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Why so few Oven/Range conversions?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Is there a particular reason that converting ranges to smokers doesn't seem very common? I converted two and put a pipe between them so either can be the smoke source for the other. It seems like a pretty flexible setup and required very little cash. They're already designed for cooking and have racks and burners to use.


Edited by Cedar Eater - 8/6/15 at 8:14pm
post #2 of 12

 I'm with you. It's such an easy conversion and cheap too. I got one for free that works fine. Add an AMNPS  or tube and you have a great working smoker.

 

Chuck

post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedar Eater View Post
 

Is there a particular reason that converting ranges to smokers doesn't seem very common? I converted two and put a pipe between them so either can be the smoke source for the other. It seems like a pretty flexible setup and required very little cash. They're already designed for cooking and have racks and burners to use.

I've been wondering the same thing.

 

TW

post #4 of 12

Well unless you turn them into charcoal fueled then your gonna need that 220v plug for the elements and if your not careful alot of older stoves pull alot of amps so your likely to flip a breaker unless the circuit has proper amperage and wiring. not to mention they are really big and usually pretty heavy as well 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcollins View Post
 

Well unless you turn them into charcoal fueled then your gonna need that 220v plug for the elements and if your not careful alot of older stoves pull alot of amps so your likely to flip a breaker unless the circuit has proper amperage and wiring. not to mention they are really big and usually pretty heavy as well 

 

They aren't really that much (if any) bigger or heavier than a fridge conversion, especially if you strip the unused parts out. I moved a burner from the stove to the floor of the oven on both of mine and wired those burners to 120V, to keep from burning up the chip pan, and that worked great. That cut the Amps of the burner down to 1/2 of the 240V value. Anything else that you would do to electrify a fridge conversion (eg, finned strips) could be done to an oven. You wouldn't have to mess with gutting and re-insulating. There's one obvious negative, it's an ugly thing to have sitting in your backyard, but it's a quick way to re-purpose something you can normally get for pretty cheap. It doesn't have the house capacity of a fridge conversion, but if it has two racks in it, that's a lotta meat.

 

This is my current setup.

 

 

It takes advantage of the fact that I already had a 50A 240V feeder out to my deck for a spa and a 240V receptacle for making maple syrup in the Spring. Both stoves were free and the pipe between them was cheap. I did some rewiring, and I'm thinking of doing a fridge conversion to replace the larger stove, but I don't really need the extra capacity.

post #6 of 12
They have less space as to a fridge and your right on top of your heat source. A lot of your convective heat is closer to grilling heat. Even with a diffuser plate it is a hot spot close. Now if your using it as the chamber with external heat. It has to be on some stand to create a reasonable flow. I guess you could do a complicated forced air induction to move your heat and smoke through. The other thing is lots of them are porcelain covered making it hard to cut.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trippy View Post

They have less space as to a fridge and your right on top of your heat source. A lot of your convective heat is closer to grilling heat. Even with a diffuser plate it is a hot spot close. Now if your using it as the chamber with external heat. It has to be on some stand to create a reasonable flow. I guess you could do a complicated forced air induction to move your heat and smoke through. The other thing is lots of them are porcelain covered making it hard to cut.

 

Being right on top of the heat source doesn't seem to be a problem. I use a disposable aluminum pan as a drip catcher and water pan with at least an inch of clearance around all sides. It sits about 3" above the smoke burner and the oven element. That seems to provide a nice even heat in the space above it. I haven't noticed any cold spots or hot spots in the ribs or salmon that I've smoked. It can't be any worse than some of the smaller charcoal or propane smokers. I realize that an oven is nothing close to a perfect smoker, but it sure is a simple conversion. I looked at my first oven conversion as a "starter" for homemade smoker ideas, and I couldn't be more pleased with it. Adding a second made the setup much more flexible. I did go through a few blades on my little saber saw as I cut the holes in the floor, and it did make some glass dust, but it was not a big expense or particularly hard to do. I've heard some people but a firebox in the drawer beneath the oven and then use charcoal plus wood for the heat and smoke, but I prefer the convenience of electric.

post #8 of 12
It comes down to fitting for u. Not everyone has the 220 power set up to run in stove mode. To hot plate it for electrical running uses a lot of critical space in smoker. Most that run refrigerators go hot plate style or gas. There is some going pellet hopper. The refrigerator tends to look a little less klunky for sitting on their back pads or porches. Again it's more about what works good then what it looks like. Some want both I reckon.
post #9 of 12
Used ovens are plentiful, cheap, and powerful. Ez to convert
post #10 of 12

I converted mine 3 years ago & love it!  I started out with a Bradley smoke generator, then did the mailbox mod to decrease the cost of operation.  I added an Auber Instrument PID controller & switches to run the lower element on 120 or 240 volts & the upper on or off.  It holds + or - 1 degree at whatever temp I set it at!  Since then I also built a reverse flow smoker.  One can never have too many smokers, right?

post #11 of 12

My only concern is ventilation...  A good smoker needs a fair amount of air exchange...   New electric ranges have a small exhaust that would need to be made larger.. 

post #12 of 12

True Dat!  I have a 4" chimney on mine with a damper that I can adjust.  I opened up the original hole & left the inside hole slightly smaller so it doesn't have to be fastened.  It just goes through the top layer & sits on the bottom one.  I've successfully smoked turkeys, cheese, pastrami, brisket, pork butt, chicken.  I added casters to make it more portable & I just plug it into the welder outlet in my garage.

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