Cold smoking

stratts

Well-Known Member
Anyone got any experience of using the Pro Q cold smoke generator?

I started my cold smoker project last night and with the help of the kids we knocked this up out of offcuts of ply and timber I got from work. Got some hinges and padbolts to create a door, a sliding vent to go in the panel above the door and some stainless tube and brackets for hanging and supporting the wire racks.



I am torn between creating a seperate firebox piped to the smoker box via 4" ducting & baffles which is cheap or paying for the Pro Q smoke generator that would keep things nice and compact, but doesn't allow for much variation in heat or smoke.

Oh and I've never cold smoked anything before so any tips are greatly received too!!

Stratts
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
I did a lot of smoking with one when I first started. Great wee tool. If you get one you won't regret it Longest I ever had mine burning for was about 15 hours on one fill.

That cabinet looks to be just the job, mate. You'll find after a few uses that it starts to discolour & take on a gorgeous aroma. I have a Bradley now, but you'll probably find you can eventually leave cheese in the cabinet for a day or so and it'll flavour it without any actual smoke.

For cold-smoking meats & fish, get yourself some Cure1 (or Prague Powder1.......same thing) and add this to your brines in the recommended quantity. In our climate, the chances are temperatures could get into the danger zone of 25-30C & this case)n promote botulism. The use of cure (or nitrites) prevents this completely..........DON'T listen to any crap about them being bad for you. It's all complete & utter bilge.

Have a read up on the use of cures and brines? There's a shedload of info' out there, but if you get stuck just ask :thumb:
 
Last edited:

stratts

Well-Known Member
Thanks mate I've had the powders and other bits and bobs for ages just never got round to doing it! Someone bought me a smoking and curing kit for xmas and it kick started things off again!!

One of my aims this year is to actually get off my arris and do the things I keep saying I'm going to. Next project is a clay pizza oven for the garden ready for summer!
 

Cootmeurer

Well-Known Member
Oh where to begin? Smoking meat/fish is a passion throughout parts of the US. Asking specifics is much like asking favorite caliber or make/model - a hundred right answers.

Personally, I prefer a warm/moist smoke - but then I mainly do pork. When doing wildfowl I always brine first, go with a much lower smoke temp, and prefer to use a fruit wood. For fish (oily fish work best, flaky fish just falls apart), I sugar brine, then use a "soft" hardwood.

for a cold smoke, I prefer a fruitwood and an indirect fire pit.

good luck with it, not much creates more epicurean foreplay than a good smoky aroma!
 

NOTSHARP

Well-Known Member
I built a cold smoker many years ago.

I had a remote firebox, with ductwork to the smoke chamber, and used a mix of oak and apple sawdust.

I dry salted, and smoked, trout, pheasant, woodcock, woodpigeon, mallard, cheese, hard boiled eggs.

This has bought back very fond memories. I may just build another one.



Steve.
 

pete evans

Well-Known Member
I just did a search for smoke generators and it seams that a cheap in box solution is a soldering iron in a tin can of saw dust. some people were suggesting that results were on a par to the one you mentioned.

Anyone got any experience of using the Pro Q cold smoke generator?

I started my cold smoker project last night and with the help of the kids we knocked this up out of offcuts of ply and timber I got from work. Got some hinges and padbolts to create a door, a sliding vent to go in the panel above the door and some stainless tube and brackets for hanging and supporting the wire racks.



I am torn between creating a seperate firebox piped to the smoker box via 4" ducting & baffles which is cheap or paying for the Pro Q smoke generator that would keep things nice and compact, but doesn't allow for much variation in heat or smoke.

Oh and I've never cold smoked anything before so any tips are greatly received too!!

Stratts
 

Neumo

Well-Known Member
I picked up a 'Cold Smoke Generator' at the CLA Game Fair last year and it is very good at what it does. It does cost a bit to buy but is well built and should last a long time.

Building a smoker box is on my To Do list for this year so I think I will get on that next week, having been inspired by your creation.
 

stratts

Well-Known Member
Got it finished today and had a quick experiment with some oak shavings but couldn't get them to stay smouldering very long!! They may just be a bit damp after being in the garage so long!!





Just need to get some wire racks to go on the brackets and I used some stainless steel pipe and munson rings for hanging from.



I think I'm going to try the remote box 1st to keep costs down. My mentor told me about a sawdust fire he used to have in his workshop so we're going to try and make a mini version to create the smoke using an old calor gas bottle cut down. Will post the progress and results,

Stratts

PS
If you build one in a garage or workshop make sure you can get it out when it's done!! I only have a single door now and had to remove the roof to get it out!! Luckily the rest just fitted through but it was close!! :doh:
 
Last edited:

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
That looks great! :thumb: To be honest, you could save yourself a lot of pain & just buy the Pro-Q straight out? Speaking from painful experience, it'll save you a lot of hassle!
 

