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Building a Smoker

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have a commercial refrigerator that I took all the insides out, took all insulation out to bar metal, and want to put wood on the inside. I am wondering what type of wood would be good for the inside. I am thinking of using two types 1” each to save on money, the idea is to put one section down and the other on top and I will put a adjustable vent on top…I am going to use both electric/propane and probable wood to smoke with, at different times. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. This is going to be used mainly for smoking mullet not sure if that make any differance as far as heat goes.
post #2 of 26
Scott welcome to SMF please stop by roll call and make a post. Personally I wouldn't use wood inside it use metal that way you can crank up the temps and not worry about it.
post #3 of 26
Yes, please stop by roll call and say hello and tell everyone a bit about yourself. As far as the inside goes, I'm with Piney. I would not use wood. I would use metal. Easier to clean up and Im willing to bet, if you stick with this forum, its gonna open up a whole new world of things to smoke aside from fish where higher temps are needed. I really dont know what wood would be best for that application. Cetainly not plywood. Maybe some tongue and groove pine boards? Glad to have you on board, and if you dont find your answer here on this post, just check thru the board. Someone or somewhere on here, you will find what your looking for.

Keep us updated with some pics.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
I was thinking of solid oak, just need room to fill the 2" gap that had the insulation and tin..may put some wood inside and then find some stainless to attach to the inside, nothing fancy for sure..
PS.. I would vote for TED..
post #5 of 26
did you already remove the inner steel box? I apologize, but Im not quite understanding what you mean with using oak and where. Can you take some pics and point out what you want to do in them?
post #6 of 26
What he said. Metal is also better as a cleaning surface, and will probably hold a more consistent temp.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 


Was going to line box with 1 x 10 of solid oak boards, not plywood. The metal that is there is thin, but looks like from the info I am getting better stay away from wood..
post #8 of 26
I've seen cold smokers made out of wood, but since you've got the metal skin here already you might as well use that and you'll have the option to cook higher temp. (what temp did you plan on smoking at?)

With the frame exposed, it should be easy to mount racks/grates.
If you feel you need insulation, probably easiest to do something on the outside.

-Unless you're a welder, in which case you could install rockwoll insulation in the wall and put a sheet metal skin, followed by grate holders on the inside.
look here for pics of that kind of build
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Looks like I will just keep the skin and mod it some, Do have welder and all the tools..temp will be around 200F give or take a bit..thanks for the input.
post #10 of 26
Scott if it were me I'd be looking at ways to cold smoke and hot smoke. I would really like to have something like you have right now and set it up to cold smoke and also be able to hot smoke in the same unit. I don't know how long you've been smoking or how into it you've gotten but if like most of us one thing leads to another and we want to cold smoke things like sausage and bacon but also want to hot smoke things like ribs and butts. Having one smoker that would do it all would be great.
post #11 of 26
Hey Scott. Thanks for that photo. Sorry I didnt understand what you were talking about but I see now. As other have said, a dual unit would be great, one in which you can do both hot and cold smoking in. If it were me, and I had the unit that you have in your shop, I would take a thin walled 1x1 square tubing and use it as studs on the side, just like building a room in a house. I would then get some 1" thick kiln insulation off ebay. This stuff is overkill for smoking purposes, but the price is right and it is EXTREMELY efficient in holding in the heat. I would then take some sheet metal, non galvanized, like some 18-22 guage and use that for the final interior. You would for sure end up with a solid and well insulated smoker.

Here is a link if your interested to the ebay store that I was turned onto from a fellow member. I have seen the ones he has built and I can say without a doubt, will be the way I go on my next one.

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Do you mean the Kaowool Ceramic Fiber Blank? I have some tubing, and yes that would work good..I will have to pick up some sheet metal and a vent for the top..
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Just got back from the steel shop, have all the steel I need and just ordered the 1" thick kiln insulation....
post #14 of 26
Very cool I can't wait to see pics of this one
post #15 of 26
Did you really? Dang your moving fast on this. Heck at this pace, I guess we will see your first smoke on, oh I'd say......Friday? LOL.

Remember, take your time. No sense on rushing. Any questions at all, you have a boat load of folks here who are more than happy to assist, myself included.
post #16 of 26
I'm sure it will work well for heat retention, but be careful working with the kaowool. I worked with it in the final filters for airbag inflators and it can be nasty stuff. It WILL irritate your skin and your respiratory tract. Pick up some disposable tyvek sleeves and gloves to wear while handling it and wear a mask to keep from breathing the fibers. Make darn sure that the interior wall seals completely against releasing the fibers into the cooking area.

Good luck.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 


What distance between racks would be good for fish? I want to get the max out of it but not put them to close.
post #18 of 26
Why not just use plain old fiberglass insulation? Good for 800F. Regular pink stuff from HD, just peel off the facing.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Not sure, I was just about to order the Kiln, can get it for 136 deliverd from GA to 33710...cheapest I could find with shipping....anyone know why you could not use the pink stuff?
post #20 of 26
I used it in my build, works fine. icon_smile.gif. You can get a roll of R-13 for like 11 bucks. You'll never get near 800F, no need to spend the $$ on 2300F rated materials for a smoker.

I used 2" aluminum angle for the gap between the walls. You should also check out a salvage yard for steel or aluminum sheets.

Here's a link to the rest of the build. :)


Link to temp ratings for common types insulation, this site has fiberglass at 1000F.

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