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too much air movement inside the smoker?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
hi. i am searching around here for a freezer to turn into a smoker. plenty to choose from. i will use a 1500 watt element with an oven thermostat and an external smoke generator.

my question regards fans and air movement. i was thinking about installing a fan and a 3" vent from the top around the outside of the cabinet and ducting it back in right next to the heating element. in theory this would help to effeminate hot spots and would help reduce the warm up and recovery time. and it would also circulate the smoke around the food. i have seen high dollar smokers in restaurants and the ones i saw were just convection ovens with a smoke generator in them. does air movement affect the flavor of the meat?

i can do all of this but is it worth the trouble? has anybody tried this?
post #2 of 14
I suppose it would depend on how much air your fan moves. I put an old computer fan on my smoke generator and "pushed" the smoke and air into my freezer conversion. This did seem to help with evening up the temp throughout. Another member was going to use a convection oven fan which would be just the ticket. The other thing to consider is some mass to help hold heat, perforated steel plates, fire brick, etc. This helps hold heat, and reduce time it takes to recover if the door were to be opened, etc. Anyway, in short, I think a fan is a good idea, and with yours, you would be circulating warm air which would be good, just be sure it doesn't get clogged up with smoke residues.
post #3 of 14
I do agree circulation is a good idea. Helps eliminate hot / cold spots and equalize temperature distribution. I don't recommend the external ducting, unless you insulate it very well. It will cause a heat loss otherwise. I have mine internally, problem there is motor may overheat. If you can mount the motor on the outside, long shaft and fan on inside this is the best.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
i will insulate the duct and put it behind some pieces of gutter/flashing to hide it and keep it out of the weather. i am still trying to find a small fan blade with a hub for a 1/2 inch shaft. i will use a inline damper to lower the air flow to where it turns over the air inside the smoker 1-2 times per minute. i already have some fire brick that i plan to use.

i have looked into using a convection oven fan. the problem is that i cannot find a fan motor that small that is rugged enough for outside use.
post #5 of 14
Great lookin' setup. Has me thinkin' about changin' mine. Thanks for the pics.
post #6 of 14
Wonder if you could find one of those fans you sit on top of a heat/cooling register to help circulate the air better? I keep finding them at one particular Salvation Army every couple months, always brand new, for under $5...and they have saved me way more then that in utility bills.
Here is a picture of one:

They are neat because they have adjustable settings, so you have the fan kick in when it gets so warm or cold.

Another idea would be something like this from the hardware store:

$14 at Home Depot

The only question I have is are you creating a closed design, where no new air is coming in by routing the air from the vent back around near the heating element? I'm not sure how that would affect your smoke quality or even the ability for your wood chips to burn/smoke, as they need oxygen to do so.
post #7 of 14
Check this system out. It may be what you're looking for and then again it may be more than you're looking for.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
hey Mulepackin, can we see more pics of your setup? i would like to see more pics of the interior and wiring.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
i have seen simiar products, its nice but i am electric fired and that thing by itself is going to cost more than my entire budget.
post #10 of 14
I was afraid of that. Still its a nice outfit. I saw a similar one in operation during a bbq comp I went to. Seemed to me to be a bit too high tech to be much fun.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
i looked into those, they would not survive in the 300 degree temperatures or smoky air. and i plan on using a external smoke generator with a small air pump so i will have control over the smoke.
post #12 of 14
I got busy typing & forgot you couldn't read my mind-lol. I was thinking of using just the electronics out of a register fan unit, to give you temp control icon_wink.gif The other I posted just because it was cheap & readily available.

Have you found a good thermostat yet? I have a big collection of them I picked up from the university surplus...I only needed a couple parts out of a box of NOS, but had to take the whole thing. They are for various food service stuff, Blodgett, Senco, etc- but the thermostats themselves are all Robert Shaw.

Are you making your smoke generator something like the Smoke Daddy? I have my container- a 18/10 stainless steel wine bottle cooler- that I picked up for $1 (pretty good since its $65 at William Sonoma). The insulation had to go, but stainless is nice & thick. Now I just have to get the fittings to connect it to my Laboven. Speaking of labovens...I can check what type of fan blades my forced air convection laboven (not the smoker laboven) has when I get a chance- I know it has a Fasco D234 motor. Its fan is located at the bottom of the oven, below the heating unit, but then it has 2 layer interior walls, with holes on the inside most one to circulate the heat evenly.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
i am building one out of 3 inch black iron pipe with end caps and a aquarium pump.

i will be using this fan motor

and this blade with hub

blowing over this heating element

with a damper to limit the airflow.
post #14 of 14
Be sure to post us pics of your finished smoke generator, or better yet, pics of it while it is being built. I'm still not sure mine is what I want.
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