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first smoke on the converted fridge

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
after putting the smoke to my converted 50's GE fridge for a day and a half at temps ranging from 200-375 to season it and get the nasty plastic smell out of it, i am finally ready to start smoking for real.

but first, some pics

this uses the same size racks as my GOSM big block, so i have not had to buy any yet. i am using the original steel lower rack that came with it.

i am using a NOS chromalux process control thermostat. the temp swing is a little wide, but it will do until i convert to a PID control in the spring.

i used this 1250 watt finned strip heater. it puts out a ton of heat and you can watch the temp rise 30 degrees a minute once it cycles on.

i am using 5/8 silicone automotive hose to handle the smoke duties. it works great so far.

the electric smoker is not nearly as much work as the charcoal weber i started with or the GOSM BB i have been using. i just have to stir/add wood to the smoke generator once an hour or so. and it is incredibly quiet. the only noise is the aquarium pump.

i will post qvue of the chicken tomorrow.
post #2 of 17
Can't wait to see how the bird turns out.
Great looking smoker, nice job PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #3 of 17
That thing is really cool and you did a great job and I cann't wait to see what it outs out.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
i fed the chicken quarters to the family. no complaints from them about the meat or from the dogs about the bones.
post #5 of 17
Looks great. Anxious to see it in action and the finished product.
post #6 of 17
I LOVE your smoke box - using pipe with the caps is cool.

Hereis a picture of the one one I built, my "Shot Gun" smoke box.

Cut some slots in the bottom for air

small grate to keep the charcoal off the bottom

Thanks for sharing your new smoker.
post #7 of 17
Looks great, glad you got the plastic smell out...

Where did you find the 1250 watt element?
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
i got it at:

but it came from grainger when it was delivered. maybe they are the same company, i dunno.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
i wanted to keep it simple. its made out of 3" schedule 40 sprinkler pipe. i can pick it up all day at the local plumbing supply house. the endcaps are ridiculously heavy. it probably weighs 15 pounds empty. i use the biggest aquarium air pump petco sells. it puts out a TON of smoke. i cant even be near the door when i open it to do something. the smoke it blinding at close range.
post #10 of 17
Thanks, If all else fails this may be a way to get my Bradley to get the temps up over 200ยบ... At least it will be worth a try...
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
i would think that you would need to install an external 15 amp relay to run it. i dont think that the bradley hardware will support 1250 watts.

but once you got it installed and going, your temp problems would be over. this thing will get my converted fridge from 70 to 400+ in about 20 minutes.
post #12 of 17
omahasmoker, I'm really impressed with your fridge conversion. I was wondering, how's the heat distribution? With the placement of the strip heater in the back and the fact that heat rises, is it hotter in the back of the racks than the front, especially the bottom/front? Do you have a fan to circulate the air, or do you use a heat shield/deflector not pictured? Where is the placement of your exhaust out the top? How big of a pipe did you use? Does air come in the bottom somewhere?
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
i don't have a chimney proper at this point. i removed some of the flashing that i added to the edge of the door to make it seal. it was getting hard to shut the door once the silicone sponge i used for a seal "took a set" and hardened. so for now smoke just leaks out the upper edge of the door. there is a constant stream of smoke/air coming in the bottom from the smoke generator.

the heat distribution is OK according to my polder digital thermometer.

after last night, i have to put a cookie sheet on the lowest rack over the top of the strip heater. its so hot when running (it glows orange) that drippings hitting the heater turn into a flash fire event. it scared the beejesus out of me last night while flipping the chicken.
post #14 of 17
Very nice done!!!
post #15 of 17
very cool, but you don't even want to know what that frig is worth fully restored, my guess is about as much as you would spend on a lang if you wanted to burn sticks
post #16 of 17
I was thinking kind of the same thing.
Actually I was thinking that there sits $2500 if that was an old Coke machinebiggrin.gif

Good looking fridge conversion, I like the strip heater. Is it controlled just on/off or could a rheostat work with it too for a constant even heat?
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
for now, its just on/off. i might add a rheostat later.
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