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Homemade Smoker!

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I have been messing around trying to get a smoker to work for some time, and this is my latest idea. Any input would be welcome! My friend bought this thing on an auction. It was a homemade drop box for a large dance hall. He got it for 5 bucks, and thought I could use it to make a smoker. Sounds good to me! Here are some pics of the contraption before I start, and after I cut open the front for a door. My wife is about 5 foot nothing, so you can see how tall it is. I am going to use an electric burner which is a MECO replacement element I bought on e-bay. It is supposed to be rated at 1650 watts. I hope it is big enough, but if not I will find another one.
I plan on putting a smoke pistol in for smoke and convenience. I know this smoker will make the purists sneer, but I just want it to be easy, and I can't find the time to tend a smoker for 12 or more hours.
I plan on putting a piece of steel over the burner about 6-8 inches to protect it from drippings, or just make a tray of some sort. I have talked myself out of putting in a place for a water pan, mainly because the bradley and other electric smokers don't have one. Anyone want to change my mind? I am open for ideas!
I should have room for at least 4 racks, and I plan on putting a stack with a flue on top of the unit.
post #2 of 40
Thread Starter 
Can't get pics to work. File too big?
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

Pics (hopefully)

Hopefully the pics will show up![ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH]Attachment 5436[/ATTACH][/ATTACH][/ATTACH]
post #4 of 40
Excellent start, Yellowtin. I see all kinds of potential in that drop box...whats a drop box?
post #5 of 40
Yellowtin, that's a pretty good start on a fine smoker. I would cut those legs down to where the bottom of the unit is about 12 inches off the ground. I would then look into buying an electric element for an ECB. They put out good heat. I would weld in a rack brace that is 5 to 6 inches above that element . Put a piece of thick plate(maybe 3/16 inch) on that rack above the element to catch the drippings. If possible get a welder to heat the plate so as to bend it in the center just ever so slightly to run the drippings towards the back of the unit and drill a 1/2 inch hole with a nipple coming out the back maybe 2 inches. attach a 90 degree elbow onto that nipple and add another 6 inch nipple to drain off grease into a catch pan. On top of the electric element use an aluminum pan or use a 48 oz. soup can with your wood chips in it for smoke. Cut in or drill a hole in the top to install a chimney. I think you would have the makings of a GOSM smoker(pretty close). Hope this helps. Just from looking at the pictures that is what I see. Paul
post #6 of 40
That's gonna be a nice smoker Yellowtin!
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
The employees would put the receipts and cash in a bag and "drop" them into this contraption. The owner would open it the next day and take out the loot.
Great ideas chadpole, I was thinking along those same lines to catch the drippings, but I hadn't got that specific. THANKS!

Thanks for the encouragement everyone, I hope to work on it more tomorrow.
post #8 of 40
It will be more convenient to work on it if you leave the legs alone until you need to work on the top,... then cut the legs down.
post #9 of 40
That's gonna make a nice smoker... nice start! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm not planning on cutting the legs. I'm about 6'5" so it is perfect for me!
post #11 of 40
Where was I when they were giving out brains for making stuff. I guess I was in the motorcycle line too long. I wish I had the bal*# to try something like that. I hope it turns out like you want it to.I know the feeling you get when you step back and look at what your making and it LOOKS GOOD. Good luck yellowtiin.
post #12 of 40

Nice unit

nothing more satisfying then smoking on a smoker you made yourself the food just tastes better IMHO.Good unit post pic along the way and of your first smoke.
Good Luck and Good Smoking
post #13 of 40
I can't wait to see it in action. Post some Qview.
post #14 of 40
Instead of a smoke pistol, you could just purchase a cheap heavy "pie plate" and place it directly on the element. When you build your drip guard, just build it tall enough so that you can slide the plate in and out to change your wood chips. That smaller door on the bottom is perfect for having access for that without having to open the "big" door and lose all of your heat and smoke. You could even use an old cast iron frying pan to put your chips in. You still maintain the heat and you only usually change wood chips/chunks a few times. I have a small electric and I love it for that convenience. I have a bigger vertical gasser that I have the little side door for, it works fantastic.
post #15 of 40
Shell you are right on.

I have an electric that I use an iron skillet for and one good full pan is enough to last a full smoke and not over power the meat with smoke taste for those that are not as excited about that as I am.
post #16 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm not going to have everything I need to get it done this weekend, but I may try a smoke with the skillet like you folks are talking about. At least then I can try it out.
Any suggestions on sealing the door?
post #17 of 40

Thermostatic Control...

One idea I had that may help is the use of a thermostat to control the temp...

Industrial or electrical supply houses should have what you'd need...

I'd suggest an remote bulb type thermostat with a suitable temp range,
say maybe 80*F to 350*F or so, that has a suitable current rating for the heating element that you'll use...

This would give you a range for cold smoking at the lower temps and should add little more versatility to your new smoker...

Check with your local industrial supply company etc., or check online with W.W.Grainger,
or McMaster Carr, or other companies of this type...

Just a thought...

Until Later...
post #18 of 40
If your looking for a temperature controller look at this one

This even has PID control which allows me to control my electric smoker to +/- 1 degree!
post #19 of 40
Cheech, how would you utilize the PID function with resistive heat, with a controller good for 720 watts?
post #20 of 40
I'm not certain how you could utilize the PID mode to get proportional control for the heating element at this point, especially considering the limitations of 720 W in current handling capacity.

On the other hand...by using the controller in a strictly on/off manner, control of smoker temp can be maintained within reasonable limits.

That could be done by using the onboard relay as a switch to energize an outboard relay (or contactor) that has a contact rating of 20 Amps or more...

The external relay could have a low voltage coil rather than a line voltage coil.

If opting for the low voltage coil, a suitable low voltage transformer would be needed to supply power for the coil of the external relay (or contactor)...

1650 W / 120 VAC = 13.75 A...Therefore to help prevent contact burning and/or excessive heating, the contacts should have a minimum rating of at least 20 A...

120 VAC x 20 A = 2400 W which would allow 750 W of 'headroom' to spare...

The complete circuit could be built inside a small utility box...

Hope this will be of help somehow...

Until later...
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