Garybeechener

Well-Known Member
Strats

PM me your address I have a load of Walnut Shavings I will ship you some, you can try it sometime. Took a Walnut tree some time back and these are the remains from the shaping in December.
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
That's a really kind offer, but be very careful with walnut. It lends a really bitter taste........Sorry Gary, don't mean that to sound as though I'm putting your offer down. It's similar to mesquite in that it needs careful attention and is best used with strong-flavoured meat like venison. Probably not the best one for a novice to begin with as it could easily put them off.

Best woods for smoking are the hard fruit woods such as apple, cherry, pear (if you can get it) Oak and beech are probably the easiest to manage to start with though, and they're plentiful. The Scandinavians, Bavarians, Germans, etc all use a large amount of softwood for their smoking, and you'll find this lends a resinous flavour. It contains a lot of carcinogens though, so best used very sparingly (if at all)

Best advice I can offer? get the Pro-Q, try out some beech & oak on simple recipes to begin with. A few pieces of supermarket salmon, covered in salt (and Cure1 as directed) for an hour or so, then given an overnight cold smoke over oak is a real winner. Chicken breast also works really well with a dry salting for half an hour, then a few hours over smoke.

Just be careful to make sure the chamber remains cool...........15C is really as warm as you want it to get, but as long as it remains below 30C you shouldn't worry :thumb:
 

Ben P

Well-Known Member
If you are in the market for a smoke generator these guys get good reviews.

Smokai

i am midway through building a smoker out of an old oil drum and have been trying to decide between a generator or smoke box........might take advantage of the oil drum and go for a hot smoker and copy your design for cold????

Regards

BP
 

Buchan

Well-Known Member
BUy the pro-Q!
I did a smoking course in Shap, very good it was too. The Smoky Jo book from the course is nice and simple (if occasionally a bit twee).
 

stratts

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys and especially for the offer of the walnut but by the sound of it I'll be better off learning the ropes 1st. We've just had a walnut tree trimmed at work so at a later date the logs will still be there to try out.

I'll use the Pro Q as a backup plan as I love trying to recycle stuff that is destined for the skip at work and it keeps me happy tinkering in the garage. I've seen a few on youtube similar to the Smokai where they use aquarium pumps to send the smoke along and can regulate it with a dial. The pipework from the smoke box doesn't need to be as big then either. I'm sure my kids goldfish don't really need bubbles as long as the filter works ok!! :lol:
 

flyingfisherman

Well-Known Member
Ok Stratts!

You got my juices going enough that i used my day off to make a cold smoker, ive done it with a hot smoker, some stove flue pipe and a box.. ive used oak chippings to smoke one of my veni-hams.. See the pics.. not sure how long to leave it smoking for, although its a bit tieing as you need to keep putting more sawdust on every hour or so. Ive measured the temperature in the box and the smoke seems to add about 2 degrees to the ambient temp, which at the mo is about 4 degrees..











 

Legolas

Well-Known Member
Looks good Flying Fisherman! To be honest the ham would happily sit in smoke for a day or two, especially with the temps being what they are at the moment. As the density of smoke frome each smoker varies, it'll take a bit of trial and error to work out how much smoke you like for your own ham. A pro-q would give you anywhere between 10 - 15 (maybe 20 on the odd ocasion) hours burn from one filling which saves a lot of fannying about, but that said, there's a lot to be said for knocking something together and seeing it work.
 

flyingfisherman

Well-Known Member
Funnily enough Legolas, i ordered a pro-q from amazon last night.. its been smoking for just over an hour now and ive been out 4 times to put more sawdust on.. I'll keep it going until the sawdust runs out, probably after about 7-8 hours then it will be what it will be..

Cant wait to try some! Weighed them before the next step. no appreciable weight difference pre-brine and post, is this normal?
 

Legolas

Well-Known Member
Cant wait to try some! Weighed them before the next step. no appreciable weight difference pre-brine and post, is this normal?
To be honest I've only done a couple of venison haunches now so can't say what's normal and what isn't. as long as you monitor the weight now RE the 25% loss you should be right. Keep an eye on it though as they can loose that weight quite quickly.

I think you'll like the pro-q its a very good little bit of kit.
 

rosslamb

Well-Known Member
I would always go for a length of ducting when cold smoking. I've had a Bradley for years and even with the cold smoker attachment I messed up a few batches of cold smoked salmon in the early stages. Now I used a home made ply box similar to yours on top of my Bradley to cold smoke anything in small amounts. If smoking on a large scale I use a habitat that I got from my work which is meant for welding inside offshore, which is sealed to my garage floor,with the Bradley generator in the inspection pit.
 

Top