I'm looking to start smoking some charcouterie items at home(sausages, bacon, fish, ect). I don't want to buy an actual smoker, b/c of both the expense and un-portablity of them. So, I'm trying to devise an alternative. I'd like to be able to both hot and cold smoke. All I can think of would be a metal box, with a divider that went halfway up in the middle, so I could build the fire on one side, and have the smoking items on the other. any ideas on how to implement this? where to get the materials? what materials to use? what's the best way to get the most smoke andd least heat from a fire? anything else anyone can think of?
what about a stovetop smoker? I have had great results - it's just two stainless steel trays, one of which is slightly smaller and fits inside the other, the smoking chips(which are fine almost like sawdust) go in the outer tray, and a cover slides tightly over the top. They come as large as to fit over two burners on a range. I have done sausages, vegetables, fish, chicken, etc. in it and it is incredibly easy to deal with.
I use my weber bbq to smoke (hot and cold) I normally set myself up to hot smoke first (as in I start to 'smoke' before it's actually ready) then cold smoke. You just need to be able to set logs/chips far enough away from food so I normally take the bottom tray out as I have one of the smaller bbq's.
That being said it's always a little hit and miss but that's probably because I've never gotten round to writing down what does and doesn't work and how things have gone.
I also recall something about not using certain types of wood but can never remember which ones they are.
re: ali patts
I have also used our Weber kettle(to hot-smoke smoke the thanksgiving turkey) and have found it to be pretty dependable. The only problem is sometimes it's hard to judge the temperature inside the grill when hot-smoking, so you have to be vigilant about keeping track of time and checking your smokee pretty often.
There's a similar thread, with some info on point, over here:
For hot smoking, I can strongly recommend the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, AKA Weber bullet. I have not used it for true cold smoking but have "warm" smoked fresh sausages at low-ish temperatures. The Virtual Weber Bullet site has some stuff on modifications for true cold smoking in the bullet.