Build a Cheap Mini Cold Smoker With a Coffee Maker

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Introduction: Build a Cheap Mini Cold Smoker With a Coffee Maker

About: My name is Carlos Zoido and I'm an Industrial Engineer living in Madrid. I love design, art, music and computers...

Cold smoking is great to infuse food with wood smoke flavour. It differs from hot smoking in that food is not heated by the fire that produces the smoke. Just a couple of minutes of smoking can change dramatically the flavour of sauces, fish, meat, vegetables... You can experiment with different kinds of woods or adding extra components such as star anise or different aromatics.

The motivation for this project was creating a tiny cold smoker so that you can have it in your apartment made from easy to find materials.

Detailed video tutorial can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmnFGoQa1zA

Step 1: Bill of Materials

You'll need:

  • Coffee maker (moka style)
  • Plastic container
  • Aquarium air pump
  • Silicone tubing. One little piece that is bigger than the long tubing so that it can fit inside.
  • Pneumatic air fitting to take the air inside the coffee maker
  • Cable gland to take the smoke inside the plastic container

Step 2: Modify the Coffee Maker

The first thing is removing the coffee maker valve and substitute it with the pneumatic fitting so we can put air inside the coffee maker.

Later cut a piece of the coffee funnel (the piece where the coffee should be put) so that air can pass through easier.

Remove the lid and the filter from the coffee maker

Step 3: Make Connections

Connect the silicone tubing from the coffee maker to the plastic container.

Step 4: Load the Smoker With Wood Chips and Smoke!

Put some wood chips on the coffee funnel, burn them, wait for a couple of minutes and begin smoking!

This kind of smoker is great for smoking sauces, like BBQ sauce or mayonnaise but you can also give a touch of smoke to already cooked vegetables, fish or meat.

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    17 Comments

    0
    ToddB104
    ToddB104

    2 months ago

    Nice idea! I made one with a similar sized pot to yours and I've found that with the setup I have, I can get roughly an hour of smoke out of mine with a full chamber of wood shavings. So far, I've used it to smoke baked potatoes (Yum!), dried jalapenos and habaneros from my garden, and to make smoked old fashion drinks. I also plan to smoke cheeses, spices, vegetables and more. Thanks for the inspiration!

    20210824_115739.jpg
    0
    MaklaB
    MaklaB

    2 years ago

    Very impressive, thanks. One question, why do you need the smaller silicone tubing? Why not just connect the longer one? Cheers.

    0
    ToddB104
    ToddB104

    Reply 2 months ago

    To your point, I used 5/8" ID X 3/4" OD silicone tubing all the way from the smoke outlet on the coffee maker to the cable gland on the box. I used a 3/4" cable gland, which fit the silicone tubing really well.

    0
    mrgalleta
    mrgalleta

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi, It's not essential at all, I used It because the small didn't fit in the coffee maker and that's what I had on hand. :)

    0
    MaklaB
    MaklaB

    2 years ago

    What size is the Pneumatic air fitting and how can I make sure the pump hose is the same size? Cheers.

    0
    ToddB104
    ToddB104

    Reply 2 months ago

    I used a 3/16" barb fitting with 1/8" male pipe thread, with an appropriately-sized flat washer and rubber washer (for air seal) on the outside, and an 1/8" pipe thread brass lock nut on the inside. The barb fitting fits the air hose perfectly.

    20210825_143228.jpg
    0
    MaklaB
    MaklaB

    2 years ago

    Would the heat not melt the hose?

    0
    ToddB104
    ToddB104

    Reply 2 months ago

    I made one and my initial version used nylon tubing. It was rated for 175F, which I thought would be enough, but it melted through right at the tip of the percolator spout where the hot air comes out. Silicone tubing can go up to 400-500F, which is much more suitable.

    0
    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Do you think this would work with saw dust as the fuel?

    0
    triumphman
    triumphman

    Reply 4 years ago

    ONLY IF IT IS HICKORY, APPLE, MAPLE, CHERRY OR MESQUITE, WOOD .ANYTHING ELSE WOULD TASTE BAD. ESPECIALLY PINE. PINE HAS TOO MUCH PITCH IN IT !

    0
    ToddB104
    ToddB104

    Reply 2 months ago

    I would add oak and pecan to this list. :)

    0
    mrgalleta
    mrgalleta

    Reply 4 years ago

    I think it would, but be cautious so that the wood you use does not contain any toxic elements such as MDF or any varnish or paint...

    0
    AndrewL5
    AndrewL5

    4 years ago

    How hot does the coffee pot get? Also, how do you stop smoke from escaping the box? I would expect pressure to build with the pump forcing the air only one way. I thought about a similar project for cheese, but the cheese would need a couple of hours, and I thought the lid of the box would leak, or pop.

    0
    mrgalleta
    mrgalleta

    Reply 4 years ago

    The coffee pot gets hot but not a point that you can't touch eat, maybe 70-80ºC. If you need to smoke something for longer than 25 minutes you should use a bigger pot that mine, the one I use can only carry the amount of wood chips to stay smoking for that amount of time more or less (It´s the smallest coffee maker I found).

    0
    MaklaB
    MaklaB

    Reply 2 years ago

    I wonder if you filled the box up with smoke for a few minutes and left it sealed for a couple of hours, what would the smoked cheese be like instead of a constant infusion of smoke for a couple of hours?

    0
    triumphman
    triumphman

    4 years ago

    SO COOL (NO PUN INTENDED) ! I JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE EVERYTHING LAYING AROUND TO MAKE THIS. I can't wait to start smoking. I just happened to buy some salmon today. I tried to add some smoke flavor to it by smoldering a small thin sliver of Hickory wood. I punched holes into a small aluminum pie pan with a dent up in it. It just did not work.THIS IDEA IS AWESOME. THANK YOU ! Suumokinn !

    0
    mrgalleta
    mrgalleta

    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank's a lot!