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Need Some Help With Propane Setup

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So I built this last weekend http://smokingmeatforums.com/forums/...ad.php?t=85200 and have been playing with it. I am struggling to hit the temps (about 200* max) I want so I am going to most likely go propane with it.

Has anyone used the burner below? Any thoughts about it? Is it overkill? The dimensions of the smoker are 28"W x 20"D x 64"H.

post #2 of 20
Joel I have a duel camp stove with 30k BTU each-and they Crank out the heat,I think thats gonna be way over kill for your smoker-I robbed my gas warming burner from the gas grill (never used it)and it will give me 400* in my ECB's when I double stack them.Maybe you can find 1 in a HD-or lowes.
post #3 of 20
That burner might have potential. If I understand the design, it has variable heat output options by opening or closing valves. So you could throttle it down or crank it up. And it's about the right BTU size.

Are you wanting to smoke butts, ribs, etc.? Don't know of too many people that do that in a wood smoker. Fine for sausage, bacon, etc where the temps rarely exceed 170* or so.

Hate to see it go up in smoke.
post #4 of 20
Have you thought about switching to a turkey fryer/fish fryer burner/stand? That is what I am using in my new smoker and it works awesome! I can get anywhere from 175 to 350 degrees and its below zero here today. I have a load of stuff in the smoker right now and I am hold at around 240 degrees and I have the burner turned up about 1/3 of the way. Mine is very well insulated I may add, that seems to be the ticket.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I will look into it Bob. I like this one because you can shut down parts of the burner to reduce the output. If coupled with a low pressure regulator and needle valve I was thinking it might be about right. At about $35 I can stomach the cost of it.

That was my thought as well in regards to being able to throttle it down.

Sausage, bacon, jerky, and cheese is all I am looking to do with this one. I have a UDS and horizontal offset for doing butts, ribs, brisket, etc.

I have looked into those but the cost of the cheaper units are equivalent to this one. Also, I wouldn't have to do much in the way of modifications to this one whereas a turkey fryer burner I would likely have to cut down so it isn't so tall. You do bring up a good point about outdoor temps though. I live in North Carolina and cold here is in the 40's.
post #6 of 20
Solar- I have a turkey fryer burner (just the burner mounted to a steel plate) in the bottom of my smoker. I bought it here.

I also bought an adjustable regulator(works really well).
This is not exactly like the one I bought but it should work the same.
I can cold smoke at 90* in the summer or hot smoke at 250* in the winter. the setup has worked well for me. when I bought the sentry valve it got even better.

the SV has a temp probe that mounts in the smoking box and controls a small gas valve to increase or decrease the flame size. It doesn't shut the flame off but it lowers the flame considerably. it has made my smoking temps very stable. It does take some dialing in and getting use to, but once you figure it out, it works great.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I haven't forgot about the Sentry Valve. I have had it bookmarked since you mentioned it. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

I told my wife when I started this project that I thought I could do it for about $150. I am currently flirting with the $200 mark and trying to slip in under the radar. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 20
If you are doing mostly sausages, jerky, etc. and can get to 200* with electric plates, are you sure you want to go to gas? Most of that is going to be smoked at a max of 180* and you seem to have that covered. Burning gas in a wood box would concern me, but that's because I can remember my dad trying to smoke hams and bacon in a cardboard refrigerator box and burning it down. He was using wood coals and chips in a metal bucket and it got out of hand.

I have the same gas burner and similar regulator the Ohio Butcher mentioned, but I'm using them under a barrel. I did a couple slabs of bacon yesterday and kept close track of temps. For no apparent reason I could find, I kept getting "mood swings" of as much as 5 to 10 degrees. The only thing I could think of was wind, which was light and variable most of the day, but kicking up now and then. I also noticed heat spikes from my smoking chips. If they get going good they give off more heat than you might expect.
post #9 of 20
This is the burner I purchased for two smokers, and it seems to work well for not a ton of cash...


35,000 BTU and I can hit 400 degrees or throttle back to 180ish...

