Monday, January 31, 2011

DIY - How to make a cold smoker

Cold smokers are used to cook all sorts of meats and cheeses. The first thing you will need to do is gather the right supplies. Making one can be very simple.

A grinder, and a drill with drill bit (size bit is mentioned in directions)
aluminum foil
one number 10 can (it is basically a giant bean can)
an electric charcoal starter (some use a soldering iron but they don't work as good)
you will also need a place to cook the food, you can use a barbecue,or whatever you like, i use a gas smoker that never really put out a good amount of smoke until i made this, now it works great!

1. First open the number 10 can with a can opener and remove what ever is inside (beans or whatever) and wash it out.
2. Now get your charcoal starter and figure out what size hole you will need to make. Measure the width and thickness of the heat tubes.
3. Once you find the measurements of the charcoal starter, you need to find a drill bit that is a little bit thicker than the thickness of the heat tube on the charcoal starter.
4. With the correct size drill bit, drill a hole in the can towards the very bottom. then drill another hole at the same width of the charcoal starter away from the first hole.
5. Now we will use a grinder to cut the remainder of the can in between the two drilled holes, creating a rectangular opening that the charcoal starter can fit in.

To test the smoker, place the charcoal starter in the can through the cut slot.
Place the can and charcoal starter in your barbecue or whatever you are using.
Now fill the can with flavored wood (any you would like).
Next plug in the charcoal starter and cover the top of the can with aluminum foil but make sure to leave a little opening for the smoke to travel out from.(i didn't put on foil for the picture, but it really does help when you want to control the smoke)
As soon as you see smoke coming out of the can you can unplug the charcoal starter unless using wood chips soaked in water then you will need to leave it plugged in a while. You want just the right amount of smoke, but that is up to you.
Close your barbecue and you will be good to start smoking.
Note: since this is a cold smoker you can throw the power cord into the barbecue and it will not get ruined, or if you want to cut a hole in your barbecue for the cord to go out; then you can use it as a hot smoker as well, it is up to you.
Place your newly made cold smoking can at the bottom of your barbecue on the opposite side of where your food will cook. make sure all of the vents on your barbecue are closed except the one closest to your food.
This way all the smoke flows through your food and then out.
Now you can place cheese and different meats on the rack in your barbecue close to the open vent and you have your own home made cold smoker that makes some great tasting food.

here are two links that describe the different types of wood you can use with different types of food.

Build this at your own risk, the use of sharp tools are required.

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