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Home made smoker hotplate question

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I just rigged up a plywood smoker out of 3/4", for cold/hot smoking
Dimension inside are 16x18 by 48 inches tall.
I tried a 750 watt burner and the temp only got 150 after about 12 minutes.
Will a 1000 watt hotplate make that much of a change?
I am going to line the bottom with some polished aluminum sheeting I have laying around.gonna run it about 10" high around the sides.

This was my first attempt so I can always build and modify another one later..any thoughts would be appreciated


Here are the pics...it has a 1000 Watt burner now that works very well..gets up 210..still have to insulate the outside and make a seal for the door..should work good for me

post #2 of 27
No advice here but maybe someone will help. Qview might help also.
post #3 of 27
The 1000watt unit should be adequate for one that size...

Here is one Sausage Maker sells but you can find them cheaper, just posting it as an example...
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
By the looks of that one,I should be able to fab one up out a heating element from a cookstove I would think
post #5 of 27
The problem with using one from a cook stove is they are 220v so you would have to wire your smoker to 220v...

You can find 110 elements by doing a Google search for them...

A regular 110 hot plate can be found on eBay or thrift store that would work just fine and for next to nothing...

Just make sure it is at least 1000 - 1500 watts...
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ahhhh...OK..gotcha...thanks for the heads up, I was unaware of that...

WalMart has the 1000W hotplates up here for $13...I'll give her a go..
I can always make the next smoker smaller as well..this one is just to try and see what I can get to work and what i have to do..trial and error basically
post #7 of 27
My old refer conversion used a dual hotplate with I believe 750 and 1000 watt elements and it usually always got up to temp. unless bitter cold out.I would sure think a 1000 watt would work well for what you are doing. However, I do have a question. You said you are making this for cold smoking. To me that means lower temps than even 150 deg.? If you need higher temps than 150, which you would for sausage products and the like, you should consider insulating your smoker. I would think for sure you would reach the temps you need. Another thing I have done with my current freezer conversion is to separate the heat required to "cook" the products and the heat required to generate smoke. I have a separate smoke generator box with it's own hotplate. The smoke is piped into the freezer. This way I always have smoke being made even if my "cooking" element is off because it has reached temps in the smoker, or if I wish to truly do cold smoking, I can keep the temp in the smoker low but still generate smoke.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
OK...maybe it's a hot smoke then I am after..I want to make a bunch of venison summer sausage and garlic rings. I have the Pargue #1 for my cure.
I thought it was cold smoke I was after...I need the meat to finish to 152 internal temp according to my recipe.
I can only smoke outside and winter is coming on real fast, so I was looking for something theat can keep the temps up and hace a decent recovery time.

I am still all new to the smoking thing. All I have used before was a big chief and did some salmon and jerky. I've mad alot of fresh suasage,but now want to try smoking.

Problem is,we have a very limited supply of hardware and smoker supply stores around here.
Bradley smokers are $500 and then 12% taxes on top.These are the 4 shelf non digital models.
I can get a Centrios,which is the Canadian equivalent to the MES, but that rig is $349 and 12%...
I really got get my passport. That way I can get across the line and pick up a proper smoker without getting gouged by the retailers up here.
post #9 of 27
How about a propane single burner? The adjust quite low. I converted my charcoal GOSM with one.
post #10 of 27
I was just lookiing at the new Christmas catalog from Cabelas yesterday. Was checking out the smokers and remembered seeing this in it. Here is the link. Don't know if this will work for you but its worth a look.

post #11 of 27
I just converted my propane smoker to electric and used 2 1000 watt hot plates from Harbor Freight. I believe they were 9.99. It works very well. I also insulated the smoker with the foil faced foam...the stuff I used is rated for 250 deg. F. I can easily hold 160 even on the coldest days (in WI) with this rig. Good luck on the smoker and the sausage smoke!
post #12 of 27
I also converted my ecb to electric with 2 1000 watt hot plates from Walgreens, $9.99 a piece. Great temperature control. Just remove the elements from the base, buy some high temp electric wire (8ft $2.50) and you are good to go. I was able to hold 210 with one burner but added the second to get higher temps.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks a million, that's just what I am looking for..will keep ya posted.
post #14 of 27


I am using an element from a electric bbq grill I picked up at Walmart, still in proto type mode using a pid to control the temp.

I liked it because I was able to remove the element from the grill and there are no plastic parts to get hot.

Since it is made of wood you may be able to cut a hole in the side of he box and still you the variable temp control from the outside.

I think it cost 20-25 bucks.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Went a bought a 1000W burner, put her in and fired it up. Took 40 minutes to hit 210. I opened the door to mimmick replacing woodchips.It dropped to 150 and then crawled back up to 210 within 8 minutes.

I lined the bottom of the smoker front, back and sides about 12 inches with some 1/4" aluminum daimond plate to reduce the fire risk of just bare ply wood. Gets warm,but not that hot that ya can't touch it.

I just have to throw a door seal around and make the vent for the top and then I should be good to....works pretty good for a $50 job...I'll snap some pics tomorrow in case anyone may wanna build something similar.
It should tide me over until i can get the Bradley I been eyeing up.
post #16 of 27
Mine might be a little more primitive. I bought a single burner hot plate, cut a hole in the back of my "cold/warm" smoker (trash can) for the cord, and cut another hole in the front for the control knob. Then I added a piece of 1" dowel rod to the control knob (transfered the "Low-Med-High" settings), so it sticks out the front hole. Then I put the plastic split wire protector on the electric cord (the kind you find on your engine manifold protecting wires from the high heat). Then I put a cheap throw-away pie pan on the hot plate to keep drippings off of it.
Works fine.

post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am going to take the dial off of the hotplate and rewire the burner control to the outside of the smoker using a dimmer switch for interior lighting. From what I have been able to gather,it's the little rheostat on these hotplates that cause alot of grief, especially having the entire thing housed in a 180 degree temperatrue box.

Does anybody know if I can wire 2 burners together in a paralell. I thought about using the 750 and the 1000 watt burner together after I make 1 single plate for them to sit on...I dunno,just a thought had. I might just wire the 2 seprately and use one for heat and the other for smoke.
post #18 of 27
Be careful, the typical dimmer switch is only rated for 600 watts max, You'll have more then your sausages smoking if its undersized. I think you can get one for 1000 watts and larger, but they get alittle pricey.

Nice build BTW, I'm looking forward to some Q-view from it.
post #19 of 27
You got me thinking now, (sometimes a good thing) A cheap thermostat for an electric baseboard heater is you want. heres a link to one thats rated to 22 amps for $14. your two units at 1750 watts would be about 15 amps.

I don't see why you couldn't wire them together and use one controller, but I'm not an electrician.
One thing you do need if your drawing that many amps is a 20 amp circuit and a very heavy extension cord if you use one.
post #20 of 27
This is the heating element that I use. I had a dual element unit from Wally world before this. This unit works much better, I do use a temp controller with it and can control it to plus or minus one degree. If you need help on a controller let me know I can dig up some models that I have found before that are fairly cheap. Either way insulation is going to be a must to make this work well. I would also find a way to use some fire brick or sand to hold the temps in while you open the door
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