Which heating element?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tylers, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. tylers

    tylers Newbie

    Hello all, I have been sitting the sidelines here for a while and with my latest build I figured I had better ask the pannel. How large of a finned strip heater should I use - 750w, 1000w, or 1250w. The smoker to be is a 1951 International Harvester with about 12 cubic feet of space. It is packed with nearly 3 inches of fibeglass insulation from the factory. Also it has a steel liner. I would like to stay under 1250w so that I can run it off of a 15 amp breaker. The heaters will be controlled via a Honeywell PID (My dad is a controls and meters guy). I will have a homeade smoke gun on the unit too. There will also be a circulating fan and firebricks to retain the heat. So how much heat do I need?
  2. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd rather have a little too much than not enough if it is gonna be adjustable. I'd go for the big gun.
  3. tylers

    tylers Newbie

    Heres a picture
  4. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That will be one nice looking smoker...

    To heat a 24"D x 24"W x 48"H insulated smoker to achieve 300º F will require approx. 613 BTUs of heat.

    A 115v 750 Watt element will produce approx. 2500 BTUs of heat.
    A 115v 1000 W element = 3414 BTUs of heat

    Check your utility bill for what the power company is charging you and if you plan on doing a lot of long smokes, choose accordingly.

    The original 40" MES electric smoker uses a 750w element. While there are performance issues when smoking outside in colder climate, specifically:
    • Time to reach desired cooking temp.
    • Recovery time when hatch is opened.

    Most 40" MES owners are very happy with their 40" MES. Personally I only smoke once or twice a month during the winter, but come March thru November 4 to 6 times a month, so 750W is fine for me in Sacramento Area, where climate in moderate.

    Please let us know about the PID setup, how its wired, what it cost, what functions it will provide? thanks
  5. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    750 watt should geter no problem[​IMG].
    if outside and very cold go with 1kw
  6. tylers

    tylers Newbie

    Thanks for the replys, looking back at the temps this week I chose to go with a 900w just in case I get the urge. I will let you guys know how it works out.

  7. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd go with the largest your circuit will allow. If it's PID controlled, you can keep the temps down as needed, but all the PIDs in the world won't bring up temps when she's underpowered and maxed out.
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cool Smoker, Never knew IH make a frig.

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