Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Embracing The Season: The Snow Smoker

“A snowy gesture, if you will, reflective of our smokey passion. An icy monument that which we thrust forth in stark indifference to winter and its heady throes.” -Potp

The weather was a balmy thirty and one degrees, which after a couple of weeks of below zero living, let me tell you, feels akin to the white sand beaches of download (1)Waikiki. Thirty degrees seemed to warrant a man’s finest swim wear, iffin he didn’t know better. Funny what a fellow will get used to. Likewise did the black-capped chickadees rejoice at the pit-side bird feeder today,  freshly filled with sunflower seeds. All darting about, happy and flirtatious. And a lone and stately Blue Jay roosted above it all, in a nearby Spruce, doing what ever it is that Blue Jays do. I kind of think he was looking down upon me, and trying to figure out what I was doing. In point of fact, I’m pretty sure he was. You probably would be curious too, iffin you spied smoke curling from a wayward pile of snow, and a bloke standing before it, grinning, with several strips of bacon in his hand. I guess now is the time to digress.

Welcome to the Snow Smoker, least-wise that is what we’re calling it, the latest articulate brain thrust of the Patrons of the Pit. It may look simply as the lower ball, if you will, of Frosty the Snowman, hollowed-out some, and with a smoke stack on top. And that’s because it is. Many an idea are forged in the field of play, and yet most are forgotten there. But when there is bacon involved, a man will sit upright again, and note the gleaming bulb hanging figuratively over his head. Indeed, where there is bacon there is also generally the actions of a motivated man.igloo3 I had BLT’s on my brain, I guess. Maybe my most favorite sandwich of all time.  And I had an idea for it. Anyways, I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking how in the heck can you make a smoker out of snow and not melt it all to pieces before the cook is done? Good question. And the answer, naturally, resides in the mysterious folds of cold smoking.

Cold smoking is the business of adding the flavor of smoke to your food with out the nuisance of heat. Or very little heat, anyways. Meat is not cooked during cold smoking. Think of it more are a smokey marination. Cheese is a popular thing to cold smoke, because it won’t morph into goo on you when it’s all done. But other delicate things can benefit too, like trout or salmon. Some misguided goof balls have even cold smoked a block of chocolate before, but it takes a gutsier man than I to mess with an already lovely and immortally stable bar of chocolate. Mercy! But the point is, cold smoking can do these sorts of things. And do it exceedingly well. And thus is the obvious method for filling your igloo heap full with aromatic tendrils of wood smoke, iffin that is, you’re into that sort of thing.

igloo smoke

The Smoke Generator

There are several means out there in which one can procure plumes of cold smoke, and we will not go into all of them here. Suffice it to say, the simplest and most effective way that we have found is the little generators put out by A-Maze-N Products, Inc. You can spend hundreds of dollars on other, fancier things if you really want to, but why? These gadgets are at once simple in design, and with no moving parts involved, almost fool-proof. They just do what they do. They make smoke. The perfect accompaniment for not only bacon, but an impromptu snow-smoker as well. Winter is just too much fun!

igloo222

Once the smoke generator was lit, and the flames snuffed out, it promptly commenced with what it was designed to do. We tucked it in the snow smoker, and threw on the bacon for a couple of hours. Yes, bacon already comes smoked, but less you forget what blog you’re reading, you also know we will double-smoke just about anything. A good, thick-cut bacon, like these strips, can handle it. And you will suitably pump up the flavor of these fatty spoils two-fold in the process. And oh, what a lovely process it is indeed. There is something delightfully out-of-place, that comes with the site of thick plumes of apple wood smoke curling out of the snow. It is not your everyday thing, yet in the same breath, feels like it ought to be.

igloo

To the Brethren of the Brisket and Comrades of the Coal, to all the pit keepers out there who will not anytime soon hoist the white flag of surrender amid this trying season of ice and cold, here then is our song. A snowy gesture, if you will, reflective of our smokey passion. An icy monument that which we thrust forth in stark indifference to winter and its heady throes.  For we love to be outside, I guess, no matter the inclement. And when you think about it, arctic BBQ is but a dance, and our partner, nature, always leads. So we sally forth, with our BBQ tongs in hand, keeping our chins up, our hearts humble, and our fires lit. And if we can, should the icy fates allow, we may yet meet the winter season on its own viable terms, and then embrace it there, aside gently curling wood smoke and curious Blue Jays standing by. Amen.

