Author Topic: Can I cold smoke during hot weather?  (Read 3648 times)

Offline Carnivore

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Can I cold smoke during hot weather?
« on: June 14, 2013, 10:21:16 PM »
I'm loaded with king and silver salmon from recent fishing trips to Alaska and BC.  I would really like to cold smoke some of it.  However, I live in Dallas and it's hot down here.  The low temperature in the morning is mid to high 70's.  I read Spyguy's recipe and he says if the salmon gets over 80F it's ruined. 

This comment from his recipe has me particularly concerned:  "Doing it this way maintains 60-75 degrees when it’s -10 outside."

It never gets close to -10 here.  In the winter we may get a few days below 30F, but not many.  Is there any way for me to cold smoke in these warmer temps down here or am I stuck with hot smoking?

Thanks, C

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Can I cold smoke during hot weather?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 02:25:29 AM »
Hi Carnivore;

Welcome to the forum.

Spyguy's remark of  "Doing it this way maintains 60-75 degrees when it’s -10 outside."; I believe is to give an example that placing ice and/or snow in the Bradley, even at -10 you will get the cabinet temperature up to the proper smoke temperature. I'm not sure but I believe he is Canadian and the -10 is measured in Celsius, while he used Fahrenheit for the 60-75 degrees. So -10 would be 14°F. Still that is much colder then the high 70's

I just cold smoke some salmon a couple of days ago, with the ambient temperature at about 60°F. I was in a hurry and didn't offset the generator. With the vent wide open, I preheated the bisquette burner, and kept the salmon in the refrigerator until it was time to place  the salmon in the smoker. I don't like using ice in the smoker because I feel it impedes the flow of the smoke, but if you have to use ice, it is best to do so. If using ice, remove the drip pan, that will help the flow of the smoke, you don't need that in place when cold smoking salmon.

Then once the smoke was rolling I placed my fish in the smoker and shut the door. Prior to placing the salmon in the smoker, I opened the door and fanned the cabinet to disperse any buildup heat. I applied smoke for 1:40 hours. the first hour the temperature stayed below 80°; closer to 75°. The last 40 minutes the temperature began to climb and I crack the door open with a piece of 1/4" dowel. That keep the temperature below 85°, and my "lox" came out great. Though if you can keep the temp below 80°F, that is best.

So if your lowest ambient temperature is the high 70's, definitely use ice, that will help keep the cabinet temperature down, cold smoke during the coolest part of the day, and off set your generator by using a cold smoke setup if you can. Even using these methods, you may find you need to crack the door open and/or open the door to fan the cabinet to drop the temperature. Don't worry about cracking the door open or fanning the cabinet, your salmon will have plenty of smoke flavor.

What's A Cold Smoke Setup
Click on "John Watkins' Cold Smoke Adapter".


Offline Carnivore

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Re: Can I cold smoke during hot weather?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 12:35:28 PM »
Many thanks for the info, HS.  Very helpful!