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I think I screwed up...

Joined Dec 7, 2016
Ok, long story, looking for some advice.

So I built this cold smoker last year and had some success cold smoking cured loins.

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The smoker is supplied by a little smokey joe, two sections of aluminum duct coming into the lower part of the cabinet. Since last year I made some minor modifications and decided to go big this year. Bought 70 lbs of meat and devised a plan to cure loins, capicolas, sausage and bacon.

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All is going well, processed the meat and hung it in my cabinet. Day time temps were mid 40's night time about 10 degrees less. Let it cure for about a week and then hit the first cold smoke. The plan was to do a total of 24 hours of cold smoke broken out over 6 four hour sessions.

Ran the first smoke, used oak to get my fire started, piled on about 3lbs of Apple chunks and let it run for about 5 hours. Went great, exterior temps were in the mid 40's.

Second smoke was about the same, I used hard wood charcoal to get the fire going and used more Apple wood. Bit colder out and smoked over night. Noticed a bit of a off odor when it was done but it was super minor.

Third smoke was the big issue. Temps dropped to low 30's, I loaded the crap out of the smokey joe with Apple, temp went up, I think we hit dew point and created condensation in the cabinet. In the morning everything was damp and stank. Smelled like "thick" smoke and musty acetone. Very weird. I took all the meat out and hung it in my garage with a fan on it. Humidity 75, temp 35, I'm hoping some of the funky smoke will dissipate while I'm out of town.

I'm venting the cabinet and replacing the duct which was caked with some soot. The recovery plan is to get a oak fire rolling in the morning, let the cabinet warm up, hang the meat and allow it to warm up a bit then add a bit of cherry to add some color to the meat and hopefully get a nicer smoke smell.

Let me know your thoughts...

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SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 12, 2010
Put some heat in your cold smoker so the temp is about 60-70..  that will eliminate the condensate and should solve most of your problems....  


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Joined Dec 23, 2012
Had the same problem. My little firebox got way to hot, older OK JOE grill. It looked like it rained in smoker, wasn't sure about smell either.  50 pounds of bacon, funky color. Dried off and hung in fridge. Tasted fine no complaints from others.

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