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New to the group and have some questions?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, I am new to the group and getting ready for my 1st freezer build and have some questions.


I finally found my an old frig that is all metal inside including the door panel that is not in to bad of shape.  I have already gutted what little plastic is in there except for the door gasket and a few shelf supports.  The frig will be used to smoke sausage, ribs, and the occasional brisket.


As I will be the first to admit that I am electrically and mechanically challenged I have a few questions.


The interior dimensions of my frig are 42"T X 18"W X 17"D.  I would like to be able to smoke from a low of 130 degrees when I am drying sausage prior to smoking up to about 250 degrees when smoking other things.  I would also like to be able to control my temps externally without opening the door.


What suggestions do you guys with experience have on what type of heating element to use in this build.  Plug and play type stuff are greatly preferred.


Also while I am on this line of questioning, what type of smoke generation do you guys think would be best.  I have been looking at the smoke daddys but have seen quite a few mixed reviews.


I plan on welding a small cart for this to set on so I can wheel it and out of the garage with ease so I would like to have everthing attached to the frig in a compact as unit as possible.



Any input you guys can share with me would be greatly appreciated.





post #2 of 8


I am 98% complete with my General E conversion.  I fired him up last evening for the first time.  I have been amazed at the PID temperature controller.  I have not posted an update yet...since firing him up...but will be doing that tonight or tomorrow.  He's been holding a steady 300 degrees for the past 4 hours.  I will be applying some chick and ribs shortly...and turn the heat down to accordingly. 


There is a lot of good information on this forum in regards to your questions.  I would suggest that you read over my thread: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/105239/and-yet-another-refrigerator-conversion-electric-heat-and-pid-temperature-control  and the others as well...that was what I did...and it gave me a good place to start.  About the PID...I am amazed!  Speaking of amazed...I am using the A-Maze-N Smoker and although I haven't actually smoked with it yet...the testing phase has convenced me that I made the right choice...for my needs!  ...different strokes for different folks...


Welcome to the Forum...and I look forward to seeing your build.  icon_biggrin.gif



post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the information.  I am trying to put together my plans now and will be taking the before pics soon.

post #4 of 8

Welcome to SMF!

post #5 of 8



Lots of fdidge build info here.

Use the handy dandy search tool up top!!


 Here's a little reding for ya!!





post #6 of 8


Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

Many of our members have years of experience in smoking meat.  They are more than happy helping Newbies learn the art.

We have members who cure there own Bacon, Hams, Jerky, Snack Sticks, Make Their own Sausage, etc. if you want to learn,
this is the place. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions of them and follow their advice. You won't be sorry, you will be making great Q in no time at all...

Just remember, when curing your own meats follow the instructions included with the cure to the letter, this is not something to experiment with.  

Never use more cure no mater if it is Tender Quick or Cure #1 or Cure #2 than the manufacturer says to use, this can be very dangerous.

Tender Quick and Cure#1 or Cure #2 are not interchangeable, neither Cure #1 interchangeable with Cure #2 or vise versa


Tips For New Members.

  1. Go into your profile and Under Location put where you are.
  2. City & State or Area & State will do. This will help members when answering your questions.
  3. Go to ROLL CALL thread and tell us a little about Yourself and Experience & Equipment.
  4. Do Not Post  your other questions and smokes in the Roll Call Forum.
  5. Post your questions and smokes in the Proper Forum, Beef, Pork, Sausage, Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker etc.
  6. Use the Wiki Section, many of our members have posted great tutorials and instructional threads so take advantage of them.
  7. When you can't find an answer ask plenty of questions, we have some highly experienced members willing to help you.
  8. When posting about your smokes be sure to post plenty of Qview (Pictures) Our Moto, "No Pics, Didn't Happen".
  9. Get a good Probe Thermometer, Don't Depend on the Built in Thermometer in your Smoker (They are notorious for being off).
  10. A good choice for a remote dual probe thermometer is the Maverick ET-732
  11. Remember, We Always Cook by Temperature and NOT BY TIME...
  12. Sign up for Jeff's 5-Day eCourse.  Click Here
  13. Don't Take Chances, Always Follow USDA Safety Guidelines When Handling Meat.
  14. If you are wanting to get into curing meat, there are many members here more than happy to help and give good advice.

  15. If you are unsure of a procedure ASK, don't ASSUME, It will make your Smoking experience much more pleasant...

post #7 of 8

 If you are going 110v this is the like that shows what you will need to wire up a PID 


I used a 1250w finned heater element I bought out of Grainer, have it wired up as the above link and I too have been amazed by the PID controler... My fridge is similer in ID  as yours. the 1250 w heater ran up to 300 degrees on the burn in and held it great....I need to do some finish work on it inside but I did 3 wild turkey breast the other day it it worked great....I have acess to apple and pear wood that is chipped and chunked, so I went with the Smoke Daddy, I have done a cold smoke on cheese and the turkey breast with no problems.....The A-Mazin- smoker does sound good also

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the information so far.  I am trying to put my ideas together now and hopefully will be posting some pictures soon.

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