Author Topic: Converting a working frig into a cold smoker  (Read 6634 times)

Offline morgan1109

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Converting a working frig into a cold smoker
« on: June 24, 2011, 02:19:13 PM »
My goal is essentially to cold smoke at refrigerator temperatures to impart flavor and keep bacterial growth down. I would appreciate any help in the planning. If I have obvious problems, please point them out.

The smoke will come from my standard hot smoker. I’ll simply run a 10-15ft line of metal laundry duct (I assume the cheap plastic stuff would be very bad). By the time the smoke travels down the tube it should be near ambient temperature. The frig will be running so as to keep the salmon and cheese cold. I plan to make two holes in the smoker. I will use standard house metal laundry ducts to make cover the holes. Since they already make these to bypass insulation and such for a house I figure it should work to get the smoke into the frig cleanly. The second hole will simply be to let the smoke out. I haven’t measured yet, but I am currently planning on pulling the shelves out of the oven to use as shelving in the frig. That the plan. Feel free to shoot holes in it and comment on specific errors you think I am making. The frig will be fired up 2 hours before smoking begins. The hole will have covers on them until it comes to smoke. This is to allow it to cool down to the 40 degree temp I am shooting for.

I also have some questions if you can help:

1.   Where should the holes be? Should the input hole by low and the output hole be high?
2.   Should I gut the freezer to make it one large cold chamber or just keep to the frig section as planned? My thinking here is the extra chilling from the freezer could aid in keeping optimal temp, but gutting it would seem to expose the food to contaminants? I’m sure I could duct tape the gaping hole or something to keep contaminants (insulation) out.
3.   Do I need some sort of fan somewhere?
4.   Do I need to put some sort of flow control on the output vent to be able to control the speed smoke leaves the frig?

Again, any help is appreciated.


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Re: Re: Converting a working frig into a cold smoker
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 02:30:05 PM »
It seems to me that somewhere along the route from the smoke to the fridge theirs going to be massive condensation where cold meets hot. Hopefully not in the fridge. You may need a drip leg in the middle. Law of physics suggest heat attracts cold so this will put a strain on your fridge compressor. Just my two cents.

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Offline Up In Smoke

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Re: Converting a working frig into a cold smoker
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 02:35:35 PM »
There are many conversions here and even more professional converters  :D
I converted a small fridge to a cold far as where the holes should be
remember that cold air will fall, i originally installed the smoke generator low and cut the vent high.
after a practice run i had to move the smoke generator into the top of the fridge and drill 2 (my choice, could cut one i guess)
vents in the bottom of the fridge, one on each side thus creating a downdraft system.

As for the freezer...if there are any conversions there...make sure that you do not create any
condensation issues, such as surfaces above the food where excess moisture could build and
drip onto the food. (learned that one the hard way)

Wish you the best on your project.......and looking forward to pics.
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