frige smoker

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by crazydazz, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. I'm wanting to change my frige smoker from electric to gas... Would you recomend an outside fire box or should I put it in the bottom chamber??? My reason for wanting to do this is I can't get enough heat with out burning my wood chips.... In the cold temps this year the electric hot plate only gets it to 100 deg or so and if I add wood chip/chunks it gets up to almost 400 deg and is almost I'm posible to control.....
     
  2. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can't see your pics, but if the unit is the one in your avatar, I would try to keep the heat in the lower compartment for the most part, and leave as much of the upper avail. as possible for the actual smoking cabinet. I've always wanted to find a fridge like this to convert as I always liked the idea of doing just that.
     
  3. What do you think is the reason behind keeping it in the lower chamber rather then an external fire box??? I shouldn't have to change eather chamer size.... My thought was the hose from my propane tank to burner being inside the bottom chamber in the heat.... Have some idea's moving around but nothing locked on yet Need More Feed Back.....
     
  4. omahasmoker

    omahasmoker Smoke Blower

    why is the heating element in the lower and not the upper chamber? a dual burner hot plate should have plenty of watts to keep it hot. i can get my converted fridge up to almost 400 degrees on 1200 watts and keep it there all day.

    you need an external smoke generator. there are pis of mine on the following SMF post.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...037#post378037
     
  5. There are plenty of holes drilled between the two chambers.... So thats not the problem... At the bottom of upper chamber are two pans of water that also catch all the dripings and keep them from catching fire... Do you close all your vents when not smoking "in the cooking time"???
     
  6. This is all the photos I have at this time hope it will give ya all an idea of where I'm at.... I've smoked two times both times turned out ok "eatable". Two more ? I'm not sure if i need smoke for the intire cook and second getting temp controled when i need it not a mistery.....
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  7. In the low temps outside right now its around "0" and I turned my smoker on high.... I use a dimmer switch to control power.... This was around two hours ago I closed all vents and dampeners and the temp in the cooking chambers is 150 deg.... Again this is with no wood chips/chunks now when adding them its going catch the smoking wood on fire and then I will have temps at 300 deg and up .... The wood burns up fast and I start to lose heatand have no smoke.... Now I know that I'm new to this....But don't I need a controled temp before I add my wood for smoke????
     
  8. I would try another thermomiter. I use as many as 6 when smoking in my smokehouse.
     
  9. I have two,one in the middle and one at the top they are only a few degs apart......
     
  10. Ok your covered with therms, I can't think of any reason ur temps are not higher. An outside firebox will give you more room to put food in, and probally give you a more even heat distribution. Just my opinion.
     
  11. Ya I'm at a stand still checked temp a little bit ago and 165 deg.... Maybe 6" stove pipe out the top was to much or hot plates not worth a crap or not enough insulation I only used what was in the frige but it all fit so well I didn't want to change it and it looked to be in good shape.....
     
  12. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Crazydazz,
    Do you have room to slide a piece of 3" strap across your stack to eliminate your stack being too large hunch?

    You gotta figure this out.. any smoker with a built in bottle opener is a keeper! [​IMG]
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  13. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your damper looks like a standard stove pipe "pie pan" damper. They are really designed to regulate smoke and to a much lesser degree heat. Even when closed there is a lot of heat loss past them. I use one on mine too, but I only have a 4 in. pipe, and then when I shut it all down, I put a piece of metal over the top to nearly totally close it off, so just a small amount of smoke will drift out, but not much heat. Thats one possible source of heat loss. What are your temps where the heat source is? If its just holes drilled in the bottom, you may not be getting enough heat flow up into your smoke cabinet, or the area where your food is. It might just be trapped in the lower compartment. I still think the lower compartment is a great place to have your primary heat source, but consider a side box for smoke generation or possibly additional heat. You said you were using a dimmer switch for heat control. A standard house light dimmer isn't designed to controll the kind of wattage a dual hotplate runs at. That could be a possible source of resistance, and ultimatly heat loss. Another thought, hot plates have some type of built-in thermostat control. If the lower compartment is holding too much of the heat, the plates may not be coming up to full temp, even if the dials are cranked. Just some thoughts.
     
  14. All right some good info thank you!!!! When you say shut it down you mean quit smoking and finish cooking right????? Not sure of temp in bottom chamber but i did bring a drill bit home today for that reason and it dose up to 7/8" but I will go check my temps there right know!!!!! Yes dimer switch is only for 600 w and hot plate is 1200w but the get red hot so don't think thats it but could be part of it.... I rewired hot plate and took out all the safety stuff per say so dimer switch is only control....
     
  15. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just mean when I shut the damper down. That's usually a few hours into the smoke, (usually doing sausage or cure products in my freezer conversion). I have a lot of friends that attempt sausage making ask me how long and hot to smoke. This is really different depending on the sausage being made. The general schedule I tell them is: 1) Place into smoker preheated to about 130 deg. for about an hour or so with dampers open to allow the surface to dry. 2) Raise the temp to 150, close down dampers partially, and start smoke. 3) After another hour or so, raise the temp to about 170, continue smoke for about 4-5 hours, dampers nearly shut. 4) Continue holding at this temp til an internal temp of about 152 is reached (I go to 155 on my test sticks, just to be sure). Additional smoke is optional depending on size of links and your taste.
    This is just a generalization and obviously can be varied from, but I've found it works well for most things. It is basically gleaned from Ryteks book, although nearly every recipe has a different smoke schedule. The main thing I have found after 15 years of sausage making is to not rush it, and don't get impatient and crank your temps up too high. You will only render out fat, shrivel the sausage, and get the burnt fat smoke smell and flavor, not a nice wood smoke.
    Are your hot plates staying redhot throughout the smoke? I'd have the entire floor of the upper cabinet opened up to the lower. Get a jigsaw and cut it out., then some type of heat deflector slightly above it (perforated sheetmetal or some such). The dimmer makes me nervous, I'd ditch it for now, especially since the problem is that you are not reaching temps, not keeping them down.
     
  16. Last check cooking chamber is 156 deg.... Temp right above hot plate is 226 deg.... Outside temp is -10 deg That makes what 70 deg deferance so heat is getting locked in bottom chamber.... I will try bigger hole's before I cut the plate out all the way and with any luck it will warm out side.....
     
  17. Well last mods done if electric don't get it done I'm going with the gas....
     
  18. Was trying to figure out how much of an electric heating unit you have.....you said you use a light dimmer control to regulate your heat.....most dimmers (most just over the counter or off the shelf dimmers) are only rated for 600 watts. If the dimmer is controling the heater then you must have something under 600 watts and probably wouldn't be enough to bring the smoker up to a good temp.. or the dimmer somehow is preventing the heater from getting to it's highest heat. Just some thoughts!

    Rick
     
  19. Well the only thing I didn't try was taken out the dimmer switch.... I've been looking for the bigger one I think they make one that is 900w I would like to try that one if I stick with electric..... I need to have some control....
     
  20. Well no more electric propane burner installed on lowest setting all vent wide open 10 deg outside 150 deg within 10 min so will work good for the cold when it gets hot could be a change of hart again....
     

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