Author Topic: First Cold Smoke, lessons learned  (Read 1854 times)

Chipper

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First Cold Smoke, lessons learned
« on: December 17, 2014, 05:25:30 PM »
Just finished cold smoking a piece of Salmon with my new cold plate.  I learned a lesson on how heat can become a wild animal when cold smoking.  First I cured my salmon for 48 hrs using a 50/50 salt/sugar Gravlax recipe I got off the internet.  Tasted great with just the salt cure but it needed some smoke.  The salmon has been drying and is ready to smoke.  I have the smoke box of my #1 packed FULL of apple chips.  I have my grease pan loaded full of ice sitting on top of my cold plate.  I start the temp at 170 (as recommended by the cold plate instructions) to ignite my wood.  I watched the internal temp start at 78 degrees (I'm in South Florida) then start to climb.  Twenty minutes later I have good smoke coming out, and the temperature is still rising!   I try turning down the dial to 125 but the temperature keeps climbing.  It hits 100 and still keeps climbing, I have terrific smoke coming out now.   I'm now entering Hot Smoking territory and it's still climbing.  What to do?  I know, I'll open the box to allow it to cool.  Holy Chernobyl Batman!  I ain't never gonna do that again!   It was like popping open a nuclear reactor.    I grabbed my Salmon, pulled the plug and waited for the smoke to clear.   After a quick check on the forum and picking up some pointers I tried it again after the box cooled down.  More ice added, the fish, unaffected, was placed back in.  Only used about a third as much chips as before this time.  Set the dial lower to 150 for ignition.  Again after twenty minutes a small amount of smoke puffed out and I turned the heat off completely.   Temp kept climbing slowly then settled at 100.  Close enough.  After an hour I took the fish out.  Let it sit in the fridge overnight.  I had a feeling I might have ruined it, but turned out, it was beyond delicious! 
Next time I'll hunt around to find an ever lower temp to start ignition.  I'll use more ice and will cold soak the box with the ice before the smoke.  I'll use smaller amounts of wood and stretch the smoke using heat sparingly.  It was a lot of fun and can't wait to do it again.

BedouinBob

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Re: First Cold Smoke, lessons learned
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 06:30:52 PM »
Chipper, you made me laugh out loud!!  ;D I did cheese with my cold plate and it turned out great. You have to regulate 20 minutes on and then turn it off for about 40 minutes so that you don't get a blazing inferno. I think it has to do with where the temp sensor is in relation to the plate. So, hot below, smoke and cold above. You'll get the hang of it. BTW, never heard of gravlax, what is that?
Bob - Colorado Springs
NRA & USN

Chipper

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Re: First Cold Smoke, lessons learned
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 07:06:32 PM »
Gravlax is the Nordic version of salted Salmon.  50/50 kosher salt and granulated sugar with fresh dill. Wrap it up in plastic wrap or bury it in your backyard like a real Viking.  24 hrs in the fridge and it's done.  Delish and smoke makes it even better.  Does it make a difference which side of the cold plate is up?

Chipper

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Re: First Cold Smoke, lessons learned
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2014, 07:11:34 PM »
Correction on the amount of time in the fridge .  Should be 48hrs. I usually wash the filet off then soak it in an ice water bath over night to draw the excess salt out. 

NDKoze

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Re: First Cold Smoke, lessons learned
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 11:40:37 PM »
If you loaded your smoke box "full" of chips, that is a LOT of chips.

For this type of a smoke I wouldn't use more than 2-3 ounces of wood.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

BedouinBob

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Re: First Cold Smoke, lessons learned
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 09:16:15 AM »
I put the fat part of the plate up but I doubt it makes a difference.
Bob - Colorado Springs
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TexasSMK

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Re: First Cold Smoke, lessons learned
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 06:40:42 PM »
That was hilarious--glad it still tasted good.
Dale from NE Texas--USMC Retired--Living in Maryland.  SE#2 with Auber