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Help with a smoker

 
Posts: 38
Location: Midlands, england
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I'm working as the chef on an biodynamic farm in the east Midlands, UK.
We have decided that it would be great to have a smoker to smoke cheeses meats fish and vegetables.
Basically, could you guys share any DIY blueprints.
We can source any materials but ideally we want something quite compact and simple to build and operate. Doesn't need to be huge. Was wondering if rocket stove designs could be used or if smoking food requires different airflow etc...
Any information on smokers that you guys think may be helpful is also appreciated. I have a rough knowledge on how they work but I've never built one or used one commercially.
Thanks permies - lots of love
 
Rocket Scientist
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Hi Samuel;
Great idea to smoke foods!  I've been doing it for years now and just love it!
You will want two smokers.  A hot smoker for meats and a cold smoker for cheese.
Here is a link to a post I made about building a cold smoker.
https://permies.com/t/144799/kitchen/home-cold-smoker
and another https://permies.com/t/131385/kitchen/smoked-baked-potatoes

Hot smoking large  chicken/turkey/roasts usually requires a hardwood fire .
https://permies.com/t/72230/kitchen/day-chicken-dinners

Hope this helps.  There is a post here at Permies I could not locate this morning.
A fellow over there in England built an outstanding cheese smoker, very professional looking.  It is in the cheese forum someplace I will try to locate it for you.

EDIT) I forgot your question about rocket stoves.  In general they are to hot for cheese.  Here is a link to Matt Walkers site. Matt sells plans for a RMH BBQ smoker.
Here is the link https://walkerstoves.com/brick-oven-bbq-plans.html




 
pollinator
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I do everything on a fire. How high the rack goes, how hot the fire is, what kind and size of lid I put over depends on what I'm cooking or smoking. Here I'm making jerky.  I might cook a turkey on a little hotter fire or a much cooler  fire to smoke peppers to grind into flakes. This was a prototype, I've since rebuilt it is much nicer and more versatile but I had this picture handy. Of course I don't do anything commercial.
Smoker-Grill.jpg
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Samuel Mcloughlin
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We have this "bbq" sitting doing nothing and I really like the idea of converting it to a cold smoker like the one in the link you showed me. Got a good idea what I'm doing now thanks! I'll update this thread as and when we progress it. Thanks to all replies I'll read through anything else that gets posted here.
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I do a lot of cold smoking during the summer moths, mainly mackerel but over the years I have smoked a huge variety of products ... cheese, chillies, garlic, all sorts of meat, fish and lobster etc.
My set up is really basic but extremely effective as long as you have the time to attend the fire.
I donโ€™t have any photos  to hand but I will attempt to describe the process ... basically I use a medium size oven pan and place that on a concrete block on the ground. Light a briquette BBQ in the pan and wait until it is white, then add small blocks of oak like kindling size or any off cuts I have, on top of the coals, I soak the oak for about 10 minutes in water beforehand.
I them put a large cardboard box over the pan and block, I use a flexible 100mm tumble drier hose (the metal type) to link the bottom cardboard box to an upper cardboard box that sits on a table alongside.
Inside the top box I place my food on racks and that is it... a very effective cold smoker ...
You need to tend the fire and add briquettes and wood every hour or so.
You can then throw away (recycle) the boxes and get more for next time.
9CA0421A-5160-43E3-B55B-DA1EAE9C045E.jpeg
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Samuel Mcloughlin
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Brilliant Scots thank you! Makes a lot of sense
 
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there is cold smoking and hot smoking, each is set up differently.
ive been toying with hot smoking of meats for years, love it, basically a place at bottom to make fire till you got good hot coals then put chunks of hickory, maple oak ect on hot coals to smolder. racks above is where you put meat for smoking. some good smokers have been made out of old file cabinets, make big fire in them first to burn out ALL  the paint.
 
thomas rubino
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Hey Samuel;    Here is a link to the thread with the UK built smoker.
https://permies.com/t/59922/kitchen/Vacuum-packing-smoked-cheese-storage
Well made smokers.
 
pioneer
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On what scale are you intending to produce the cheese? A wooden structure might be best for production.

As far as smoking with wood I love the flavor of maple. Limbs 6-10 inches work best for me. Split and aged ~ 6 months. I haven't had a chance to experiment with what time of year is best to take the limb from the tree. I believe the limb that I last used was from mid summer.

I run a fire on the side and burn off the initial heavy smoke and creosote before placing the splits in the firebox. This is helpful in keeping a constant temp in the smoker because you have fuel ready to go in at any time. No soaking, no heavy woods that contain more of the bitter tannin/creosote flavor.
 
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