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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
The_Kapn
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Default How "cold" can you "cold smoke"?

Been following all the cold smoke threads for years here and want to try it.
Bought an 18" Amaz-N-Tube Smoker and have it in the bottom of my FEC 100 to test it out.
So far--voluminous smoke and temp has only gone up from 79 to 82 degrees.
I am impressed.

Tomorrow I am gonna do my first cheese and plan on putting a disposable pan with 5# of ice in there which will drop the temp even more.

TWO QUESTIONS:
#1. What is the lowest temp for cold smoking??
I bet I can get in the high 30's to low 40's with the product sitting on a grate directly over a pan of ice.

#2. I see cheese, fish, sausage, and bacon cold smoked here a lot.
What else lends itself to cold smoking??

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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
colonel00
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Cream cheese is a must! If you do cheese, let it mellow for a few days. It will be quite strong right off the smoker. Personally, I vacusuc the cheese and leave it in the fridge for several weeks.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
thirdeye
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Well, you don't want your stuff to freeze.

I've smoked cheese when the outside temp is in the teens with no problem. I prefer doing my lox a little warmer, maybe upwards of the 70° or so. If your pit is getting into the 80°'s work on chilling it down for smoking cheese. Just keep your smoke gentle, and use one block of cheese for sampling during the smoke. If you taste any bitterness or see milk fats rising to the surface, pull the cheese off and let the smoke settle down. You never want your cheese to get too smokey while in the smoker, it's a sign that you are getting smoke build-up on the surface... and you don't want that....you want the cheese to absorb the smoke. Mellowing times can be up to several weeks to allow the flavor to get better,... but again you should be able to eat it right away, it just gets better over time.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 02:12 PM   #4
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I don't think you need to worry about getting too cold if your ambient temperatures are in the 70s. In fact, I think your estimate of 30s to 40s with a bag of ice may be optimistic.

For cheese, you should be okay if you can get to 50s or low 60s in the smoker.

CD
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Unread 01-12-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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I prefer to cold smoke cheeses at around 40* whenever I can, the cheese seems to last longer than way when vacu-sealed. Once it rises in temp above that, the shelf life starts to diminish a bit from my experience. Stay above freezing though, otherwise the cheese will get weird. The limit on the other side of the spectrum is about 80*, that's when many cheeses begin to "sweat" and then their texture is essentially ruined. So technically, anywhere between 40 and 80 is where you want to be.
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