Newbies 1st home build?need advice.

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by michiganmatt, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. hello and hows it goin?

    just got off the Roll Call thread and want to get started.

    I have been reading up on your builds, and acquired an old Serval gas refrigerator from my buddies cabin in northern Michigan.  Its been non functional for at least the past 20 years holding dry goods and keeping the mice away from foods.

    quick history:

    got a little chief for xmas years ago and had fun with it, then got a bigger gas smoker that has been a PITA!  I need a smoker that will cold smoke fish, and still cook ribs and butts doing both in cold climate temps.(and not need me to stand over it)

    I will post up pix via smart phone soon, tear down, build up, and completion.

    What I would like is some guidance from the "old salts" and whoever else has experience in this area.

    I plan to re insulate with Roxul to keep temps consistent, use electric element,smoke generator, and PID to monitor it all.

    Size 3.8 cu ft.(ya its small, but I don't feed the masses)

    finned strip heater(need wattage recommendation)or other type suggestion.

    smoke daddy generator

    Well, that's where I stand for now.

    thanks for any info
  2. A few before pics
  3. One with the mechanical out.
  4. Sorry for the double up
    Gutted out, had paper insulation.
    Boy they put these things together back then.
  5. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    Looking good, Matt. I haven't followed  a fridge build yet, so looking forward to the ride! 
  6. Got the door apart and put some mineral wool in. (Menards didn't have Roxul)

    Finished door with some sheet metal and original corners that were metal. Not showroom quality but should hold up to the heat.
    Need some gasket material and that parts done.
  7. cnjconcrete

    cnjconcrete Newbie

    u stated on installing a PID controller. I am building a smoker out of an old refrig that looks basic to yours. I was wondering what pid controller your gonna use an which heating element? Thanks

    read up on this a bit, I did, and that's where my inspiration is coming from.


    this has me making good progress also.

    my fridge is small tho, only 17" wide, so I couldn't get the bigger element from Grainger, so I odered the 1250watt, with the size only 3.7cu ft., it should do the job. I hope.

    will have more pics up soon, cant wait to get my smoke on.
  9. Well I just got my MGT high temp wire and putting the first burn to the Vulcan 1250w element.
    Also got my PID box together, but I made a mistake with the SSR, so I'm waiting for the replacement to arrive from Auber.

    Won't be long now.
  10. Vulcan 1250w
  11. 5oakssmoker

    5oakssmoker Smoke Blower

    How does that element work? Would like some info on that one, I like the small profile, might work well in my build. Can't seem to find it online though.
  12. handymanstan

    handymanstan Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Welcome to the forum from Lansing Matt.  And what a great forum it is to learn the art of smoking everything.

    Sorry I missed you in roll call.

    We have a Michigan group here.          

    If you get a chance check it out and please join if you have not done so yet.

    We have a yearly get together and I hope you can make it next year.  We also have occasional cheese smokes here or there so if you can join in please do.

    Your build is going to be a great smoker and I look forward to seeing some Smokey goodness from it.

    It’s always nice to see another Michigander here.

  13. Thanks Matt,
    Will get signed up soon.
    Just doin a little each night towards completion, my brother is coming over this weekend to get the PID sorted out,and by then I should have it resdy to roll minus The Big Kahuna.
    Got the box insulated with 3.5" of mineral wool and secured the liner.
  14. Got my first heat cycle going on now, 300F in less than 20 mins !
    No smoke , Kahuna still in route.

    there are a few opions for sizes and wattages from them, I used the 1250w and it heated my smoker to 400F, way over what I need.
  16. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    can it run at lower temps? Looks like it's coming together! 
  17. Yes.
    With the PID it should stay wherever I put it.
  18. 5oakssmoker

    5oakssmoker Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the link, I'm really looking for a good electric solution to my smoker. So that I can run it with a PID controller.
  19. Well got it all put together today and ran the Kahuna along with the PID and was relieved that it worked just as I hoped it would.

    Lighting the smoke daddy was effortless with a propane torch, I used some hickory chunks and after bout 30 seconds I put the lid on and adjusted the pump to high to get it rolling, then shut off the air to see that I have good draft and it puffed away on its own.

    The temp with the electric element and PID are rock steady, with the damper closed or open, making me believe I can use this "THING" in the dead of winter when my "Q" tooth is aching.

    I have some hi-temp food grade sealant coming this week, so next weekend will be my 1st cook, might go balls out and try a brisket!

    This build was a direct result of the people that have shared their knowledge of this hobby/passion online for anyone to copy, so to you, I say thank you!
  20. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Good looking build!

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