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Apex Apparatus - Mark I Smoker

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Here are photos of the smoker I built in winter 2007-2008. It took up 1/2 the living room for 2 or 3 months. Luckily, I don't have a live-in woman to whine and complain about cluttering "her" house, so I could take my time and get it right.

This is an Apex Apparatus Mark I Electric Smoker. It draws 19 amps.

There are two 900 degree Fahrenheit air heaters in front of the bottom row of holes on the plenum, which is mounted on the door. The fan in the middle of the plenum blows the interior air & smoke directly onto a curved diverter, to direct the airstream upwards and downwards. This creates a massive circulation around the racks to evenly smoke and heat the product.

The control box has an electronic probe thermometer sensing the air in the plenum, so the air temperature is known accurately to 1/10th of a degree Fahrenheit.

There is a thermostat to control a 30 amp relay, which actuates the two heaters, one set heats the air coming out of the bottom of the plenum, the other heats the chips in the chip box. There are two primary marks to set the thermostat, 145f for jerky, and 225f for Tex pit. Of course slight adjustments are possible, to set the heat as you like it. I found that I wanted a pilot light on the thermostat, so I added that after the build, it lets me know when the heat is on.

There is a cycle timer to control the exhaust fan. It can be set for a wide range of possibilities. When making jerky I set it to exhaust for 30 seconds, every 10 minutes, and repeat that cycle. This removes the moisture without significantly lowering the heat inside the Apparatus. There is an intake vent with a sealing flap beside the powered exhaust port. It opens via suction when the exhaust fan is on.

The three switches control its mode, making jerky, or using the Apparatus as a Texas pit smoker. When making jerky, the exhaust fan is used via the cycle timer, when Tex pit, the plenum fan is cycled and the exhaust fan is not used.

The motor for the plenum fan is inside the control box. It has a model airplane propeller on the shaft to cool the fan motor.

This smoker cost me about $600 in parts to build, I didn't calculate my hours or labor cost. I paid a sheet metal shop to make the plenum box for me, I cut the holes and added the fan.

Apex Apparatus Mark I Electric Smoker

Control box, with electric schematic on its door.

The plenum, it circulates air and smoke all around the inside.

Hi-temp air heaters, regulated by the thermostat.

Cast iron chip box, modified with a heat element similar to the air heaters.

First Smoke test run.

Eight pork shoulders (60 pounds) beginning to smoke for a big party.

One pork shoulder, Apex Apparatus working perfectly.

Pork ribs getting started, water pan for moisture and drips.

Half-done pork ribs.

Perfect pork ribs.
post #2 of 11
Really nice set up, great job!!!!!! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

post #3 of 11
Way cool. Great job PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #4 of 11
Thats a cool smoker for sure and it looks like it works well. points.giffor sure on the build and the ways your build works too.
post #5 of 11
Now that's cool!
post #6 of 11
I like the circulation layout, great job points.gif
post #7 of 11

Certainly overkill...

... which is why I love it; it gets the job done, in style.points.gif
post #8 of 11
I feel so small...icon_redface.giftongue.gif
Great job!!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for everyone's comments and props.

post #10 of 11
That is one hell of a elec smoker. All around great engineering.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #11 of 11
Damn nice setup........
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