Cold smoking on a VERY damp day...

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by inkjunkie, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    This is the first time we used the Egg to cold smoke cheese. There is condensation on the lid of the Egg. And the cheese got a bit damp. Guessing it is from the "cold smoke" and all the moisture in the air? Had a temp probe in the Egg and laying outside of it, they read identical everytime I looked. Cheese, once we dried it, looks and smells fantastic....
     
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A little condensation is not a problem and if it tasted OK then that is good. It is important to make sure that the surface of the cheese is dry before you pack it - which I am sure you did.

    You can reduce the amount of moisture by keeping the outside of the smoker a little warmer than the inside and also encouraging more air flow through the smoker. Increased air flow can be achieved by adapting a variable speed PC cooling fan to fit over the top vent. I have just added a controllable fan to the outlet of my large cold smoker and it makes quite a difference to condensation.
     
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When cold smoking, the smoker and meat/cheese needs to be above the ambient temperature so condensate will not form... The egg has tons of thermal mass and is probably not a good choice for cold smoking... takes too much heat to get it above ambient.... More air flow, like Wade mentioned, will help....
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would agree with you Dave on a dry day however on a damp day I think you are caught between a rock and a hard place whatever you do.

    If the fabric of the smoker itself is cooler than the smoke (which itself is high in moisture) you are going to get moisture condensing as soon as it comes in contact with the side of the smoker - which can/will drip/condense onto the food. This effect is clearly noticable when you smoke during the day compared with smoking at night (in the UK anyway) - you get much more moisture forming on the food during the cooler night than you do during the warmer day.

    Yes, the thermal mass of the Egg will probably be making the condensation even worse. This can be somewhat lessened by warming up the fabric of the smoker before you start to smoke.
     
  5. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    I have cold smoked several times with the Egg, never had this problem. The other times I have cold smoked on it were dry days. I cold smoked bacon in it this past February without an issue as well. Couple days ago, when it was dryer, I did a test run with these pellets in the Egg. After 12 hours there was 0 condensation in the Egg.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What do you think you did differently this time?
     
  7. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Nothing that I can think of. But yesterday was very damp. Was one of those days that it wasn't really raining, just so much moisture in the air it was misty. We had some pretty good fog. On a clear day can see the trees on the other side of the river, yesterday not even the outline of the hills. Am going to wait for a dry day and do another test run. I very well may right up a small fan on the top of the Egg to see if it helps.
    Forgot to mention, I did wipe the cheese down before putting it in the fridge. Will be sitting a day or three prior to sealing, and it will be checked for moisture prior to sealing.
     
  8. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Just thought of something, not that this should matter. In the past I have used the AMNPS for cold smoking. I couldn't get that damn thing to stay lit. Filled it to the top, leveled and slightly compacted the pellets. I placed it on the 250* grate in the gas grill for 90 minutes. Held my small butane lighter on it for a minute. Let it burned for a timed 15 minutes. I have so little faith in that thing I always wait a couple of hours prior to putting the food in with it. Sure enough, it was out. So I used the tube I got from Todd. Love that thing, no drying of the pellets, fill it & light it...no muss no fuss...about ready to put the AMNPS in a box and put it away
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  9. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    That's why I can't talk myself into an amnps as bad as I want on for my mes I'm afraid I would never get it to work.
     
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I guess you folks need to read up on "dew point"...
     
  11. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I have switched to the tube as well. I was always having issues with my AMNPS on high moisture days. I had started to us a PC fan in my mailbox mod to keep it going. Now I have an 18" and a 6" tube. They work great. Smoke is a little heavier but I can't taste a difference. 
     
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This chart illustrates how a 10 degree rise in temperature will reduce the humidity level by 20%-30% ish.... If it is 60 degrees outside, and you meat, chees and smoker are at 60 degrees..... raising the temperature of the smoke, meat, cheese ect. to 70 degrees, condensate will not form.....


     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  13. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just talking from practical experience rather than theory Dave. Don't forger that even if the smoke temperature does get to 70 Degrees the wall of the smoker can stay far below that for a considerable time. 
     
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member



    I guess I should have said, "Use what ever means necessary to elevate the smoker above ambient along with the food being smoked so condensate does not form..."

    Did you read my first post ??
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  15. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think we agree on this Dave. Just a case of wording.[​IMG]
     
  16. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Ok smart guys...care to explain to me WHY this has NEVER happened before? I have never "heated" the Egg and NEVER has this happened before...
    I understand all to well about condensation forming from heat on the inside of heated area when it is cooler outsde.
    One thing I have with held, on purpose....I had one probe inside the Egg and the other laying on the table. They both read the exact same.
     
  17. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Sorry for not being as "smart" as you...this is the very kind of crap that makes me go elsewhere for information. Are you like this in real life or just here...
     
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Hey ink..... Don't read up on "dew point"... Then you will never know what it is... It explains "WHY" you get condensation .....

    Speaking of krap... didn't you give krap to Ribwizzard, the other day, when he was trying to help you ?? YES YOU DID !!! Tell you what...

    Block me and I'll block you.... and do not ever PM me again looking for help... you are beyond help....
     
  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    On very damp days just try to make sure that the fabric of your smoker is warmer (or at least at the same temperature) as the smoke and you will get less condensation. Now that winter is approaching I have moved my cold smoker inside to help ensure that the whole thing does not get cold.

    On a practical note though, when smoking something like cheese a little moisture is not a big problem as you found out. So long as it is only condensation and you are not getting drips from the smoker walls or lid - as this is likely to stain the cheese and can make it bitter. If you are looking to cold smoke something like salmon though you really need to do it on a drier day as one of the purposes of the smoking is to help remove moisture from the fish.
     
  20. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey, guys, don't need to get combative and come to verbal blows!  Take deep breaths..... soothe the nerves......   Differences of opinions happen, just respect each other.  Just agree to disagree and see the others' point of view and move on to more and better things.  Y'all can do your own researches and submit your results in the Articles section to help inform us all of your findings and help each other and all others to make this the BEST site for accurate information for ALL members and guests!  Thank you so much for listening and helping!
     

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