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Trying to build a smoker....help!

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Has anyone ever built a smoker out of an oven? I got an older oven that still works, and any tips on converting this into a smoker would be greatly appreciated. Thanx

post #2 of 37
this should be a easy conversion is it gas or elec. i have not done this but what the heck give it a try.
post #3 of 37
Most electric ovens operate on 220 volts.
That means you will need a 220 volt source for your smoker oven.
110 volts just won't hack it.

Don't ask how I know. icon_wink.gif
post #4 of 37
I'd look at getting an external smoke generator.

Otherwise, especially at 250 or below, the power will be cutting out all the time and it would be hard to get steady smoke out of a wood-chip pan heated by the oven element.
post #5 of 37
how you know that.icon_lol.gif
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
It is an electric oven. I don't know whether to use the existing heat element in to bottom of the oven, or to remove it, put a hot plate in the empty drawer below the oven, and cut a hole in the oven floor to let the heat move up into the oven. I am also thinking that an external smoke source would be a gook idea.
post #7 of 37
I'm not sure how many watts the element is in an electric oven, but if it is say 4000W (should be at least that) you might be ok. At 120V into it your looking at about 1100W.

Here's a link to a pretty good ohms law calculator.


If you can measure the resistance of the element, just plug in the numbers. But I would guess your looking at about 1100W or so, maybe more so don't toss it icon_biggrin.gif.
post #8 of 37
You may still be able to use the oven control too, just might need to rewire a little. Can you post the model # of the oven? I would think most ovens still control above 170°. So it would just take longer to reach with less power to the element. Above 170° it should still control and turn the element on and off to maintain temps.

The oven already vents out the top and is probably insulated. If we can get the control to work with 120V, which it may already, put in a chip pan, drip pan you maybe good to go...lol.
post #9 of 37
The oven baking elements are around 2400 watts

Cutting to 120 v from 220 v with that same element will cut the power and give you a peak of 720 watts, which is probably enough for keeping up to 250* or so in the oven, I don't know.

However, if it all works, the element may still be kicking in and out, so you'll need to find a way to keep steady smoke.

I'm no electrician though, so I don't know if the controls, thermostat and stuff will work at all If you find a way to hook it up to 120 v.
post #10 of 37

oven conversion

I would cut a hole in the bottom (line the hole so the insulation is covered) and put the hot plate with the chip pan down there and use the regular oven controls to keep the temps right. A hot plate on low will give you smoke in a cast iron or SS box. You could add a smoke pistol or some other external cold smoke device but for cheap the hot plate is the way to go. A friend of mine used the stuff from an old oven to make an old freezer into a smoker, it was 220v but with the controls would hold 225 degrees very well with a hot plate on low with a box for smoke. Good luck and show some pics of your build if you can.
post #11 of 37
Ya MG's probably right about the wattage of the element, just looked on some sites and they look to range from 2000W to 3500W depending on what model oven you have. I think your still ok. I'd try the element already in there and see if it works for you. Let us know how you make out.
post #12 of 37
1) It is normal for the element to be kicking in and out. That's the way most electric smokers work....including the MES.

2) The controls, thermostat and stuff will still function on 120 v.
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
If my thinking is correct, in order to try the oven at 110v, I will have to disconnect the 220v power cord and replace it with a 110v cord. I don't believe there is any sort of adapter or converter to turn a 220v device into 110v is there?
post #14 of 37
Hey igor
your idea for the hole in the oven and hot plate is exactly what i have done works great give it a go. And people love to see the oven burning stuff lol
post #15 of 37


I would try the element that is already in the oven. It should work on 110, if it does not produce enough heat then change it. Just use a large bowl as a wood holder. You will need to add a drip/splash shield so the grease will no drip on the element. Make this shield drain to the bottom drawer into a catch pan. The oven thermostat will work great and do a good job of controling the temp. There should be a hole in or near the top already for smoke to escape.

The oven thermostat is the way to go I use them on all my electric smokers conversions.
post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well... I am back to working on the oven smoker. I decided to convert it from 220 to 110. I then checked it for temp and it seems to hold temp well. The lowest setting on the oven temp control knob is 200 degrees. It is holds well at that temp. The thermometer that I was using only goes up to 220, so I couldn't check it hotter than that. I don't think I will be able to smoke below 200 degrees though, because when I put the oven on warm, it goes to over 200 degrees.
post #17 of 37


Unless you are doing some type of cold smoking you won't need to go below 200. I try to smoke around 220 to 250. You can also find thermostats that will go down to 160. You can also sometimes turn the knob back below the lowest setting on the knob and it will run a bit less. Try it and see how you like it!
post #18 of 37
just replace the plug on the existing cord with a good heavy duty 110v plug, it'll be cheaper than buying a new cord and will work just as well.
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
Ok... it is now a 110 oven. can I put my chip pan directly on the lower element, or do I need it just above? The reason i ask is that the lowest rack position would put the pan about 2" above the heating element. I would like to be able to use this rack in the next position up to place the food I am smoking along with my water pan. I only have 2 oven racks. The other thing that I am trying to figure out is, being that the lower heating element covers the width of the bottom of the oven, what is the best way to make a drip guard so the drippings don't get on the element. Here are some pics of the oven.
post #20 of 37
So what are you going to use as a wood pan over that wide element? I wonder if you could get a U shaped element that wouldn't cover the entire bottom of the oven.

The wide element is good for more even heat distribution but you could get uneven heating due to the shielding from the wood tray if it didn't cover the element completely. Maybe a big commercial aluminum sheet pan would work as a wood tray
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