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Just Bought One Of The New ProQ Cold Smoking Cabinets


sotv
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These came out last month (Wasn't even aware of it before today), ProQsmokers sold out so had to get from BlackboxBBQ, from the dimensions not massive and will have to hang a side of salmon from it, rather than lay flat, But should hold 2 or 3 Pork bellies around 1kg each and the same with cheese, which is ideal for me. Designed to use with the ProQ maze and is weatherproof (galvanised steel) and the holes are at the back so can use in the rain etc Tick all my boxes and hopefully will arrive sometime next week. Will post piccies, when I get it

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It looks good and I am sure it will do a great job. The first couple of times you use it I would pop a couple of digital thermometer probes in (one at the top and the other at the bottom) to see what kind of temperature gradient you are getting with the smoke generator lit. The small ProQ maze smoker creates less heat than the Amazon pellet generator however it can cause a confined space to warm up quite quickly. The thin walls of the smoke chamber will hopefully dissipate this effectively.

Looking forward to seeing how you get on with it 👍

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Arrived today, bought a new CSG as my old one had seen better days, will try it out with a few blocks of cheese tomorrow to see how it performs and check temps. Not ideal 9 degrees forecast tomorrow, but not really forecast to go much lower than that over the next 2 weeks anyway.

Looks like it will hold 3 pieces of pork belly/loin around 1.5kg each, 2.5kg of cheese per rack. Fish will have to be hung from the top but should easily hold 2 or 3 sides of salmon

Magnetic door

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2 vents at the back at top to let the smoke escape

 

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Put 2 small blocks of cheese in it this morning to try it out. The outside air temp was showing 56F and with the cheese in and door closed and CSG on it climbed to 59F so all in all not to bad. (Would have put a couple of ice packs in, but none in the freezer) but as cheese should be ok.

So looks like the internal temps when working are pretty well matched to the external air temp, so pleased about that and the smoke comes out the back from the top 2 vents nicely.

Hopefully this video works to show the visible smoke from the back and the photo shows the space inside with 2 blocks of cheese

 

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After just under 3 hours smoking, came out a lovely yellow colour (started out creamy white) all round the outside and imparted a good smoke smell to them. Putting in the fridge for a few days to let the smoke settle and then get stuck in.

2 slabs of pork belly for bacon curing at the moment, hoping to get them smoked later next week.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did a couple of slabs of bacon last night, couple of things I noticed different from doing it in my old ProQ Frontier to this.

1) A whole maze of dust burns through in around 5 hours, in the Frontier it could go 12-14 hours with the same amount of dust. I Assume it is airflow as considerably more smoke is generated with this cabinet than I could ever achieve with the Frontier.

2) Imprint of the rack is left on the meat once removed, hopefully will disappear over a couple of days, whilst allowing the smoke to settle on the meat, if not then hanging it may be the way forward.

3) Quiet a sticky mess and a couple of small grease pools inside the cabinet after 12 hours of smoking and will only build up over time. Should I leave it (seasoning) or scrub it out every so often? With the Frontier, you know it would be burnt off in the next cook, not so with this cabinet.

4) Proof of pudding will be in the eating, but the colour of the meat after smoking far surpasses anything I ever did on the Frontier, it has a gorgeous yellow colour to the fat, really looking forward to trying it, looks and smells way better than anything I have cold smoked on the Frontier before.

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  • 3 months later...

Had it for 4 months using it regularly and it works really well, done bacon, cheese, butter, duck breasts & garlic and have turned out very well. I feel the smoke seems to have improved overall in the finished product and the quality and strength of the smoke flavour as well, using the same maze and dust. A definite improvement than using my old bullet smoker to cold smoke, I feel.

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This does look good, I am thinking of buying one this weekend. Did your come with a dust smoke generator or did you have to buy one seperately?

How tight do you compress the dust? Sorry for all of the questions but I'm new to using dust. My old smoker I made I used sood chips on lumpwood charcoal.

Thanks for the photos, as was a bit weary of the size, but it looks good

Edited by LeeJ
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2 hours ago, LeeJ said:

This does look good, I am thinking of buying one this weekend. Did your come with a dust smoke generator or did you have to buy one seperately?

