Cold Smoking....

So, I have wanted to smoke salmon for a long time. The problem is my "Smoke Vault" has a hard time producing smoke at temps as low as 130-150, that is the temp needed to smoke salmon.

Smoke houses like this one, use a small fire box and then pipe the smoke into the room, by doing this you have the option of cold smoking foods. Bacon, nuts, cheese, salt, salmon, pork chops, and many other foods can be smoked this way.

There are a few ways to do this in a standard grill/smoker but none of them worked for me, I'll explain why.

The first option is the "A-Maze-in-Smoker", the problem I have with this method is saw dust. How much would I have to pay for it? How easy is it to find? Because of this I decided to look elsewhere.

Option two is a device called the "Smoke Daddy", I really like this, but at $100, it is a little on the expensive side.

So I thought that there could be something I could make that would make smoke. Being a computer nerd, I always have spare computer parts, and I thought I could put some of them to use. So this is what I came up with.

The Smoke Daddy uses a aquarium pump to put air into a burn area to keep the fire going. My idea was to use a 80mm computer fan to force air into a burn area, but I needed to keep the air flow at a rate that I could control, so I used a cheap fan controller (less then $6.00 at Microcenter). I needed something to put this in, so I picked up a small metal box from Michales Crafts, set me back $5.00.

I needed an area to burn the wood, I choose a large juice can from Safeway (like this).

So below is the assembly and testing of my cold smoke generator. Enjoy.

This is the box I picked up, I would think that any box the size of a shoe box would work.

This is the fan I used, on a plus side it had a controller on it to slow the fan down even more.

Since the fan is a 12v fan I needed 12 volts, this uses 8 1.5v AA batteries to get the job done.

This is the fan mounted, I used a Dremel Tool to cut the center out.
Cheap fan controller (linked above).
All assembled.

I need to explain a little here, I mounted the can to the lid of the box with motherboard stand off screws.  Below the can I cut a circle.  It is also worth mentioning that the fan in mounted to pull air into the box, it is then forced up through the juice can.  There are small holes drilled into the bottom of the can.

This is what the inside of the can looks like.
Here is a test burn with Pecan wood burning, nice smoke.
I used a dryer vent to pipe the smoke into the smoker (worked far better then I thought it would).
First time using it, Hickory smoking like a champ!
First test, Cheddar Cheese and Pepper Jack.
Finished cheese
Kings did not snack as good!!

The fan controller knob can dial the speed from very low to very high.  I use the high speed to get the wood started, after it is going I dial it down and let it smoke away.  Filling the can with wood chunks gave me about 2 hours of smoke, it is very easy to add more.

If someone has an idea to make it better let me know.  It works quite well.  I smoked the cheese for 5 hours and the smoker temp never broke 100 deg.  Keep in mind it was 90 deg here in Denver today.