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Cold Smoking: How cold is too Cold

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by jonr, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. I live in Central Ontario Canada, and today the temp is in the mid 20sF, and it's looking like these temps are here to stay. 

    I purchased an Amaze N Cold Smoker in mid November and haven't had an opportunity because of the cold air temps.

    I do not have the luxury of an enclosed shed or garage, so any smoking is done on my deck.

    I can usually smoke anything during the winter months, using my WSM and charcoal.

    I would like to cold smoke some cured salmon and different cheeses, but I don't want to risk freezing these items while their inside the smoker.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    Thank you
  2. jojo22

    jojo22 Smoke Blower

    Could go my route and modify a cardboard box with dryer vent and a fan, IMO it does not even put as much smoke in the house as a wood burning stove! I flip a cookie sheet upside down, and smoke right on the stove with a tin can and a soldering iron!
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I cold smoke cheeses at around 90*.  Over 100*, and you get melted cheese.

    If you're gonna cold smoke fish (or any protein) you need to brine first to kill microorganisms.  I usually just hot smoke my fish to avoid the whole question; always a tasty result.

    A thermal blanket &/or an electric hot plate would keep those temps up in your cold weather.
  4. Maybe you could use a work light - 60 or 75 watt bulb in your WSM. Watch your temps, I have a plywood box with two 75 watt bulbs for warming 5 gal pails of Honey. The bulbs are on a dimmer, the temp in the box can get near 200*  but you can't heat honey over 160* or it kills it.  Oh, they are incandesent bulbs not CF.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  5. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have used mine indoors. I actually put it in the clean fireplace under a cardboard box. Worked great. It really doesn't put off alot of smoke, but I didn't want to take a chance on getting that smell in my carpet or curtains. If you are concerned about safety issues you could always set it up in the bathtub or a sink. Just some thoughts.
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I hadn't thought about the stovetop with the vent fan on low...Great idea.
  7. Hope the range top fan goes outside, I know mine don't. Just a thought.
  8. Thank you for the many informative responses, all worth trying. Since I wll be doing some cheese this time, I'll try my Weber Smoky Joe Silver(must dig out from under snow) on the stove top under the exhaust vent. Will keep the forum updated
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    When I cld smoke I try to stay atleast around 80° minium. Then I go up from there to around 180° ish or so depending on what I'm smoking to.
  10. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My first bacon attempt two weeks ago was done Thanksgiving weekend using just the a-maze-in smoker.  We had snow flurries and rain on day one, day two overcast and windy.  Temps never got above 45 and dropped into the high 30's at night.  I had a cold smoke going for almost 48 hours before I got a nice color change on the bacon.  I'm going to do another set of bellies, but this time will turn the gasser on and try to maintain about 80*.   I'd be alittle concerned about everything freezing in your temps up there!  Maybe just keep one or two briquettes burning to keep some heat in the smoker.  If temps start to rise pile some snow on the smoker!
  11. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think that the WSM is really designed for cold smoking. I think that regardless of outdoor temps, you're going to have a hard time keeping temps low enough to cold smoke.
  12. jojo22

    jojo22 Smoke Blower

    AMEN!! This is why I vent it OUTSIDE!! You really don't want to put it under a range hood that just circulates air to keep steam and what not from above the stove!! Be SURE you are venting to the great outdoors, where the smoke should be!
  13. Move to FLORIDA!!
  14. I just did some cheese and almonds at around 45 degrees F for 5 hours. Came out great. Anybody ever smoke lower than that? A light bulb wrapped in foil would help it. It would heat it up but not too much.