Homemade Cold Smoker

Updated February 21, 2017

Cold smoking works wonders for fish or cheese, and it's easy to create your own cold smoker in an afternoon. Cold smoking relies on temperatures below 37.8 degrees Celsius, according to This imparts a smoky flavour to the food without actually cooking it. One of the most popular cold-smoked items is lox, or smoked salmon.

Open the tin can's lid 3/4 of the way around with a can opener, leaving the lid attached. Empty out the food.

Rinse the tin, then wash it in soapy water. Remove the can's label.

Punch a hole in the part of the can lid that's still attached, using a small, sharp knife. Fit the tip of your soldering iron through the hole and into the can. You should be able to move it in and pull it out with ease.

Grasp the can lid with a pair of pliers and bend it back so you can easily access the inside of the can.

Fill the can 1/3 of the way with wood chips or smoking pellets. Bend the can lid back over the can so it remains closed. Push the soldering iron through the hole in the can.

Place the food to be smoked inside your grill, directly on the grill rack. Position the tin can with the wood chips and soldering iron on the other side of the grill rack with the extension cord dangling outside, then close the grill lid.

Plug the soldering iron into an extension cord, then plug the extension cord into an outdoor outlet. The soldering iron will heat the wood chips when it gets hot, smoking your food.

Refill the tin can with wood chips after one hour has passed. Smoke your food as long as the recipe directs.


Use a new soldering iron. If you use an old one, you risk contaminating the food with lead.

Things You'll Need

  • Soldering iron
  • Tin can
  • Can opener
  • Knife
  • Pliers
  • Wood chips
  • Grill
  • Extension cord
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