Need suggestions on my new find.

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by fritz, May 28, 2008.

  1. fritz

    fritz Meat Mopper

    OK...I have been looking at this for a few years sitting under a pavilion. I wasn't sure what it was, insulated SS cabinet, 2 glass doors (one sagging) and a digital display on each of the doors. I always thought I could make a smoker out of it...well they finally said I could have it....Great!! This is what it looks like:

    After doing a google search I found out that It's a hospital warming cabinet, individually heat controled in the 2 cabinets..oh, convection heated (90-160*F)! You can find more info. here:

    Ideally, I would like to do 3 things with this:
    1. cold smoker/jerky maker (not too hard)
    2. salami fermentor (temp. 75-85*F, high RH)
    3. curing chamber (45-55*F, 70-80% RH)

    Do you think i can be done? Any sugestions would be great.

  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well...after looking over the tech specs, yeah...some of that is doable. 1 and 2...2 with mods to the electronics.

    3? No... it will not function as a fridge. UNLESS... ambient temps are below that range..then it WILL warm to them with the aforemention mods for step 2.
  3. fritz

    fritz Meat Mopper

  4. fritz

    fritz Meat Mopper

    Also RichT, what are your thoughts about the electronic mods to get the temps a bit lower.
  5. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, interfacing the stock electronics is way over my head (Cheech might pipe in....he's good at some if this stuff). But as far as the low temps you are looking at, the first thing that comes to my mind is an external cooling system, like a portable AC unit. Using a temp control system that regulates the baffle would allow you to control how much of the cool air enters the system.

    Not trying to spoil the fun, but I think you are better off using something that was designed for cold, for cold. Otherwise you are going to "Rube Goldberg" this thing to death. Good luck.
  6. emtee

    emtee Fire Starter

    I live for electric smokers! Nice find man. But…

    Since most of these units are solid state controlled with tiny relays and crap, I doubt that you can throttle it down like you want (I looked at the specs and couldn’t find a wiring schematic). So you may want to consider starting from scratch. You will need a temperature controller, a piece of thermocouple wire, and a relay large enough to carry the heating element(s) currents (brochure indicated 12 amps @ 120 VAC or 6 amps @ 240VAC. You’ll also want a metallic box to put the parts in (or wood with a metal lining, like heavy tin foil). Controllers can be found in various surplus outfits on the internet. I could send you all the thermocouple wire you need (you do not have to have an actual fancy thermocouple. Just strip off about one inch of each conductor and twist the two of them together three times tightly with pliers and Viola! a thermocouple is born. The relay can be had from the same outfits that have the controller. I’m sure someone here will have a source for the parts. Sorry I can’t help with that; I get mine from work… kinda like borrowed. You should be able to re-use the heating element(s). If you build a setup like this, you will take care of your #1 and #2. It’ll even do # 3 in the cool months. And since most controllers are configured for +32F to 6-1200F, you will have great low range control throughout the year, and a higher range if you want it. You’ll only be limited by the element size. So…

    The only thing left would be the smoke generator. But I’ll let someone else figure that one out. My fingers are sore from typing.[​IMG]

    If you want more particulars on controllers and relays, let me know.

    Mark T.

    Yet another $000,000,000.02
  7. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great score. There are tons of these at the hosp. I work at, and I'm always hoping one will conk out so I can commandeer it. I agree, your first two plans should be easily doable.
  8. fritz

    fritz Meat Mopper

    Unfortunatly Josh, you maybe right. I'm still curious about the TE coolers, kind of like the hot/cold coolers you plug into your car. I guess I need to look into it more to find out if It's doable. I have time to do the reasearch since I won't be doing anything to the cabinet for several months.
  9. fritz

    fritz Meat Mopper

  10. fritz

    fritz Meat Mopper

    This unit has never been used. The company that makes them is in my town and a guy who worked there kinda borrowed it. I just hope I can make it do what I want It to do. Maybe a fools dream.
  11. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm Of course depending on the VOLUME of air to be cooled...there are HVAC specs that allow calculations on BTU Vs. amount of volume to be cooled. That 45° below ambient I seen is no doubt measured right on the cold side... not a foot into a 25 Sq. foot chamber.
  12. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmm without ever seeing one of these controllers... many controllers have a calibration/adjustment control to adjust for small variences. You MAY be lucky enough to do this with the turn of a couple adjustment pots. Your displays would be off, but so what?

    Going slightly deeper, depending on the type of temp sensor..adding some resistance in-line with the sensor may accomplish the same thing.

    After that..It's be put the unit on the bench and get ahold of a schematic.

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