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Charlie’s Smokehouse

In 2009 we received a call from a fellow who identified himself as “Charlie of Charlie’s smokehouse in Wisconsin”. Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was meat! It turns out that Charlie is the proprietor of “Charlie’s Smokehouse” located in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan and they smoke fish – not sausage – freshly caught from the deep blue waters of the Lake.

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Charlie, like many owners of food processing plants, is paid a visit periodically by the FDA – in Charlie’s case, the food safety division of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. The Department inspects the facility and verifies that the company has their HAACP program in place and working. HAACP is an acronym for Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points and is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. For more information on HAACP visit http://haccpalliance.org/alliance/haccpqa.html.

 

Years ago, the manufacturer or processor would check the temperature in the smoke house and the cold storage facility with a bimetal thermometer and write the readings down on a piece of paper. Then along came circular or strip chart recorders. Recorders require some maintenance, including changing charts and pens daily or weekly. When Charlie called he was looking for a more “modern day” solution so we recommended the Madgetech Quadtemp2000 – a multi channel datalogger – which accepts up to four thermocouples simultaneously, records temperatures for weeks at a time and can be downloaded to a computer and displayed in an excel spreadsheet or emailed to the appropriate government agency, customer, etc. Within days Charlie had his new automated HAACP compatible temperature logging system up and running.

madgetech

 

No more daily trips to the smokehouse and cooler to manually record the temperatures or fiddling with charts – it’s still running perfectly today. I know because I recently spoke with Charlie to order my smoked fish for the holidays. It is really tasty and I highly recommend it. I save some to make fish dip. Yum! Go to Charlie’s website and see for yourself!

Applications

Fishing With Thermocouples

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At W. H. Cooke & Co., we get phone calls in regards to thermocouple applications from engineers, purchasing agents, maintenance folks, and in this particular case, a fisherman named Frank. This gentleman is a fisherman in the Great Lakes region and he told me that he has found that the fish like to swim below the surface of the water in a specific temperature range.

deadZone

 
He was looking for a way to detect the temperature of the water where his hook will be. We designed a thermocouple for him that he could attach to his line, just above the hook. We used a 1/2” x 1/2” stainless steel hex nipple fitting to act as a sinker with a small probe exiting the front of the bore of the nipple. Water resistant epoxy was used to seal the front of the nipple as well as the back of the nipple where the waterproof Teflon leads exited. Back on the boat, we sold Frank an Extech TM100 that he could use to read the thermocouple.

TM100

 
Now, he lets out enough line from his rod until he hits the depth where he knows the fish are biting and reels them in. Frank is a 21st century fisherman and while we don’t expect that everyone is ready to attach a thermocouple to their line and cast out, perhaps we can help you with a different unique application. You dream it, we’ll make it.

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