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Ready for a test run...

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I have to keep my ProQ Eco smoker in the greenhouse because, fairly obviously, it honks of smoke, which doesn't go down too well with the lady of the house if it is left indoors.  The greenhouse specifically because I'm the only one who goes in there, so no-one is going to go piling stuff on top of it or anything like that.

Unfortunately it seems that some snails developed a bit of a taste for cardboard over the last few months and the box is no longer as sound as it once was.  Over the Christmas period I have therefore been scavenging in my scrap wood piles, hunted down a few other bits and pieces that I'd put to one side because I knew I'd find a use for them one day, and have come up with this, absolutely no expense spent.




The standard ProQ smoke generator slides into the wooden runners at the bottom and since taking the photos I've added some supports for the drip tray.  Overall it has a capacity of around 100 litres, probably about the same as a fairly standard UK electric oven which may not come as a great surprise given that an oven is where the racks came from :)

If the weather calms down a bit I shall attempt an empty test run tomorrow and if that's successful we'll be buying cheese to smoke over the weekend.


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I usually cut down a 400g block to 4 x100g blocks for smoking, you might find that if you go that small the cheese may not sit properly on the grates. Might be worth buying those cheap mesh chip racks plus it makes it easy to transfer cheese etc.

Though if you leave it a bigger block that would be avoided. I find for my taste the smaller blocks get a deeper flavour penetrated. Either way best of luck.

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Thank you.  I do have a couple of racks with smaller spacing but I need to take the angle grinder to them first.  Clearly they came from a slightly larger oven :)  I like the idea of using the mesh though.  We have some sheets so I'll give them a go.



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Test run of around an hour completed today.  It was a bit tricky to get things started as the wind is still gusting a fair bit.  Living on top of a hill doesn't help :)

I also spent another fifteen minutes in the workshop bodging up this from a scrap of galvanised steel sheet.


Not a brilliant photo, so perhaps its purpose is clearer here:


I know the usual hack is to put a screw through the side of the tea light, but I've not found that very satisfactory.  My experience is that they start leaking around the screw, or the screw comes loose and the tea light flops about.  The actual tea light containers appear to be barely any better than tinfoil these days.

It's a huge improvement, but not quite perfect as the entire thing conducts heat quite well and gets as hot as the wax.  I think the next stage is to fold a "step" into the handle part and use it as a tang to fit a small piece of dowel on for a heatproof handle.


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