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Propane conversion

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I gave my Dad a charcole smoker a few years which he never used. So I decided that i would repo it and convert it over to propane. I picked up a turkey fryer off craigslist for $25 and sold the pot on craigslist for $20. $5 in the burner didn't seem to bad. Here are some pictures up to this point.


The equipment before modification



Stock charcole pan



Turned it up side down, found the center, drew around the burner and got out the plasma cutter.



The hold isn't quite round, but should help with air flow?



Test fit of the burner.



Final mounting of the burner.



Can't wait to get home and fire it up. More pictures when i start working on the smoke box.

post #2 of 22

Looks like a nice start.

I don't know a thing about gas smokers, so this is sort of a bump to the top, but I think I read where you'll need to change a valve so it will burn a little cooler.


Edited by DanMcG - 11/26/10 at 3:53am
post #3 of 22

I'm no expert, but!

I think that burner might give you trouble.  I think that is a high pressure burner.  To get it low enough you may have issues with it blowing out.  or burning dirty, the wobbly yellow flame.  I also think you will need more air intkle area?

Good luck with the build and keep us posted. 

post #4 of 22

Willy is right, you may not be able to get the temp low enough and the flame will go out, but the gas stay on. 


You may have to change the orifice to make it work properly.


Before you invest too much time into it, I would fire up the burner and see how hot everything gets.



No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #5 of 22

Not bad. I have the same charcoal smoker (GOSM) and converted using a single burner stove from Northern Tool. I can get down around 150 degrees an up around 375 if using sand instead of water. Sure works nice on those long smokes.

Now I just place a can with some holes punched in it right on the burner. Add some charcoal pieces and wood. Works great.



post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for every ones input. I am sure there will be something that doesn't work right the first time, but isn't that the fun of building stuff. Here are some pictures of the chip pan i built out of an old piece of John Deere auger tube. I might need to raise it up a little, but again we will see.


Tested it and it holds water.




Might need to space it up a little more and move the water pan up a space.




post #7 of 22

I think it looks GREAT!!!!!!!! That is the basis of what my son and I built ours on. We own a sheet metal company so were able to bend up some 16 gage black iron to fabricate ours. FYI you may need a little bit bigger hole cut around the burner so it can induct a little more air in for the gas to burn. I had to move mine up and down several times before I found that sweet spot. The burner needed to be right inside of the smoker so the wind wouldn't bother it. I can get temperatures ranging anywhere from 75-600 degrees.....depending on the temperature outside. I did change the regulator to a 30 psi hi pressure regulator. One of the first times I cooked with it I had about 20lbs of sausage in it  and I couldn't’t get the temp above 120 degrees, the flame was really hard to control and it would just blow off the burner. Once the chamber filled with smoke the flame would yellow real bad and I thought I was starving the burner for oxygen, so I enlarged the hole about 1” bigger that the burner. I haven’t had a problem since.... At first I had some concerns about using the burner, but now after over a 100 uses, I haven't had any problems.... I will say that I have a mirror mounted under it so I can check for a flame from the back door which is about 25ft from the smoker and before I open the door. I always have concerns about the flame blowing out and the cabinet filling with gas and making exploded chicken over the yard.... but I have less concerns that I did at first, I have been thinking about using a regulator off a heater that has a thermocouple on it so if the flame goes out the gas will too.....I just haven’t found one that will work yet... ....just be careful with that part of it ...... and as you said... that's part of the fun of building it...... Shoneyboy

post #8 of 22

 Nice conversion build. Waiting over here quietly for the ultimate pic with the TBS slowly rising to the stars.


  I will say that I have a mirror mounted under it so I can check for a flame from the back door which is about 25ft from the smoker and before I open the door. I always have concerns about the flame blowing out and the cabinet filling with gas and making exploded chicken over the yard....



Would that be called Kung-Pow chicken.


post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

@Shoneyboy - Thanks for the input. To bad the plasma cutter is now 200 miles away. I am guessing it will be harder to enlarge the hole with my not so good tools.


