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Building Electric Smoker - Cabinet Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I had *almost* talked myself into buying a Bradley or Masterbuilt electric smoker, but because I wanted to do quite a bit of sausage and snack sticks, as well as jerky (start to finish) I was concerned about temp control and started looking at PID controllers.

It didn't seem to make a lot of sense to buy one for good money and then tear it apart, and I don't ever need a good excuse to to make something. I decided on building one with a higher wattage heating element than the Bradley, like maybe 1000-1600 Watts, a PID controller, a Big Kahuna Smoke Generator, and then customize the interior with racks and hanging rods as needed.

My question and dilemma is this: I don't want to use a barrel/refrigerator/etc. type cabinet and would like something that looks a little more "finished", is smaller than a refrigerator, and is heavy duty. I have seen several propane smoker cabinets online, and they *seem* heavy duty and fairly large.

Can anyone recommend a heavy duty, medium-large size, and reasonably priced vertical cabinet propane or charcoal smoker that I can gut and use? Are any made of cast iron or heavy steel? I have seen several online that looks nice, but don't want something with a flimsy build, flimsy door, flimsy sheetmetal, etc.
post #2 of 11
justrite flamable cabnits would make a kicka** smoker as they are insulated.icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
They look like they would be awesome, but the price blows it out of the water for me.

Edit: New is pricey, but if I could find one on eBay that is close enough to pick up, it might work. They look well built, insulated, and should seal tight as they are designed for fire protection for paint and flammable liquids.
post #4 of 11
I am planning a similar build and am pretty much convinced I will just get some sheet metal and square tubing and have a buddy weld something up. Seems like I should be able to find the supplies pretty cheap, plus I can build it however I want.
post #5 of 11

Local scrap yard

If you are close to a metal re cycler, you may have some luck there.

I just picked up my next project bought by the pound. Its all aluminum. It used to be a rolling cabinet used in commercial kitchens. paid $40.00

I have seen a lot of stainless pieces and parts there as well.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
There aren't any where I'm at, but there probably are several in Columbus, I'm sure.

I was hoping to find a new gas/charcoal vertical smoker that has a large, good heavy duty, well sealing cabinet, but everything else could be crap and start from there for a minimum of work. Maybe up to about $200-$250, and sell or discard the gas burner and controls.

From there, I'd add an electric element, a PID controller, and either a Bradley Smoke Generator or a Big Kahuna Smoke Generator. Ideally, I'd like to stay under $500 when it's finished, or somewhere close.
post #7 of 11
1500 watt element ~ $35
PID controller ~ $85
high temp insulation ~ $75
expanded metal racks ~ $40?
smoke generator ~ $100?

plus however much for the actual metal, various nuts/bolts, door seal, etc...
post #8 of 11
Try looking at some used restaurant equipment dealers. I got mine for $150 delivered to my house. It was sitting in a field and took some cleaning up, but the heating elements in it still worked!! And it is stainless inside and out!

post #9 of 11
I have got to find me one of those!!!! Thanks for sharing.
post #10 of 11

Where can you get a PID for $85?? And are they reliable??
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I would assume he was referring to the fact that you can build your own for $85-$100 with parts from Auber Ins.
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