Somewhat Successful Cold Smoking on Weber Performer w/ Pron
I thought I would report on my first cold smoke on a Weber Kettle. I am interested in buying a maze, but I thought I would try the DIY route to see what I thought before spending a lot of money.
I found this perforated stainless pan at a local thrift store and cut some sheet metal and made a maze by tying the divide down to through the holes with some wire
I took some Traeger apple pellets and dissolved them in water and then rinsed in a colander to remove any binders. I dried the dust in the oven and filled my DIY smoking tray.
I put on some pork loin that I had dry cured for about a week using Cowgirls recipe.
I let that go overnight and then added some almonds and cheese.
I had been getting a real light smoke, but it seemed that the kettle was just not smokey enough. The cheese that was directly over the burning dust was getting color but other areas were not. I guessed that my tray was probably not getting enough draft so I added foil to the charcoal grate similar to an indirect cook.
That made a big difference, but it also created enough heat to slightly melt some of my cheese that was directly over the burning portion of the tray. In searching afterward I saw that someone recommended making a foil tent over the tray as a heat diffuser. I will try that next time.
The final product turned out decent. I think I may have gotten too much smoke because of my messing around with the setup. BTW, in the process I also tried the pellets without turning them to sawdust, but could not get them to burn in this setup. The cheese has seemed to mellow out as it has been in the refrigerator longer. I smoked the loin for about 17 hours. That is what I understood that Cowgirl did. Like the cheese, the flavor has seemed to improve while sitting wrapped in the fridge, but I think I would go for a shorter time for everything, would foil off the charcoal grate around the maze, and would put a foil tent/ heat diffuser over the maze. Given that it was my first attempt at cold smoking, I am satisfied with the results and have some buckboard curing right now.
Thank you for looking. Please feel free to make any suggestions how I may improve the results.
I love your experiment! Cold smoking is great...I absolutely love it. I use a smoke daddy with a smoke house but you're on to something for the kettle no doubt!
Nothing better than some real home smoked cheese, salt, nuts etc.. Keep us informed on your successes!
That looks great! I really like your home made tray. Nice job!!
Did you monitor the temp of your smoker at all?
I didn't monitor the temp, but it didn't even register on the kettle's temperature gauge. I'll check next time just for the heck of it. It could not have been too much warmer than ambient temp that ranged from the high 30's at night to 50's in the day. The only real heat was directly over the burning sawdust which was a very small area. When I added the foil to have a better draft, a piece of cheese directly over the burn did start to melt slightly, but other cheese even a few inches away was unaffected.
BTW, thrift store stainless tray was $.75. I used a dollar store cookie sheet cut into strips for the divider and I had the wire laying around. Less that $3 and 45 minutes to make. I have seen square tray of similar material that were originally inbox trays, silverware trays, etc. at the thrift store. The sawdust didn't burn completely at the edges; probably 70-80%. I am not sure of the total burn time because I may not have had adequate draft to begin with, but I am pretty sure it will burn 10-18 hours. Before I added the foil to the grate, it had only burn the first layer around the outside overnight. Overall, I was pretty happy with how the tray worked for the time and money I had into it.
Very nice and very clever I like the idea of cold smoke pork loin
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