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Just the beginning of my fridge smoker project

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
I've seen a few builds around here using very similar old refrigerators, so I have a pretty good plan (I think) already laid out.

It will be set up for either cold or hot smoking, with a smoke daddy smoke generator as well as a 1900W finned strip heater inside and an Auber instruments PID controller.

I'm going to build shelves from expanded steel that can be removed and replaced with dowel rods for hanging sausage.

I have a few plastic surround strips from the inside box to replace with aluminum and then it will be time to put it all together.

If anyone is interested I'll keep this post updated with progress pics.

post #2 of 77
Looks like you have a good plan. Keep the pics up to date we would love to see them all.
post #3 of 77
definitely keep the pics coming on the progress. What kind of time-line are you shooting for to get it up and running?
post #4 of 77
oh yea keep us posted PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #5 of 77
Thread Starter 
Hopefully within a month or so. I need to get it done before it is time for mowing and lawn work. I will post photos of my progress.
post #6 of 77
Yes keep the pic's coming for sure. Sounds like it will turn out good.
post #7 of 77
Thread Starter 

Look what the post man brought me today

I know I could have built something similar myself, but I thought the price was reasonable and this way I can spend my time on the other aspects of the build.

post #8 of 77
what "pushes" the smoke from the smoke daddy into the smoker?
post #9 of 77
Smoke elves
post #10 of 77
Air pressure from the aquarium style pump that also keeps the chips smoldering. Kind of a forge principle. Smoke is gonna follow the path of least resistance though. Even if there wasn't an air pump, it will flow through the pipe into the smoker, and if your smoker as proper air flow, it will draw the smoke in.
post #11 of 77
Thread Starter 
I got the inside box pulled out and was glad to find no foam or plastic inside, just old glass insulation I plan to leave in place.

The inside box itself is in pretty good shape and is enameled on both sides. There was a small amount of surface rust on the bottom, so I am planning to reinstall the box upside down as it is in this photo. I'm sure after it is cleaned and seasoned, it wont matter, but I wanted the smoothest surface on the bottom to make clean up easier. There are also a few old bolt holes that I will close up with stainless bolts and or high temp silicone.

I was also happy to find that fedex left me another package yesterday. It is a 1900w stainless strip heater. It may be overkill, but I would rather buy this one now rather than wish I had later.

post #12 of 77
You're definitely "getting it done". Keep the pics coming!
post #13 of 77
I bought one of those smokedaddy`s and installed it in my smoker and it works great it really puts out the smoke. BUT I promise you one thing...you are going to burn your fingers on it because it gets HOT as He11...
post #14 of 77
How do you get the chips to start smoldering in those smoke daddy's?

Is it electric coil or something else.
post #15 of 77
Its best to use pellets in it they last alot longer than chips. You do not soak them use them dry. It has a small grate in it about 3/4 way down that holds the pellets in. You take the bottom off of it and start the pellets with a small propane torch. It starts up real quick. And as I said it really puts out the smoke.
post #16 of 77
The insulation inside looks like "Rock Wool". If it is really Rock Wool, it very heat resistant. Much better than fiberglass.

Great Pics!


No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #17 of 77
Thread Starter 

I learned something new today

Thanks a lot Todd. I had never heard of rockwool insulation so I did some research and and it does appear to be what I have.
post #18 of 77
Thread Starter 

PID controller is finished

Today I assembled my PID controller in an electrical conduit box. Everything went so smoothly, I could hardly believe it. When I flipped the switch and panel lit I was was very happy. Here are a few photos of the finished product. If anyone is interested I could post a complete parts list for the build.

post #19 of 77
Please do explain your pid controller, this is exactly what I want to do with my fridge, I just haven't found a really comprehensive tutorial. Do you plan on using the PID to run the smoke daddy and the element?
I will be watching this thread closely.points.gif
post #20 of 77
Thread Starter 

Details on the PID controller

This controller will be for the heating element only, the smoke daddy air pump will run continuously and be regulated manually with the bleed off valve.

Here are the components of my controller, with links were applicable.

1/16 DIN PID controller w/SSR output
25 amp solid state relay (ssr) with heat sink
K type thermocouple 6ft cable metal braided
Panel mount connector for K thermocouple
7" electrical junction box
wire clamp connector
20 amp single receptacle
20 amp toggle switch
terminal strip for wire connections
16 gauge wire various lengths

Tools I used:
Dremel with small wheel cutter
Drill with hole saw and step bits
stainless steel nuts, bolts and grommets
soldering iron and lead solder
heat shrink tubing

The diagram below shows all of the wire connections except the toggle switch. I installed the toggle on the incoming neutral power line. Credit to Raye Minor for creating the diagram

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