Author Topic: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?  (Read 10374 times)

Offline ceeuawlsune

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Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« on: December 20, 2006, 08:11:11 AM »
I was wondering if anybody has any experience with cold smoking in cold weather with the new digital 4-rack bs? 

I'm worried that the box might not get hot enough with just the smoke generator?  Is that ridiculous?  Should I be worried instead about the box getting too hot?  Damn you, fickle ambient temperatures!  I'm looking to you Canucks for some help here!

Help!

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2006, 12:42:36 PM »
I would be concerned whether or not the electronic components function properly in cold weather, but I am sure Bradley must have tested them in a variety of temperature settings.


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Offline ceeuawlsune

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2006, 01:13:31 PM »
I just ran a test - I turned on the smoke generator for 2 hours (with no pucks or food inside), and it was maintaining 79-81 F (from about :45 minutes into it through to the end).  The ambient has been right around 30 most of the day.  The temperature reading is according to the digital readout on the smoke generator on the digital 4-rack bs.

Offline jenbayjazz

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking? FISH
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2007, 10:35:19 AM »
I know that the cold smoke temp for fish (Properly Cured) is between 70 & not above 90 degrees. I read here on this forum and also spoke to BS about how hot the BS will get if heating element inside the smoking tower is not used.  It will not stay below 90 degrees was the answer I got. I saw a post from a person in the UK who built a cardboard box with a 4 inch dryer hose attached to keep the heat out of the tower and at the proper temp for cold smoking. I built one and tried it but the tower did not reach the 70 degree mark. It kept going down. Not hot enough !

Now all this being said I used my BS for the first time today. It is windy and around 40 degrees but I have the smoker in a place that the wind is not directly blowing on the smoker.  As I said I removed the cardboard box and attached  the smoke generator to the tower and just as I was told the temp moved up to just about 90 degrees after a period of time. The temp would have kept going up as bradley told me it would but I took action. I placed ice, as recommended by some here in this forum, in the smoke tower  in the catch bowl and that didn't help much. Then I placed 4 quarts (chinese plastic soup containers) of Ice cubes and 2 of those plastic jelly filled frozen whatever you call them in there too. I put all this ice on one of the shelves below the fish . I have a digital thermometer stuck through a potato so that the probe is exposed and have place it on the shelf with the fish - wire going up through the vent. The temp is holding at around 75 to 80 degrees. Perfect !

Hope this helps those having the same trouble keeping the right cold smoke temp.

Offline Wildcat

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 11:04:39 AM »
Nicely done and welcome to the forum.  You may want to simply clip your probe on one of the shelves vice through the potato.  I do not know my for certain, but the temp of the potato may influence the box temp reading of that probe IMHO. ;)
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Offline winemakers

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2007, 01:20:23 PM »
hmmm,

smoked potato..............................

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Offline jenbayjazz

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking? Potato probe
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2007, 03:16:20 PM »
Only the end of the digital thermometer probe reads the temp  inside a piece of meat or fish. I cut the end off a potatoe length wise so that it would remain flat and stable. The probe is pushed in so that the end of the probe is showing by about 3 or 4 inches. the part of the probe that has contact with the potato has no temp reading capabilities. The part that is sticking out not touching anything will measure the extact temp on the shelf that it is placed on.

I might even get another one for the lowest shelf to see hot hot that area is.

I use this idea with the potato when I'm hot smoking on a different unit. that is not on the BS. I have a smoker with a side fire box. the probe pushed through the potato lets me know what the temp is inside the smoke chamber without opening the smoke chamber and it tells me the temp at the grate level. It's very accurate.

Offline LilSmoker

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2007, 03:49:24 PM »
Seems to be a lot of conflicting info all over the net regarding cold smoking?

Some say the temp for cold smoking is ok at anything under 80F, where as others say keep a constant 80F some even say 90F ?

I've done quite a bit of cold smoked salmon now in the BS, depending on the weather, and whether i have ice in the box, i usually cold smoke at a pretty constant 69-70F, i always use the cardboard box chamber set up, when cold smoking.

