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Electric stove conversion

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I got a free Maytag range off of Kijiji, cut a pan sized hole in the inner floor of the oven, creating a recess with part of the element exposed where the pan of sawdust smolders and does its magic, and punched out the oven light and put an aluminum dryer vent in the hole that was left by the missing light. (The whole story is in my introductory post.) It works well enough but I have a few concerns. First let me show you the stove with its modifications.

I ran 220 power to the greenhouse/shed where the stove lives and ran the insulated dryer vent out the top of the wall. I hung an OSB panel behind the vent to protect the polycarbonate greenhouse panel. Later on, I will install a countertop so my herbs will have a place to grow.

Here you can see the pan of maple dust smoking away on the oven floor. That's a bacon wrapped pork loin on the top rack and a pan of water on the rack below.

My concerns: the oven can be set as low as 195 degrees and from what I have read here, 225 is a good temperature, but the dust doesn't seem to want to burn at that temperature. I start hot, 375 or more and turn it down once the dust is smoking, then I put the meat in. This is good for the first hour or so but when I put fresh dust in the pan, it takes too long to start smoking again unless I increase the temperature. I don't think a single pan of smoke is quite enough to do the job. Are the temperature fluctuations apt to lessen the quality of the cooked meat?

I am thinking about some sort of system to create smoke that doesn't rely on the oven element. Either something like an amaze n smoker inside the oven, or a Venturi generator making smoke from the outside. The maze has the problem of having to open the oven to refill the dust and the outer smoke generator means having to drill through the oven wall. I'm lening toward the generator idea but I noticed while using a smoke pistol with my gas grill, that it created a generous amount of creosote along with the smoke. It was nasty stuff to clean up. Do these other smoke generators that work along the same principle create the same creosote build up? I suppose a tuna can under the smoke inlet pipe could catch the worst of the drips.

I'm open to suggestions from the collective "pit" wisdom.
post #2 of 5
The a-maze-n smokers create no creosote, only ashes. A 5"x8" a-maze-n smoker will smoke upto 12 hour when fully loaded. Also you would not place in on the heating element. It is lit with a propane torch allowed to flame until a bed of embers develope then the flame is put out so it just smolders, prior to being placed into the smoker.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman1955 View Post

The a-maze-n smokers create no creosote, only ashes. A 5"x8" a-maze-n smoker will smoke upto 12 hour when fully loaded. Also you would not place in on the heating element. It is lit with a propane torch allowed to flame until a bed of embers develope then the flame is put out so it just smolders, prior to being placed into the smoker.

I am going to give the maze a try if I get one locally, shipping to Canada from A Maze N Products is way too expensive. His dealer list has a location here in Edmonton so I'm going to call them and see if they still carry the maze.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I got a 5X8 AMNPS at a local barbecue dealer. Fifty Canadian bucks and it didn't come with any pellets, but it was less expensive than buying it online and paying shipping and paypal's exchange rate. I got a big bag of Trager hickory pellets at the same time. The store gave me a card that "entitles" me to a free bag of pellets after I buy ten, but the store is on the opposite side of the city from me and I really hate driving in heavy traffic so I doubt I'll ever buy nine more bags from them.

I tried the AMNPS last night with sawdust (because I have a huge bag of maple dust that needs using) with little success. The sawdust didn't want to stay lit. Not enough air? Too much humidity? I can't know. Later I tried the pellets with a bit of initial success but after an hour or so they too went out. It was raining but the oven is protected from the weather. I think I need to introduce some combustion ait into the oven.

I made a Venturi generator out of a big coffee can and some black pipe. It works but the air pump is pretty wimpy. I have a small compressor that powers my inhaled medications; it's perhaps a bit more powerful and certainly louder.

The quest for fire continues.
post #5 of 5
Sounds to me like you may have two problems. 1) Your saw dust may be to damp to burn in the maze, try putting some on a cookie sheet and placing in the oven @ 230 deg.F for a half hour or so, that should help dry it out.
2) The pellets do require combustion air so maybe your right that your oven is to air tight. I can't tell by your picture but if your oven has the broiler drawer on the bottom you may just need to open that up a little for fresh air. also if those pellets are the slightest bit damp you will have trouble keeping them lit. Some people put them in the microwave on high for 60 sec to dry them out or you could use the same method as above in your oven.
The big thing most people are doing when having trouble keeping the maze lit is not allowing it to burn long enough when first lighting it, it should have a nice cherry red ball of embers when the flame is extinguished.
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