Why Not A Convection Smoker ???

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by upinflames, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. upinflames

    upinflames Fire Starter

    After reading much about the Chargriller Smokin' Pro I went out and bought one. I wanted a little more cooking area than my present little offset offers which was the main reason for my purchase.

    Much has been written about them and the various mods performed on them.I am in the process of doing some of them now.

    During the course of sratchin' ma haid an' consuming of fair amount of intelectual stimulants ( Coors Light ) I got to thinking, "why not try to make my smoker into a convection type oven"

    For those of you not familiar with a convection oven the principal is very simple. Air Flow. Air flow within the cooking chamber to to eliminate temperture differences within the cooking chamber.

    I think it would work well provuding of couse the fan does not impart any positive or negative air flow to the firebox or chimmney.

    Heat would be another factor as to the mounting of the fan motor, Specifically inside or outside.

    My idea is still in the light bulb stage, so I thought I would toss it out there and let the games begin.
  2. earache_my_eye

    earache_my_eye Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    UpInFlames.....your links have an extra "http://" in them.....could you edit your post and remove that so the links will work??

  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    eric....copy and paste, then just delete the extra http........ :)
  4. upinflames

    upinflames Fire Starter

    Sorry guys, Did what you suggeted but it didn't work.

    Something about default .

    Maybe we can move onto discussing idea and I will try to repost later.

    The kinks were just pictures of fan motors from a convection oven if that helps.

    I delted links to avoid confusion

    Again sorry.
  5. earache_my_eye

    earache_my_eye Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    OK...I was able to finally get the links to work for me...[​IMG]

    I'm not entirely sure what you are wanting to achieve by adding a fan to the char-griller. Most of the folks here that have made the mods to the smoker get their temps to within about 25*F. from one end to the other at grate level...which IMHO is really pretty good.

    In my restaurant experience, a convection oven is a fabulous tool for baking things quicker than a normal oven...and at a lower temperature, but the moving air inside the cooking chamber also has the effect of drying out whatever is in there.....not so good when you are trying to keep as much moisture as possible in a butt or a brisket. We used the convection oven mainly for baking breads and doing round after round of baked potatoes so we could always have "fresh" baked potatoes to serve our guests.

    I can see where a small fan to keep the air moving inside the char-griller might be beneficial for even temps, and could very well be the next great mod for the smoker. However, I don't think I would be looking at such powerful fans as you posted...those would produce A LOT of air movement inside the chamber and tend to dry the meat out.

    Thinking about this a little further.....a small computer fan (say, a 40 or 60 mm fan)might be quite effective without moving such large volumes of air....the trick will be to find such a fan that will withstand the temps of the smoker....seeing how most, if not all, computer fans are made of plastic...[​IMG]

    Just a couple thoughts for you to ponder in your efforts. Keep doing your research, I would be very interested in hearing the ideas you come up with....as I said....You may just come up with the next great CGSP mod!!

  6. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A reverse flow unit accomplishes this fairly well... familiar with 'em?
  7. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been fiddling with the idea of having my control system power a small computer fan on the lid of the smoking chamber; mostly to flush the smoking chambers if a spike is detected, but also to flush the chamber to reduce the posibility of stagnent smoke (if there is such a thing). My tests have shown that if you mount the fan on a tube, and mount the tube to the heat, the fan will be fine. This keeps it away from the heat, but more importantly, it keeps it out of the sticky smoke; which will kill it in short time.

    As far as convection goes, I think all wood and charcoal smokers are already convection ovens. Since the exhaust flow allows the intake to suck air, you are always getting the convection process. Just recognize that any fan added to the smoking chamber will push more air out of the exhaust, which I think will effect how much air is drawn in the intake.
  8. earache_my_eye

    earache_my_eye Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Yeah, Josh....they are a sort of "natural" convection oven in their own right, but I believe UpInFlames is looking to mimic either a home or commercial type of convection oven.

    I was afraid of that too, with the fan being inside the chamber....gettin' all greasy/smoky and dying an early death....but, then again....they are relatively cheap. I wonder just how long a PC fan would last at 225*.....[​IMG][​IMG]

  9. upinflames

    upinflames Fire Starter

    All good points, guys. I will try to find out the cfm of one the fans listed in my links. The one fan looks HUGE but it is really just 3 inches in diameter.

    As the fan will be mounted in the cooking area and will neither draw from nor exit from the cook chamber only keep the inside air in circulation to balance the hot and cold spots.

    The motor from one fan pictured would be mounted externally and the cfm could be controlled with a rheostat.

    Might try it soon and use my ET- 73 to moniter the temps.

    More comments welcomed please.
  10. Find out what fan they use in the traeger.
  11. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Sleecjr;
    Welcome to SMF, and be sure to stop by the Roll Call forum and make an intro post on yout smoker types, experience, location, etc. All helps us give help ...well assuming you need some anyway...
  12. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It seems that given the small size of most of the consumer offset smokers it would be difficult to add any amount of forced airflow in the cook chamber that would not upset the draft into/out of the firebox or cook chamber. I'm with Rich . . . if you want even temps . . .make it a reverse flow AND add some heavy a$$ plate material in the cooker so there is something to retain and radiate the heat.

    Just my .02 cents worth.

  13. jet_deck

    jet_deck Fire Starter

    A true convection fan has "blades" that are very flat with just a small "kicker" on the edge. It should not push or pull much air at all. The blades just stir up the heat waves as they rise, allowing the heat to do more work before it escapes. I'm not saying that the convection fan will or won't work in this application, just wanting to remind everyone how they work.
  14. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The reverse flow:

    Has a heavy metal plate that the smoke/heat flows UNDER after exiting the fire box. This plate heats up a tad warmer at the box end of course, but as the smoke makes the turn and comes back on top of the plate over the food..it is COOLER by that time, and mitigates the warmer temp metal underneath. It is, in fact- a natural convection oven.
  15. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oops, I knew that thanks to the info on this site. [​IMG]

    I should have typed "BUT use" instead of "AND add".

  16. minichef

    minichef Fire Starter


    This unit works quite well, turns out some good stuff. Granted it is electric, not natural heat!

    The fan blades are in the chamber and the motor is outside away from heat and grease.

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