About a year ago I came across a free 21 cubic foot smoker. It's been a bit of a slow process but this is as far as my brother-in-law and I have come on our build. I modeled it after the commercial smokers I have seen in sausage kitchens (and the meat lab used in my meat processing certificate). I have the fan as well as my heat source in the top of the smoker and the fan really seems to be keeping a real even temperature throughout the cabinet as well as a fairly fast response time. On initial runs we went from 20 degrees Celsius to 80 degress Celsius in about 15 minutes. Our control is a Sure Electronics CD101 PID. The smoke generator element and its controls are repurposed from the kitchen range boneyard. The fan is a suplus motor hooked to a 8" five blade.
The smoker still needs some work. Door latches still need to be purchased (most likely Amazon) and installed. I am currently using the old rubber seal from the freezer and we are considering using rope instead. The shelving and racks need to be manufactured. We are thinking that the amount of air movement will dry out some meats being cooked in the smoker so we are considering installing a water drip to create steam and humidity and prevent the drying. I think that we will be able to cook any smoked meats in this thing but it is really tailored to sausage and other processed meats. We will definitely try everything and see what happens.
Front view, door open. Fan motor is visible on top. The control box is upper right. It is a repurposed desktop computer box salvaged from the school I teach at. The upper cabinet is where the fan and element are located (repurposed from the range boneyard). The upper cabinet is pressurized and an air passes over the element and goes down the side of the smoker hitting the bottom and returning to the fan in the middle of the cabinet. The smoke generator can be seen lower right.
Side view. control box and smoke generator are seen. Note the dent. The freezer was not meant to be unloaded from a pickup without help. The fall creased the outside somewhat!
Fan motor, and vent. The presure in the heat chamber really pushes exhaust out of the vent when it is open. We tried to repurpose as much as possible but there are some things that are menat to be installed new. Electrical boxes and shielded wire were needed to make it "look nice".
The smoke generator. The pallet we set the smoker on was previously used to carry Monsanto RoundUp for use on my brother-in-law's farm.
Stainless steel was used to replace the plastic on the inside of the lid. 1 1/2" flat iron is used as shelf holders (5 in total). They are positioned about 1" off the wall to allow for airflow to the bottom of the smoker and circulate through the product up to the top of the cabinet.
Computer box control panel. Sure PID top. Fan switch middle. Smoke generator element switch bottom.
Solid State Relay
2500 watt range element glowing red hot. Fan is turning and moving a lot of air! Note the gap along the side allowing for a curtain of air to travel down the side of the cabinet.
The gap viewed from the bottom.
Thermocouple temperature sensor.
Partly finished rack.