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Michigan insulated smoke house - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Propane actually gives off a bunch of moisture when it is burning. So it's not a dry heat.
post #22 of 34

When we burn hydrogen, water vapor is the result, and the temperature of that water vapor is about 5000°F. We also are burning carbon so we are making carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. When we burn wood we are burning carbohydrates and we produce even more water vapor as a result. But fear not the temperature of these products of combustion are very far above the dew point of the meat that we are cooking so we never get soggy smoked meat.

post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 

 Well thanks for the information. I was at Walmart tonight and found a 12" or so pizza pan. Ill measure tomorrow and take some pics on my set up. I drilled 4 holes(1 per leg) on my burner about 2.5" from the floor. I ran some 1.25" long self tappers through the holes as a "rest" for the pan to sit on. I did have to notch the pan around each leg. I ran the smoker for over 1hr and had it kicking pretty good(250-300 range). I reached under the pizza pan carefully as Im sure that pan is hot. The cement board on the floor was cold! Smoke on. :yahoo:

post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
Sorry guys, still need to get picks of the burner mod. I cooked 3 chickens at 250deg for 3hrs and just could not get internal temp to 165. At the 2.5hr mark the breast were 160 and legs 165 and after another 30min same temp. The juices were clear and we ate. It was good, but not worth the effort. The skin had lots of smoke flavor, but the meat not so much. I used big apple chunks on the cast pan the whole time.
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok here is an update with pics. Here is the sticker off the .88 cent pizza pan from meijer.


Here is how its installed, best pic I could get without pulling the burner.


Got a Maverick 733 for Xmas. Wasn't sure where or how to mount it, but got an idea when I saw this water proof box for $10.




post #27 of 34
nice mod on the burner.. that should do it... I would suggest you pull all the excess wire on your probes back into the water tight box with the transmitter ...
post #28 of 34

Where the measurements.....this looks like a good project.... 

post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post

Where the measurements.....this looks like a good project.... 

I originally had plans and then it kinda morphed as I went along. If you want certain dims like internal box size, or external, you can calculate the other stuff

based on knowing I used 2x4's and their orientation in the pics. I can smoke a lot in this, likely bigger than I would ever need to be honest. Ive done 25lbs of

venison summer sausage (think 9 sticks) and could have done 3x that.

post #30 of 34
Great looking smoker. I am just starting one myself this weekend. Curious about the insulation does it have to be special insulation for smoking and would it have to food safe. I haven't built one of these before and I will be using my smoker for smoking sausage and salmon at lower temps. Do I have to be carful what I use to insulate
post #31 of 34
Looks very nice.... should work forever.....

post #32 of 34
Thread Starter 
Fuzzy Im unsure about that, this was my first smoker build. I was also warned about oils in the cedar and told i should "season" the wood with heat/smoke before cooking in it to seal in the oils. While there are different types of cedar and this appearing to not be the threatening red cedar, I seasoned it anyway. I took it to 350 and had no problems. The inner box isn't air tight, but doesn't have big gaps either. My dad used to burn old oily rags for his smoke, he is still alive.
Something ill mention for guys thinking about their first build.

1. Size. Really think about what you will be smoking and how often. I use this probably 3 times a month on average. Its big for the little I do in it. I had visions of lots of jerky and well I did 9 or 10 of the big summer sausage sticks and stillnl could have fit 40 more easily. You want some distance from your heat source, but you dont need this much. Ive often thought about how I could cut down on this large volume for "most" of my smoking. Something I didn't know/consider is you have to bring the house up to temp, not just the air inside. The house sucks up the heat and the bigger the surface area the longer it takes to stabilize temps initially.

2. Vents. I used the cheapest floor vents you can find at Lowe. They dont ever totally seal and their leak rate is high enough that I just leave them closed in the upper chamber. The lower I just set about 1/3 open and haven't adjusted it. I modulate heat with the burner. I caulked all my seams cause it leaked heat and smoke out around the roof. I figured if I slowed the air leak it would help with insulating.

3. Wireless temp sensor. This is a must, really helps with monitoring temps. I started with a cheap probe in the door and stared at it for hours. Now I sit on the computer or watch TV and just glance at the monitor. Trust me its worth the money.

4. Cooking times. Im shocked at how long my tank has lasted and knock on wood I haven't run out during a smoke. Cooking in the smoker can be a long time and rarely could I use it for dinner during them week. My dad said he found it easier to cook in the oven and just smoke it for flavor for 30min. I haven't done that and I might get booted from this sight for even suggesting such a practice

5. Chips and smoking. I started with the chips and found they tend to catch fire which is great for bringing the house up to temp initially. Lol now buy the big chunks of wood sold in the bag at Walmart. Get a welding glove or similar for dumping ashes out of your pan mid smoking. Even with the glove you cant hold it but for a few seconds. Id sure like to experiment with making a wood handle or some sort of wound wire so it could be held while hot. I also dont know how long to smoke things, Im sure the answer is in this forum. I enjoy seeing the smoke so on a 4hr smoke I add wood about every 20min for the first hour or so and then just cook till I hit meat temps.

6. Stall yes you will experience this and its something new guys like me didn't know about. Its very frustrating when you have guest that are wondering how much longer before dinner. Search on the subject but basically you need to wrap what your smoking with foil when it hits the stall which seems to be close to 160.
Edited by kenn1320 - 3/28/15 at 5:43am
post #33 of 34
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Looks very nice.... should work forever.....


Thanks Dave, appreciated your help.
post #34 of 34

Thanks for the info, Ihave built a couple smokehouses in the past but to be honest I never made them of Wood. They were steel boxes. I would like this one to be efficent and look good so I am making sure I am using the best material possible. I smoke alot of Salmon and make Sausage for the most part but I would like to be able to use it for smoking Briskets and Ribs as well. I just need to make sure I have a big enough element that can support the tempatures I need. I bought the materials to start the build this weekend and hope to start building Friday. Thanks for the advice again

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