The Cold Smoke Generator

August 8th, 2011

We are selling a lot of these wonderful gizmos on our smoking courses – they really do produce smoke with almost no heat for ten hours or so. (Rather less if there’s too much draft!)

We have had a couple of queries so I thought I’d compile Smoky Jo’s  answers to the most FAQ we get about it.  Sometimes the burners go out, or do not stay lit.  I have yet to have anyone not resolve this in one of the following ways:

1.  Is it clean?  If the holes in the mesh of the generator are blocked with ash the essential draft is not there.  They can be cleaned with a toothbrush or similar, and/or tapped against a wall.  Being made of stainless steel it is washable, but I just leave it on a BBQ and let the old dust/ash burn off.  I do not know whether it is designed to withstand this sort of heat but I don’t seem to have caused any damage.  Just make sure you don’t pick it up with your naked hand!

2.  Is there enough draft? – The CSG (cold smoke generator) needs a bit of a through draft to keep it burning.  In a completely closed environment it is likely to go out.

3.  Is the dust dry? Obvious really, but it is not always obvious that wood dust is slightly damp – it may be worth drying in an open container in the the airing cupboard or on top of a radiator etc.

Right.  I’ll just go and see how the salmon is coming along….

Cold Smoke Generator for home smoked food

Cold Smoke Generator for home smoked food

Our original blog post from when we tried out Mac’s CSG last year.

2 Responses to “The Cold Smoke Generator”

  1. Allan Dollie says:

    Hi, I have just started to take an interest in cold smoking, but can see that the process hinges on the reliable supply of smoke.
    I have looked at the photo of your Cold Smoke generator, and assume that you light the wood dust at one end and if all goes well it smolders until all the dust is burnt. I notice that the scroll which holds the dust is made of mesh,does the heat/combustion not ‘jump’ through the mesh so burning takes place on both sides of the mesh at the same time, or does the mesh hold back combustion, so it follows the scroll path ( I hope you understand what I mean)
    Secondly, how do you light the dust, do you use a blow torch or some electrical device.

    I would be very grateful if you can answer these(probably to you) simple questions.



  2. Smoky Jo says:

    Hi Allan,

    I have found that providing you do not fill the CSG too full it does not jump. I make sure that the dust stays in the track and does not spill over across the divide – if that makes sense. That way the dust just burns slowly right around the track and lasts for 8-10 hours – generating smoke with almost no heat.
    It is easily started with a tea light at the beginning which ingeniously fits into a small bracket. Once the dust has ‘caught’ just take the candle out.

    The CSG comes with a starter pack do fine dust and a tea light.

    Hope that helps


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