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I want to build a hot smoker but I'm unsure where to start.

post #1 of 3
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I'm a plumber by trade so I have access to old copper and steel hot water cylinders but no welding torches. Also I'm very capable with sheet metal but I've heard galv isn't ideal. I don't want to use the wrong materials that are dangerous. Does it need to be insulated? What are the best heating methods? I'm from new Zealand and we don't use charcoal much here so I'm thinking a wood fire or an element. Any advice or ideas would be great
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapeinchains View Post

I'm a plumber by trade so I have access to old copper and steel hot water cylinders but no welding torches. Also I'm very capable with sheet metal but I've heard galv isn't ideal. I don't want to use the wrong materials that are dangerous. Does it need to be insulated? What are the best heating methods? I'm from new Zealand and we don't use charcoal much here so I'm thinking a wood fire or an element. Any advice or ideas would be great

 

Insulation isn't required, but it makes it safer and more energy efficient. Hot water cylinders here are typically lined with glass and that makes them a pain to cut. If you can find a 1940s refrigerator, They're fairly easy to convert without welding. There's a subforum here for that. Even easier, is an electric oven/range. I've made two smokers by moving a burner from the cooktop down into the oven. Galvanized is not good for food contact surfaces, but is not unsafe for sides. I prefer electric heating.

post #3 of 3

Cedar Eater makes a good point about old stove/ovens.  And you can get them cheap if folks are remodeling their kitchen.  They're insulated for a lot higher temperature than you'll want for smoking and that's a big part of the effort if building a smoker from scratch, esp electric ones.  

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