Building my own cold smoker this weekend

May 17, 2013
9,169
6,847
Louisiana
I love to cook and have a very nice Weber propane grill and a bullet type smoker with 2 racks that I hot smoke Boston butts, turkeys, chickens, ribs and beef briskets on, but I don't have a cold smoker-----yet.

I've tried to cold smoke on the bullet smoker but it just gets too hot to do it properly, so a project is on the honey-do list. I will build it out of cypress and will be about 6 ft. tall, 25 inches wide by 15 inches deep and will be put on wheels to be able to move it into my storage shed when not in use. For my fire box, I have an old 5 gallon propane tank that I cut an access door in the side of, drilled several vent holes on the underside for an up-draft and cut a hole in the top to run my duct for the smoke to travel about 5 ft. to the box so it remains cool and not heated up. It's best to cold smoke between 75-100 degrees F, and that should do the trick.

For now, I will put several braces for metal shelving to put the product on to smoke and buy some sausage hangers to smoke my own sausage and bacon. I've gotten into sausage making and have some recipes I've tweaked to suit my needs, but would like to expand my skills and start making Boudin, Andouille and my own smoked sausage, so a cold smoker is needed.
 

Haggis

CHB World Championship People's Champion
May 16, 2013
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When I'm retired, I hope I'm doing exactly this type of shit.

:hat
 
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Haggis

CHB World Championship People's Champion
May 16, 2013
33,077
10,665
Never heard of a cold smoker before @gumbo. Will it look anything like this?
A cold smoke imprints the smoke flavour without cooking the food. Usually takes a lot longer to get a good flavour.

:hat
 
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Trail

R.I.P. Joe Rein
May 24, 2013
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Like this @Gumbo. That looks like something Medieval folk would use to torture folk with.

 
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Deebo

"Messkin" Deebo
Jun 5, 2013
13,754
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Show dem balls bro
Good stuff Gumbo. I'm all into building stuff like this, time permitting. Just helped a friend do his outdoor brick grill a little while ago.
 
May 17, 2013
9,169
6,847
Louisiana
Well, I altered my plan a bit and decided to not use my good cypress for the whole build. I had some nice sheet goods in my shed and it was enough to build the carcass today and I got the shelf brackets on the inside for 3 shelves. I also cut it down to 4 ft. tall but the same width and depth since I'm only putting in 3 shelves for smoking goods. That is more than enough for the wife and I.

The propane tank I'm using for the smoke box to generate the smoke needs some welding to the piece I cut out the side so I can put on hinges and a locking mechanism and to allow for a better seal to the tank. Once that is done, I'll crank it up to see if that old tank will give me enough smoke or I need to rethink things for a bigger, better smoke box. I want to make my own bacon with pork bellies and it takes 4 days to brine it and another day to let it dry out in the fridge uncovered before it can be smoked.

As for pics==============maybe I can get my stepson who's in town to show me how to download them and post them to CHB.
 
May 19, 2013
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6,019
@gumbo2176 , I just bought a house and want to pimp out the back yard with cool shit like corner benches/deck/patio area, bbq area, storage boxes etc...So I will be coming in here for some DIY tips this summer.
 
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May 17, 2013
9,169
6,847
Louisiana
@gumbo2176 , I just bought a house and want to pimp out the back yard with cool shit like corner benches/deck/patio area, bbq area, storage boxes etc...So I will be coming in here for some DIY tips this summer.
Congrats on the house. Is it your first time, or have you been a homeowner for a while? I'm now in my 3rd and I can see 1 more in my future when the wife retires and we head to more rural environs. I'm about sick of living in an urban environment with 6-8 houses basically right next to each other on each side of the street per block.

All those projects you are looking at are pretty basic to accomplish with the exception of the BBQ area, but only if you plan on putting in a full blown brick and mortar pit. If just rolling in a grill like a Weber or Green Egg and a few tables and chairs, piece of cake.
 
May 17, 2013
9,169
6,847
Louisiana
Like this @Gumbo. That looks like something Medieval folk would use to torture folk with.

Yep @Trail, pretty similar to that. The door will have hinges on one side and locking mechanisms to keep the door shut tight on the opposite side. I'll also have a small vent area in the bottom and a hole cut in the top that I can adjust the opening so smoke can vent under control. I'll also put in an instant read thermometer to keep track of the temperature. For cold smoking, you really don't want the chamber to be more than 100 degrees F and best over 80-85 degrees. You don't want to cook the meat, but preserve it between the brine and smoke. Typical pork bellies will take between 12-15 hours to cure.
 
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Trail

R.I.P. Joe Rein
May 24, 2013
30,493
6,828
Yep @Trail, pretty similar to that. The door will have hinges on one side and locking mechanisms to keep the door shut tight on the opposite side. I'll also have a small vent area in the bottom and a hole cut in the top that I can adjust the opening so smoke can vent under control. I'll also put in an instant read thermometer to keep track of the temperature. For cold smoking, you really don't want the chamber to be more than 100 degrees F and best over 80-85 degrees. You don't want to cook the meat, but preserve it between the brine and smoke. Typical pork bellies will take between 12-15 hours to cure.
Let me know when it's finished and when you plan to use it. I'll book flights|!!|!:lol::good
 
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May 19, 2013
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Congrats on the house. Is it your first time, or have you been a homeowner for a while? I'm now in my 3rd and I can see 1 more in my future when the wife retires and we head to more rural environs. I'm about sick of living in an urban environment with 6-8 houses basically right next to each other on each side of the street per block.

All those projects you are looking at are pretty basic to accomplish with the exception of the BBQ area, but only if you plan on putting in a full blown brick and mortar pit. If just rolling in a grill like a Weber or Green Egg and a few tables and chairs, piece of cake.
Thanks man, yeah first time buyer so I'm giddy like a child with all the DIY possibilities.