I think 80F is given as a safety net, if temp goes a little higher than that, it starts to cook, so i believe provided you're under 80F all should be ok, maybe some stuff should be cold smoked at a constant 80 or 90F to give the right amount dryness to the meat or fish?

There is definately an art to consistent success at cold smoking i would say  ;)



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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2007, 06:26:49 PM »
Onions would work well in the bradley and are pretty tasty. Not so good on the lower level of an off set fire box unit = cook too fast, patato would be better then.

As said above, with the low bradley temps just dangle through the vent to a level you want works pretty good, not so much heat.

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Offline manxman

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2007, 02:46:46 AM »
 
Quote
think 80F is given as a safety net,


I agree with this cut off, optimum levels for cold smoking seem to vary between different people and range from 80F - 100 F but I tend to stick to the lower figure.

The "danger zone" for most relevant bacterial growth associated with food poisoning is often given as 40 - 140F (4 - 63C) but within that most bacteria multiply quickest at 99F (37C) i.e human body temperature, and at the quoted extremes (40F/4C and 140F/63C) growth has tailed off dramatically to the extent is has almost ceased.

Therefore by properly curing food for cold smoking and/or cold smoking at a cooler temperature bacterial growth is reduced considerably and temperature is perhaps even more important when cold smoking non cured food products. (e.g cheese).

90F to me seems a bit too close to 99F for comfort!

Coupled with the smoky atmosphere in the cabinet (reduced oxygen availability which most bacteria need) and making sure the product is as dry as possible (e.g. if you wash or soak something after curing dry off with paper towel) because bacteria generally need moisture, all the variables that bacteria require for optimum growth will be controlled in favour of inhibiting growth.

This is particulaly important for cold smoked products that are not going to be later cooked at a later date like cheese and salmon.

Optimum temperature for cold smoking salmon seems to be 70 - 80F / 20 - 27C.
Manxman

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2007, 02:53:39 AM »
Seems to be a lot of conflicting info all over the net regarding cold smoking?

Some say the temp for cold smoking is ok at anything under 80F, where as others say keep a constant 80F some even say 90F ?

I've done quite a bit of cold smoked salmon now in the BS, depending on the weather, and whether i have ice in the box, i usually cold smoke at a pretty constant 69-70F, i always use the cardboard box chamber set up, when cold smoking.

I think 80F is given as a safety net, if temp goes a little higher than that, it starts to cook, so i believe provided you're under 80F all should be ok, maybe some stuff should be cold smoked at a constant 80 or 90F to give the right amount dryness to the meat or fish?

There is definately an art to consistent success at cold smoking i would say  ;)




How true your statement is. I even seen the temperatures for cold smoking listed as between 60°F - 80°F. It comes down to what source you feel comfortable with, and by following that source's recommendation does it produce a good final product.

Some of it is art, but there is a lot of science in food preparation. :)

Manxman;
Excellent post. I was just ready to post the above when I got a warning someone had already posted during the time I was writing a reply.


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Offline jenbayjazz

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Re: Salometer Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2007, 10:37:59 PM »
Does anyone know how to use a salometer. I got one that goes from 1000 to 1250 g/ml / or 0 to 30 baume - what ever that means. I tried to find out by doing a google search but couldn't find a thing. ???

I've been using an egg in my brine mixture but I heard about this salometer and bought one. trouble is there's no instructions !!

Mark

Offline Stickbowcrafter

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2007, 05:03:26 PM »
A salometer measures the salt content of a curing brine. They help you gauge the solution accurately by means of a weighted glass tube that is read according to how far it sinks into the brine. Little salt, and the tube will sink way down; much salt, and it will bob along the top. Most tubes contains a marked piece of paper rolled up inside it that gives you the readings.

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Offline Wildcat

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2007, 06:15:32 PM »
I have a similiar instrument for measuring sugar content when making wine.
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cold Weather Cold Smoking?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2007, 02:41:40 AM »
I don't use one, but you need to remember to use the salometer only in salt water. After sugar is added the density of the water is changed and the instrument it will not be accurate.


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