Too simple to talk about?

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by squarezilla, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum, and not the most experienced smoker, but my wife and I have been experimenting for a while.

    I am an ex-design engineer turned home remodeler, and I have been looking around the net at various build-it-yourself smokers. I hate to say it but I keep seeing the same few tired designs over and over again. There is the one made from two barrels, one stacked on the other, the one that is a modified store-bought vertical smoker (magnum?), the one made from two propane tanks, etc. etc.

    I've also seen several commercially made "cabinet" style smokers, basically a square box with a door on the front and some kind of firebox/smoke generator below. They seem to be a fancy version of a refrigerator modified to be a smoker.

    Which brings me, finally, to my question. Why doesn't anyone convert an old oven to a cabinet style smoker? It seems to me that you are way ahead starting with an oven. You already have an insulated metal box with a door that has a high temperature gasket to seal it closed. You already have racks, and supports to put the racks on. Most typical ovens have a metal drawer in the bottom for pot/pan storage that could be taken out and modified into a firebox, especially if you want to use electric burners for generating/controlling heat. I have seen a number of designs employing a hot plate and a cast iron pan for wood chips. An old oven has four burners, one of which could be transferred to the burner box, and a really clever person could hook that burner up to the oven control so that it would be turned on and off based on the setting of the oven temp dial. This seems so logical to me that I can't understand why I haven't seen one. Am I missing something here? Is there a basic flaw in my idea that I am not seeing. I would appreciate comments.


     
  2. seboke

    seboke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What the hoohah squareman?!? Stop bashing our "tired" models and show us an oven smoker!!
     
  3. Didn't mean to come across as "bashing" the designs that are out there, but I spent hours on my computer searching for smoker designs, and I had to sift through a ton of broken/non-existent links, only to find the links that still worked all pointed to the same four or five designs. With all the energy and enthusiasm I have seen on forums like this one, I would have guessed their would be a ton of information and many varying designs. So, when I used the word "tired" it wasn't a slap at the designs themselves, I'm sure they all work great. Just that I was "tired" of bumping into the same designs over and over again.

    That said, I am looking for an old stove to try out the very idea that I was talking about. Would anyone be interested in pictures of the conversion process and results of testing the idea?

     
  4. williamzanzinger

    williamzanzinger Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

  5. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    welcome to the forum squareZ, i dont disagree with you as far as your principles on why not use a stove, why dont you go ahead and build one and share with us. our smokers are as individual to us as our own identity. we all have our little quirks and our mods that indeed make our smokers unique. that said i have thought of using a stove, but could also maybe downsize the burner and have a backup thermostaticly controlled unit with a smoke generator. dont forget restarant or schools appliance junkyards... stainless steel, warming ovens,walkin refridge or freezers... there is no end to what a peson can use. enjoy the sight and show off some qview!!!
     
  6. William,

    I take it that you would think of a stove-converted-to-bbq pit as ugly? Is that because it wouldn't look like the typical black behemoth? Or because it is square instead of barrel shaped? In that case, what do you think of the aesthetics of a refrigerator or freezer turned smoker? Or how about the commercially available stainless steel cabinet style smokers? I guess I am trying to figure out what, exactly, would be unappealing about a converted stove.
     
  7. williamzanzinger

    williamzanzinger Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Yea , I definetly think it would look like trash hanging around outside. I can see how it might make up points with functionability, especially if it can be electric, it does afterall have a thermostat. Im just thinking that the only thing that would keep a person from pursuing that would be aesthetics only. The refridgerator has an edge over the oven because of its shelving and ham hanging abilaties. If you have an extra stove hanging around and were looking to make a smoker id go for it, but i dont think Id go looking for a stove. Now if you can get a convection oven and rerig it so the fan can actually drain the unit of smoke and you set up inside with proper venting youd be the man. I just think aesthetically a stove belongs inside. Im certainly not passionate about my point of view, I was really trying to be cute. You have all my support and well wishes.
     
