Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby GUS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:57 pm

Question dear knowledgeable people.

it's tinker time with possibly a permanant home unit to be made, preceded by a portable (beyond the cardboard box variety.

any problems envisaged with a thin & tall unit (about 6ft) top to tail? that can be loaded by one person (grab handles) & be chucked in the back of a typical hatchback?

Racks to (fit hopefully) a standard baking cooling rack, in multiples / several sides of salmon one above the other with the csg at the bottom.

will this mean i'm hitting one area harder with smoke & having to swap levels frequently due to impeded smoke possibilities or will languid smoke from the csg just lazily tickle everything as it goes?

is there a rule for LB (poundage) & internal size capacity & smoke movement that I need to look at?

Otherwise i'm set to stitch together a mini monster.
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby wheels » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:17 pm

I used something similar to these:

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/sol/shop/ho ... -tray.html

Wider would be nice for larger fillets of salmon, but if you want the unit to be portable, these should be OK.

I'd go with the size of smoker you want. You can always add another CSG - or even make a larger one.

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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby vagreys » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:46 pm

Rotating the trays isn't going to hurt, but how well the smoke permeates the different shelves (and it should, fairly evenly, without needing to shuffle) depends on draft. You need enough air coming in to keep the CSG smoldering, but not so much draft that the smoke doesn't have time to become diffuse before getting drawn out of the chamber. That's why some designs incorporate a diffuser screen at the bottom of the chamber to spread out the smoke, so it doesn't take too direct a route to the upper vent(s).
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby vagreys » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:59 pm

FYI, tall and slim is one of the older designs out there, dating from the Middle Ages, when it was popular from Poland and Russia, all the way around the coast to Belgium and France. They were built like tapered obelisks, some up to about 6 meters tall, about 3 meters square at the base and about 1 meter square at the top. Fish were smoked on racks in the lower levels, cuts of meat were hung to be smoked all the way up the sides and suspended up the core.
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby GUS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:45 pm

Cheers folks!

Wife took some Brie, edam & oatcakes into work yesterday ..with none coming back, having had nearly a month vacuum sealed sounds like they are really greedy or the flavours balanced out & none came back for me to try & understand the positives.. :|

So the wife is actually angling for me to get MORE capacity & a better smoke seal, looks like this'll be able to be placed in the conservatory without much hassle.

Thanks, i'll do some measurements now for actual footprint.
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby Dingo » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:52 pm

Gus, let me start by saying I'm only a beginner in the arts of smoking and curing, however, for what it's worth, i pondered this question on my last smoke. A couple of the trays were below the discharge of the CSG and I was concerned that they wouldn't get any smoke. It worked out fine. I guess draft is the key. I'm using a standard Home depot Brinkman propane smoke that I added 1 vent to the top. For yesterdays smoke I closed the additional vent and the CSG filled the chamber irrespective of the entry point. Here's a picture. Hope it helps. I love the extents you are going to with Cold Smoking. It inspires me. :D

Image

Image
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby Dingo » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:55 pm

For clarification of my ramblings;
For the first photo you can see that the CSG enters above the lower chamber, however in the second photo I have product below that point. It all smoked the same. :D
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby GUS » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:50 am

I appreciate the clarification Dingo,
Luckily as a twin air supply woodburner owner i'm au fait with draught, but that doesn't mean I know design, thus the questions.

(why make mistakes & not ask questions when standing by a source of knowledge)?

Which reminds me I need to pack out my powered woodgas campstove & see what that churns out on a pack of dust.

I thought I recognised the Brinkmann, very jealous, am still determined to go the route of an old fridge / freezer (you can dream right) then install it outside under cover, but i'm slack & that takes time, (as well as the recycling company being worse than useless) ..I have materials fr some bodgineering, but no diy talent.

Weighed up the pro's & cons of the brick built smokershed (but nagging doubts as to those who don't choose to understand, merely tick boxes, such as councils & insurance people, would have something to say ignorantly about tar, smoke, combustibles ..so best left.

I'm currently chewing over getting proper dowel rod or to utilise recycled powder coated steel from a paddling pool (proven ridgidity, or bagging someone's old el cheapo supermarket gazebo for struts & supports (food hangers etc).

Steel, slot together frame gives potential to have in essence a packaway csg smoker unit even to the point of a semi rigid "rolled" chimney vent doubling as an additional outer insulation wrap, depending on camp requirements (smoke above the camp or able to site downwind), I really ought to take a nose at the camping "portable" gas units for hot smoking for some inspiration to get down on paper a few ideas which will never see the light of day. :lol:

Now where the heck did I leave that tape measure?
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby Dingo » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:54 pm

Gus, this Brinkmann is nothing to be jealous of...it is a very cheap (under $100) unit. It works ok if you only smoke the occasional chicken or pork shoulder. Anything more complicated and it just doesn't cut it. It's Propane thus I have very poor heat control...only two burner settings (low or High) Poor ventilation (thus the need to install an additional vent).

