Thursday, January 27, 2011

Building a cold smoker, Part 2 -- Making Smoke for Food

This is Part 2 of a jointly-authored post by Aryeh and Eli.
See Part 1 of this project on Tuesday’s post.

After completing all the component parts of the contraption, it was time to take it outside and fire it up!  We connected the hot and cold boxes using a 4” diameter flexible metal duct, attached to the takeoffs with worm-gear hose clamps.

To generate the smoke, we used a cheap electric burner with a cheap cast-iron skillet. Putting wood chunks in the hot pan caused them to burn, making the smoke.

The burner was turned on to the highest heat and we added hickory chunks to the pan.  Shortly thereafter came the wonderful smell of Magic Smoke.  But the smell was faint and was quickly replaced by the lovely smell of hickory smoke.

The fan worked like a charm, and as soon as we started getting smoke in the hot box, it was piped into the cold box.

We checked (and monitored) the temperatures in each box. The hot box generally ran between 100-200F (depending on when the tape holding the fan’s wires froze, so it got disconnected from the battery),
and the cold box never got above 50F.

We decided to test the smoker with a small piece of mozzarella stick cheese.  We let it go for a half hour, during which time Eli added some mesquite, because he got bored.  The piece was yummy, with a nice smoky flavor.  So we decided to put in a big block of the really good mozzarella. The block of cheese was put into one of those little bags that onions come in
and hung from the hook at the top of the box.
We left the cheese in the box for 2 hours.  Additionally, Eli added a bowl of honey on the bottom of the box.  The resulting cheese and honey were fantastic!

The next foods to take a dose of smoke include more cheese and lemons. I [Eli] think I’m going to try cherry or apple wood next, for a milder smoke flavor.  And then, it’s salmon, lamb, beef...


  1. do you need a milchegs and fleishigs smoker?

  2. We visited for 1/2 an hour, spent the whole time inside the house, and I still smell from smoke.

  3. For the cold smoking, we don't. Not 100% sure if we do hot smoking if it's any different than an oven. Waiting to hear back on that.

  4. this is a good cold smoker. it will give you quality food. this will maintain nutrition of food.