Cold smoking advice

CigarStone

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I am new to cold smoking and I am looking for some help before I ruin any more cheese. I am using cheese to find the right set up, it's tough when the outside temp is in the teens and 20's, but I think I am making progress. Once I get the set up perfected I want to move on to salmon.

I have tried a few different things with my smoke generator such as my grill, a contraption I built, and an old charcoal barrel smoker. I got the best temp control with the old smoker but the cheese was overpowering even though I did it for 3.5 hours as others told me to do. I "think" the reason for this was two things 1. that the cheese was up at the top and the smoke under the domed lid became stale quickly and I smoked the cheese in stale smoke, and 2. the smoke generator was at the bottom of the smoker and therefore too direct on the cheese (but I needed the heat coming from the smoke generator to keep the temp above freezing). I have since cut a 2.5" hole in the lid and added a vent I can control.

I know the ultimate is to house the smoke generator in a separate unit and draw the smoke from it through the unit where the food is but the food would freeze in current circumstances.

Suggestions please?
 

Scap

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If this is you...
smoker.jpg

The forum you posted it on is where I was gonna recommend you look. 😁
 

CigarStone

For once, knowledge is making me poor!
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If this is you...
View attachment 38580

The forum you posted it on is where I was gonna recommend you look. 😁
THAT....is the contraption I referenced:) It didn't have the ability to pull enough smoke through it to keep the smoke fresh. So that batch of cheese will be used in various recipes. I'm pretty certain I will get more and better advice here than I got there:cool:
 
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bfreebern

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Ok, I'm interested now. I've never cold smoked anything, but my kids/wife have asked numerous time for smoked cheese and they just don't fully understand why I can't smoke it in my smoker.
 

Nihon_Ni

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Since you're using cheese, why don't you just taste it at some regular interval to figure out how long it needs to smoke to get the flavor profile you desire?
 

CigarStone

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Since you're using cheese, why don't you just taste it at some regular interval to figure out how long it needs to smoke to get the flavor profile you desire?
I have done this a few times which is what made me conclude that it was oversmoked, or done in stale smoke. The experts that I have read say to vacuum seal it right off the smoker and let it sit in the fridge for 10 days for the smoke to even out and mellow out.
 

bluue13

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I actually did a cold smoked cheddar in my small electric smoker. Vacuum sealed it and let it sit in the fridge for 3 months. FANTASTIC!!

If you do try to eat a smoked cheese anytime before at least a few weeks to a month it will taste ashy and underdeveloped for sure.
 

CigarStone

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I actually did a cold smoked cheddar in my small electric smoker. Vacuum sealed it and let it sit in the fridge for 3 months. FANTASTIC!!

If you do try to eat a smoked cheese anytime before at least a few weeks to a month it will taste ashy and underdeveloped for sure.
Do you recall the temperature in the smoker? I know it has to stay below 90F but I don't know if the temperature is at 45F if that's too low?
 

bluue13

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Do you recall the temperature in the smoker? I know it has to stay below 90F but I don't know if the temperature is at 45F if that's too low?

I don't. Its a "countertop" smoker so it just has sort of a cold smoke/hot smoke/slow cook option. Also it is definitely not "countertop." not sure who in their right mind would smoke food inside. I love the smell, but you'd never get it out.
 

CigarStone

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I don't. Its a "countertop" smoker so it just has sort of a cold smoke/hot smoke/slow cook option. Also it is definitely not "countertop." not sure who in their right mind would smoke food inside. I love the smell, but you'd never get it out.
I wonder if it could also be used as a bug bomb?🤔
 

CigarStone

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Since you guys are all following a theme of smoking in the cold.......in a cooking forum LOL

@jfields , @Keystone_Raider and I were at my cabin for a weekend in February and we were bound and determined to smoke by the fire despite it being 25 - 30 degrees out. We erected a tarp and sat under it the first night; we froze and our eyes and noses were stinging from smoke. The next day John went on a scavenger hunt and came back with my neighbors fallen down tin shed and built us an honest to God fireplace which reflected heat and took the smoke up above the tarp. We ended up being comfy in jeans and tee shirts. The neighbors thought we were nuts!:) Not good pics but you get the idea.
John's fireplace 2.jpg
John's fireplace.jpg
 

Nihon_Ni

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I have done this a few times which is what made me conclude that it was oversmoked, or done in stale smoke. The experts that I have read say to vacuum seal it right off the smoker and let it sit in the fridge for 10 days for the smoke to even out and mellow out.

Ahh, so then my suggestion won't work very well. I just read a bit on cold smoked salmon, and it makes me want to give it a try. I'm not sure I can get my smoker to operate at 80° but I'll see. I love lox, so if I could make my own that would be awesome!
 
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