It is also available on Amazon,
post #10 of 20
I will just add that I love my really simple conversion from


my adjustments are easy and the base fit just right with very little modification from what I had also price was ok for ready to go Shipped quick and great customer service.
post #11 of 20
I have bought one just like this and I had also bought the single burner that northern sells. The Idea behind this unit is sound, but I have trouble with the vavles. One of then had seized up, and I can't shut that part of the burner off. I have no problem with the single burner and I think that would be enough for your smoker. I would strongly sugest that you line the bottom 1/2 with aluminum flashing to reflect the majority of heat from the wood. Also if you are planning on running your temps higher than 200 degrees, I would consider running at least 3/4 with aluminum flashing. It would be a shame to burn up that nice smoker. By the way you really did a great job building it. Remember wood flash point is about 400 degrees , but I seen it flash at 300 espically when the wood gets dry, and full of creosote. Just a thought. You can check out my smoke house I used motor and stone for the lower half.
post #12 of 20
post #13 of 20
nice smokehouse hound..........
post #14 of 20
Thanks It's Hard to make something out of nothing.I got this smokehouse up to 275 deg a couple of weeks ago while smoking two 12 lb turkeys.
I usually only smoke sausage or meat sticks at about 160 degs. I am planning on smoking four more 12lb turkey's on the 21st I am using Legg's mariniating 2 with butter and garlic, and 2 with lemon and pepper. That leggs stuff is great!!!!!!
post #15 of 20
does it take alot of fuel to heat that up?
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, the problem is that the electric are only getting me up to 180* for about 10 minutes and then dropping back down to 140* on a calm 40* day. The first test run I was able to hold 155* on a very windy day oddly enough. I am looking to maintain a consistent temp for extended periods of time for sausage, jerky, bacon, etc. I say 200* because I know if I can easily hold 200* it won't be a problem to hold 160* or 180*. Anything beyond that I have a UDS and SNP for.

Thanks Bryon! I will take a look at it. :)

Hmmm. The seized up part concerns me.

As for the aluminum, I have a few 4'x4' sheets I plan to employ on the bottom third of the smoker. I have no intention of ever going beyond 180* inside of it.
post #17 of 20
So far its pretty fuel efficient. But now winter is here, and I have a feeling the stone is gonna be a big heat sink. The most propane I used was smoking the two turkeys, which I used about 1/2 of a twenty lb tank in about 6 hours. Then I was running 250 degrees plus. (I normally only run 170 degrees) It took me about two and one half hours to get it to 250, and the outside temp was about 50 degrees. WHen those stones get really cold, I think I will have a hard time getting the smoke house up to high temps quickly, but when I do I know that she will be stable, as the stone will hold the heat.
Getting back to the multi burner Northern tools unit. I am really not impressed with it, as far as the simple single northern burner. I think this is a real work horse. I am using that with my el cheapo Brinkman. I am using Adjustable regulators for both the smokehouse and the smoker. Word to the wise! Be extreamly careful when using adjustable regulators. They will go out if you turn them down too much. That doesn't mean that they will not put out any raw propane in your smoker. This could be a dangerous situation with the combination of smoldering wood in the smoker. I use a Maverick ET 73, and set the low smoker temp alarm regulary during the smoke process. I also check the flame regulary thru the process. If you do all this then you should be safe.
Remember this is a hobby, lets make it safe and fun.
post #18 of 20
Good plan on not beyond 180. Low and slow is the way to go.I usally don't run my smokehouse more than 170 to 175. But I am a firm believer in using cure with everything that I smoke, even poultry. If I was you I would experiment with an externial smoke source. I really make great smoked cheese in both my smoker and smokehouse. I always keep my temps below 80 degrees with my smoke guns. they are really not that hard to build. It just takes a little getting used to, to get the knack of making them work right. If you are used to fireing up woodstoves and coal stoves it won't take you long to get the hang of it. I use a combination of stove type wood pellets with finely split hickory or what ever wood that I am using. But you must base your bed with the pellets before you add the split wood, then mix pellets with split wood. Easy and efficient use of wood for smoking.
post #19 of 20
I agree an et-73 is a must with a gas smoker at low temps. It has happened to me before I got my Et-73.PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif
Be safe out there!
post #20 of 20
Nice Dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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