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Cardboard Box Smoker Deluxe


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Following some feedback from a past student about some difficulties she had in trying to keep the temperatures down in the cardboard box cold smoker to smoke cheese on warm days I have made some adjustments to the original design to create the "Cardboard Box Smoker Deluxe" :D. Having now performed several very successful smokes in it I can confirm that the slight modification has made a lot of difference.

Here is a link to the original Cardboard Box Smoker... http://www.woodsmokeforum.uk/topic/24-cardboard-box-cold-smoker/

The mod involved simply adding a separate, smaller, cardboard box at one end to hold the smoke generator - much like the firebox on an offset smoker.

Start with the large cardboard box. Assemble and close the top lid but to get additional height (if needed) leave the base flaps extended and tape together at the corners.


Cut a large hole at the bottom of one end of the box to allow the smoke into the chamber. do the same with a second, smaller, box making sure that the hole is the same size and extends almost the whole height of the smaller box. This will allow the smoke from the smoke generator to pass freely into the smoking chamber.

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Cut a small hole at the opposite end of the small box to allow the air to enter and also a flap in the top of larger box to allow the smoke to escape.


For an inexpensive cold smoke generator you can use a cheap kitchen sieve with the bottom pushed upwards. This will generate good amounts of smoke for about 4 hours before it needs refilling.


Construct the inside of your smoker using bricks and cake cooling racks in the large box and place the smoke generator so that it will sit in the small box.


Place your food on the racks and drop the boxed over the top.


Having the small air intake at the bottom of the small box, the large interconnecting hole between the boxes, and the flue flap at the top of the larger box uses the natural convection of the warm air and smoke to keep them moving through the smoke chamber. The addition of the separate smoke generator chamber helps dissipate much of the heat that is created by the smoke generator before it passes into the smoking chamber.

A simple, cheap, and very effective cold smoker for those who want to smoke on a budget.

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3 hours ago, valve90210 said:

What a  great idea, looks like you could have a huge amount of smoking space in there too with the simple addition of extra layers of bricks and cooling racks!

Yes. As much, if not more than, most entry level commercial smokers.

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  • 7 months later...
1 hour ago, Justin said:

An idea, a ducting connection between the boxes will allow the smoke to cool further  as any heat will radiate in the duct?  thoughts?

That would work :thumb1:. My only suggested improvement would be to leave the smoke generator box on the floor but to elevate the smoking chamber box on a low table. This will ensure that convection will still cause the air to rise up through the system and out of the top of the smoking chamber. You do not want to entirely eliminate the heat gradient  or the air/smoke  will cease to flow through the system. 

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Yes. I was considering that how to make sure it gets on the rise  at the start, once flowing the convection will get it flowing. So either your idea (thx) or downwind.  rather waiting for it to calm down, scorching at the mo innit

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In my commercial cold smoker I do not rely on convection as I have built a variable speed fan into the flue. You can also do the same when smoking in something like a Kettle BBQ. The advantage of this is that even after the smoke generator has gone out the air is kept moving by the fan and does not go "stale" inside the smoking chamber.


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