How tight do you compress the dust? Sorry for all of the questions but I'm new to using dust. My old smoker I made I used sood chips on lumpwood charcoal.

Thanks for the photos, as was a bit weary of the size, but it looks good

No you need to buy the smoke generator separately. I bought a new one to go with mine as my other was a few years old now. I got the original size again (not sure if the artisan will fit in the chamber (contact them if you want that size to check). But the original does feel about as big as it will go as with the handles it feels quite snug anyway.

I've switched to the Weber Dust as it works so well and catches and burns along the whole maze, had a few other brands that have been a bit temperamental and go out or don't catch sometimes and it gets a bit frustrating. Their are plenty of dust brands and sellers out there though, just a case of finding a good one for yourself.

The Smoke generator lasts about 6-7 hours fully packed from start to finish to give you an idea of timings. Used to get 10-12 hours in my bullet smoker. But the airflow and quality of smoke on the food with this cabinet is so much better, it's worth the trade off. Each shelf holds about 1.5kg of pork belly for bacon to give you an idea of size. It can just about hang a couple of  whole sides of salmon but tight, but I tend to cut the bottom 3 inches off the tail to make it more comfortable. You can get about 9-12 blocks of cheese on the 3 shelves depending on size.

For my needs I think it's been a good investment although it does require cleaning every so often from the smoke and grease that buils up as you can't burn it off with a hot smoke like on the bullet smoker iyswim.

If you get one enjoy it.

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Bar Keepers Friend is marvellous at cleaning off grease and all sorts of things on metal and glass mate.  I use it to clean my mash boil beer kit and also the log fire stove door window and baking trays saucepans sink, bbq grate and so forth etc, all comes up gleaming.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bar-Keepers-Friend-Surface-Household/dp/B00BLKGJ2G

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Side of Salmon just sliced up and packaged, using Weber Beech Dust. Very happy with this cabinet, preferring it to using the Bullet Smoker I used previously, fell there is a better airflow and produces a better finished smoke flavour to what I cold smoke, forms a good pellicle as well, this was in for 2 maze fulls (14 hours) 

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On 1/20/2021 at 2:53 PM, Justin said:

Bar Keepers Friend is marvellous at cleaning off grease and all sorts of things on metal and glass mate.  I use it to clean my mash boil beer kit and also the log fire stove door window and baking trays saucepans sink, bbq grate and so forth etc, all comes up gleaming.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bar-Keepers-Friend-Surface-Household/dp/B00BLKGJ2G

 

 

Awesome, Thank you for the tip. I just bought some

Edited by LeeJ
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29 minutes ago, sotv said:

Side of Salmon just sliced up and packaged, using Weber Beech Dust. Very happy with this cabinet, preferring it to using the Bullet Smoker I used previously, fell there is a better airflow and produces a better finished smoke flavour to what I cold smoke, forms a good pellicle as well, this was in for 2 maze fulls (14 hours) 

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That looks really good. I agree. I really like this smoker. So glad I bought it in the end

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1 minute ago, LeeJ said:

So I've been some smoking and curing my self with mine also. Used the ProQ Oak dust

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Some lovely looking meats there, only done bacon and duck as cured meats so far to cold smoke, but if I can set something up to do other charcuterie type meats, will look to expand beyond, cheese, salmon and bacon in the future as this cabinet is easy to hang or smoke stuff on the shelves and produces a good finished level of smoke on the product, I'm finding.

Got the Weber beech dust on offer but nearly used it all up now, so will probably try out some other brands of dust next, but the beech produces a pretty good finished flavour

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  • 1 month later...

hi. I am thinking to buy it as find it more or less only right thing for my needs at reasonable price.

I wonder, how big it actually is? I usually smoke 4-5 Loins (raw weight before curing ~2kg each) in one go - will it hold the weight, and more over - will it fit?

Maybe you got some more pictures for the size evaluation?

Also - is there any way to reduce air flow in order to have a bit longer life of the smoke generator?

 

currently using Kamado for this but would be happy to have something which is separate for cold smoke only

 

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15 hours ago, yessuz said:

hi. I am thinking to buy it as find it more or less only right thing for my needs at reasonable price.

