Author Topic: Racks for Smoking Nuts  (Read 7147 times)

Offline JJC

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Racks for Smoking Nuts
« on: January 03, 2005, 05:44:11 am »
Hi All,

Chez thought this might be of interest to folks who are thinking of smoking nuts with their BS.

I recently smoked a large batch of pistachios for 2 hr using hickory pucks, vent wide open, and no heat (ie, smoke generator only) to keep the temp below 100F so the nuts don't re-roast.  To maximize the yield, I made baskets from hardware cloth that I purchased for a few dollars from my local hardware store.  It has approx. 1/4 inch mesh, so even small nuts don't fall through. The baskets are sized to be about 10 x 12.5 x 2 inches so they fit comfortably within the flat area of the regular racks.  To make a rack this size, use wire cutters to cut a 14 x 16.5 inch rectangle.  Cut out a 2 x 2 inch square from each corner and bend the sides up to make the basket.  If you haven't worked with hardware cloth before, be careful as the snipped ends are very sharp!

I use a 2 inch depth because I can put about 3 layers of pistachios (salted, in the shell) in it.  The nuts are loosely packed enough and there is enough space around the sides to allow the smoke to permeate well. Sometimes I use a wooden spatula (or my hands) to move the nuts around halfway through the smoke.  When I'm done, I let the nuts cool and then put them back in their original bag (or plastic bags) to allow the smoke flavor to equilibrate.

IMO the ideal scenario would be for the Bradley folks to make a combo Jerky/Nut rack.  It would be non-stick coated, have 1/4" mesh, and be 1.5-2 inches deep.  It would work just as it does now for jerky, and would double as a nut smoking rack.

John
Newton MA
John
Newton MA

Offline tsquared

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2005, 04:39:02 pm »
Good idea, John. I was thinking of doing some nuts but hadn't got to the point of building a rack yet. I'll let you know how it goes.
Tom

Offline Thunder Fish

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2005, 02:57:14 am »
When I smoked my Pumpkin seeds in October I went down to the hardware store and bought some Alum. bug screen.Lined the Bradley racks with that and it worked quite well.Just throw the screen in the dishwasher with the racks and your ready for next time.
Terry

Offline oguard

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2005, 03:57:27 am »
John
great idea.did you use stainless steel mesh?
if not what was the material?
I have some s.s. in the garage maybe I will give it a try.          
keep on smokin
Mike[:D][8D]
Catch it,Kill it,Smoke it.

Offline JJC

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2005, 07:55:43 am »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by oguard</i>
<br />John
great idea.did you use stainless steel mesh?
if not what was the material?
I have some s.s. in the garage maybe I will give it a try.          
keep on smokin
Mike[:D][8D]
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Hi Mike,

I didn't use stainless, but there's no reason not to that I can think of.  Let me know how it works.

John
Newton MA
John
Newton MA

Offline JJC

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2005, 07:57:46 am »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Thunder Fish</i>
<br />When I smoked my Pumpkin seeds in October I went down to the hardware store and bought some Alum. bug screen.Lined the Bradley racks with that and it worked quite well.Just throw the screen in the dishwasher with the racks and your ready for next time.
Terry
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Hi Terry,

That's a great idea, especially for really small stuff like pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

John
Newton MA
John
Newton MA

Offline Thunder Fish

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2005, 03:41:09 pm »
Be carefull of using galvinized (sp) metals in a salty enviroment.Zinc Oxide is not the best thing for the body to intake at high rates.
 Just a thought   [xx(]

Offline JJC

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2005, 06:03:19 pm »
Good thought, Terry.  Stainless would probably be the best route because it's relatively non-reactive, but you can't get screen in s.s. as far as I know.  Are you worried about aluminum reacting with the salt and/or acid?  I'll try to a little research into that for toxicity purposes--obviously the taste was fine or you wold have said something about it.  And you survived, so it can't be TOO toxic, but have you been acting funny lately, or noticed any strange tics?[:D][:D][:D]  There's some reason that people don't recommend brining food in aluminum containers, but I don't know why . . . Could be that long-term or frequent exposure isn't so good, or it may just be a flavor.discoloration issue.  I'll let you know what I come up with. If you (or someone else) already know the answer--please let me know.

