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Scored a food warmer cabinet for free. Opinions....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello all, Ive been a lurker on this site for a while. I must say I have learned a great deal from all of you, so a big Thanks. The members I have had contact with have been great. Well, I was talking to a chef buddy of mine the other day and I told him to keep an eye out for an old fridge that I could convert to a smoker. He got a big smile and said I have something you might be interested in. He had a food warming cabinet that hasn't been used in several years. It has been outside on their loading dock. Of course I snapped that and a stainless steel pan rack he offered me right up. I may cut down the rack and insert it at shelving/rack holders.  Actually the cabinet still works. I plugged it in for about 15 mins and it got to about 86 degrees. Well, I want to convert it to a smoker. I took one of the handles off and it appears to be packed with that yellowish fiberglass insulation batting. I think the interior is aluminum. Not positive but that's what it looks like to me. Well here are some questions/opinions for you veteran builders. And some pics of the unit.


1. Propane or Elect?  I have a GOSM BB already and like it. But I constantly have to babysit to keep the temp where I need it. I would     like the ease of electric with a pid in that respect. 


2. If Elect, should I go 110 or 220? My cousin who is a veteran smoker and built many says 220 is what I should do. Well I'm not wired for 220 and to do so wold probable lead me into having to upgrade my box in my house. Its pretty stuffed already. The interior dimensions are approx 29"deep x 24" wide x 51" tall. That's approx 20.5 cubic feet. Can I get away with 110 on that much space? The unit has good insulation as far as I can tell. What size element in 110? I looked at some plug n play Aubrin PIDs and it looked to me that they would only control a 1440 watt element in 110v. Is that right?


3. Ive been searching for what  can use for racks inside. Ive seen some have used expanded steel shelving. Where can I get that? Will baking cooling racks work for the interior. some are chrome, some are steel. Want to find something economical. I'm planning to use 1 or 2 AMNPS for the smoke generator.


4. What do some of you use for lower intake vents?


Sorry is some of these are redundant. Ive looked at a ton of builds and have done alot of searches. I am kinda the forrest gump of electrical. So use small words...lol. Luckily I have a brother in-law who's an electrical engineer and a cousin who welds and does fabrication if I need something made. Any help would bee appreciated.........Matt




Here is the unit..












Thanks for looking and let me know what you think?





post #2 of 6

I think it's going to be an awesome smoker once you get the details worked out.


I'll let the builder guys answer your questions.

post #3 of 6

I'm Jealous!

Been looking for the exact warmer you have, but they want $500 for one.

This will be a cool build


PID Controller and a Heat strip

Vents ???



No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #4 of 6

Just my opinion but I would go electric. I would do 220 since the volume of that space looks about the same as my plywood cabinet smoker.


You can get expanded metal at any steel shop or even some welding supply places. Lowes, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, etc carry small pieces of expanded metal by their welding stuff but you will pay a premium for it. Last time I bought expanded metal it ran me $64 for a 4' x 8' sheet.


For the intake, a simple HVAC vent could be used.


Good luck! Can't wait to see how this turns out.

post #5 of 6

That is soooo sweet Semper.biggrin.gif Sorry I can't help here as I am a Wood type of guy,but I'm in oihO and will come and get it for myself icon_question.gifsince you are having trouble with itbiggrin.gif.LOL


Good luck and...

post #6 of 6

I can't help answer yuor questions -- but I think it's very cool and will make a great smoker!

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