the life and times of J T Frey

Home-made Cold Smoker

A cold-smoker does not need to be an expensive piece of equipment. Time and time again on shows like “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” you see someone reusing some sort of metal enclosure to create a smoker (hot or cold). My apparatus employs a Weber “Smokey Joe” charcoal grill as the firebox and my Brinkmann bullet as the smoking chamber.

A flexible aluminum dryer exhaust tube carries the smoke from the firebox to the smoking chamber. The exhaust tube was more or less exactly the same diameter as the vent on top of the lid of the “Smokey Joe.” I cut notches into the neck of the aluminum tube outlet, bent the resulting “tabs” 90° to sit flat against the vent, and secured them with some metalized HVAC tape:

Close-up detail of the smoke conduit leading from the "Smokey Joe" grill.

I went to the effort of folding the tape under the vent cap so that it can still rotate, letting more or less smoke escape the firebox. The exhaust tube runs into the side door of the Brinkmann and angles upwards:

Charcoal is lit in a chimney starter and transferred to the “Smokey Joe”, along with soaked wood chips or chunks. The lid is secured and weighted with a brick. Food items are placed on the top rack of the Brinkmann. As the wood smolders, smoke (and a minor amount of heat) travels through the dryer tube, into the Brinkmann, and upwards into the dome lid where it lingers before leaking out the sides of the dome lid.

Written by Jeff Frey on Monday February 29, 2016
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