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Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 03:54
So, having some room and some spare cinderblocks, I figured why not make a smoker today?
Doesn't take much to blacken everything up.
Looks like this has been in operation for...well...longer than a few hours!
So some good learnings here. First off, it's too small to be useful. I need to make it one block longer, and one course higher. Using the steel plate for air intake allowed me to moderate temps, but getting it below 170° requires some effort. It will run nicely at 250° for conventional BBQ.
Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 02:25
A bit more work before it can be useful was needed. Step one was to reconfigure the pit. Now it's 31"x15". Next was to notch the blocks to put in supporting rods for the grate.
Yeah, they're a bit thin. Came from some old political yard sign. I figured they could stand up OK to hot air.
I'm repurposing one of my cooling racks for a cooking grid. Looks a bit lost in there.
Yep. A lot of unused space. Need to find a source for expanded metal in Houston.
Bigger pit made for a bigger hole to cover up. Steel plate no longer did the trick, so some spare lumber was pressed into service. Rock holds down the themocouple lead so the probe stays at food level.
This turned out really well. Fired on 100% Pecan. Seasoning was salt and pepper applied at 2.5g/lb for the salt and pepper to taste. Let the chop sit a couple of hours because I love a smoked ham pork chop. Let me tell you these did not disappoint!
Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 06:27
Chops look good.
Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:51
I'd love to use this for smoking sausage etc. but the problem is getting the temps down low enough. It's a struggle to get down to 170°, and that's still too hot for my tastes. I'd like to run no hotter than 150°, but I'm going to have to do something different to do that. I may end up going to a slatted type cover on top rather than just one slot at the far end, that should help with heat buildup. I could also flip some blocks at the bottom (groan!) on their sides nearest the fire so I could introduce some cooler outside air to mix with the heat from the fire. Hm now that I think about it, I could flip some right above the duct where the heat/smoke comes in and that would mix cooler air and keep it off of ground level.
Other thing is that it's hard to cold smoke when its getting into early summer.
Oh and another thing...I seasoned the chops with 2.5g/lb salt and fresh ground pepper. Let them sit for ~1.5-2 hours. They turned out like ham as a result...delicious!