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Flht01

Cold Smoker or 2 qt. Dutch Oven

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I recently purchased a cobalt blue 32 and picked up a cold smoker as one of the accessories. I've been pouring thru the archives and read quite a bit about the smoke pot that has been used with good success. I either overlooked or didn't find any post's that give advise on which method to use for the different type cooks (ex... low and slow, hot and fast etc...). I understand the need for the cold smoke attachment when smoking things that require very low temps but can someone comment on using the cold smoker with temps in the 250 to 300 deg range compared to the smoke pot?

Thanks

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

I have used my cold smoker when doing low and slow cooks between 225 and 275.  It works great.  I use a combination of pellets and wood chips.  I like the fact that I can add smoking wood without opening the lid on my KK.  Be careful adding wood to the cold smoker when it has been running for a while.  The lid gets very hot!  I like the fact that the smoke travels through the fire which burns off the volatiles giving you nice thin blue smoke from the get go.

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Biggest advantage is that you can add more fuel to the cold smoker if it is needed, can't do this very easily with the smoke pot. 

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I came up with the smoke pot. I've been meaning to try the cold smoker, I just haven't.

The cold smoker is a sure thing. There's an art to coaxing the right amount of smoke from the smoke pot. It appeals to those who find open smoldering wood unacceptably smoky, but some people have trouble getting the smoke pot going. Best practice gets a small hot fire under where the pot goes. When I've added a smoke pot after the fire was already stable, I sometimes preheat it, e.g. in a small Weber.

The cold smoker uses the same port as a BBQ Guru would, and I'm hooked on the Guru. However, one can adjust the steady flow of air provided by the smoker, and (I'm told) control your fire quite accurately this way. The oxygen supply is consistent, and the heat produced by your fire is pure physics based on available fuel (plenty) and oxygen (limited). Still, one has to be around. The KK needs less heat production after it stabilizes, which takes quite a while. I set my Guru and disappear.

(In a dream world a BBQ Guru-like controller adjusts the cold smoker airflow. No one's built that yet. It isn't exactly a PID controller, because the airflow is continuous, not on/off. This should make it an easy Arduino project (for example) as one is simply watching and correcting the rate of flow.)

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I have only used my cold smoker for that purpose. I use my Dutch oven smoker pot for long low & slow cooks, as I often use my Guru for those; and as Syz said, they are mutually exclusive right now. I haven't tried using the cold smoker to supply smoke for longer cooks, as I have trouble keeping it lit and need to tend it to make sure it's still producing smoke. 

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Thanks for the replies. I'm planning on cooking a brisket (cheap select - $1.49/# special - :-D ) that's been in the freezer for quite a while. You see, I swore to myself that I wouldn't "drink the KK Kool-Aid" when I bought "Blue 32". So as a test, I cooked a similar brisket to this one last week, hot and fast, and it was supposed to turn out dry and tough. Well, that was a complete failure. It was tender, moist and had a good bark. Next was bb ribs, same lack of effort should have produced dry and tough ribs. Failed again, best ribs I've cooked - ever. Dry rubbed, put on the main rack, cooked 5 hours without spritzing or wrapping.

IMG_0165.JPG

So I'm going to do this brisket this weekend and again expect less than stellar results. The only difference this time will be the cold smoker, so thanks for all the replies.

No sir, no Kool-Aid for me. I refuse to think "Blue 32" will out cook my offset or insulated cabinet. And who names a cooker anyway? :)

 

Edited by Flht01
Playing with pictures
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On 8/24/2017 at 8:02 AM, tony b said:

I have only used my cold smoker for that purpose. I use my Dutch oven smoker pot for long low & slow cooks, as I often use my Guru for those; and as Syz said, they are mutually exclusive right now. I haven't tried using the cold smoker to supply smoke for longer cooks, as I have trouble keeping it lit and need to tend it to make sure it's still producing smoke. 

 

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16 hours ago, tony b said:

<snipped>

I haven't tried using the cold smoker to supply smoke for longer cooks, as I have trouble keeping it lit and need to tend it to make sure it's still producing smoke. 

One thing I haven't given a lot of thought to is feeding the cold smoke. I bought the medium chips from Frutia without doing research. Any tips and tricks to keeping a steady and consistent smoke going?

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I've tried several things to keep the chips going - a small lit piece of charcoal, starter cubes, and blasts from the MAPP torch through the side holes. I think that you're going to find that the medium chips are too big. My next cold smoke session will incorporate smoking pellets mixed in with the Fruita wood chips to see if that helps. 

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I would suggest more lump than 1 small piece, I'd use several pieces and get that going really well first. and if your KK is running around 225F or so you should have enough draft to keep it going along with the pump. Once it's going add some of your smoking wood. Then when you see that is going add more of your smoking wood. I find using the Milwalkee compact blower on one of the holes at the bottom will get the coals really going. I just use a very small volume of air and it takes off. I Find that if the KK is running under 200F that it is harder to get the smoker going, I guess not enough draft. 

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4 minutes ago, MacKenzie said:

 I Find that if the KK is running under 200F that it is harder to get the smoker going, I guess not enough draft. 

I'm sure that's part of my problem with doing cold smoking (no fire in the KK) or really low temp smoking (150F). So, I'll try using more lit charcoal pieces next time along with pellets. I've got a 4.5 lb pork belly brining away to make more bacon, so I'll get a chance to practice on Monday. 

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Thanks for the suggestions, I'm going to give it a try tomorrow, that is if the hurricane doesn't decide to visit before the experts have predicted . :)

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I usually smoke my pork belly for bacon  around the 200F+ but no more than 225F. If it creeps up a little more towards the end of the cook I'm ok with that too. :) 

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Oh boy, bacon. I made some a while back but it come out too salty. Gave some to my friend and he said it ok for him. I still have some in the freezer, guess I'll try it again. 

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I thought I'd check in to say thanks to all for the tips on running the cold smoker. Everything when fine, ran the cs about 7 hours on the medium chips and didn't have to relight it any. I did have to run the pump about 75% to keep the airflow up enough to keep it smoldering. I was surprised at the bark and smoke ring it created. Here's a couple of pictures, you'll have to ignore the green overcast, the cutting board affected the white balance and I didn't take time to correct them (their straight out of the iPhone). 

 

IMG_0168.JPG

IMG_0169.JPG

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Thanks @MacKenzie and @Steve M

i pulled it a little early, the flat still probed a little tight in a place or two even though it was up to 206 it. I was impressed with the Oakridge black op's rub and I managed to get a little of the Oakridge game changer injection done in spite of the center still being a little frozen the night before. 

Really happy with the cold smoker, clean smoke flavor and easy to take apart for cleaning. 

all things considered, it was a good day. 

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