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Cold Smoking on a UDS

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
One of my favorite breakfast sausages is just my basic recipe, stuffed, then cold smoked for a couple hours (with some nitrite cure added for botulism protection). Apple or cherry smoke and it's like eating candy.

Last winter I did several batches using my ECB, with mixed luck. With that, I simply laid down a strip of chips and lit one end, and it smoldered it's way across. But sometimes it went out, and other times got too hot. With cold smoke, the idea is to keep it under 70 degrees or so (winter smokes helps).

So I've been kicking around various drum options, from ideas I've picked up here and there. Using the UDS is an obvious advantage, as it's already built. But to do this right, you really need to control the flame and temps.

What I've recently tried is to use some charcoal in the bottom of a tin can, pile chips on top of that, use the lid for a damper and set it off. Worked great!

This video shows the level of smoke generated:


For cold smoking, leave it at this level for about 2 hours, plus or minus to your taste.

For smoking summer sausage and bacon, you still need the smoke, but this needs to run hotter. That is hotter, but under control. With most "in barrel" options you lose control of temps, which for smoking is important. You also have to watch how close the sausage is to the heat source.

General instructions are something along the lines of, "start with smoker temps of 130 degrees with dampers wide open for an hour, or until sausage is dry. Then apply smoke and increase temps to around 170 until internal temp of the sausage reaches 150, then shower. Hang to desired level of bloom". Those with Rytek's book know the drill.

Using anything but a hot plate, gas burner etc. that burns is subject to wild temp spikes. (Hot temps will melt the fat out.....bad). You gotta hold these low temps for hours for a thicker product like summer sausage. It's also desirable to run a lot of air through there to remove moisture.

So I've tried using a small basket, charcoal and the same can arrangement for "cold smoking". So many brickets in the basket gets you up to a certain temp level. To add the smoke, add the tin can with chips. Seems to be working. An actual field test with meat now looks to be in order.

Drum with hanging sticks in place. Works for most types tied with string.

A small charcoal load. I figure this should work like cooking with dutch ovens. Control the temp by how many bricks you use. To keep it going over time, just feed it some more.

This test used lump, but counting out bricks will give better control.

This was the goal. More charcoal will crank it up later on.

post #2 of 2
Ever since I saw this video, this has been my method to generate cold smoke.


I like to smoke cheese, and this setup does not raise the temps enough to notice. I use my Smoke Hollow vertical smoker for a smoke house. Been thinking about making one up using a barrel and the grills from my UDS.
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