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I'm Prepared To Be Convinced

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've just acquired an old (1947) GE refrigerator. I can see myself using it for any of a number of purposes, one of them being a smoker conversion. I smoke in two converted electric ovens with a four inch pipe between them so I can generate smoke in either to cold smoke in the other (one is small and the other is full size). I don't really need to have anything else until they become unusable. The main advantage I see for doing a conversion is the larger capacity, but I don't really need to smoke large amounts of anything. So what are the pros of a fridge conversion vs. smoking in ovens?

 

CE

post #2 of 11
You could use the fridge for cold smoking without any modifications.... of course you can also do that in a cardboard box...
post #3 of 11
What dave said. I have a mes that I love but when doing bacon or sausage I would love to have a frig conversion for the room to hang the meat laying it down in the rack is fine and I've had a lot of good bacon and sausage by doing this but would love to be able to hang it. Hmmmmm sounds like prodject in my future.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I hadn't thought about using it for only cold smoking. I thought of this more as a "go big or stay home" project. It isn't the effort that bothers me, it's maximizing the value I get from having it around. I could put a lock on it and make it a tool box, but I'm thinking about the downsides of having smaller smokers and leaning toward a more flexible electric smoker than my full size oven conversion. I have the tools and skills (except for welding). I see a lot of mentions of "vertical" smokers, which I assume this would be. Is there some particular advantage to vertical, other than capacity?

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, I guess since two old refrigerators fell into my lap for free, I should convert at least one into a smoker, especially since I now have a need for smoking up to 10 racks of ribs simultaneously. Here are the two options.

 

 

On the left is a 1948/1949 General Electric AD-102-AB16. On the right is a 1949 Gibson G879. I think I will try to do the Gibson first. It has a bad latch and much more cosmetic rust, but it looks like it will end up being a better looking smoker and it has some other pluses. It's lighter and I'm hoping it will be more portable.

post #6 of 11

Right now you might not see the need to smoke any large amounts of meat. But it will come a day when you want to try something new that takes up a lot of grill space. Jerky is one that can use it up with not much meat out there Sausage is another.  Having capacity can be a huge thing when it comes to trying something new. I for one never thought I could use more then 780 in of grill space when I bought my offset smoker. Hear to tell ya I have run out of space many times.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trippy View Post
 

Right now you might not see the need to smoke any large amounts of meat. But it will come a day when you want to try something new that takes up a lot of grill space. Jerky is one that can use it up with not much meat out there Sausage is another.  Having capacity can be a huge thing when it comes to trying something new. I for one never thought I could use more then 780 in of grill space when I bought my offset smoker. Hear to tell ya I have run out of space many times.

 

Yep. I should have known. At next years family reunion, I might do 10 racks of ribs. My current capacity is five max. I could double that by just buying more oven racks and smoking in both ovens, but that could be a real pain. If I do a fridge conversion I can smoke 10 in one space and that can be onsite at the reunion. I'll just have to add wheels and a handle to the fridge conversion.

post #8 of 11
Smoke daddy has some videos on old refrigerator builds using pellet pro hopper. They have great temp control too. Could land you some ideas on this. I am currently building one with a Cres Cor hot box that cost me 17.50$ at a local auction.

Edited by Trippy - 8/14/15 at 10:04am
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trippy View Post

Smoke daddy has some videos on old refrigerator builds using pellet pro hopper. They have great temp control too. Could land you some ideas on this. I am currently building one with a Cres Cor hot box that cost me 17.50$ at a local auction.

 

Thanks for the advice. I have a strong preference for smoking with wood that I get from my own properties, so unless there's such thing as a chip hopper, I'll probably keep using a chip pan and create a way to push chips into it through a duct through the side.

post #10 of 11
You still can use chips. Many that use pellet hoppers use added chips because pellets burn so efficiently they are low smoke creators. You add a chip smoke box on top of your heat diffuser. It also can give you a little more complex smoke profile for different meats by adding the burn of different pellet woods.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

I might add a pellet hopper on later, then. For now, I want to keep the cost down. I plan on just using stove burners for heat, one on 120V and the other on 240V.

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