Saturday, January 7, 2012

How do I control the smoke flavor, temperature, and humidity in a barrel smoker?

Fred from East Rochester, New York said:

I have repeatedly watched ALL five of your advanced processing videos. Thanks for all the information and advice!

I do have a couple of questions:

Instead of using non-fat dry milk in sausage, could I substitute bread crumbs?

Also, in your videos, you use a Bradley smoker with all the digital controls to control smoke and temperature. For those of us with a barrel smoker that uses the fire to heat, do you have any advice on how to control the smoke flavor, temperature, and humidity in these "old school" smokers?

By the way - love the videos and even bought an  Outdoor Edge Flip n Zip knife for the next deer season!!!!!



Thanks for the question Fred!

Brings back old memories of the clay brick smokers we started with in the meat industry 25 years ago. We made some incredible products in those houses. Just takes a little more work and talent, that's all. We would use charcoal on the bottom of the grate and then place slabs of hickory wood on top; take a torch & get the fire going really well and then smother it with hickory saw dust. Hurry up and place it in the smokehouse and close the door and all the dampers on the house. Be sure there are no flames and just let it set and smolder. It keeps the temperature down and smokes like CRAZY. After an hour of solid smoke rolling out of the house, we would begin to open the damper and let the flame catch up to create the heat and bring the product up to final internal temperature. 

No bread crumbs, they are for baking not smoking.

Good luck Fred,


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