Homemade Cold Smoke Generator

by Jason
(Lakewood Co.)

Just wondering if copper can be used to make a cold smoke generator?

I'd be using a piece of 3in stainless for my hoppers and 3/4in copper for my transfer tube. I was told copper is poisonous when heated.


Jason, as far as I've been able to find out, copper is OK at the sort of temperatures that you'll be getting up to.

The one word of caution that I did hear is if you heat copper really high then you can get black deposits of copper oxide and you wouldn't want these particulates to land on your food.

More of a questionmark from me is whether a 3/4 inch transfer pipe is going to be wide enough to aid the draft. Think about sucking water through a piece of copper pipe versus using a straw - it's harder with a straw.

I don't know the physics behind this phenomenon but essentially the wider the tube, the easier it is for air to flow through.

It just concerns me that you might find that the smoke finds other ways to get out of the firebox rather than to go down the transfer tube.

I have to stress that I don't know the answer for certain on this point so if you could let me know how you get on, we can update this page with your experiences.

See Also:-

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Return to Water Smoker Recipes from Cold Smoke Generator

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May 26, 2011
Thanks For Your Help
by: Jason

Thanks again for your help!

Here is what I came up with:-

3in stainless cut to 13in Length. Tack welded a perforated screen on the bottom end. Then from the top 1.5in down I drilled a 3/4in hole. Then used that 3/4in copper pipe. About 7in in length.

Found lid in my shed that fit great. Filled the thing up with chips put the lid on and used a propane torch to light it.

In regards to your concerns about the 3/4 transfer tube so far in my test runs I've been getting a really good stream of smoke with just the natural draft. On a full hopper I was able to go about 5hr.

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