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32 responses

  1. what the heck? the white sand beaches of Waikiki the AIN’T! Stay warm, ALOHA!

    January 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite! and commented:
    These guys are Soooo Evil. I love them

    January 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm

  3. Ha ha. How long did it take for your snow smoker to defrost? The term snowmaggedon sprung to mind when I saw your photo. Could do with some snow and ice over here. We’ve been experiencing our very own solar vortex over here with searing temperatures over 40 C.

    January 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    • Well it never did quite defrost. No solar vortex here! Good luck with your heat wave, we will be supping hot chocolates in your honor.

      January 19, 2014 at 11:06 am

  4. There are few things finer in life than quality bacon. About the only thing I can think of that is finer is bacon cold smoked in a Snow Smoker. Excellent work as always!

    January 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

  5. After weeks and weeks of rain and floods, I wake to a sunny, slightly frosty morning and your fabulous blog. Brilliantly composed, fabulously photographed and evoking the fire and passion which most folk gave up on a long time ago. You tap into something elemental and then share it so that we can live it too. Thank you.
    P.S Not familiar with ‘iffin’…….

    January 19, 2014 at 3:14 am

    • Wow, thank you kindly, Karen.

      Iffin…. That is another word for “If”. I do not know its history, other than old timers here in America sometimes use it. And I just like how it sounds.

      January 19, 2014 at 11:10 am

  6. I just hope your snow-smoker is still around and you didn’t miss the opportunity to make smoked-bacon snow cones out of the inner walls of the smoker. I don’t have particularly high confidence that it would be good, but who else in the world could say that they’ve had such a thing!
    – Dennis, Life Fermented Blog

    January 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    • Dang! Now you sir are a thinker! Ain’t so sure it would taste good either, but the concept is genius. Least wise to a bacon lover. Good stuff! Thanks!

      January 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

  7. Now that’s cold smoking! I don’t think I’ll ever get a chance to try this method in Australia!

    January 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm

  8. Liz

    how fantastic that you have a snow smoker! Love how you’re defying Minnesota winter :-D

    January 19, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    • Thanks Liz! It took a hit this weekend, so balmy as it was.

      January 19, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      • Liz

        Lol, the snow smoker started to melt! Am sure the mercury will drop soon enough.

        January 19, 2014 at 9:51 pm

  9. Glad to see you were thinking of me when you built that Cool little smoker. That ledge on the front looks just right to keep the beer cold. Really a Cool, Fun story with nice pictures.

    First meat I ever smoked was some home grown fresh side that I seasoned, cured, then smoked before slicing it into bacon. Can’t keep that stuff around. My 2 daughter-in-laws love to borough it.

    January 20, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    • Ah, thank you much, Red. Nice of you to check in again! Yes, that ledge can be for your beer, if need be. Gotta keep you happy!

      Home made bacon, man, is there anything better? Son. That’s the stuff! I aim to make me a batch pretty soon.

      Take care, Red!

      January 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm

  10. Ah yes … Amen indeed my Smokie friend, for we all know necessity is the Mother of Invention and … a Double Smoked BLT is of course necessary …
    Well done again Sir, … you make a Frosty, Northern Brutha proud.

    January 20, 2014 at 1:57 pm

  11. Thank you kindly sir. May your computer be up and running swiftly and with out fault. Smoke on!

    January 20, 2014 at 2:37 pm

  12. Ingenius. :D

    January 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

  13. I can only bow at the throne of the Patrons and their ingenuity! I LOVE unique and original ideas. I’ll be shaking my head over this one for the next week.

    February 1, 2014 at 6:48 am

  14. I wish it would snow that much here so I could construct me a snow smoker. Already got the Amaze-N-Smoker. Great little device and worked perfectly for our bacon and some cheese.

    February 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    • Oh yes, them smoke generators are slick little gadgets, ain’t they? And hey, the way this winter has been, at least to Atlanta, you might get your wish yet!

      February 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      • I don’t know. We’ve had two winter events already. Might be all we get.

        You gonna try and make some home made bacon?

        February 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      • Yes I am. Still gotta find me a good pork belly, but I believe I’m ready in mind and spirit to give it a go! I was just thinking about it today in fact. But first, pork belly reckon trips are required.

        February 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

  15. I live in Texas, and smoking meats is king. If I had snow to work with, I would totally do this! Love the inspiration!

    March 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

  16. I smoked a pork belly a couple weeks ago, check it out on my blog!

    March 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

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