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Another Cold Smoking newb with a DIY smoke generator - Issues

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello, all.  I decided to branch out and try my hand at making a cheap cold smoke generator..  Using a soup can, soldering iron, flex hose, and a box.  Oh, and Apple pellets for fuel..


Everything works...  sorta..  "smokegen" is about 2ft from the smoke box.  smoke went from TBS to almost a brownish (creosote) and heat was nuts high..  Smoke box was vented, but it got way hotter than it should.  Once I opened the smoke box, I got a little flame out of the flex tube on the smoke box end..  So yeah, it was hot  LOL


Do I not have enough draft in the soup can, which causes the unclean burn and smolder, as well as excess heat in the smoke box?



Thanks, all!

post #2 of 19

Do you have any photos of the setup?



post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 



I don't have a physical photo, but since I'm at work, I decided to test my MS Paint skills..  As I expected, I'm on par with 3rd grade art :)


Vent holes in the soup can are 4x 3/8" on the top.  soldering iron is 7/16" diameter in a 5/8" hole.  Pellet load is about 1 cup, just covering the soldering iron element.


Edit/Update:   Tried making a couple changes this afternoon when I got home..  

Soldering iron no longer works..  Radio Shack fail..  So now, I'm back to the drawing (pun intended) board..  a39.gif

Edited by GeriatricGinger - 5/5/16 at 12:32pm
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
New smoker build.. this time i used the cocktail shaker method.. my problem now is that moisture in the shaker swells the pellets and chokes the burn down where it wont burn cleanly. 1/2" hole and (3) 3/16ths holes and fire screen level, (4) 3/16ths holes in the bottom under fire. Pump and venturi setup. It doesn't smell pleasant burning. Drips dark brown moisture from the outlet pipe. I'm not sure what to do to fix it.

Edited by GeriatricGinger - 5/8/16 at 8:55am
post #5 of 19

More air supply....   lots more air supply...  go back to the tin can smoke generator....    put holes next to the soldering iron and put the iron directly connected to the smoker...   or remove the iron and try 1 lit charcoal briquette... 

When using the iron, maybe, only submit the small tip to the pile of wood chips to prevent overheating..... on pic to enlarge....

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Would it matter that my enclosure is wooden construction, putting the tin can flush to it (referencing the heat factor)? Nice Paint artwork, btw! yahoo.gif
Edited by GeriatricGinger - 5/8/16 at 12:58pm
post #7 of 19

The tin can shouldn't get hot....   The chips are just smoldering...

post #8 of 19
when I used the tin can/soldering iron method.. I used the can upright with the iron going in at the bottom... I only had a 1/2" hole for the iron to go in... no vent holes... I found it slowed the burn down if I covered the can with foil and poked holes in the foil ... I used chips instead of pellets and I put the whole can assembly right under the cardboard box with the racks of cheese/eggs ... I made a couple of vents in the cardboard box...
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info, guys..  

I'll re-evaluate the design, and see what I can do to make these changes.    My soldering iron gave up the ghost in one trial run, so that's out.  I've considered using 1/2 a charcoal briquette + pellets or chips, but my concern is the amount of heat I was getting with the tin can/soldering iron method.  The cocktail shaker seems to still get quite hot, but both were producing heavy acrid smoke..

I may try chips instead of pellets in the shaker, before totally giving up on that.  The tin can method is still a doable item, but I don't think I'll use a soldering iron again.  


Thanks again, folks!

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

So I tried the shaker once again, yesterday, with dried apple chips.  It burned on a handful of ships for about an hour.  Couple of things I noticed..  the smoke would change from TBS to a brownish color, off and on.  

#1, I think my air pump is too small (i.e., not enough airflow).  After researching it a bit, I found that it is for a 10gal aquarium, so the flowrate is quite low.

#2, lots of moisture is collecting in the lid and outlet pipe of the venturi, turning into this brown sticky goo (creosote?), as well as finding its way through any crack in the lid and running down the vessel.


I'll get another soup can and retry the method Jck & Dave suggested, and go from there.  Thanks for your patience, guys!

post #11 of 19

I've tried every homemade smoke generator under the sun. For the price of every thing I've built I could have bought 50 AMNTS. or AMNPS. Bite the bullet spend some bucks and get either the tube or maze smoker or both. I have all the tubes and use them every smoke.

Or just keep playing around and not have any thing smoked to eat!


Oh yeah Todd's a great guy and his customer service is second to none.


post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Where's the fun in that? :P

Whatcha got smoking, there?
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 



So I said, why not..  I'll still pursue the homemade unit, though..  for giggles, if nothing else.

post #14 of 19

Great choice....   Now you can cold smoke daily while you mess with your "home made" unit....   Thumbs Up

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

I like to tinker..  Keeps my brain occupied since my job doesn't..  241.png

post #16 of 19
Originally Posted by GeriatricGinger View Post

I like to tinker..  Keeps my brain occupied since my job doesn't..  241.png

  Are you working on Capitol Hill ????    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

post #17 of 19
LOL.. good one ...
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 


Made a small cold-smoker cabinet today..  Test-firing tomorrow, once the vent(s) are in and the door is hinged.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

  Are you working on Capitol Hill ????    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Well, no..  But close enough..  Govt involvement, so...


I've been doing the same thing since '95, so I kinda operate on muscle memory and groundhog-day functionality.

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