While smoking meat is one of the oldest ways to preserve it, there is no doubt that ‘til this very day it still remains as one of the best methods to use to enjoy some of the best flavors that you’ve ever tasted. It doesn’t matter if you wanna learn how to smoke a steak or something else. So what would be better than building your very own cold smoker to prep your meat? The good news is that it is not that big of a challenge at all to make your very own cold smoker, you just need the right tools to get started.
Here is how you will go about doing it:
Finding a Structure for your Box
The first thing that you will need is a box that is made out of either metal or wood. Wood is commonly used though because it’s easier to add the racks and other accessories to it that you will be using for your cold smoking. One suggestion would be to use an old wardrobe dresser. You can easily find these at a local thrift furniture shop. You also need to keep in mind that temperatures in your DIY cold smoker should never go over 25 degrees Celcius. Once you have found the right size old wardrobe for your cold smoker, you can then begin customizing it by adding shelves. Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to already have some racks inside of it for handing meat and other food items.
So now, you will need to create your source of constant airflow. This means that you will need a drill; you’ll have to drill some holes towards the bottom of your colder smoker where the smoldering will take place. This will ensure that there is consistency in airflow.
You’ll need a Chimney
A chimney will need to be create at the top of your structure so that the outgoing air can be released. You will need to make sure that the chimney is at least 80 cm in height. Take note that you shouldn’t allow your chimney to be fully open, because this can result in a dirty taste in your food. It should be only partially or perhaps halfway open to ensure that the air is being properly regulated. At the same time you will want to make sure that no rain is able to make its way inside the chimney. Condensation is going to build up on the inside of your chamber. To keep any condensation from building up you can use a small cardboard box to place underneath the chimney to collect any condensation.
Heat Source Area
In order for your smoker to properly smoke, you’ll need an area for your fire to be started. So you’ll need a smoldering heat source. First, you will want to keep in mind how you will keep your fire safe since your structure will most likely be made of wood. So you’ll need to use a metal plate to cover the bottom of the cabinet to protect it from the wood. The area where your wood dust will be smoldering is called a smoke generator. You need to make sure it is shaped in a way that allows your fire to continuously smolder as long as possible. So your shape will need to be a “U”, and you will fill that up with the smoke dust and compress it so that it will start to burn.
Cold Smoking steak
If the meat that you will be preparing has been handled properly before smoking, then you can go ahead and cold smoke your steak for up to about an hour. Steak in particular turns out quite nicely with some of the best tasting infused flavors after being cold smoked. So you’ll want to cold smoke your steak for about an hour if you plant to put it in your refrigerator overnight before placing it on the grill the next day. However, if you plant to throw your steak on the grill immediately after cold smoking it, then you can cold smoke it for up to two hours, to make sure that all of the flavors have been properly infused into the meat.
Note: You don’t want your steak to be frozen when you get ready to cold smoke it because the condensation can make it difficult for the smoke to adhere to the meat and it won’t penetrate your meat properly.
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