I am going to do a test run (no meat) when i get back on Wednesday from my business trip. It should be between 20 and 40 in Nebraska which should be a good test of cool weather usage.


Not to change the subject, but here is a pic from last winter smoking some ribs on my other smoker during a snow storm.


post #10 of 22

FYI.....I used a jig saw with a bi-metal blade to cut mine.....

post #11 of 22

Not to change the subject, but here is a pic from last winter smoking some ribs on my other smoker during a snow storm.


Looks Like "ET"!!!



No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Back from my trip... I fired it up as low as possible and it blew out. Going to try it again on Friday. Between then and now i will go get the bi-metal blade to open the hold up more. The flame was dirty (more yellow than blue) which based on the comments above, should be fixed with a larger hole. I will also check on the regular to see what it is rated at.

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Opened the hole up around the burner tonight. Used an air cut off wheel. Not as easy as the plasma, but 2k isn't in the budget. I didn't change the regulator or move the burner and it is working fine. I can hold the temp between 220 and 270 without a problem but there isn't much wind today. I am planning to put some washers under the burner and a spacer between the house clamp and the peice i welded on. That should raise the burner up about 1/4 inch higher into the smoker. I am also going to point a fan (on high) directly at the flame. Got to plan on normal Nebraska weather. I will post pictures shortly.


Does anyone have any comments on how high the chip pan should be above the burner? Shoneyboy's pictures looked like it was about 2 inchs above the flame.


I also really like the idea of using a regulator with a thermocoupe. That makes alot of sense.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Here are some pics:


Cut out around the burner



pic of how high the burner stickets into the box



Added some washers to move it up about 1/4 inch



Got some ribs and will give her a try this weekend.



post #15 of 22

LOL, i have a gasser that i turned ino a charcoal combo.................nice job.

post #16 of 22

Looks great!! If you find a regulator with a thermocouple let me know....I've been looking for one myself.....For some reason once I put meat in mine I couldn't reach the hi temperature that I could empty...I guess the meat temperature had something to do with it, but I’m a more is better kind of person. So that's one of the reasons why I went with the larger regulator. On one of the first runs with the new regulator I seared some Tuna Steaks. I got the smoker about 350-400 degrees, once I had the temperature I wanted I added a little wood, I had a little smoke, dropped them on the grill for about a minute on each side and they came off medium rare, just like I like them. I didn't waste the wood; so I did this before I was getting ready to smoke some sausage too. Good Luck!!!   Shoneyboy 

post #17 of 22



Hey grupe,


Nice work on the smoker, I love the ease of propane, this is just my two cents and I'm not an expert, but a yellow flame is usually caused by insufficient air in the burner tube, look where the hose connects and there should be a screen that you can adjust for a blue flame, also if you look at that turkey fryer there is a circular metal ring around the burner that is there for stopping the gusts from blowing it out, you might wanna think about welding that on the bottom of your smoker.


As for a regulator and thermocouple there is a post here in the propane section where someone did this mod (you might try a search for "regulator"), I think he bought the parts from Granger, I looked into doing that but it was kind of pricey, then I decided to take the parts out of an old oven, you would have to change the orifice from natural gas to LPG, but that's not a problem, but finally I just added a needle valve and went electric for my temps lower than 150°.


I'm looking forward to your Q-view,



post #18 of 22

Things are looking good.  Be careful and enjoy.  And never do a test run with no meat!  At least throw a burger in there.biggrin.gif

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

Last weekend i fired it up for the first time. The fire did blow out once, but i think that was due to operator error. I think i will install a metal right around the burner to help keep the wind off the flame. The meet was falling off the bone and really tender. The flavor wasn't right and i didn't seem to get good smoke. I think i know what i did wrong so it shouldn't be hard to fix these two issues. I was going to do a brisket today, but it is -10 with the wind chill. Maybe need weekend.





post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

One more add on. I attached a coffee can to the bottom of the smoker to help stop wind from blowing out the flame. Don't look good, but it worked perfectly.





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