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Sizing and sourcing an electric element for a big smoker

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Helping a friend build a large smoker and I'm looking for input on what size element to use. It is 30" deep by 60" Tall  by 42" wide.

He would like to get the temp between 220 and 300

 

 

Thanks !

Bob Adams

post #2 of 11

You could probably get a good idea of size requirements by looking at the specs for the commercial electric smokers and see what they use. 

post #3 of 11
I'd second that. You are probably going to need something that is 240v.

What kind of temps are you looking to achieve?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking he'd like to be able to go from 220 to 300 degrees..
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

I'd second that. You are probably going to need something that is 240v.

What kind of temps are you looking to achieve?

Yep, gonna be an amperage hog and he'll need a controller for it as well.

McMaster Carr has a good selection of heating elements that I've seen used before.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#heat-elements/=zub11b

The strip heaters are the ones I'm referring to.
post #6 of 11

The largest 120V element I have seen used, Please note I am not an electrician, is the brinkman replacement. Its an analog 1500W if my memory serves me right. But that box would probably have to be really insulated for it to get to the 300 degree range.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Brinkmann-812-3323-0-Smokeshop-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0000AUSHQ

 

I just notice they have discontinued and only have a dozen left.

 

I am thinking it has over 3 times the area to heat of an MES40. You'll definitely need a 240V and a better design engineer than me.

post #7 of 11
I,m converting my charcoal burner of similar size to electric and I'm using this one http://www.sausagemaker.com/Heating-Element-for-100-lb-Electric-Smoker-p/19-1412.htm Also looking at this controller http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_28&products_id=487 I can't tell in the photo if it is insulated or not.If it is not it will be hard to hold steady temp.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk View Post

I,m converting my charcoal burner of similar size to electric and I'm using this one http://www.sausagemaker.com/Heating-Element-for-100-lb-Electric-Smoker-p/19-1412.htm Also looking at this controller http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_28&products_id=487 I can't tell in the photo if it is insulated or not.If it is not it will be hard to hold steady temp.

That is going to be a serious setup. 

post #9 of 11

If it's easy to bring out a 30A 240V dedicated service, and you don't mind the power bill, that's the simplest way to go.  You want 6kW worth of heating; the mcMaster Carr links are good sources.  

But in principle you can get by with 1500W off a standard 120V/15A receptical if it's insulated well.  (However it will still take a long time for it to heat up with low power.  What's the thing weigh? and how much meat are you planning to put in it?)    

Your simplest insulation approach if you go the frugal electrical approach is to screw 5 sheets of 1/2" plywood to 5 sides plus the door, and then drop over a large corrugated cardboard box over it (open at the bottom with a hole for your smokestack at the top) after you've loaded it up. (An appliance store should have some large boxes to choose a good fit.) If you stay under 300 degF the inner surface of the plywood won't char or smoke at all and the outer surface won't char the cardboard either.   

The other thing to remember if you go the low-power approach is that your draft from lower intake to upper stack exhaust needs to be kept small in size and flow.  If the air and smoke is flying through there, even 6kW won't be enough to get to your desired temps.

post #10 of 11

just so people know....
Cabela's still has some of the Brinkmans in stock    http://www.cabelas.com/product/smoker-electric-converter/734414.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dbrinkman%26x%3D10%26y%3D6%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%252BProducts&Ntt=brinkman
Im gonna order one just to have around incase i wanna do another build or need to replace the one i have !!!!!!

 

Goliath

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLIATH View Post
 

just so people know....
Cabela's still has some of the Brinkmans in stock    http://www.cabelas.com/product/smoker-electric-converter/734414.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dbrinkman%26x%3D10%26y%3D6%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%252BProducts&Ntt=brinkman
Im gonna order one just to have around incase i wanna do another build or need to replace the one i have !!!!!!

 

Goliath

I was just looking at them on Amazon yesterday and they have them. Range from $29-$36. I have one new in the box still waiting for me to build my smoke shack!

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