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Another NEWBIE (Northern Michigan)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hello all,


Been visiting the site for a while getting tips and finally joined.  Started smoking meats about 2 years ago in a small electric smoker.  I know that is cheating to some of you but hey so far everything I have done has tasted great.  I have made many batches of pulled pork and ribs, one large batch of summer sausage ( Venison Jalepeno and another of just Elk, turned out pretty good but used store bought seasoning and need a better recipe), and recently smoked my first two briskets (definitely not my last).  Oh I also smoked a corned beef last St. Paddy's day.  That was interesting and made some awesome sandwiches.  I finally bit the bullet and joined because I am starting a new build out of a two-glass door freezer unit I recently acquired.  I will take photos and post the process when done as long as it is success.  My latest hurdle in the design is circulating fans.  This is the reason I finally joined so I could ask for help.....

post #2 of 21

Hey pmush

Welcome to the forum.  Lots of good people here and tons of info.  If you have questions or just need some advice, then just ask. There will be someoneout of the 50000 members who has an answer


post #3 of 21

texas.gifHello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   



post #4 of 21
Don't worry if your smoker is a watt burner-you gotta go with whatcha got or whatcha can use. We have a number of electric smoker users here and they use electric because they live in apartments or condo's that doesn't allow the burning of wood, charcoal or propane. Shoot, even one of my smokers is a watt burner.

Since you've been visiting SMF for awhile now you know we love to watch smoker builds and we do have knowledgeable fabricators here that can answer your many questions and give you advice and suggestions.

Enjoy the Smoke!
post #5 of 21
Hey Pmush! Welcome to SMF.

There's nothing wrong with an electric smoker; I think the majority of the member on this site use the MES 30.

Hey when you get a chance, head on over to the Michigan members group and join. It's a place where we can post anything related to our region (weather, meat prices/availability, gatherings, etc). It'd be great to have you! Here's the link.

post #6 of 21

Welcome from Canada.


I look forward to your posts on your build and your smokes.



post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the welcome.  I will be sure to post pictures.  Just getting started acquiring materials.  Hope to work on re-building the doors tomorrow. 

post #8 of 21

Don't wait until you are finished, post pictures now and let everyone see your progress and if you run into a snag or need help you will get tons of input.



post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
I will post some progress pics. I reworked the two glass doors this weekend but the pics on my phone did not turn out. I will post some next time i work on it.

Probably wont be this weekend though.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

OK here are a few pictures or progress converting a True Glass Door Freezer into a Smoker.  The first two are of a door before starting work.  There was a lot of plastic and a light fixture that needed to be removed.  After removing he fixture the glass was too small to fill the void so insulation, sheet metal, and stove caulk was used to fit in the doors.





Edited by pmush - 1/4/14 at 3:45pm
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

After rehanging the doors today I filled the void with insulation to do a temperature test.  All in all it went well with one minor glitch.  I ran the unit up to 300deg just to make sure I will not have any troubles cooking at 225 for long periods and if anything was going to go wrong I wanted it to happen now before investing in gaskets and controller.  I did have a pan of glass break as it reached 300 but it was the center of a triple pane.  I am not too concerned because I am sure the primary cause was the placemen of the electric element.  It was not centered and I have not installed the fan yet so that part of the cabinet was much hotter than any other probably exceeding the 300deg mark.  I had to hook up to 220v to get enough heat for the test but I am still going to do some testing to see if I can run on 110v.  It will be much more portable if I can keep it to 110v 20 amp.  Everything went well today other than losing one pane of glass but it was not catastrophic.  I ordered gasket material and a second heating element so the next step is to get it sealed up with the right materials and do another temperature run.  I will probably have to temp on a circulation fan as well if I cannot get it to heat up on a reasonable time on 110v.  The elements do not put out enough intense heat at 110v to hurt the glass but at 220v it gets a little hot in the vicinity of the element w/o a fan.


post #12 of 21

Welcome pmush, Are you in the UP?  The freezer build sounds like a fun project.  I have seen posts using fans that were bought from grangers with a extended shaft  that can be mounted on the outside with the blade inside.



post #13 of 21

Welcome from a fellow Michigander!

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am in Traverse City. Thanks for the tip. I have the fan just working my way through the process. I was not really sure what would happen when i put heat to the freezer so i wanted to warm it up before putting in too much work and money. I got a little greedy with the first heat. Luckily there were three panes and i lost the middle one.
post #15 of 21

Coming along nicely pmush. Does the broken middle pane of glass obscure the view at all?

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
No just a few long cracks. i may even end up covering the lower portions of glass with some sheet metal to form a heat shield. by the time i put in drip pans most of that area will not need to be seen anyway.
post #17 of 21

Cool. Sounds like you're on top of it. Keep posting pics of the progress!

post #18 of 21

Hey Pmush

Thats going to be one big honking smoker.  Looking great


post #19 of 21

Welcome to the forum P

You ve come to the best place for great information on smoking and many other types of cooking! Many friendly people here that love to help. Also make the search button your best friend. There are over a million post in this forum. That powerful information on a vast array of subjects right at your fingertips.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Made more progress today.  Installed the door gasket, added a second burner (so I can run 120 volt), and did another dry run.   Next step I to install rack system and hangers bars along with a slab in the bottom for counter weight and heat sink.  Once that in done the drip pans, fan, and smoke generator installation can begin,  It took about 1.5 hours to come up to temperature which could happen much quicker if I ran at 240v but then I will be more limited to where I can run it. At this time I am planning on the long warm up time so I will not be dependent on 240v.





Double burners.  This is just a temporary set up not the permanent installation of the burners.





Some of the new door gasket installed.  This is the bomb!  It was not cheap but much better than trying to caulk rope in place and should be much easier to clean.  From www.stovegaskets.com  The website gives you just a couple of different length options.  I ordered a 25' & 7' piece for this to get what I needed.  They shipped in one piece so I suspect if you called them you could get any length you wanted without waste or extra joints.  You just drill an 1/8 hole approximately every 3" and it snaps in.




Here it is heating up.  Eventually there will be clips of some sort for the doors.



Top Stat at 225.



Bottom Stat about 215.  I did not think this was bad with not venting and no circulation fan in place yet.

Edited by pmush - 1/19/14 at 3:20pm
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