Product Review: ProQ Cold Smoke Generator

What exactly is “cold smoking?”

Aaron Ralston published an “ezine article” with a good explanation for cold smoking:

Cold smoking is very similar to hot smoking, except the cooking temperature is much lower. The targeted cold smoking temperature range is between 80 degrees F  and 100 degrees F, and the smoking time can range anywhere from 4 hours to 4  days. This process relies on smoke to cure the meat or food being smoked instead of using heat. Some people believe that cold smoking occurs at temperatures between 160-190 degrees F, but smoking at this temperature is really a form of hot smoking.

Types of Smoked Foods

A few examples of foods that are usually cold-smoked include bacon, sausage, ham, cheese, and fish. When smoking fish, a preservation salt is needed to pickle the fish before it is smoked. This will help prevent bacteria from groing while the fish is curing in the smoke.

When to Use Cold Smoking

Cold smoking is very difficult, and even impossible in the summer months, because the outside air temperature is normally as hot as or hotter than the temperature needed for true cold smoking. The best time to use cold smoking is during the winter months when the days are typically cooler.

I’ve wanted to give cold smoking a try and when Ian Mckend the owner of Mac’s BBQ, Ltd in England offered to send me a new “cold smoke” generator to try I jumped at the chance.

I’ve had the product for several months but with the temperatures in the Sacramento area over 100 degrees during the summer it’s hard to cold smoke anything when you can’t get your bbq pit below 125 degrees and that’s without a fire in it.  Now that the temperatures have cooled off I decided to give it a try.

I decided to use one of my Weber Smokey Mountain smokers for the cold smoking experiment.  After giving the whole thing a good cleaning I set out to smoke some sausages I recently purchased from Lockeford Meat and Sausage Company in Lockeford, California

There are a variety of smoke generation products on the market today.  But I don’t think there is one that can beat the “ProQ Cold Smoke Generator.”  For pure simplicity and ease of use it would be almost impossible to beat Ian’s new product.   I’m going to have to order some more wood dust to try this out again.  When I smoked my recent bacon experiment it would have been so much easier to have used this to generate the smoke.   I’m no where near an expert in cold smoking but as far as I can tell Ian has come up with another winning product.

10 Comments on Product Review: ProQ Cold Smoke Generator

  1. txschutte // October 18, 2009 at 5:01 am //

    Great product, Larry! Did you happen to take note of temps inside your WSM at the time?

    • The cold smoke generator did not change the temp at grate level on bit. I had the WSM in the shade and it didn’t get hot at all not even warm.

  2. WOW… what a great product. I have been wanting to set something up, and this sounds perfect

  3. Well that’s certainly a lot easier and cleaner than the last time I cold smoked (for a batch of gravlox).
    In that case, I put a box over my Big Chief smoker with a hole cut in the top, that became my smoke source. From that hole I ran several feet of dryer ducting that ran into one side vent of my long Brinkmann grill, where the salmon waited patiently. I had to duct tape a piece of aluminum dryer fixture to the side of the grill. It all worked like a charm, and MacGyver and Alton would be proud, but wasn’t nearly so user friendly as this setup.

  4. Where can one buy this in ca.? Have you tried lur jensen wood chips in it? they might work being that they are almost sawdust.

  5. Charles Conway // November 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm //

    Do you have any literature on this product. I would like to know more about it and basically the overall size of product. In addition, about other types of cheese that can be smoked.

  6. I could not get the Saw Dust (that came with ProQ) to stay lit. I tried several times, and it would only burn a few minutes than go completely out..I just ordered the Smoke Daddy, hopefully I’ll have better luck.

    • Mick,
      I’m not sure what the issue is because my Pro-Q Cold Smoker worked (and continues) to work like a charm. I suppose the saw dust you got was damp and that would cause it to not stay lit. It might feel dry but maybe it wasn’t.

      • This could be true. I thinking maybe about putting the dust under a light bulb for awhile ..not sure is this would dry it enought to light or not..But, you were right about it feeling dry.

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