Some time in the last century I managed to buy a Barbecue food smoker, which over the years has performed sterling service as a hot food smoker. It takes Outdoor Blokes Cooking to a new level, enabling the cook to look busy adjusting complicated things, creates a sense of drama whenever you add more wet chips with billowing smoke, looks far more impressive than a plain barbeque ever could, and best of all its almost impossible to burn the food or get it wrong. really there’s nothing to it. The hardest bit is lighting the fire for which blow torches were invented, I discovered lighting my blacksmiths forge with a blow torch and never went back why make life difficult for yourself. At the bottom of the smoker is a charcoal fire, onto which you place wet hardwood chips to create the smoke, which in turn smokes the food on the racks above. Between the two elements there is a bowl of water to keep everything moist, cooking a smoked roast chicken to die for. Having been playing with this for over 10 years, I have to say the results which were good at the start are now magnificent, although I would claim that the introduction of my own home made charcoal takes it to a level far beyond anything ever envisaged by the manufacturer. If you haven’t already seen it have a look at my video how to make charcoal But now the Smoker is showing its age and so its time to make the new improved version. I did have a look on you tube for inspiration and there are lots of videos about how to make a smoker in an oil drum, or a water tank, making a virtue about how cheap it can be, completely forgetting quality along the way, I want something that will last, and would I want food from an oil drum anyway.
Therefore my project for the next few weekends is create a Quality Smoker in the garden at Heritage Towers. I am desperate to expand my repertoire and try smoking cheese in particular brie and cheddar, for which you need a cold smoker, but don’t want to give up Hot Smoked Turkey and Salmon. Therefore I have come up with a design that I think can do both hot and cold smoking although obviously not at the same time. In simple terms I am looking to make a brick enclosure with a door, inside which is a metal frame onto which you slide racks of food, which as you can see from the picture above is what I made this weekend, along with the concrete base for it all to stand on. Next weekend weather and family willing its time to be a brick layer, building the brick enclosure to put it all in. Sounds simple when you say it like that, but I have never built one before, never seen one, and will be making it up as I go along. Put in those terms it like that it sounds like a recipe for disaster.