Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:08 pm

Part 1

Drilling the chimney hole
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Testing the fit of my "chimney"
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Drilling a bullet-hole vent in the bottom of the case, near the front
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Copper mesh to thwart pesky vermin
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Masking over the exposed insulation
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More copper mesh over the chimney hole
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Other side of the chimney hole
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Nice snug fit!
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Time for some lunch, then I'll be building a house for the smokehouse :)
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby GUS » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:12 pm

Sweet, though i'd put it on the exterior of the unit wherever possible, & where does that fan unit lead?

nice pics, ..more, more !
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:10 pm

Part 2

Digging the post holes
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Building the frame
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Placing it, building a shelf for the smoker, and testing the fit
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A visitor!
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The roof is on
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Pitched so the rain can run off
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby wheels » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:27 pm

Nice job. :D :D

Phil
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:19 pm

Part 3 will have to wait until tomorrow, unfortunately.

My bacon has been curing for 6 days, so it's time to take it out, wash it, and put it back in the fridge to dry. Can't wait to hang some in the new smoker when it's ready! :D
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:14 pm

GUS wrote:Sweet, though i'd put it on the exterior of the unit wherever possible, & where does that fan unit lead?


I'll stuff more copper mesh into the chimney tomorrow. The visitor above convinced me of that! :P

Behind the fan is mostly a cavity, but there's a chiller there too. I'm reluctant to get rid of all the refrigeration stuff, so I put the blanking plate back in.
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby NCPaul » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:17 pm

Look's good! :)
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby GUS » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:57 am

Great news on the blanking plate.

& if I may offer a (further) critical observation, ..those plastic composting sweatboxes if in active use are best placed on a paving slab or similar solid surface, again a favourite place of vermin, ..just saying, cos food outside in the dead of night may be a draw / somewhere to set up home.

(says the countryboy fighting an eternal battle sealing up his home of holes left since the 1970's in the fabric of his own place).

Fix up a thermometer in the eternally shaded aspect of your unit, to get an accurate location reading & ascertain the likelihood of seasonal smoking for when a lump of something good & cheap is in the offing.

(like torches, one can never have enough temperature / humidity readouts).
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:02 am

GUS wrote:& if I may offer a (further) critical observation, ..those plastic composting sweatboxes if in active use are best placed on a paving slab or similar solid surface, again a favourite place of vermin, ..just saying, cos food outside in the dead of night may be a draw / somewhere to set up home.


Observations are always welcome! That compost bin was there when we moved in 5.5 years ago, and it'll probably still be there when we move out. We have 3-4 cats that regularly patrol the area, so hopefully they'll do a decent job of slaying any rodents :)

GUS wrote:(like torches, one can never have enough temperature / humidity readouts).

I'm starting to wonder if you're a thermometer addict :lol:
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby GUS » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:06 am

..Quite possibly a critical temperature pedant.

I even have one (or more) in the loft space, well if you are going to sweat up there it's good to pick your moment. (4 around one room to monitor different stages of heat up / convection where there can be a 5c temp differential (& a moaning "cold" female), ..handy for saying ..well move around a bit, move nearer to the woodburner, (& annoying the hell out of them in the meantime).

I boil if it is past 16c.

..but I wear a woolly hat all year round, .. :shock: hardly rational.
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:16 pm

Part 3

Back and sides are on
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Door fitted
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These magnetic catches are useless
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So I opted for a couple of screws and some butchers twine
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The gods must have been smiling on me, because the width of the felt I have was the perfect size
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Roof felted
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First coat of Teak wood stain [I only stained the front]
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Another pic from a different angle. I may felt the sides at some point, because I've got loads of the stuff, and it'll fill in the gaps. I'd have closed the gaps and added more wood, but I ran out of decking :P
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby NCPaul » Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:54 pm

I'd leave the sides as they are; the draft should be good.
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:24 pm

NCPaul wrote:I'd leave the sides as they are; the draft should be good.


Hmm, good point. I guess it currently protects the smoker from the majority of the sun, whilst allowing the heat to escape easily.

In that case, I think the project is finished! My Oak dust from Ashwoods arrived today. I'll be giving the smoker one last thorough clean with hot soapy water, then it'll be ready for a test drive 8)
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby Swing Swang » Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:18 am

Hi kil2k,

Thanks for posting all your pics. There's something I'm not quite following - you're building a big wooden outside box to house and protect a smaller metal box which will be the smoking chamber - what is the advantage of the double construction over just a larger outer construction - I presume there's an insulation issue going on?

Thanks

Philip
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Re: Building a cold smokehouse from a wine cooler

Postby kil2k » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:25 am

Three reasons:

1. The wine cooler is well insulated, but it's black metal which gets very hot under direct sunlight, so I needed a way to keep the area as shaded as possible.

2. Due to it being left outside, I also wanted to protect it from the rain / snow.

3. It needed to be elevated off the ground, and at a comfortable level for use.


I could have built the smokehouse out of wood and insulated it with PIR boards, but I like the idea of the self contained wine cooler, and it's the perfect size for my current needs. The post Gus made regarding the stainless steel fridge in Nottingham gave me the idea.

I could have also put the wine cooler on a box in my shed, but it's constructed with asbestos, and I'm positive the spiders in there have been breeding with dragons / dinosaurs because they're massive!

I was winging it the whole way, and had the left-over decking to use up. Time will tell whether it will be an effective smoker. Everything is either screwed or bolted together, so it will be no hassle ripping it down if needed :P
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