Cold Smoker

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snagman
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Cold Smoker

Post by snagman » Sat Mar 31, 2012 01:07

For those of us in temperate climates, cold smoking is a challenge, even in winter. Here the so called winter is short and not that cold really, leaving some eight months in which cold smoking is nearly impossible. The addition of ice works to a degree, but it is hard to keep up with the requirements. I built this smoker from plywood. The bottom section which is separated, has a compresssor, the type used by commercial refrigerators, usually remote from the cabinet. Here, it is driving refrigerant to a copper coil arrangement in the top section. A fibre glass trough, piped to the outside removes the condensate. A small computer fan circulates the cold air in the smoking chamber. Incoming air is controlled via adjustable vents. Last week tried it with salmon, the outside temperature of 24 degrees was reduced to 11, and the compressor was set to its lowest pressure. The compressor cycles on/off depending on the pressure setting. These units are available everywhere, new and second hand, just need a refrigeration mechanic prepared to do the installation if one can't do it, and that includes me. I use a pellet smoker inside, similar to the Amazen units, which smoulders, adding some 12 degrees to the internal temperature. A remote smoking unit could also provide the smoke, piped in.
Regards, Gus

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Devo
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Post by Devo » Sat Mar 31, 2012 01:13

Well now thats very interesting :mrgreen:
ssorllih
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Mar 31, 2012 02:01

You seem to get about 24°F. reduction in temperature. Your workmanship is lovely and your approach is excellant. Pipe your smoke in and gain a couple of degrees. Will insulation help?
We are approaching our warm season. Today has been cool but next week promises to be quite a bit warmer. We should not be safe from frost for six more weeks.
Ross- tightwad home cook
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Chuckwagon
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sat Mar 31, 2012 04:10

Gus ol' pard,
That is fabulous. Great craftsmanship and detail.
Don't you think you should ship it to the US and let Uwanna and me "test" it out for you? Say, until about the year 2037 when, of course, we shall return it completely in tact with our... uh... recommendations. :roll: Nice job Snag-O :wink:

Best Wishes
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
snagman
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Post by snagman » Sat Mar 31, 2012 04:18

ssorllih wrote:You seem to get about 24°F. reduction in temperature. Your workmanship is lovely and your approach is excellant. Pipe your smoke in and gain a couple of degrees. Will insulation help?
We are approaching our warm season. Today has been cool but next week promises to be quite a bit warmer. We should not be safe from frost for six more weeks.
Thanks for the comments Ross. One criteria was that the unit be small, and self contained, living as it is on a deck which is used for outdoor entertainment, so a separate smoke box was ruled out. The compressor can be set to literally freeze temp, so I am not concerned with the smoke generator inside it, and wood is an excellent insulator.
Regards, Gus
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Post by vagreys » Sat Mar 31, 2012 05:07

This has definitely given me something to think about - especially after the warmest March on record.
- tom

Don't tell me the odds.
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Post by crustyo44 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 06:29

Hi Gus,
The finished smoker with the drain looks good Mate. No doubt I will hear from you how the salmon turned out.
Regards,
Jan.
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