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Having a Smoker built in Mexico.

rick-in-ajijic

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My wife and her mother own a restaurant in Ajijic Mexico that specializes in Smoked food aimed at the retired Canadians and Americans that live here.

She sells Smoked Chicken, Bacon, Pastrami, Smoked Lox, Pulled Pork and Corned Beef sandwiches.

They have been in business for 1 ½ years now and do pretty well so far. In this time we’ve used two electric Masterbuilt smokers and a cold smoker that I’ve built. But the electricity bill has gone from $250 Pesos every two months ($12 dollars American) up to $5,800 Pesos now every two months ($281 dollars American).  

So I thought it was time to have a brick smoker built.

I do a lot of cold smoking of Salmon for smoked Lox and also bacon for breakfast and sandwiches. I also need to smoke and cook chicken, pork and Pastrami in the same smoker.  So my thought was/is to have the smoker built under a roof to keep it cool for cold smoking but when I need to hot smoke I can build a nice fire also.

I hired a local contractor and gave him an idea of what I needed to have built and this is what we have so far. The work has gone on for almost a month and we are about half way done now.

The size is 5 foot by 5 foot and when it's done it should be around 8 to 9 foot tall. 

I'll post more photos as the work progresses. 

























 

tripleq

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You gotta love brick work. I would really like to see more pics of the roof coming together.
 

rick-in-ajijic

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They will have the roof closed today so tonight I will take photos and post them. They will cover the outside of the roof with square, flat brick tiles. 
 

dirtsailor2003

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Looking good! be sure and let us know how it ends up working. Share some photos of your smokes!
 

SmokinAl

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Wow, that's going to be quite a smoker!

Al
 

crankybuzzard

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That's really nice!

I too want to see more!
 

crankybuzzard

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that looks amazing!

Looking forward to seeing it in action
 

rick-in-ajijic

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Thanks!  I think the first thing I'll be smoking is my salt cured Kentucky hams I have in the curing chamber right now. I'm sure closely followed by a LOT of smoked chickens. 
 

tripleq

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Skills man Skills.

 That looks GREAT! Are you planning some kind of damper at the top to control the smoke? and for heat, I take it wood?
 

rick-in-ajijic

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Joined Sep 18, 2015
Yes there will be a damper on the top (currently being made) and adjustable opening in the door on the bottom. (not installed yet)  

I'll use wood for the hot smoking/cooking of chicken, pulled pork, ribs, and so on.

But for cold smoking I'll use a small propane burner in the bottom chamber to keep the heat lower. and place a steel bucket filled with wood chips and a lid on it that also has a adjestable openning to control the burning/smoking of the chips. This will be for Lox, cheese, bacon and hams.

In the summertime it's hard to cold smoke because of the ambient temps there normally around 85 to 90 in the shade. At night it's a lot cooler and in the past I've had to cold smoke over night. But I'm thinking when this smoker is done and the roof replaced over the top of it I might be able to have it cool enough to cold smoke year round in the day time. 

Right now in the winter it's not much problem to cold smoke. At night it's around 40 to 45 and during the day it's only 60 to 75 ambient temp in the shade is much lower. 
 

rick-in-ajijic

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Joined Sep 18, 2015
Well they got the smoker done yesterday. I prefer they didn't light a fire but the contractor insisted so he could check for air leaks. He also explained that he had special bricks made for the smoker along with using a certain mix for the concrete. I don't speak Spanish well at all but one of the things he said about how the bricks were made was they used horse droppings in the mix and they were baked to a higher temp. I don't question the Mexican brick builders much as they have been building ovens for centuries.

 







 
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rick-in-ajijic

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Joined Sep 18, 2015
I'll be spending most of the day today scrubbing the inside and outside of the smoker and get it ready to use in a week or two.
 

cornman

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That is sharp...I too wish you many successful years smoking to you and your family.
 

dls1

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That's a beautiful smoker Rick, and you're right in that you can't beat he Mexicans for brick work. It's in their DNA. Good luck with it.

Out of curiosity, is the restaurant in Ajijic La Media Luna?
 

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