I too plan on converting a fridge. I'll probably wait until my salami curing cabinet craps out (it seems to happen regularly :shock: I think the external temp control is hard on the compressor). I think i'll do some sort of fancy PID controller to handle temperature and humidity and make another CSG, like the one I'm using, but with more chip storage for a longer smoke time. Stay tuned...i should have it done in the next 10-20years :wink:
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby GUS » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:21 pm

Thinking again, because I never made clear to DIngo, that i'm jealous he has a solid metal smoke cave, (so upriver of my now wobbly carboard box.... which has had 30+ smoke loads in by now & isn't seeing many down days). :wink:

I know I keep umming & erring as to what to make, but thinking is par for the course (esp when skint)
I rang the recycling centre who due to EU legislation & traceabiliy paperwork et al cannot sell me a fridge / freezer, that's out the window as an option.

Freecycle, possiblity.
Local dump possibility (with a bribe) .."tip-rat" recyling.
for a small unit a built in oven, as they are light, racks already made, viewing door, easy to remove circuitry, knackered elements etc & build in better insulation, light enough to manhandle, generally have a viewing door & basic seal.

SO what are the drawbacks of a pre-existing oven (not the kitchen one I hasten to add?
typically they have a bottom air inlet between the glazing for moisture, & aren't well sealed overall but how well do they exhaust & is it typically in the fight places?

My own experience is simply changing the thermostat & a heating element (simple jobs I assure you) but once opened is basically small circuitry shielded from heat on top of cheap mineral fibre insulation & not enough of it.

Anyone here gone this route & can offer some insight?

My frame, hinges & screws have made it inside for the upright to be assembled as a low grade bodge, based on a bathroom unit we couldn't give away (for shame) so it got used for spare wood rather than tip it, (had the 9yr old daughter learning the frustrations of "boarding out" & an insight as to moody dads when diy isn't straight forward, she learnt a very valuable lesson over 5 hours of her measuring, re-measuring, cutting, sawing, drilling & fine tuning ..she actually "got it" & enjoyed it to a certain degree, harder than putting up a vogels swing arm plasma support for her cub badge (the others were making pre-jointed bird boxes) :cry:

I warn you now it will be very slap dash, & very modular, just wish that fashion for stainless steel medicine cabinets that were selling in argos circa 2006 was still a goer (so many of them passed through my local auction house for £3).

If wishes were horses.
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby Dingo » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:30 pm

Maybe look for a filing cabinet or a locker? Might be easier to find?

My motivation for a fridge is purely volume/greed :shock: The vertical height of my existing smoker restricts me when I'm doing snack stix etc, although for most other things it is adequate. :roll:
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby crustyo44 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:50 pm

Gus and Dingo,
I have converted a bread proofer to use as a Smoker. These proofers are cheap as chips as repairs are prohibitive and as a smoker you only need the insulated box.
All sizes are available if you ask in the right places. They are all stainless inside and out and have up to 100 mm insulation all around.
Mine finished up being about 1.8 H by 75 cm deep and wide.
The best smoker I ever had.
Cheers,
Jan.
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby GUS » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:03 pm

Jan, you are so right, I completely forgot about those having eyed them up a while ago.
The great "on castors" maouvereability of commercial kitchen kit, makes me forever wonder why we have built in kitchen units, i'd love to change the layout for different jobs / walking an indian elephant* from the garden to the front room via the kitchen.

Window, insulation, eazee-clean material, wheels (mostly) ...brilliant.
Thanks for re-centring my brain.

I was on the look out for filing cabinets ..hmm & a shotgun cabinet, & animal feed bins (new) but I think you've nailed it.
off to ebay to research, cheers!


*(a baby indian elephant naturally)
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby crustyo44 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:30 pm

Hi Gus,
The bread proofer cost me just over $ 200. On top there was all the gear to produce the temperature and humidity. I just cut it all off and put a stainless cap on it.
Send me your email address and I will send you a photo(s) mine is: janooms@bigpond.com
Have a good Christmas and a even better 2014.
Cheers,
Jan.
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Re: Intermediate smoker plans tall & slim right / wrong?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:18 pm

Not to discourage something that looks nice, but I have a cheap simple water smoker (20" dia x 18" tall with 2 shelves) that when I grew out of it I simply added on. A roll of 20" x 10ft aluminum flashing (windows, gutters, etc) makes a nice double wall extension for added height. It is now much more usable and I can smoke 25lb of 30" long snack stick links in a single load. Simply remove the extension (3 sheetmetal screws) and I use it for whole cuts on the shelves like it was originally designed.
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