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Posted: Saturday 24 July, 2004

by Dan at 12:35pm in Recipes 3 comments Add your own

Yesterday I got the last pieces of the jigsaw that is our home-built smoker - a length of tubing for the propane gas bottle and a couple of retaining clips to keep it firmly connected to the boiling ring and the bottle. So last night we assembled it, set about discovering its nuances and put one of our Wiltshire cured hams in as a first try.

During the night I made adjustments to the gas ring every 3 hours and added sawdust as required. The temperature ranged from 20-40 degrees centigrade, at first, but settled at a perfect 30 degrees once I'd got the hang of it.

This morning, fairly confident that I could maintain a steady supply of smoke at a fairly constant temperature I hung the 2 sides of belly pork in to be smoked for 24 hours. I've just removed the ham from last night, boiled it briefly in water and it's in the oven baking. Photos to follow.

I'll produce a page with details of how the smoker was made later, but here are some photos from last night:

1. The boiling ring, from the Outdoor Megastore:

Boiling ring

2. A bottle of propane gas, hooked up to the ring:

Gas bottle

3. The smoker base. The hinged flap on the front allows access to the baffle plate where the sawdust sits:

Smoker base

4. The smoker cabinet. At the bottom you can see the diffuser which should distribute the smoke more evenly, and at the top the three bars for hanging food from:

Smoker cabinet

5. The baffle plate with sawdust in place:

Smoker baffle plate

6. The smoker fully assembled with the cabinet on top of the base:

Assembled smoker

It's huge, standing over 7 feet tall, but will accommodate a lot of food to be smoked at the same time, and should work as a hot smoker too. The plan is to use this for a year or so, then build a brick smoker with integrated barbecue next summer.

I should point out that it was built by my dad to a design we both refined - I wouldn't have a clue where to start, but being a former metal-worker he can clearly work wonders with the stuff.

Comments

Snowbabies

Tuesday 27 July, 2004 at 9:03am

Looks like a nice piece of kit that, I'll bet the smells are wonderfull while it's smoking :-) My Dad used to smoke fish he'd caught on fishing trips in the back garden years ago when there were still fish in the sea.

Paul

Eifion

Friday 30 July, 2004 at 8:27am

Just stumbled across your website by accident whilst searching for "smallholding". Just putting an offer in on our first small holding. Yours makes wonderful reading! (Spent most of my days reading John Seymour's book!!)Keep up, enjoy the bacon. Eifion

Dan

Sunday 1 August, 2004 at 9:59am

Yes Paul, smells great when it's going (and the smell can stay with you for days it seems!).

Good luck with your offer Eiffon, Seymour is a fine mentor :O)

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