Cold Smoking

  • I am new to cold smoking and could use a little help. I’m trying to cold smoke salmon for lox. I am using Cameron’s extra fine premium wood chips in a cold smoke generator inserted inside a stove top smoker.

    I bought a cold smoke generator for use with my Nordic Ware stove top kettle smoker. The cold smoke generator sits underneath the meat tray insert of my stove top smoker. My problem is that I can’t get the wood to ignite and stay lit in the generator even with the vent open a bit. I tried using the tea light candle the manufacturer provides but that was useless as an igniter. Then I tried using my bbq lighter but I don’t think the flame is hot enough as it took forever to get the wood to just singe. I have used this smoker numerous times with heat and it works fine but never as a cold smoker. I don’t think the problem is with the smoker itself. I’m wondering if the minimal amount of space between the cold smoker generator and the bottom of the meat tray is suppressing the heat from the wood chips and causing them to die out. There is about a 1/4-1/2 inch gap between the two and the meat tray is vented. The fish is not dripping liquid either. The generator is seated in the same area that the wood chips go in when the smoker is being used with heat so I find it hard to believe that would be the problem either. I’m going to purchase a torch to see if a hotter flame might get the wood chips started but in the mean time are there any suggestions as to how I might get the chips to ignite and more importantly stay lit for the 6-8 hours the salmon needs to smoke?

    Thanks for your feedback.

  • Walton's Employee

    @Hip-Granny Since we don’t have this type of smoke generator I can’t say for sure what the issue is. I can tell you however when I cold smoke things with our Cameron’s Flip Professional Smoke Box I need to use either Cameron’s Fire Starters or A-Maze-N Gel Firestarter to get my pellets or chips lit. I use the Fire Starter if I am using chips and the Gel if I am using pellets, I dont know if one is really better than the other for the different fuel sources but it seems to make sense to me.

    Now, when I use Extra Fine chips or sawdust in our PK-100 I don’t need a fire starter and I can use just the Blow Torch like you are about to get. I have a feeling that having that torch is going to fix your issue but if it doesn’t then you can try out either the Fire Starters or the Gel.

    Anyone else have any input? I know I am far from the most experienced cold smoker on this board so anyone else’s input would be welcome!

  • @jonathon has anyone used a dehydrator to dry out their sausage before using the smoker?

  • Walton's Employee

    @Hip-Granny The FireStarters are safe for indoor use so yes you could use them indoors but the Gel does not say if it is safe for use indoors so if you were going to try one I would recommend the Firestarters. The main problem you are going to have, from what I can see, is the one you identified in your initial post, Air Flow. With a set up like that I can’t say with any real confidence that the woodchips will continue to burn, the firestarter should do its job even in a low to no air-flow environment but once that has burned out will the chips keep burning? It is essentially doing the same thing as the torch, making sure that a good burn starts but then from there the chips seem to being smothered.

    Without buying a new smoker I would think this is your best option though!

    Let me know if you need anything else

  • @jonathon how long and what temp do you keep your ssusage on before adding smoke?

  • Walton's Employee

    @skipdiggidy When doing summer sausage or snack sticks or really any cured sausage like product I run the first hour without any smoke and I have the dampers pretty much wide open, this is just a drying phase. For starting temp it will change a little depending on the diameter of the product but I usually start out at 120°. Then I close the dampers down most of the way and start adding smoke at that point.

    It has always seemed to work very well for me. Starting out adding smoke is going to cause the water evaporating from the casing to retain the smoke, then when it evaporates your casing has a strong smoke to it but it hasn’t really transferred to the meat.

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  • Smores Will it BBQ? Smores!

    In this segment we pose the question and the answer to Will it BBQ? So much more than just hamburgers, hot dogs, and other meats can be BBQ'd, Grilled, or Smoked. And, this is where we try out unique ideas for cooking on a grill or smoker. This week we are BBQ'ing Smores and letting you know if it will BBQ or not!

    Prep Time

    5 Minutes

    Cook Time

    10 Minutes


    Graham Cracckers

    Utensils Needed

    Foil Pan

    Instructions So much more than just hamburgers, hot dogs, and other meats can be BBQ'd, Grilled, or Smoked. And, this is where we try out unique ideas for cooking on a grill or smoker. This week we are going to try BBQing Smores!

    Obviously, Smores will BBQ, doing them on a grill is basically the same process as over a fire but doing it on the BBQ might have a few advantages. With normal smores, you are relying on the heat from the marshmallow to melt the chocolate and you can only do a few at a time.

    Some people might say doing it this way takes all the fun out of it, the messy gooey fingers are part of it and if you have kids I’m sure that’s true but if you are making larger quantities for a dessert then this is the way to go. We lined the bottom of a foil pan with graham crackers then we laid a few pieces of chocolate on top of those and put the marshmallow ontop of that. We left the top layer of graham crackers off until just before it was done so we could easily monitor their progress.

    We did a few where we cut a slit in the marshmallows and inserted a small piece of chocolate to see if that made any difference in the finished appearance.

    We had our grill running at 450° and we let them cook for about 10 minutes.
    I sprinkled some Cinnamon toast shake on these and just like always that made things a lot tastier!

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    So, in the end, is this any better than doing it over a fire? Well that depends, if the little ones want to use something like the Fire Fishing Pole and make an evening of it then this might take some of the fun out of it. However, if you are just wanting to make some delicious gooey smores for a lot of people then this is the way to go!

    Shop Walton’s for Broil King S 590 Weston Pro Series #32 Meat Grinder XXXXXXXXX Hi-Temp Ghost Pepper Cheese Hi-Temp Cheese

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  • M

    @jonathon Thank you so much. We are very excited to make more snack sticks. We ordered more supplies today!

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