Plywood smoke diffuser and the A-Maze-Pellet Smoker

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by melbourne steve, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Hi

    firstly, many thanks for al the people who have shared their knowledge in this forum.  Immensely useful.

    I am building a minimalist cold smoker out of 3/4 plywood to use for bacon and sausages.  Its fairly small - 2' square and 4' tall but enough for my own use and for starting out.

    I will use the AMZNPS as the smoke source, and I want to have a plywood smoke diffuser above it because this would strengthen and stiffen the smoker box a lot.  

    My key question is this - what height above the pellet smoker should I have the plywood to avoid charring and possible ignition?

    A second question would be: do I need to use a tile or similar to insulate the plywood bottom from the pellet smoker?

    Yours in Smoke

    Stephen
     
  2. Though I have never built a smoker of any kind (hot, cold, UDS, refrig, etc)  but since you are using plywood shouldn't you line the inside with something whether that be tile, or stainless, or something?
     
  3. the temperature for cold smoking is low enough that wood doesn't need lining.
     
  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would use just a piece of floor ceramic tile or a cement block like what I have under my propane burner:

    [​IMG]

    or a converted mini fridge:

    [​IMG]

    On the plywood diffuser, I would keep it maybe 2-3 inches above it; it doesn't generate that much heat at all, circulation is more of a concern to make sure you're getting enough oxygen to it to keep it burning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Stephen, morning....  I have been planning on a similar project.... I had some concerns about circulation to control moisture and smoke contact with what ever was in the smoker..... My idea was to install a small box fan, like from a computer, that was 110V, maybe 25 cfm...  I'm not sure, but I think something like that is necessary because there are no convection currents from a heat source....  Then I was planning on checking, somehow, to see if there was air movement from the air intake to the exhaust stack, to remove the moisture from the smoking chamber....  Not having a heat source requires some additional planning... 

    I'm no expert by any means....  I did some maintenance work at a commercial smokehouse, bacon, hams etc., for a short period, and talking with the folks there, air movement is pretty important....

    My plans aren't even close to being finalized... still working out the details so I only have to do it once.....

    Dave
     
  6. Pops,



    thanks for the tips, especially about only needing a few inches clearance above the smoker, and having vents top and bottom for proper drafts. A hat-tip to Jimmy-James' smoker box for his simple and easy to make vents.



    It is actaully easier for me to build a box out of plywood than to collect a mini fridge and adapt it because I have a few sheets of very good quality birch plywood on hand and a well-equiped woodworking shop. 



    I found an extra pizza stone in the kitchen which will isolate the pellet smoker from the bottom ply, so that solves that issue. 




    Dave Omak - I am counting on the smoke rising and spreading through a diffuser to get the food covered and a proper draft.  An air inlet at the level of the pellet smoker and and an outlet offset to the top of one sidewall should feed the smoker and ensure that the smoke has to rise to the top and then down a bit and out, which should be enough for a box a less than 16 cubic feet. 



    I suspect a computer fan might clear the smoke a bit fast and dry out the food, but that depends on the volume of the smoker.  The stream of air from a fan might also leave a few dead-air spots.  As to the moisture, the bacon and sausages I want to do will have dried out a bit in a wine cabinet, into the smoker only for flavour and then into an oven if cooking is required.



    I am planning on using this smoker undercover in a verandah so no need to use any sealer or a paint.  I also won't use any glues in the build - only screws, dados and rabbits. 



    cheers
     
  7. "I am planning on using this smoker undercover in a verandah so no need to use any sealer or a paint.  I also won't use any glues in the build - only screws, dados and rabbits. "

    I was wondering about that very thing, especially the glues or bonding in the plywood.  Do these smoker generate enough heat to break the plywood down or cause the plywood to leach chemical flavor/odors?   Just curious
     
  8. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Good Luck
     
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, I apologize, I labeled that picture wrong; it was to show the ceramic tile under the Amazen unit, not the features of the converted fridge, lol!  Sorry about that!  My apologies!
     
     
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I haven't found any problem with the plywood; remember you are generating smoldering smoke and it is driving other odors out,  and the walls don't get that warm at all and even after the first smoke you're coating the walls with a smoky glaze sealing it... here's my smokehouse on the first use and now, today, lol..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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