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.