I wonder, how big it actually is? I usually smoke 4-5 Loins (raw weight before curing ~2kg each) in one go - will it hold the weight, and more over - will it fit?

Maybe you got some more pictures for the size evaluation?

Also - is there any way to reduce air flow in order to have a bit longer life of the smoke generator?

 

currently using Kamado for this but would be happy to have something which is separate for cold smoke only

 

You get three racks with it 12 x 12 inches (maybe room for 1 more, but not seen any spares for sale) I've cold smoked a couple of 2kg loins at once (and I could do 3 easily with the 3 racks),  I have only put one piece on a seperate rack for meats (belly or loin) , but a couple of 1 kg for cheeses on each rack, personally think it would be to tight to fit 2 x  2kg loins on each rack , although the racks would probably hold the weight. It can get a little greasy from the smoke on the sides and back during use, so unless happy to clean it out after every smoke, would be wary of the meat touching the side or back and picking any of it up.

It is serving me very well with the three racks for what I do quantity wise, but for large quantities, like you do, something larger maybe more better for yourself? 

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thanks! that's what I was afraid of :D

 

issue is - my friends tried my smoked meats and now ... I got an order backlog :D so I need something slightly bigger

Edited by yessuz
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17 hours ago, yessuz said:

Also - is there any way to reduce air flow in order to have a bit longer life of the smoke generator?

You do not want to slow the air flow over the meat too much as that is likely to end up with the heavier tars from the smoke condensing on the surface of the meat, making it bitter.

If you need more space at a budget price why not increase your capacity with an incinerator smoker. They are cheap and are very effective.

Tube generator inside the incinerator - but this could be a maze generator. Canes are slid through top holes to support the hanging meat or a wire BBQ rack. Any unnecessary hole are covered with aluminium tape.

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If you need to run the smoker a little cooler then place the smoke generator underneath the incinerator and shield with bricks. You can even place a bowl of water inside to help reduce the temperature. 

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GENIUS!!!!! I was thinking about some sort of small cabinet or something, but now - incinerator! why I did not think about it before... :D

will do that! :D

by the way - in your pics, your incinerator has no bottom? or how does it work if you put it below?

I would be using maze/spiral smoke generator I have, and if I understand it correctly - you use duct tape to cover all other holes except the top

 

by the way - what size incinerator is this? 80/90L?

 

Edited by yessuz
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Yes it has a bottom with holes in it. On the first picture you can see them either side of the tube smoke generator. In the third picture they are obscured by the water pan which is sitting on a couple of bricks inside the incinerator. The water pan is only needed if the smoke chamber is getting too warm - not usually a problem this time of year.

The maze/spiral smoker creates less heat than the tube smoker so it will be fine inside the incinerator.  Depending on the type of incinerator it could have holes at the top and down the sides too. Look at the different types and look for ones with holes near the top that are in a good position to push canes through. Any down the side cover with tape. I use the self adhesive aluminium tape as it is heat resistant and weatherproof. 

https://www.diy.com/departments/diall-silver-repair-tape-l-50m-w-75mm/1714141_BQ.prd

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wrote the reply and looks like not posted...
I bought 125L one from amazon. has no holes on top, but I will put 4 longer bolts through in order be able to put the grill on top, like in this pic 3.

 

I will be able to smoke meats in 3 layers then I think: hanging below grill (with S hooks), on the grill itself and with additional raiser on top of the grill :D

 only question is - wont all bottom holes and open top chimney will make the the generator to be used too quickly? maybe it's worth to cover few holes in the bottom and to have some sort of "gasket/cover" on top chimney as well?

In Kamado I have bottom and top vents at absolute minimum gaps and smoke maize lasts me about 12 hrs. and I usually smoke meats for like 24-48 hrs :/

Edited by yessuz
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Restricting the air flow to the smoke generator is a delicate balance and I have found that it isn't generally necessary. If you try to restruct the air to extend the burn then it is much more likely that the burn will go out before it is complete - especially as the air cools overnight. Providing a charge of dust/pellets lasts for at least 8 hours then that will be sufficient to get you through the night. You can then reload it in the morning if necessary.

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