Homemade Low-Cost, High-Character Cold Smoker Contraption
Today I will reveal the second craziest homemade cold smoker ever created. It was born from a desire to cold smoke a molasses cured, home butchered ham without breaking the bank and inspired by the craziest homemade meat cooking devise, my father's Hillbilly Ham House.
Behold Alex's Cold Smoking Contraption.
To build this beauty, Alex started with a gifted excess mini Weber grill and removed the top vent. He arranged a length of round furnace pipe acquired for $3 at the Habitat ReStore into the hole, followed by a $5 length of flexible dryer vent. Connections were reinforced with aluminum duct tape, $5 a roll.
The dryer vent ran into the modified lower vent of our existing large charcoal grill. Alex used the angle grinder and many curse words to extend the hole enough for the pipe to fit in properly. The grill remains usable to cook off meat with charcoal.
Useage is simple: Build a small wood fire in the mini Weber. Put the meat on the big grill and monitor temperature. After 18 hours, you have ham!
The dryer vent was incapable of handling the smoke heat for the duration and melted through once. Alex cut off the effected part, reattached with tape, and went about the smoking. A more permanent solution would be durable flexible hosing or connecting pieces of furnace pipe.
Cold smoking is the act of surrounding a piece of food with smoke but little to no residual heat. The ideal cold smoking temperature for a ham is 60 degrees F. Given that the air temperature in summer is generally higher than 60, adjustments can be made. We kept a pan of ice in the base of the meat chamber to help keep cool and were able to average about 75 degrees F.
Alas, our basement is still a little too warm for dry curing, the next step in the ham Alex wished to make. We ended air drying early before mold set in and packaged the ham in slices and chunks for the future. Someday we'll learn that hams are not meant to be made in July.
What do you think of Alex's creation? DIY genius or a bunch of junk?
PS. For classier Weber modifications, head over to our friend Dave's site Webercam.com.