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How do you make a smoker from a fridge?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello all! I have been visiting this forum for a while now and finally came up with a question that I haven't seen the answer to. I was talking to a guy who has a large commercial stainless fridge that he may not be able to repair. How hard are the mods to go from fridge to smoker?

BTW, I have been smoking for a little while on a chargriller w/side firebox that has had the vent extended down to the grate and the firetray flipped just the way HawgHeaven explained it, but the wife won't let me put on the spinners!!!!!!!PDT_Armataz_01_22.gif

post #2 of 18
all i can say, is grab matter I am not the one to answer your question........several here for sure......Mossy Mo.......has dun it.......Richtee was werking on one i believe........

welcome.........but stick around.......if nothing esle......if it doesn't get answered maybe casue the folks that have done it, are not online..........but maybe tomorrow.......sometimes, threads/questions get lost, alot of threads and posts happend round here......if by tomorrow, no one has answered your question........just reply to your thread, by "bumping" it..........just type bump......and it will get brought back up to the top of the list.........

once again.......welcome
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I have learned much already from the folks on this site and am sure I will learn more. He said he figured if he couldn't fix it, he'd scrap it and my head did a 360.
post #4 of 18
Welcome to the site, and what Dude said.
post #5 of 18
Hey Buckeye, get that fridg. It will make a good one. I will let some of these guys that are building something similar help you with advice. Welcome to the SMF also.
post #6 of 18
What you do depends on what heat/smoke source you want to use (wood, charcoal, gas, electric). That will dictate needed mods to the fridge. Course removal of the refrigeration equipment (compressor, coil, etc.) is a given. Size of the fridge will probably also be a concern when choosing the heat source.
Give it some thought. Several options here.
But whatever you do - GRAB THE FRIDGE!
post #7 of 18
Welcome to SMF! I can't help you with the fridge to smoker conversion but I wanted to say "howdy". Would it be right to assume that if you've been hanging out here that you already have some other smoking equipment? If you do we'd love to hear about it and maybe even some pictures.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I would probably try some kind of wood and gas combo. The CG struggles in cold temps to maintain heat and I think the option of a gas assist would be nice.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I also have a Kenmore 4-burner gasser that I've had a while that I now only rarely use. I have also done some campfire cooking and just enjoy messing around the kitchen in general. I have also done some home canning and can bake a mean pie with homemade crust.PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif
post #10 of 18
one nice thing bout a fridge........its will hold heat well.......
post #11 of 18
get the fridge and one of these units check out this link it should work fine as a heat sourse there are a lot of options on how to make it basically you will need heat a draft and a damper a few racks and some place to hang the sausage it should a pretty easy and fun project if you need more help just ask
post #12 of 18
Doug, sorry I can't help you with the smoker. But I can give you a firm hand shake and a big welcome to the SMF. I like the "GUSTO" you have. Hope you find the help you need, and hope to hear more from you.
post #13 of 18
Here's my project... but yours will probably be easier, as you probably already have a steel inside on the thing. Post a pict if ya can. Biggest Q to me is what kind of insulation? I had to remove all the insulation from the inside of was a low grade foam.
post #14 of 18
A pic would be nice, so we could see what you're getting, for the fridge.

Salmonclubber hit all the bases. You need a heat source, gas, electric, or wood/charcoal. Air inlet and outlet, with damper. Something to generate smoke. Whether it's in the bottom of the same unit, or if it's a separate smoke chamber. (see my pics)

One other thing that will be very useful, is a thermostat, if you are going gas or electric. Very easy to control the heat.

Once the house is setup for heat and smoke, you will also need shelves and rails. The rails will work double duty. One as a support for the expanded metal shelving. The other as a support for smokesticks, if you choose to use them. They work great for hanging summer sausage, and brat/polish and the like. You can get more product hung in a vertical space, vs. laying on a shelf. IMO Then you might need some sort of fan/blower, to generate enough air movement, to properly dry the hanging sausages. I am working to fix this slight problem in my setup. My old blower crapped out on me, and I haven't had time to install another one.

Depending on where you work, and what you do, it is amazing what you can find for free at the workplace.

Good luck, and welcome,

post #15 of 18
A large stainless refrigerator? WOW grab that beast! Youcould use almost any heat source I think if I had my drothers I'd go propane rather than electric - just seems to be a better heat range and good during a power outtage. Keep us posted!
post #16 of 18
I have mine set up in between my garage and shed. If you notice the propane line to it, I have the smoker, my garage furnace and a stove/oven in the garage all hooked up to one tank. The smoker also has its own propane regulator. The regulator gives me the ability to keep the heat lower, without it it was running too hot.

Top shelf of the smoker I have square dowels for sausage hanging. The racks are made out of expanded aluminum. Because of the costs, so far I only have 6 racks made, I set the smoker up to hold 11 racks. The expanded aluminum racks are 23†X 23â€.

The burner I borrowed off bbq grill that was discarded; it was the side burner off of it. I liked it because the side burner had the flame adjustment.

When I gutted the smoker I also cut the floor out to increase shelf space and use the added space for the burner and wood tray.

For Exhaust I used a 1 1/2 PVC and painted it silver to match.

For ventilation I used the manufacturers bottom vent and just closed it up a little, just enough for the flame to burn without smojthering.

After three years I am still using the original door seal and it seems to be holding up great. I anticipated it melting and not sealing. If that does happen I will use hi-temp caulking and mount fireplace door gasket sealer. I made a fridge smoker before this one and used that and the caulking and seal held up for 5 plus years.

buckeye smoker
Good luck and post pics when you receive it, be nice to see what you have to work with. Any questions, feel free to post or PM me.
post #17 of 18
mossy talked to some dudes today bout a guy said i was two weeks late.......he threw 5 of em away........he also mentioned the new ones have abs plastic inside now......crap

but left some hope i get some call backs
post #18 of 18
Walking Dude
That plastic liner can be removed and it can be lined with wood, or whatever you choose. The shell being stainless is the most important part to me. Some women think diamonds are forever, us here at SMF think stainless steel is forever !!!
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