2. Then when trying to swap out the tube smoker for the AMNPS Jason could not get the AMNPS to burn reliably.

 

I think that we need to look at both the air flow through the smoker and the generator itself

post #30 of 37

Seems the answer to #1 would be too much smoke or the  smoke applied was not clean and # 2 possibly not enough air. Time will tell as we work one problem at a time.

 

 

T

post #31 of 37
Thread Starter 
Update: lit the amnps on top of my uds with a fresh batch of pitmasters that I nuked for 1.5 minutes. It has stayed lit for almost an hour now and was puffing out some good smoke without signs of slowing down. I placed it in the mailbox and will see if it stays going. The batch that failed to stay going I nuked for 1 min. So I nuked for 2 minutes and it still died in the box. I'm guessing it's airflow in the box. When I get the smoke flow figured out I can get the flavor nailed down. I think I need to order something other than pit masters. I have some cob for the last belly I have cured. I put another belly in some brine this morning.
Jason
post #32 of 37

Pics of your MB please...

post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 

So I drilled 9 more holes in the side of the box. I put some ground apple wood in the amnps and it has been putting off some real light smoke for about 2.5 hours. It was still going a minute ago when I checked.
Sorry for the poor quality of pics.
If the amnps keeps burning like it has I think adding he additional holes helped supply the airflow. If I would have thought a little more about it I would have liked to try drying out the pellets a bit more. Before drilling the holes. Now to work on he flavor.
Jason
post #34 of 37

Dave will help you out with the MB. I use an retired wood stove for my firebox. From the pics it looks like a little elevation of your smoker might help as well. Perhaps setting it on cinder blocks would be enough.

 

T

post #35 of 37

I'm looking but can't see any holes in the MB door......   

 

My MB..... 3  each 3/4" holes....

 

post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 
The biggest drill bit I could find was a 1/4. I got a 3/4 today and will blow out the holes in the door. The smoker is sitting on top of a brake drum the mb is on a 2x4 on the ground
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDutchguy View Post

The biggest drill bit I could find was a 1/4. I got a 3/4 today and will blow out the holes in the door. The smoker is sitting on top of a brake drum the mb is on a 2x4 on the ground

 

Dave has you going on the MB. Now raise the smoker so there is more of an incline. You are getting there.

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