John
Newton MA
John
Newton MA

Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2005, 07:54:12 pm »
From what I've been told, you can't put acidy foods like tomatoes in aluminum because they cause a chemical reaction that makes the food taste like metal.

FWIW, my local Lowes store sells SS screen material & that's what I bought to line my racks to smoke peppercorns. (And salt, but that didn't work.)

Kirk

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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2005, 08:59:35 pm »
Kirk,
That's my understanding also. Unless the metal is stainless steel, stainless steel coated or anodized, you should not brine or prepare brine in it. The salts and acids react to the metal, causing metals to leach into the brine, and into the food.

I forgot to add, that I once made a pot of barbeque sauce in an anodized aluminum plan, and store the sauce in the pot for about 1.5 days, and the pot pitted. So on second thought I would not use anodized aluminum for brining either. Kirk,


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Offline Thunder Fish

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2005, 04:02:06 am »
Not to sound "smart" just trying to warn the uses of zinc coated/plated  objects for cooking.There are many differant grades of aluminium availible for cooking and storing any food products in them.Not trying to sound like a " Metallurgical Eng." but any Zinc coated objects should not be used for food consumption as you may not even get to the "tic" part of it before it's to late.
 Just trying to help [:)]

Offline JJC

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2005, 05:24:41 am »
Hi All,

Did some research into aluminum and zinc toxicity, and checked with a toxicologist friend.  

Apparently it is quite difficult to have either chronic or acute aluminum toxicity unless you already have kidney disease, certain forms of anemia, or certain types of bone disease.  The problem with using aluminum for salt/acid food is that the aluminum oxide that forms discolors the food and imparts a metallic taste, as mentioned by Kirk.  The early symptoms of acute aluminum toxicity (nausea and vomiting) occur when about 2 gramsis ingested.  This amount is very unlikely to be released from aluminum screens or utensils under the conditions normally used.  The lowest lethal dose reported in animals equates to about 60 grams (2 ounces) in humans, which is a lot.  So while it's not impossible, it would be pretty hard to ingest enough aluminum to create a health problem unless you have one of the above conditions.

It's pretty much the same situation with zinc, though its marginally more toxic than aluminum.  Luckily, the color and taste is so bad if food gets contaminated with zinc that it pretty much prevents ingesting enough to get sick.

Bottom line:  stay away from aluminum and zinc/galvanized vessels for salting and smoking because it screws up the flavor, but it's not likely to kill you if you do happen to use it.

John
Newton MA
John
Newton MA

Offline Thunder Fish

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2005, 03:32:27 pm »
Thank you John,that was excellent investigating now let's get back to smoking our nuts/seeds [8)]
Terry

Offline Ian

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2005, 09:26:23 pm »
I have many times in the past in a pinch just used HD tin foil. just form it over the edge in the shape of the rack then take the knife and gash it top right to bottom left. you should have no problems seeing the out line of the squares, and since the foil is fairly ridgid it will support a fair weight. another time saver is that you can put a few racks together when slashing. in the long term just go to a restaurant supply store and pick up some pizza screens.[8D]

Ian {STEELERS SUPER FAN!!!}

Offline JJC

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Re: Racks for Smoking Nuts
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2005, 05:04:34 am »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Ian</i>
<br />I have many times in the past in a pinch just used HD tin foil. just form it over the edge in the shape of the rack then take the knife and gash it top right to bottom left. you should have no problems seeing the out line of the squares, and since the foil is fairly ridgid it will support a fair weight. another time saver is that you can put a few racks together when slashing. in the long term just go to a restaurant supply store and pick up some pizza screens.[8D]

Ian {STEELERS SUPER FAN!!!}
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Hi Ian,

What are pizza screens?  Just a dumb Patriots fan with an inquiring mind . . . [:D]

John
Newton MA
John
Newton MA