Emergency need for salmon smoker plans

The old freezer crapped out this afternoon and we now have a critical situation. The only thing worth saving that we can't find alternate
homes for is about 150 pounds of king and sockeye salmon fillets from this summers trip to the Kenai. It has already started thawing so it can't be refrozen. I figure the best way to salvage it is to turn it into nova. It is going to be cold for the next couple of days so I will clean out the old pickle crocks and soak them in salt and brown sugar but by Sunday afternoon I need to have a smoker built. I have plenty of sheet steel and angle iron and all the tools but absolutely no idea how to build one.
Can any of you guys give me some guidance?
--
Glenn Ashmore

I'm building a 45' cutter in strip/composite. Watch my progress (or lack
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Glenn, Here is a link , have a look at it and a smoker is pretty easy to work out. http://www.ourhomes.co.nz/archives/ourhomes_03/sept30.htm#smoke
My Own smoker (I trout fish almost everyday) Is made of corrogated iron . The frame is of 1" tube and three sides are all 36" wide and 6' tall the fourth side is the door and it is the same but with hinges down one side. I have it sitting up on two courses of concrete blocks with a 6" steel tube going to the fire box. the SS frames that the fish sit on are spaced about 12" apart and sit on angle . It all took me about 4 hours to build.
best of luck Neil C

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Glenn My Grandfathers smoke house was wood. Imagine the classical outhouse. About 3' on a side and a small woodstove inside. It was about 7' tall. We put 4-5 racks of fish or duck or other meat in the unit and smoked for 24 hours. We burned fruit wood in stove and all was ok. If wood just don't build a roaring fire. You really want a small fire that keeps the smoke going and the temp going. lg no neat sig line.

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Any reasonable sized metal box will work. Clean 50 gal drum, clean 30 gal drum, old METAL interior refrigerator, etc. Get a hot plate and a 160 degree thermostat, and you are set to go. Around here, the old refrigerator is the ticket. Open burner hot plate (thrift store) and a furnace fan cutout thermostat from a new or used forced air furnace. Some of the guys use an electric frypan, already has the thermostat, toss the smoker wood on the griddle and let it smoke.
If you want to build one, pick a size that works for you, just build a box with sheet sides and angle corners. Removable lid is quick and easy, a door is nice. Put the griddle on the floor, handle with theromstat out the side. Get a thermometer to stick in the side to check the temp.
For safety sake, you need to get the temp to 160 degrees as soon as possible. The danger zone is around 50 to 120 degrees, bacteria just LOVE it.
Glenn Ashmore wrote:

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Not to be too exact, although I am a machinist... and a chef in training.
According to the NSF, and the training that I've received, the food danger zone is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
And Roy is very right, bacteria just love the area in between those temperatures, especially with Chicken and Fish. Both of those meats are a wonderful breeding ground for harmful bacterium.
http://www.nsfconsumer.org/food/food_handling.asp
Good luck with the smoking. Not too many things are much better in the world than smoked salmon on a bagel...
_kevin archibald

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Kevin Archibald wrote:

I need to do some more research while I build the smoker. The recipe I have for Nova is to soak it in a salt and brown sugar brine for 72 hours and cold smoke at 70 for 12 hours. That sounded like a recipe for botulism to me too.
I think maybe I better round up a Rabbi. :-)
--
Glenn Ashmore

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Since it is an emergency, why don't you call your friends who do have a working freezer. I'm storing a couple of turkeys for a friend for exactly the same reason.
As an aside, I try to keep a lot of thermal mass in my freezer. I fill plastic mild jugs about 4/5 full of water and fill the empty space in the freezer. That will carry me through many days of no power. Not an unusual occurance during ice storms around here.
It's better for the freezer too. The compressor doesn't cycle as often as it would with less thermal mass.
Earle Rich Mont Vernon, NH
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ERich10983 wrote:

