We have been smoking meat and other foods for several years. We enjoy the added complexity of flavors that slow smoking adds. We have wanted to smoke things that are not cooked at the same time. Some of these things include fish like salmon (for Lox maybe), bacon, smoke cured sausage, and even nuts. One of the problems with accomplishing this with conventional hot smokers or grills is that generating smoke requires burning wood and this requires heat. This is great for hot smoking (cook smoking) things like brisket, ribs, pulled pork, or Pastrami, but the heat destroys the texture of other things like salmon or cheese. The answer is adding smoke but not the heat of combustion that makes the smoke. Some people build special cold smokers to accomplish the task We chose to modify an existing smoker by adding a simple external smoke source made by Smoke Daddy.
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Smoke Daddy 8 inch Cold Smoke Generator
The cold smoker is a simple idea that works for us. The smoke generator is an aluminum cylinder about 8 inches long and around 2 1/2 inches in diameter. It has a 7/8 inch black metal pipe out the center of one side near the top of the generator. This pipe is threaded and is inserted into an existing smoker box through a hole drilled near the bottom of the smoker. It is held in place with a nut and two oversize washers. There are metal bottom covers and top covers. There is also an inlet for air pumped by an aquarium pump. The bottom cover is held on by a simple thumbscrew and the top has a wooden knob so it can be removed to add more fuel. The pump that comes with this configuration, there are several different sizes available, has a variable airflow adjusted by a simple knob. There is also a screen welded inside the large tube near the bottom to keep the fuel from falling through.
When we ordered our Smoke Daddy the picture showed the air inlet in the bottom cover. We got a call asking if we would be willing to try a modified unit that the owner had just begun trying. We accepted. We assume those ordering now will get this unit since it seems to work quite well. The bottom cover now has four holes drilled in it for ventilation. The air inlet is now placed directly across from the black iron pipe with a small brass tube extending from the inlet an inch or so into the pipe. The only down side we have seen to this change is a little more difficulty in getting wood chunks into the barrel of the smoke generator. The upside is supposed to be a cleaner burn making less cleanup after use. We were impressed with the effort the owner of Smoke Daddy makes to assure his product is the best it can be.
We have a warm smoker that is cube shaped and has a capacity of 20 pounds of smoking at one time. We drilled a hole near the front bottom of the smoker on the right side. This smoker has an inch of insulation in the walls so we had to move a retaining ring from its original position on the iron pipe of the smoke generator to a slot turned into the side of that pipe. By turning the pipe around you can accommodate depths up to four inches. We used apple wood and pellets to smoke a few different cheeses the first time. Taking the top and bottom covers off we poured some pellets into the smoker tube. We used a small blowtorch to ignite the pellets. It takes less than a minute to get them going. We added more pellets and some apple wood chips and secured the bottom cover with the thumbscrew. This gets hot so use a good glove or at least a thick hot pad. We had already hooked up the aquarium pump to the air inlet with the included tubing and plugged it into an electric outlet. We put the top cover on and ran the pump on high for the first few minutes until we had plenty of smoke in the smoker box. Adjusting the damper on the smoker and the air supply from the pump we got a medium smoke going and inserted the cheeses.
This Smoke Daddy is rated for 2 hours of smoke per fuel filling. The time will vary based on the type of fuel used and the amount of air from the pump. The 2 hour rating seems to be based on a light smoke. Adding fuel is pretty easy. The wooden knob on the top cover stays cool enough to handle if you are careful. Lift it off and add fuel. You may have to use a stick to get chunks past the brass rod, but it isn't hard at all. You can continue to deliver smoke as long as you have fuel. If you do wait too long and the embers at the bottom die out, just repeat the initial lighting instructions. Cheese begins to deform at around 90 degrees F. Above 80 degrees the butterfat begins to turn to oil. This doesn't really hurt the smoking, but the oil can absorb other flavors which aren't as pleasant as the smoke and it does cause blotching on the surface. During this smoke the outside temperature was around 65 degrees F and we never saw the temperature in the smoker go over 80 degrees. When we are warm smoking in the low and mid 90s we turn on the burner in the smoker to get the extra heat. At higher temperatures we burn wood in the smoker and don't use the Smoke Daddy.
Clean up is not too much of a chore. We took off the bottom cover after the Smoke Daddy had cooled and tapped the sides to get the residue into a small container. We used an alcohol swab on a stick to wipe down the sides and clean the residue off the top. It was ready to go again. After a few more uses we will take it off the smoker and do a more thorough cleanup.
The Smoke Daddy is a great example of innovative thinking that gets a small business started. I guess there are disadvantages with buying from a small businessman, but we find only a dedicated entrepreneur that makes us feel good about doing business with and gives us a reasonably priced solution for our needs. Try a Smoke Daddy. We think you will like it.
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Amount Paid (US$): 90.00