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Guess what I was given for Christmas?


JamesF
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You're absolutely right: Richard Osman's new "Thursday Murder Club" book.  How did you know?

Err, no, actually :)  At my wife's suggestion my in-laws gave me a ProQ eco smoker.  I've been meaning to set up some sort of smoker for years, but you know, life, children, work, that sort of stuff...  I was also given Jo Hampson's "Smoking Food at Home" and Jake Levin's Smokehouse Handbook which kept me occupied whilst half the Atlantic seemed to be falling on my particular patch of West Somerset.

Anyhow, as soon as the weather dries out a bit I shall be trying a few things.  Probably cheese and some garlic from the veggie plot first, but I also have a few chickens that are shortly due to head towards the freezer so I might have to see if I can do anything with some of those.  One thing I will absolutely have to do is smoke some more chiles specifically to smoke.  Once I have a bit of experience with cold smoking then I'll look at building a hot smoker as well.

I'm not sure how long the eco-smoker will last given that it's just cardboard, but I can quite easily knock up a new box if necessary and I just happen to have some racks from a dead oven that would allow me to make a slightly larger one.

James

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/28/2021 at 6:34 PM, JamesF said:

You're absolutely right: Richard Osman's new "Thursday Murder Club" book.  How did you know?

Err, no, actually :)  At my wife's suggestion my in-laws gave me a ProQ eco smoker.  I've been meaning to set up some sort of smoker for years, but you know, life, children, work, that sort of stuff...  I was also given Jo Hampson's "Smoking Food at Home" and Jake Levin's Smokehouse Handbook which kept me occupied whilst half the Atlantic seemed to be falling on my particular patch of West Somerset.

Anyhow, as soon as the weather dries out a bit I shall be trying a few things.  Probably cheese and some garlic from the veggie plot first, but I also have a few chickens that are shortly due to head towards the freezer so I might have to see if I can do anything with some of those.  One thing I will absolutely have to do is smoke some more chiles specifically to smoke.  Once I have a bit of experience with cold smoking then I'll look at building a hot smoker as well.

I'm not sure how long the eco-smoker will last given that it's just cardboard, but I can quite easily knock up a new box if necessary and I just happen to have some racks from a dead oven that would allow me to make a slightly larger one.

James

How would you say the eco smoker has faired now you’ve used it?

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It's doing ok so far.  I am slightly concerned that in a longer smoke (when I recently did some salmon) overnight, the outer cardboard tube felt slightly damp in the morning when there had been no rain, but it seemed to dry out ok once I'd put it back in the greenhouse (where I'm keeping it for the time being as it still smells too much of smoke to want to keep in the house).

For what it is I certainly can't complain about how it performs, but I can see a day coming in the not too distance future when I'll build my own cabinet, possibly to fit the racks etc. that are in the eco smoker.

The one possible niggle not specific to the eco smoker is the use of the tea light to start the dust burning.  I've seen the trick with putting a screw into the side to be able to move it in and out and used that, but then found that when it burnt down far enough the wax leaked out around the screw.  It's also a bit awkward to get lit if there's any kind of breeze (usually the case around here as we're on quite an exposed site).  I'm thinking I might 3D-print a holder for the tea light to make it easier to slide in and out, and perhaps chop a piece out of the side of a tin can to allow it to be used as a shield whilst lighting the candle.

Oh, I have also discovered that tea lights are not all the same size.  Some of ours are too tall and won't fit :(

James

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