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How to control propane heat..

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Been sittin behind a steering wheel for 30 years now, so its bout all I know. I want to turn my ole smoker fridge into a propane heated smoker. I need threads that talk about setting up a burner, that is controlled to maintain temp.  Have been lookin at pellet burners, like a traeger,      NEED HELP PLEASE.....Thank You....

 

SmokinMad

post #2 of 14

They make a needle valve regulator for the propane bottle that gives you fine heat control.

 It is what you need

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Eman...Thanks..is there a way to put a temp. controller, that will turn the gas off and on when needed to maintain the correct temp?

 

SmokinMad

post #4 of 14

That is above my pay grade. You may want to check w/ some of the guys that use PID controllers on their  units. They may know more than I?

post #5 of 14

Above my pay grade as well but would have to believe there is a way. Some kind of setup like a house heater.

 

Brad

post #6 of 14

Years ago I built a propane smoker out of an old refrigerator.  I used the burner assembly from a small swimming pool heater, which had a millivolt / standing pilot gas valve (similar to a hot water tank).  The pilot heated the thermocouple which created the power for the gas valve, so that it wouldn't fire unless there was a pilot flame burning.  Also had a mechanical sensor for the thermostat control.

 

I had a couple of problems with the setup, it never did work very well.  The first problem was that the standing pilot gave off a fair amount of heat, so you couldn't really use it unless it was cold outside.  I used the main burner to heat the wood chips, but because the pilot threw off so much heat the main burner would hardly ever come on, so no smoke was being generated.  The second problem was from the mechanical thermostat, which had about 20 degrees plus/minus from open to close.  So if you set it at 200 it wouldn't fire until 190, then would stay on until 210 or more.  Would be ok for somethings, but it wasn't a fine enough control for sausage.

 

Now this was 20 years ago, so I'm sure there are better solutions now (AMNPS for smoke, for one thing).

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaywardSwede View Post
 

Years ago I built a propane smoker out of an old refrigerator.  I used the burner assembly from a small swimming pool heater, which had a millivolt / standing pilot gas valve (similar to a hot water tank).  The pilot heated the thermocouple which created the power for the gas valve, so that it wouldn't fire unless there was a pilot flame burning.  Also had a mechanical sensor for the thermostat control.

 

I had a couple of problems with the setup, it never did work very well.  The first problem was that the standing pilot gave off a fair amount of heat, so you couldn't really use it unless it was cold outside.  I used the main burner to heat the wood chips, but because the pilot threw off so much heat the main burner would hardly ever come on, so no smoke was being generated.  The second problem was from the mechanical thermostat, which had about 20 degrees plus/minus from open to close.  So if you set it at 200 it wouldn't fire until 190, then would stay on until 210 or more.  Would be ok for somethings, but it wasn't a fine enough control for sausage.

 

Now this was 20 years ago, so I'm sure there are better solutions now (AMNPS for smoke, for one thing).

 

Thanks WayWard..... if it exists I'm sure I will find on SMF

 

SmokinMad

post #8 of 14

I converted an offset smoker to gas a few years ago.   I used the burner from a turkey cooker.  The regulator has a gas controller built in it.  You can find them at big box stores.  The regulator is rated at 10 pounds pressure and will do the job.

 

One screw on the bottom of the burner makes for an easy mount.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar View Post
 

I converted an offset smoker to gas a few years ago.   I used the burner from a turkey cooker.  The regulator has a gas controller built in it.  You can find them at big box stores.  The regulator is rated at 10 pounds pressure and will do the job.

 

One screw on the bottom of the burner makes for an easy mount.

 

Lamar... Great idea....I see them on craigslist all the time....Thanks

 

SmokinMad

post #10 of 14
Lots of guys on my beer fourm (homebrewtalk.com) have temp controlled gas setups so I know it can be done but not sure what all it takes
post #11 of 14

Here is a link to my smokehouse build, including the valve and cold smoking, variable burner settings, etc., it is pretty limitless what you can do with this simple setup!

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/88853/found-a-burner-for-smokehouse

post #12 of 14
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post #13 of 14

Here is what I've been wanting to buy for mine.....It's a bit pricey, but after reading all of the problems that others have had, I think this would be a small investment for a life time of protection.......I was wondering if I really would need to buy the burner parts since I already have a burner ???any thoughts ???? ShoneyBoy

post #14 of 14

Check out my thread. If you want a cheap reliable way to do it, find a used gas stove and strip it! I would suggest you use a newer donor that has the electric gas valve and igniter, much safer setup than a pilot...

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/125771/masterbuilt-xl-thermostat-control-mod

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