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FotonDrv

Cold Smoker w/Pump

140 posts in this topic

On 1/3/2017 at 5:01 AM, ckreef said:

I'm probably the only one who doesn't like the Coco char. I don't like how it gets really brittle after being heated up. Of course this might have to do with my grilling habits which is mostly md to high temp. 

I absolutely loved the coffee char. Just a bit pricey for me and I don't have the cash for a pallet anyway. 

 

The CoCo char is wasted at high temps because the volatile material in lump charcoal starts to burn off at about 450º.. that's what the flames at those higher temps are.   I use the coco char at low and slow temps and it holds together well.

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On 1/11/2017 at 2:37 PM, tony b said:

 As far as cleaning goes, I don't intend to clean the inside. Just wipe off the outside so it stays nice and shiny and dump the ashes out the bottom. If you keep the flow tube upside down (opening facing down), it shouldn't get clogged up. Time will tell. 

I've found that when using chips, which is usually the case for me, even with the opening down it tends to suck a small chip or two into the flow tube during longer smokes. I can usually tell when this is the case because the Smoke density drops. When this happens I take a metal skewer and poke it down the length of the tube to dislodge the offending chip. I remove the smoke tube after use and do the same to clean it out after pretty much every use. 

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I can see that happening for sure. I was mainly talking about using a brush or something to scrub the main tube on the inside. Unless you are worried about creasote build up that might lead to bitter smoke, I don't see it being worth the effort. 

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Here is a prototype I am working on.  It needs a bit of refinement but I think you can see what it does.

A disc of 316 Stainless Steel acting as a collar for the smoke tube that is attached/screwed to the mounting bracket (which does not rotate at all) and the set screw in the collar prevents the vertical chip tube from rotating.

Dennis, are you watching?? :-)  A pretty good retrofit for existing Cold Smokers.

 

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Edited by FotonDrv
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Replace slot head bolt with allen set screw.  Machine 1/16" off its length.  I might try to cut a radius to fit the vertical CS Chip Chamber.

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A simple Stop Collar that fits the Smoke Tube with 2 holes drilled in it would work fine.

 

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Another cold smoker mod I'm trying today. Bought a sheet of 10-mesh 304 stainless, snipped it to size, then rolled it to fit inside the tube. I've had a few issues with small chips getting sucked into and partially blocking the tube mid-smoke. Hoping this will prevent that.

IMG_2056.JPG

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Jeff, were you getting ashes sucked up into the tube?  Very curious to see how that works for you.  Check to see if it condenses the smoke and builds up enough to choke off the air flow.

 

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Not ashes, but small chips that would stick to the inner wall and restrict airflow. I could always tell when it was happening because the smoke would subside considerably. Solution was to poke a metal skewer in there to dislodge the stuck on chips. Hoping this prevents the problem. 

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So far so good.  Been going for well over an hour with consistent smoke. No apparent choking. Will look in the tube when done today to see if it stayed clear all day. If so, this would be the first time it did so.

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Finished the first smoke of the day (nuts!) with zero blockages. Using the cold smoker again later on for some char siu. After that will disassemble and inspect the tube, but so far so good. Thinking this wire mesh is doing what I'd hoped.

Edited by HalfSmoke

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HalfSmoke, I am curious as to how the chips get stuck in the tube because the open part of that tube faces down.  ???

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15 minutes ago, MacKenzie said:

HalfSmoke, I am curious as to how the chips get stuck in the tube because the open part of that tube faces down.  ???

Yes it does, and yes they do. Happens nearly every single time I use it. Bottom line is there is a suction of air and smoke into the tube, and sometimes a small chip goes with it. It was much worse when I tried pellets, but also happens with wood chips. It isn't a complete obstruction, but it is enough to alter the flow, reduce the smoke and sometimes extinguish the fire. When this happens I need a metal skewer to dislodge the blockages, and then it works fine again until the next chip gets sucked into the tube.

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Thanks, HalfSmoke. :) 

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Did you try using the pump at a reduced air flow?  Or what air flow setting were you using on that pump Jeff?  It sounds like the venturi effect is really strong.

 

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2 hours ago, FotonDrv said:

Did you try using the pump at a reduced air flow?  Or what air flow setting were you using on that pump Jeff?  It sounds like the venturi effect is really strong.

 

I've used the pump at all possible settings, depending on the cook and smoke intensity I want. Regardless of the setting, it does operate on the principle of using the forced air from the pump to create a suction of the contents of the main cylinder -- preferably only the smoke -- into the smoke tube. But small blockages have repeatedly occurred after extended use -- I use my cold smoker a lot. Good news is that the mesh insert worked yesterday. I experienced no blockages and the tube is clear on post-smoke inspection. 

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On 2/5/2017 at 0:48 AM, HalfSmoke said:

Another cold smoker mod I'm trying today. Bought a sheet of 10-mesh 304 stainless, snipped it to size, then rolled it to fit inside the tube. I've had a few issues with small chips getting sucked into and partially blocking the tube mid-smoke. Hoping this will prevent that.

IMG_2056.JPG

 

If you were to do it again.. would you use such a fine mesh?   I'm thinking it's going to gunk up quickly. I guess it's best if it can be slid in and out for cleaning.. Thanks for the idea.  I don't have any chips here and chunks of course don't blow around.

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6 hours ago, DennisLinkletter said:

If you were to do it again.. would you use such a fine mesh?   I'm thinking it's going to gunk up quickly. I guess it's best if it can be slid in and out for cleaning.. Thanks for the idea.  I don't have any chips here and chunks of course don't blow around.

Don't know. I know I won't go finer. This size worked fine the first time, but will keep an eye on it for sure. Good news is mesh is cheap and if it does gunk up I can easily replace and look for a different size. 

Edited by HalfSmoke

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