Recipe This is how I cold smoke some of my favourite foods.


4 Dec 2012
Local time
10:25 PM
My tatty old Smoker. My good friend (and previous landlord) Ray left it to me in his will when he died 4 years ago................. I really must get around to tidying it up a bit and giving it a new coat of paint.
To get the very well seasoned Hardwood saw chips that are required to load up the ProQ cold smoke generator, I have found that the easiest way to produce them is to get a piece of scrap timber and either clamp it or screw it to the rear guide fence of the saw: I have drilled a couple of holes in the fence of my saw to take wood screws. Ensure that the scrap timber is overhanging the blade like this so that it is cut flush.
Cut the piece of timber and discard the off-cut.
The piece of timber that has been clamped or screwed into place is now your Zero clearance cutting stop.
Stand the saw on a large plastic sheet or tarpaulin to catch the saw chips. The fitted as standard chip catching bag cannot be relied upon for this operation. Feed your chosen piece of well seasoned hardwood (debarked Hawthorn in this case) hard up against the zero stop and make a cut. Continue making cuts against the Zero stop until you have sufficient saw chips for your requirements.
If you have some little flat discs of wood left over from the cutting operation, do not dispose of them. Store them in plastic take away boxes or similar and use them in a metal box on the BBQ to produce a hot smoke when cooking.
The ProQ cold smoke generator. It takes approximately 100 g of Wood chips to load it. I have found the saw chips from a sliding mitre saw to be absolutely perfect to use. The wood chip in the ProQ is ignited using a lit tea light candle for a couple of minutes. As soon as the smoke begins to rise and the wood chip is smouldering nicely you can extinguish and remove the tea light candle.
The ProQ has been smouldering for about 2 hours now. The smoke output is an inoffensive amount, which is a good thing when you have neighbours. This continuous but minimal smoke output is more than adequate to flavour and preserve the food. You can see the inoffensive wisp of smoke on the left hand side of the ProQ.
Here is a typical load for our smoker, as you can see we do not limited ourselves to just meat or fish. Here I have along with the Chicken breasts, 2 lumps of Cheddar Cheese, whole Garlic bulbs, 3 onions, crushed mixed nuts, Walnut halves, and Black Pepper Corns.
Here are a couple Pork Chops and a couple of Lamb chops ready to go into the smoker.
The easiest and most convenient way that I have found to smoke small food items is to use some Muslin cloth stretched over wooden embroidery frames. The smoke can then percolate through the cloth and over the whole surface of the food. The Muslin cloth and the wooden frames are also very easy to clean afterwards.
Loading up the smoker.
The crushed nuts and the Cheddar cheese after about 9 hours of smoking.
More gratuitous photos of food I have smoked. This is diced Pork marinated in Damson Vinegar. Half was minced and used to make Scotch Eggs, the rest was used to make Pork, sweet corn, sweet peppers, Parsnip and Pea Pasties.
Dried Sweet (Bell) Peppers on the left, and even more Black Pepper Corns on the right. Smoked Black Pepper corns are the perfect condiment to cook with or to grind fresh at the table....... the taste is unbelievable.
Experimenting with Brining chicken breasts prior to cold smoking. The one the right is a salt water brine mix made of orange Juice, water, salt, garlic and coriander powder. The one on the left was just garlic and salt water.
A herby chicken for a Sunday dinner and a few sausages Smoked overnight on a Friday night.
Sliced Sweet (Bell) Peppers and halved Mushrooms that were used in a Chicken fricassee and a Chicken Pie, along with even more smoked garlic bulbs.
A chocolate coffee cake topped with smoked Walnut halves.

You smoke cake? Or have I misunderstood that bit?

All sounds very exotic. Does sound like a use for some of NT's scrap timber!
You have misunderstood
............... I used smoked walnuts to top a chocolate coffee cake.
While preparing the timber for an Oak garden table for Arch's Mum I have produced half a black bin bag full of clean American Oak chips from my planer and thicknesser.
I was going to compost it all for the garden. Maybe we should make a smoker.:thumbsup:
I tell you what I do like - smoked almonds. I first had a tiny bag on a KLM flight, and was hooked.

(I like lots of other smoked foods too, BTW, not just almonds. But I DO like the almonds!)
While preparing the timber for an Oak garden table for Arch's Mum I have produced half a black bin bag full of clean American Oak chips from my planer and thicknesser.
I was going to compost it all for the garden. Maybe we should make a smoker.:thumbsup:

Yes, make a cold smoker.
I'm really impressed... I've seen these 'cold smokers' around, but it's scary when you don't really know how they work. But, I love smoked meats, veggies and nuts - and what a money-saver. I think I just might break down and buy one, one of these days. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

3 new 12" diameter embroidery rings and some open weave muslin cloth which will now allow me to increase the quantities of small loose items in the cold smoker. Tomorrow they will be pressed into service smoking Sun dried Tomatoes, Black Peppercorns, Dried Garlic Granules, and 500g of mixed Nuts. I have also got room in the smoker for 6 or so Chicken breasts and several chunks of Cheese.
Cold Smoking fresh Tomatoes. That is correct, and no I have not gone nuts, fallen out of my tree or absconded from an institution, but I have figured out how to cold smoke fresh tomatoes so they can be used in other recipes. You will need: Fresh tomatoes, wire egg cups and either a slotted or a pasta/spaghetti serving spoon. You will also need a saucepan of boiling water. IMG_0662.jpg

Drop the fresh tomatoes into the boiling water for about 1 minute..... absolutely no longer as all you want to do is remove the skin and not cook the tomato. IMG_0663.jpg

You will see the surface of the skin break in the boiling water, this is when your tomato is ready to be peeled. IMG_0665.jpg

Peeling them with your fingers is very straight forward and quickly done. IMG_0666.jpg

8 tomatoes hot dipped and peeled in less than 8 minutes from beginning to end!

Note: all though I am not doing it to this batch, you can roll the freshly peeled Tomatoes in finely ground, salt, black pepper, powdered garlic and other herbs & spices to season them before cold smoking. IMG_0668.jpg

The freshly peeled tomatoes sat in their wire egg cups in the smoker along with some Garlic granules and dehydrated wild Cherries.


Another batch of 6 more Tomatoes from the bottom of the fridge, which I will "hot dip" peel ready for cold smoking. IMG_0721.jpg

Today I am going to roll my freshly peeled Tomatoes in a blend of Herbs de Provence, ground Black Pepper and Celery Salt. IMG_0722.jpg

After the Tomatoes had been rolled around in my blended seasoning, I placed them in the wire egg cups ready to be put into the cold smoker.

I have placed them at the top of the smoker and they will be directly under the dome when I put it on in a moment. These pre-seasoned Tomatoes will spend the next 9 or 10 hours in wisps of a blend of Hawthorn, Oak and Sycamore smoke, along with about 1.6kg of Mature Cheddar cheese, 5 large chicken breasts, and 4 really good looking Pork chops.


We had my best friend and his new girlfriend stopping with us for a few days, so we used these "pre-seasoned" cold smoked Tomatoes in a Spag-bol......... it made a great impression and scored thousands of brownie points.
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