I've been smoking cheese for many years now. All done on my hot smoker.
When working with a hot smoker you must be right on top of the whole process OR you get really tasty melted cheese....
Even if it does not melt you can cook all the oil out and end up with very dry ,crumbly cheese.(still tastes really good)
I have known how to build a cold smoker for years... just never found the time.
Just recently a good buddy expressed an interest in smoking cheese , nuts and vegi's.
Lining him up with how to do everything has inspired me to just build a cold smoker!
I have it all done but its just to dang hot out there to get a fire going.
I'll test run it in the morning and provided it works well I'll leave an update.
As you can see from the photo's there is not much to it.
The hardest part is drilling 4" holes in metal and wood.
The bricks are just dry stacked although I may clay mortar them later.
4" metal dryer vent, 4" aluminum pipe to couple .
Old stainless steel grate from a defunct charcoal grill and a piece of cement board left over from the shop dragon for a lid.
That's all you need to get cold smoke into a smoking chamber!
This looks great!
So, is the combustion chamber anything special?
It kind of looks like a pot or perhaps a tiny charcoal grill.
I've always figured on using the electric frying pan with woodchips method if I built a smoker.
I'm not sure if that's a hot or cold method, it just seemed easy.
I'm guessing cold smoking doesn't need to be very precise, since theres no cooking involved?
Can cold smoking preserve foods,or is it just for flavor?
Always wanted to build one too but never had a clue as to how to begin. Thank you for the inspiration and photos of how easy it is to setup with minimal tools and materials.
Off to the woods to pick up some dry maple....mmmm....maple smokey cheese, I can't wait!
Hi William; Thanks, I've wanted to do this for years. I just needed inspiration.
The "combustion chamber" is just an old charcoal grill.
Cold smoking is definitely for flavor.
Hot smoking is cooking , or very temperature controlled cold smoking. As I said, I have been using the hot smoker to do cheese.
The hot plate and chips method is a hot smoke, but usually I have seen it used for fish or jerky, might work for cheese.
I don't think it gets hot enough to cook roasts or whole chickens.
Good Morning all;
8 AM and just lit off the new cold smoker!
Functioning exactly as planned. With the gaps between the unmortared bricks and the roof just sitting there , it seems to be drafting properly.
The flex tube is very warm to touch right near the burner and is hardly warm at all where it enters the box.
I have the flex tube pushed in to be as short as possible, if my cheese starts showing to much heat, I will extend the flex tube and move the burner farther away.
Going for a 4 hr smoke , as we like a heavy smoke flavor. Some folks might be good with 1.5 hrs.
Now it is 8:40 AM. I just took my IR heat gun and checked temps.
Top of burner 175 F
Pipe 1' from burner 77 F
Pipe as it enters box 68 F
Current surface temp on cheese 64 F
These will be vacuum packed and put away for gifts...
Don't you wish you were on my Christmas list...
Three of these will be vacuum packed... the skinny one well, that will be cook's choice...
As I was busy doing other things before it gets hot , my fire burned out and these got just over 2 hrs smoke time... it will do.
They came out perfect!
The new smoker is a success!