Covered tray filled with ice? Will condensation form?

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by worktogthr, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Needed to smoke cheese because I am all out. Last night was about 55 degrees and with my AMNPS in the bottom of my MES30 and the top 3 shelves loaded, I had a little melting of the softer cheeses on the 3rd rack down.

    Was wondering if I filled a foil pan with ice and tightly covered it and stuck it on the bottom rack would too much condensation form. I'm almost thinking that an empty pan might protect the bottom of the cheese enough by deflecting the direct heat from the AMNPS. Mailbox mod is not an option I want to explore right now.

    What do you all think?

    Thanks!
    -Chris
     
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes it will work. I just use a foil pan uncovered & it works fine.

    Or you can freeze plastic soda bottles filled with water.

    That works too.

    Al
     
  3. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Al! I was just worried the ice would melt and let humidity into the chamber. Would frozen plastic ice packs work? I wouldn't want any chemicals or anything leeching into my cheese
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes ice packs will work.

    Depending on the temp outside you may have to replace them every couple of hours.

    I have also filled an aluminum pan with water & froze the whole thing.

    It usually will last 4 or 5 hours before melting.

    You could freeze a couple of those & switch them every couple of hours & put them back in the freezer to re-freeze.

    Al
     
  5. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks a lot Al! The ice packs worked out well! Smoked 10 pounds tonight. Love the way the house smells when it's resting on the counter. My wife hates it but she has a cold so she can't smell it haha
     
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use the older AMNS dust smoker, and 55 DEG would be no problem even in the small chamber of the Weber kettle I use for cold smoking..  No idea how much hotter the AMNPS might run?

    As to your wife?  How could anyone hate the smell of some freshly smoked cheese?

    Good luck and good smoking.
     
  7. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    When you do smoke in the kettle where do you place AMNS? Think the tray would work? Do you leave all the vents wide opened? Hahah my wife for all her good qualities is an "eat to live" kind of gal. Food just doesn't excite her. She could live on PB&J, cereal, and salad. It's a joyless life she lives haha
     
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, the AMNPS is a different animal.  From what I have seen I would assume it would run hotter and generate more smoke than the AMNS.

    In the small chamber of the Weber kettle, I just put the AMNS on the fire grate opposite the exhaust vent and close the exhaust vent about half way.

    Good luck and good smoking.
     
  9. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I fill up a 2litre soda bottle with water and it keep the smoker nice and cool
     
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This works Great---No added humidity.

    I only use it for Cheese:

     
  11. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I knew I got the idea from this forum. Lol
     
  12. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I ended up combining everyone's ideas and using ice packs in a foil tray covered in foil.  It worked wonders because I needed to smoke 30 pounds for a thanksgiving charity event and didn't want to wait longer for cooler days.    Thanks again everyone!
     
  13. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    I'm kind of in the same boat tonight.  I am going to smoke 5 or 10 pounds of cheese depending whether I decide to do some butter along with it or not.  But one way or another, some cheese will get smoked.

    The weather may not be as cool as I'd like.  However, in the past, for smoking some butter, I did resort to putting an aluminum pan full of ice right out of the ice maker in the smoker, and it kept things quite nice.  The frozen bottles of water seem like a handy way to go, though.  But since I don't have any already frozen, I guess we'll see what I need to do.

    Great ideas from all of you.
     
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you want to bother, the AMNPS will burn Dust at a similar temp to the AMNS...JJ
     
  15. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for that!

    The weather stayed cool, and the maximum temperature reached in the smoke chamber was 72°F at the end of the run.  So it worked well!

    But I may have to try some dust.  I've never used it. It's also supposed to burn more reliably than the pellets, which would be helpful at this elevation as well.

    I wonder if you can just mash up some pellets to get dust, or if it has a different "grind" and it'd be better to buy the sawdust already in that form.
     
  16. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Buy the right stuff from tood
     
  17. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I use dust myself for doing eggs and cheese .... the only thing is.. you have to smoke longer as the dust doesn't put out as much smoke as the pellets
     
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I get both Pellets & Dust from Todd, but I've read that a few guys have had success pulverizing pellets in an old Kitchen Blender.

    Bear
     
  19. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for all of that, guys!

    I have a LOT of Todd's pellets of various species, and really like the Pitmaster's Choice blend pellets for a lot of things.  So I might try blendering some into dust.  But the consistency might be better if I got the actual dust directly from Todd.  Still, the tinkerer in me would have to try mashing some pellets, of course!  :)

    I wouldn't mind smoking longer if that's what it takes when using the dust.  Or I could light both ends to double the output.  I saw a YouTube video where the guy lit both ends and the middle to get four times the smoke output.  Of course, then he had to add more dust and re-light if he wanted a longer smoke.

    One of the things I really like about the pellets in the AMNPS is the rather long burn times I get.

    As a more direct response to the original poster of this thread:

    I will add that I have used ice cubes in a disposable aluminum half-size steam table pan one time when I was smoking some butter.  It worked very well for me, and pushed the temperature in the chamber down by ten degrees or more.  If I'd had a frozen water bottle or two, that would have been more handy, but just putting ice cubes into an aluminum pan worked quite well for me that time.

    The pan was not covered, and I put it just above the AMNPS smoke generator so that the heated air rising from the pellets had to pass up under the bottom of that pan and then up around it.  So it was in the direct path of air-flow/smoke coming up off of the AMNPS.  It didn't drip onto the AMNPS, but it might have been fairly dry here that night.  I don't think I have any notes about that smoke session (shame on me!).
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    First things I think of when people put water or open ice cubes in a smoker is an MES. If you do that with an MES, you add too much humidity into a smoker that holds heat & humidity so well

    An MES works much better without adding more humidity. That's why I use a jug with about 3/4 full of frozen water. No Humidity added.

    The humidity also makes it harder to keep an AMNPS smoking.

    Bear
     

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