Bean Can Smoker

If you've followed this blog, you will have seen the posts about making bacon. Your friends will no doubt be asking you to make more, and you'll be cursing me for even suggesting it. Then along will come some bright spark and say they like smoked bacon best and why don't you make that. Now, the sensible person would just tell them to get lost or to make their own. However, you've proved you're not sensible by making bacon in the first place! It's inevitable you'll give in eventually, so you might as well just get it over with and give in now!

You could, of course, just cheat and buy a smoked bacon flavour cure from but that's the easy way, and we know you don't take the easy option you?

So, to help out, here's my cheap and cheerful smoker.

The smoke is produced using a baked bean tin with a hole drilled in it to take the tip of a soldering iron. Mine's a 25W Weller. Cheap and nasty ones burn out, so expect to pay about £10-15 (I got mine off Ebay).

Smoke Generator

I half-fill the tin with the wood chips that you can use on a barbeque. The last lot I got were from ASDA. To smoke the bacon you could just place large container, even a large cardboard box would do, over this, and put the meat above but to one side of it. I use two old beer fermenting tubs. The bottom one has it's base cut out leaving about a one inch rim. The base is then suspended on two dowel rods about 9 inches below the top of the tub.

The base unit

Holes are cut in the lid to allow the smoke to pass into the top tub.

The base unit

The bottom of the top tub is cut out. Dowel rods put in place to hang food from or support a cake-cooling rack for putting food on. Holes are drilled in the top to allow smoke to escape, the cover for these is made from a margarine tub lid.

The top section

The two tubs are put on top of one another and it's complete. The picture shows the completed smoker with the refinement of a small door to allow easy access to top up the smoking chips.

The complete smoker

This smoker will burn for around three hours unattended. Obviously, the normal warnings about using electricity in the garden apply. It is also useful to check the temperature – it needs to be below 30°C - ideally 24-26°C – so cooler days are best.

I give my bacon 24 hours smoking, two lots of 12 hours, placing the bacon in the fridge in between. The smoker is also good for trout, salmon, cheese, eggs, nuts etc – but we'll come to those later.

It's a bit of hassle, but the bacon is to die for!

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There are three comments


What a fantastic idea, what made you think of it ;-)


Saucisson, (Email ) - 17-06-’08 17:19

Not off hand but give me a minute :)

Saucisson, (Email ) - 17-06-’08 18:33

I think it was here:
but the link is now dead unfortunately.

It used a soldering iron sitting on top of some wood chips in a sardine can, my adaptation was to stick the iron in the bottom of a bean can so the chips came down to the iron.

Saucisson, (Email ) - 17-06-’08 18:50

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the forum.

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