I felt I could not justify the high cost of a ready-built smoker; however, the do-it-yourself option appealed to the cheapskate in me. It's really simple - you make a hole in the side of a large box (for that, read old fridge), then from the outside of the fridge, poke the smoker unit into the hole and from the inside of the fridge fix the flange, cut a hole for a chimney, plug in the smoker (not the fridge!!) and off you go. Bradley provide a blueprint in a pdf document, though making a smoker from an old fridge is not in fact as complex as it first appears from this information sheet.
If I were to do it again from scratch, I would make the hole for the chimney at the very top of one of the sides, rather than in the top (roof) of the fridge, because with the latter option, moisture can condense (or even the rain can get in) and drip down onto the food being smoked - definitely not desirable in terms of quality, flavour, look and microbial safety of the final product.
If you don't have an old fridge to hand (who does?), just nip down to your local recycling centre and do your bit for the planet and repatriate one.
Alternatives to large smokers
Should you be short of space, you could look at a Bradley Countertop Smoker, which is about the size of a large microwave oven. It has two shelves and a.drip-tray. Polyscience also produces a Smoking Gun, which you can use to smoke food in the kitchen in small quantities. Please note that the Countertop smoker hot smokes only, and the Smoking Gun is for cold smoking only. It would be therefore, ideal to have both and they take up comparatively less space than a conventional smoker.
Bisquettes available in many `flavours'
Bradley Countertop Smoker in action
Polyscience Smoking Gun
Bradley smoker unit fitted into side of fridge
Blueprint: How to make your own smoker (Click this link to download the pdf, not the picture)
A selection of Bradley's flavoured bisquettes
Bisquette 'flavours' and uses
A bisquette is the term for special discs, made by compressing the sawdust (and bound together with natural collagen) from unusual varieties of tree woods which have been specially selected and prepared for smoking in a Bradley machine to impart special and exciting flavours to your foods.
- Alder - nutty & heavy. Use for: meat and tofu
- Apple - light, fruity & nutty. Use for: white fish
- Cherry - light & fruity. Use for: fish, chicken or vegetables
- Hickory - light, not very smoky. Use for: wild poultry like pheasant
- Maple - woody & tobacco-ish. Use for: shrimp, prawns and lobster
- Mesquite - heavy. Use for: spare-ribs
- Oak - spicy. Use for: salmon
- Pecan - nutty, coconut & coffee-ish. Use for: long smoking.
Tip of the day
Go to your fishing gear shop. They sell bags full of cheaper wood chips. And cheaper smokers too!
- Home cured bacon
- Home-smoked bacon, step-by-step - 2009
- Bradley Smokers (UK website)
- Bradley Smoke Generator unit (fits into side of an old fridge)
- How to fit a Bradley Smoke Generator to a used refrigerator (pdf blueprint)
- Processed meat leads to an early death
Pages in category ‘Smoked’
The following 10 pages are in this category, out of 10 total.