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 Post subject: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 17th, '11, 03:17 
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Built this smoker a few months back from a cracked compressor tank deemed unfit for use as a compressor tank anymore, and got round to testing it out. It went ok but I need to make some tweeks and could use some advice.

First a few pics
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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 17th, '11, 03:30 
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The main issue I had was keepin' the smoke comin' if you know what I mean.
Also was not too sure on the prep. I soaked the fish in brine overnight and then rinsed them off then I seasoned them and hung them to develop a poult (right word?) or get a bit sticky then into the smoker.

I kept a small fire going with charcoal and smoke was created by chucking small blocks of soaked oak wine staves on the fire every half hour or so or when I remembered. Twas a bit of a mission but the fish came out quite nice although what I want to do is create that soft sliceable smoked salmon type of thing.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated as smokers of this nature are not popular here in SA. I mean we got webbers and stuff but not many people use them as smokers, more as grillers.

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '11, 03:12 
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Hey there Brian, some advice from Texas, USA and definitely thumbs UP on the build! Looks perfect as that will get a good hot chimney and 'pull' smoke thru.
I will only suggest a smallish change in your method as pertains to the wood...
Continue to use charcoal.
Continue to use oak staves, oak is cool. Be on the watch for any fruit tree wood you can grab, nut tree (we looove pecan here), but oak is a favorite of mine.
Do cease soaking the wood. You get a different flavor of smoke when wet wood is combusted. I don't like what it does, frankly. Yes you need to slow down the combust and cause it to smolder so it's not instantly consumed!
At my place I take the oak and wrap it pretty tight with tinfoil (aluminium foil actually) and leave just the ends open.
This restricts the oxygen's access to the wood and you will get more smoke, and more time out of the wood. You won't get that skanky smell/flavor that can happen from wet wood / steam / all those variables.

Play with some different salty / sweet powder "rubs" as prep but you're on the right track there. Get it sticky and then park it somewhere smoky.

I have one more thing to add here, looking at your pictures...
YUMMMMMMMM.
I mean, damn dude. That trout looks good. :headbang:

Rick

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '11, 03:21 
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"If the smoke is white, the fire is right."
"If the smoke is black, add more draft."

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '11, 15:54 
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You're doing very well Brian. Apart from what the others have said, the only thing I would add is don't rinse your fish after taking them out of the brine. Pat 'em down a bit with paper towel, but don't rinse.

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 23rd, '11, 07:23 
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Sliced smoked salmon as you buy it in the deli is actually cold smoked. It's more of a curing process. That unit you have is classed as a hot smoker. it will still do a magnificent job, but will cook rather than cure. have a look at www.kickassbbq.com for some really good stuff regarding smokers.

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 24th, '11, 18:20 
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Thanks for all the input guys. Good advice all round. I am going to give it another bash now so will let you know how it goes. There is a dead fruit tree in my garden. Time for a bit of chainsaw action.

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '11, 22:39 
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Wow, the memories are just flooding back in now. When I was a kid back in my hometown in florida, all my relatives were mullet fishermen. Smoked mullet was such a delicious treat and it was always available. Wow, I can actually smell smoke in my livingroom. This is terrible! lol

Please do keep us posted on your progress. I was too young to remember much about the smoking process but I was wondering if using green oak might help instead of soaked, seasoned wood.

I also remember that the smoking wasn't done in large grills but they had small smoke houses which were 10'x10' plywood shacks basically. The fire was small inside and the smoke was kept rolling, constantly billowing out of the cracks in the shack.

Oh gosh! YUM! I'm dying here!

We have a setup similar to yours but we haven't smoked anything in it.

Unfortunately, that's where all my speculation ends. I wish you much luck. Please post your findings and if I run across anything helpful, I'll be sure and post it.

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 27th, '11, 15:38 
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chillidude wrote:
You're doing very well Brian. Apart from what the others have said, the only thing I would add is don't rinse your fish after taking them out of the brine. Pat 'em down a bit with paper towel, but don't rinse.

whys that CD?

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 27th, '11, 16:16 
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I gave it another go yesterday. Small fish worked out fine but the big 1kg no was a bit of an issue. they where smoked for about 5 hours. I had a fairly decent size fire going but still not much actual heat in the smoker. The small where done but the big fish was more like smoked sushi. Still very tasty but kind of raw. It did come off the bones though. it seems to firm up a lot when chilled for a while. I probably should fillet the bigger fish. Its actually quite a bit like the smoked salmon from the store.

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 Post subject: Re: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 27th, '11, 18:45 
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Ok. wow! just had some of the 'smoked sushi' on a roll with creme cheese, lettuce, lemon juice and salt and pepper and some ap lettuce. Wow... really 5 star! I think this stuff definitely improves with a bit of time in the fridge.

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 Post subject: Really smoking!
PostPosted: Oct 27th, '11, 18:49 
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Yeh I rekin my cold crivaced trout is better than the fresh stuff :)

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