Started Smoking… Meat!

Home Made Cold Smoker

Home Made Cold Smoker

So, yeah… Lately I took on a new habit. Smoking… meat, you silly! The need came as I was prepping some Hungarian Gyulai Sausage (post will follow soon) that needed about 8 hours of cold smoke, at 90 F degrees maximum. I needed a simple device that would house the meat, and where smoke went in then smoke went out. Here’s how I did it!

The Smoke Chamber

I started by looking for a galvanized metal trash can, which I found at Menards. Try getting the largest ones they carry. Then all I had to think of is was a way to get the smoke in and out of the thing.

Galvanized Trash Can

I cut two holes on opposite sides of the trash can — on one almost at the bottom for the smoke inlet and the other one close to the top for the exhaust. The idea here is for the smoke to fill in the whole trashcan for an even smoking pattern.

Cutting the Hole

Next I bought two 4″ flanges — one straight for the smoke inlet and one 90 degree angle for the exhaust  — that I adapted and mounted into the holes I cut in the trashcan (I fastened them with screws). Also I used HVAC tape to seal the joint:

DSC_0986 DSC_0988 Flared Duct DSC_0990 Smoke Outlet Inner view Smoke inlet

Once I had that taken care of, it was time to add the four bolts that would hold the BBQ rack from where I’ll hang the goodies to smoke.

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For the chimney I got about 15′ of aluminum duct and secured it using a ladder as it was too wobbly to be supported only by the 90 degree exhaust flange mounted on the top of my trashcan.

Smoke Outlet Adapter The Chimney

That was it for the smoke chamber.

The Smoke Generator

After deciding that I am not going to pay $50.00 (or more) for smoke generators, etc., and watching one of Alton Brown’s videos where he is cold-smoking a salmon in a cardboard box, I decided to use my existing Weber grill as the cold generator. All I needed was a Hot Plate, a small cast iron skillet, a 4″ to 3″ flange adapter and a 10′ extensible aluminum tubing and some hard wood for smoking.

I started out with preparing the adapter to fit over the vent in the Weber’s top using the same technique as earlier with the flanges in the smoke chamber.

Smoke Generator Adapter

Weber Cover Tweak

Then I simply placed the Hot Plate on the bottom of the grill and routed the cable through a small opening on the side of the grill. On went the skillet with the soaked hardwood chips.

Hot plate Wood chips ready to smolder

Next, I attached the extensible aluminum duct and fastened it with clamps on each end. I was so READY for smoking since I had some Gyulai sausage that I had just made! I also added a small 12v computer fan to the exhaust of the smoking chamber that will pull the smoke in a even flow.

For the first try I had to adjust the speed of the exhaust fan by using a 6v wall adapter that brought the speed down to a nice steady smoke flow. The temperature in the smoking chamber didn’t rise beyond 85 F degrees, which was great! Also I was smoking in 35 F weather so that might have also contributed to a low smoking chamber temperature.

This contraption makes a great way to smoke meat for curing all sorts of sausages, etc. Just made a batch of bacon – sublime! You cannot beat real smoke. Liquid smoke is an awful substitute you usually get on store bought bacon.

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