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hot plate blues

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
got me 2 ge 1000 watt hotplates for my drum and its 28 degrees outside, i guess,i am hot! insulated the outside of drum in shed and could only get 160 degrees. after 7 hrs internal temp of meat is only 140 and guess what? i am going i bring summer sausages in the house and put on top rack of oven with bottom element set at 175 to finish off.where did i go wrong? there is no wind in shed and hotplates were as far from each other as possible. had the hotplate legs sitting on bricks to let air circulate under them but could not get temps up even with foil type insulation wrappad around barrel and sheets cut to cover lid.i also had the lid clamp in place.thanks for some tips. going hunting. dj
post #2 of 18
Did you plug them into extension cords? If so and they're not heavy, you can lose a lot of wattage that way, half or more.
post #3 of 18
set a pan of charcoal on each hot plate I use perforated pans.
lump will not work in this app.
once the coal gets going temps should come up.
try it & let us knowPDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
yes i used a big diameter extension cord i use for ac in building. i will try the charcol deal.and check to make sure both hotplates were working. thanks
post #5 of 18
did you bypass the internal thermostat in the hot plate?? They will get hot and still kick out with those in place. Or is it just a burner assembly??
post #6 of 18
I personally was gonna say it was the cord but if you use it for an A/c unit it should be plenty big enough. I would try what Rtom said about the thermostat on the hot plate itself. Or it could be the thing just doesn't like to be plugged into a cord I have a compressor like that it will not workon a cord and I have some really 10-3 corsd for the jobsite.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
its a ge hotplate that wal mart sells. i have nt done anything to it,yet. got back from hunting and checked everything and re hung summer sausages. i have noticed the thermostats kicking out even with it on high.
post #8 of 18
bypass them thats where your problem is.
also i use high temp wire on my elements.
post #9 of 18
It's pretty easy to bypass the internal switch and thermo on them. When you take them apart it will be obvious. I have found that when hotplates are in a confined area the internal thermo will cycle more often, and even if chips start to smoke, they might not get going again. You are on the right track with the air circulation, etc around them inside the smoker as well. When I used a little chief box for my smoke generator, I actually burned up a hot plated that I had bypassed. Now that I have a bigger cabinet, everything works without even bypassing, even in temps down to -20.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info. i have the hotplates cord exposed very little to heat. i double taped them and they exit to the rear of hotplate. when i bypass the thermostat that means i have no control correct? thanks
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
if i cut two round holes so only heating area is inside the drum help any? i am sure this is a safety device and would like to be able to control temp if possible.thanks
post #12 of 18
correct they run wide open
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
is this as simple as unplugging the wires to the thermostat and hooking them back into each other?
post #14 of 18
there should be one wire coming in from the cord connected to it and one going out from it to the element, just connect the wire from the cord to the element instead of the thermostat. And you are right you will have not control over it anymore, you may have to put in a temperature controller.

It my help it that part of the hot plate is outside the smoker its up to you if you want to try that first but then you will have a hole to patch up if it still doesn't work
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
i may just shim the hotplates up under the drum so the drum is sitting on the two i have the drum sitting on concrete blocks. going to try some venting first before i fry all the wiring.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
i got my skillsaw out and cur some oak scraps and some 1 in dia hickory and loaded up a chip pan and that brought temp to 180 and after an hour internal was 156. these hot plates from g e do not work well by themselves. the only good may be the temp would nt come past 160 and internal past 140 for many hours and they were for sure slow smoked. showered 10 1 lb sticks and letting sit at room temp for a few hours then to the icebox.and i thought deerhunting was addictive.lolicon_smile.gif thanks yall. happy smoking and happy new year.
post #17 of 18
Glad it worked out for you in the end. Hot plates, while working okay for making smoke, aren't the best heat source for a smoker, as you've found out. I tried singles, doubles, and twin burners. All worked okay, but with the problems you've discovered. I now use a Brinkmann replacement element. It has worked without problem for me, for the past 3 years. I've always thought I should have a spare on hand just in case it quits on me at midnight on a Sunday night or something.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
well guess what mulepackin? i have a bass pro gift card and i think the brinkman element will fit my drum rather well. any tips on mounting or just put er on the bottom? i got a dist plate in the works to go 6 inches above it. thanks. i can use hot plates for something else. thanks. happy new year. ps what temps do you get from brinkman element? i need 175-180 would rather have too much and open dampers than to run shy like the hotplates.
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