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As WilliamZ said, a convection unit would be easiest, as you would need a vent of some sort. And I'd have to say I'm with him on the aesthetics thing... I don't think I'd trailer one of those up to a KCBS cookoff LOL! And ovens won't stand up to outside storage/use either, ESPECIALLY if you keep it's electrical functionality. You'd need to weatherproof.

    The insulated box is a good thing tho :{) Keep thinking!

    And Welcome to SMF!
     
  9. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Why do engineers hafta overthink everything?[​IMG]

    My guess is, if an old oven would work, you woulda seen some of them out there being used. I find myself doing some "redneck stuff" on occassion, but I won't be seen with an oven in my yard![​IMG]

    I am also with the others , as to, if you want to engineer an oven smoker, I would be very interested in your documentation of such an project. I think that it would make an interesting thread.

    I would take the interior part out of the shell though, and do sme other type of box to seal it from the elements. But if ya could leave the light inside working when ya open the door, that would be a big selling point![​IMG]
     
  10. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If we din't, we would not be "engineers" [​IMG]
     
  11. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! If the oven theory doesn't work for you, maybe stop over to my neighbors house and see what you can find[​IMG]
     
  12. So.....you do have limits! [​IMG]
     
  13. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    welcome to the forum squareZ, i dont disagree with you as far as your principles on why not use a stove, why dont you go ahead and build one and share with us. our smokers are as individual to us as our own identity. we all have our little quirks and our mods that indeed make our smokers unique. that said i have thought of using a stove, but could also maybe downsize the burner and have a backup thermostaticly controlled unit with a smoke generator. dont forget restarant or schools appliance junkyards... stainless steel, warming ovens,walkin refridge or freezers... there is no end to what a peson can use. enjoy the sight and show off some qview!!!
     
  14. coyote

    coyote Master of the Pit

    well after much thought on this matter..I was thinking we could well,give an inch here. now those ole commodes that had the water closet hangin 5' or higher on the wall above the toilet..already has a lid on the w/c just add some racks the the lid for the toilet would have to be of metal I guess. the pipe from the toilet runnir to the w/c is already metal just fire her up and the smoke and heat would go up and thru the pea trap (pee trap..lol.lol.) and into the w/c and the way the lid for the w/c is made just offfset it a little for venting..

    well they have the S&W 500. one..a missile one would be cool..
     
  15. surgem7

    surgem7 Fire Starter

    Squarezilla, I have found that the first guy that throws an idea on the table at least has the satisfaction of seeing others improving on his idea. SO, I bet if you were to put your mind to it, and built a working unit, others would try it and or attempt to improve it. I think you have been given some ideas why it wouldn't work that you could use to your advantage. You have wood working skills and could build a good lookin cabinet. It really doesn't have to be weather proof as you could put wheels on it and move it in out of the elements. Keep it simple grasshopper, and they will follow.
     
  16. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tell ya what...If I'm plugging something in outside, nice day or not... it's gonna be made to plug in outside. Electricity has a way of finding ground in the most surprising ways. At 186,000 miles a second.
     
  17. emtee

    emtee Fire Starter

    We don't all make tired old smokers. Below is the link to my first real post. Hey, the sky's the limit. Don't worry about what it looks like- it's your baby. If the neighbors can put up with it, you're good.


    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...960#post125960


    Have fun.
     
  18. bcfishman

    bcfishman Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Why don't you make one of those .357 smokers someone posted the other day.

    Smoking is like the wheel. Once it was perfected, there is no reason to reinvent it.

    Why don't you buy an old car, and use that. That would be new.
     
  19. Actually, it wouldn't be new. In my perusing of the web I saw a photo of a 1951 pickup that had been converted into a smoker. The engine had been removed and the engine compartment turned into a firebox. The whole cab was being used as the smoke chamber, accessible from either door.
     
  20. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Seen that...VERY cool!
     

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