Monday, April 2, 2012

DIY Cold Smoker

A while ago, I got a present of a Cold Smoke Generator I used a cardboard box as a smoker and started smoking.

Very easy process. There are instructions  at the above link.

I had a few smoking sessions which were very successful. I used bacon, cheese and salmon. Fantastic result. I also tried some if the Bratwurst from Lidls.

The Cold Smoke Generator is basically a metal tray, with a spiral, where you put wood dust in it. You light one end of the dust and it smoulders for about 8 hours. Very cool idea.

I decided to build a wooden smoker. I wanted one that I could dismantle and out together easily, i.e. store when not in use.

I wanted 4 racks, which is more then I had with the cardboard box fella.

I headed out to B&Q, because they have a greater range of stuff.

I got a couple of sheets of plywood, 3m x 60cm x 3mm or so.

I also got some of the following:

Some battons. I had some already, so I got what I needed.

4 x food racks (I think I got them in HomeStore&More in Blanch. Fairly pricey.)

Draft proofing tape. I got some about 5 years ago, for a different project. It was brown, but who cares.

I already had loads of screws. I like the brass Philips type. They are called chipboard screws. I use them for everything.

Some long set screws with normal nuts and extra wing nuts.

The dimensions I used were:

61cm High

Two sides were 55cm wide. These will have the rack battons on them. Lets call them sides.

Two sides were 35cm wide. Nothing here. Let's call them front and back.

1. Make the frames. I drilled holes first and screwed. Easy and had no wook splits. Use lots of screws. I wanted 10cm between between the racks on the side frames. Work it out.
2. Drill holes in the front and back frames for the long set screws
3. Drill some larger holes on the outside of the front and back frames to sort of countersink the normal nuts on the set screws.
4. Mark the top of the frames with a number to reflect how they will be put together.

5. Drill holes from the front and back frames through the side panels. See above.
6. Fit the set screws and get the countersunk nuts recessed.
7. Cut the plywood to the required size for the various frames.
8. Again use loads of screws to fix the panels to the frame. It needs to be fairly air tight, obviously.
9. You can now assemble it. Use the wing nuts also.
10. Make the lid.

11. Make a frame that fits the assembled structure. Loads of screws.
12. Cut a plywood panel that fits the frame. I had of a hangover to prevent any rain problem.
13. Disassemble. Add the Draft proofing tape on all the seals, including the lid.
14. Done.

Ready to SMOKE.

Here are some other photos:

Simply whack in the Cold Smoke Generator and off you go.

The most recent smoking involved some back bacon, mild cheddar and salmon.

The bacon and cheese turned out fantastic.

The salmon was an epic fail. I cured it for two days before smoking it. It turned out quite nice but way way too salty. I couldn't any more then a few thin slices. Better luck next time.

Top tip with the Cold Smoke Generator:

1 or 2 days before you are going to use it, take out the wood dust and let it dry properly. I have found that the wood dust really likes dampness, and unless it is perfectly dry, can be a pain to get smoking.

Arch Linux Stora Error - Fixed

I kept getting the following error repeated every gew seconds, filling up the log files like crazy.

unable to receive ctrl connection: Function not implemented

I found this after a bit of research

 ##in /etc/rc.local add
kill $(pidof udevd)
udevd &

A reboot later and no problem.

It seems there was some problem between between different versions of udevd