BBQ area will prob be tricky, but my dad is a retired landscape gardener and has been designing and installing stuff like this for years, so he can guide me on some aspects, especially anything masonry related.

Something like below , as this would roughly match our garden size ( although ours is a little wider I would say)

Screenshot_20190111-132655_Samsung Internet.jpg
 
Last edited:
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May 17, 2013
9,169
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Louisiana
Thanks man, yeah first time buyer so I'm giddy like a child with all the DIY possibilities.

BBQ area will prob be tricky, but my dad is a retired landscape gardener and has been designing and installing stuff like this for years, so he can guide me on some aspects, especially anything masonry related.

Something like below , as this would roughly match our garden size ( although ours is a little wider I would say)

View attachment 3845
That would be a nice outdoor set-up to relax in after a day at work. Put some stuff on the pit, chill out with a few cold ones while watching the kids playing and butterflies flitting around the garden.

I've been inclined to buy "fixer-upper" type houses over the years with my first one being an old "shotgun" style house that was well over 100 years old and I just about totally went through it before I finally sold it. My second house was in much better shape, but did keep me busy over the years I owned it.

The house I'm currently in I got for cheap and put untold amounts of hours, money and sweat equity into it, but it is in fine shape now and worth 7-8 times more than I paid for it in 92.

I've thought about building a gazebo in my back yard, but I enjoy my large vegetable garden too much to give up that amount of space. The garden saves me money, a gazebo would cost me money.
 
Reactions: Trail
May 19, 2013
16,203
6,019
That would be a nice outdoor set-up to relax in after a day at work. Put some stuff on the pit, chill out with a few cold ones while watching the kids playing and butterflies flitting around the garden.

I've been inclined to buy "fixer-upper" type houses over the years with my first one being an old "shotgun" style house that was well over 100 years old and I just about totally went through it before I finally sold it. My second house was in much better shape, but did keep me busy over the years I owned it.

The house I'm currently in I got for cheap and put untold amounts of hours, money and sweat equity into it, but it is in fine shape now and worth 7-8 times more than I paid for it in 92.

I've thought about building a gazebo in my back yard, but I enjoy my large vegetable garden too much to give up that amount of space. The garden saves me money, a gazebo would cost me money.
My house will be the opposite, a complete new build. So, the only place I can really let my creative DIY juices flow will be the back yard.

It must be great to build or improve on a house over many years and add a bit of character to it.

My folks have a second home in another part of the country, a southern holiday type getaway location where my mam is originally from. They bought it before I was even born. Believe me when I tell you that this house was merely more than a shack with a dilapidated and overgrown, yet substantial yard when they first purchased it. But over the years, my dad (mostly), me and my brother have renovated and extended the house and it's totally unrecognizable to what it was in 1980. I have pictures of me as an 8 year old, out the back area breaking up concrete ground with a hired pneumatic kango hammer :rofl . No health and safety back then, but we loved getting stuck in as kids. Another time, me and my friend were put to task demolishing the front porch, a large porch., with nothing more than a crow bar and hammer each. My dad let us throw stones at the windows, which was fun for a pair of 12 year olds. Although one of my stones went through the intended porch window and kept going through the connecting door window of the house, whoops. The house inevitably will become part of our inheritance, but I can't imagine ever wanting to sell it. Too much work, too many memories. My dad is still working on stuff to this day on this ever evolving project.
 
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May 17, 2013
9,169
6,847
Louisiana
My house will be the opposite, a complete new build. So, the only place I can really let my creative DIY juices flow will be the back yard.

It must be great to build or improve on a house over many years and add a bit of character to it.

My folks have a second home in another part of the country, a southern holiday type getaway location where my mam is originally from. They bought it before I was even born. Believe me when I tell you that this house was merely more than a shack with a dilapidated and overgrown, yet substantial yard when they first purchased it. But over the years, my dad (mostly), me and my brother have renovated and extended the house and it's totally unrecognizable to what it was in 1980. I have pictures of me as an 8 year old, out the back area breaking up concrete ground with a hired pneumatic kango hammer :rofl . No health and safety back then, but we loved getting stuck in as kids. Another time, me and my friend were put to task demolishing the front porch, a large porch., with nothing more than a crow bar and hammer each. My dad let us throw stones at the windows, which was fun for a pair of 12 year olds. Although one of my stones went through the intended porch window and kept going through the connecting door window of the house, whoops. The house inevitably will become part of our inheritance, but I can't imagine ever wanting to sell it. Too much work, too many memories. My dad is still working on stuff to this day on this ever evolving project.

Like Mr. Monk would often say on his show, "It's a blessing, and a curse". My house is probably getting close to 100 years old now and there's not a room or a single board on the exterior I haven't touched in one way or another. It's a huge 2 story with 31 double hung wooden windows, 6 entry doors between the upstairs, downstairs man cave and shop area. All my upper windows have working shutters and it's right at 30 ft. to the peak of my roof in the front of the house. I've painted the entire exterior of this bad boy 3 times over the years, the last being in the spring of 2017.

If you own a house, it is best to gain the knowledge to be able to take care of it instead of calling out "The Guy" to do it for you. I always say, you either learn how to fix things or know how to write the checks for someone else to do it. I'm a strong believer in sweat equity.

Oh, and your dad had the right idea of putting you to work around the house as a kid. That is how I learned things early on in life. I helped tear off and replace a roof for the first time right before I made 12 years old working with my uncle after my dad had died. My uncle became a surrogate dad and I worked with him and his sons on many construction jobs as a kid. I just wish I had that energy now to go with my knowledge. :lol:
 
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