Maybe it's just me, but I would think that if the power went out in an ice storm, you would just carry the frozen goods outside....?
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The problem isn't so much during an ice storm where the temperatures can be just below freezing, but after the storm passes. The temperatures then can go well above freezing while the crews work to clear the damaged trees and lines. About 3 years ago, the entire northeast from Montreal south lost power for weeks. My relatives in Maine were without power for more than a week. Most of us with any sense have wood stoves and emergency generators for just such a storm again. Even today with strong winds, the power is flickering on and off with outside temperatures around 35F. Fortunately, I just installed an APC backup UPS that carries me through these outages while I continue to write.
Earle Rich Mont Vernon, NH
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...>> danger zone is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

...>

maybe the brine takes care of the bacteria problem. it sounds like a Scandanavian "fish recipe". --Loren
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2003 17:42:12 GMT, the renowned Loren Coe

.. as in the infamous Lutefisk (cod soaked in lye).
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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GAAACK! This stuff emerges every Christmas up here. Jim Kovar Vulcan, Mi
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On Sat, 15 Nov 2003 14:11:58 -0000, Jim Kovar

I discovered lutefisk while in the Navy.
A guy from Bemidji (sp?), MN got a care package with some pretty strange stuff in it. The cookies and fudge were great, and I was okay with the smoked fish, but when he popped the cap on the bottle of lutefisk the guy next to me barfed in a burn bag. I didn't even try it.
Read this, but don't have anything in your mouth and if you have any reservations about your bladder control when laughing, you might want to take a piss first.
http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~atman/ic/lutefisk.html
My Mom, and eventually my wife too, used to pack their care packages by putting a plastic bag in a box, pouring in a layer of popcorn, adding the bags of cookies and stuff, and then topping it up with more popcorn and tying off the bag. On the receiving end everything got eaten, including the popcorn.
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The popcorn reminded me of something back in the early 60's.
My Aunt - not the sharpest mind around mind you, but well loved did this:
She wanted to send some cookies to us 'kids' at Christmas time. Mom told her about the popcorn. Several weeks went by and we got a box.
Nice she sent cookies as she told Mom - but didn't pop the popcorn !
The cookies were rather beaten up, but tasted just as good.
Martin
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2003 10:55:47 -0500, Glenn Ashmore

Greetings Glenn, The solution you are using may indeed be OK. It depends on the salt and sugar content. Bacteria will grow only if the salt is low enough. Preserving foods by brining and smoking will retard bacteria growth if the salt content is high enough or if the water content is low enough. Smoking kills bacteria on the surface and just below the surface very well. Just look at hams that were brined and cold smoked and then hung for a year. Never brought up to 140 degrees and stiil no spoilage. Botulism will not grow if oxygen is present. I looked into getting some smoked meats tested for bacteria and the lab I spoke to said that even the cold smoke is full of really nasty substances called PAHs. Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons. These are good sterilizers. If the recipie you are following has been used a lot then I wouldn't worry. ERS
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There is certainly enough salt. The recipe says add salt until a fresh egg floats in the brine. For 5 gallons of water that was a LOT of salt.
Eric R Snow wrote:

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Glenn Ashmore

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botulism is anaerobic. http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00036573.htm That's why you don't make garlic cloves in oil anymore. Karl
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Here's Alton Brown's recipe on Good Eats. He used a cardboard box and hotplate if I remember correctly. He also refrigerated the fish while coved with the rub. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_15110,00.html Karl

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One always hates to be corrected, but this is one of those that I'm HAPPY to be corrected. The NSF ones are the guaranteed safe zones, the one I mentioned is the guaranteed UNSAFE range.
cheers
Kevin Archibald wrote:

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If you can find an old refigerator build a firebox in the area under the bottom where the drip tray is. Remove the bottom of the fridge. Wash out the interior and get as clean as you can. The old drip tray makes a handy tray for your burning charcoals. Drill a couple 1/2" holes on the top and upper rear area of the fridge to allow venting of some of the smoke. When you start your charcoal fire and throw a few damp wood chips of your coals ( I like mesquite or Hickory) close the door and check the interior temperature after about an hour. Adjust amount of charcoal and chips after that.Two or three oven temperature gauges placed in different parts of the fridge interior will tell you the best places to put your meat/fish that is to be smoked. Good luck, Dennis
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