Modifying a Totem/Big Chief Smoker with a Hotter Element for Colder Climates and Hot smoking....

By daveomak, Dec 28, 2011 | |
  1. Describe 'Modifying a Totem/Big Chief Smoker with a Hotter Element for Colder Climates and Hot smoking....' here

    Several years ago I moved to a cold climate and my smoker would not get hot enough to smoke fish in the fall... even wrapped and insulated it wouldn't get hot enough to kipper salmon..... So here we go on my modification....

    Went to W-M and found a single burner counter top unit for about $10.... I totally disassembled it into it's basic parts....

    I drilled holes in the lower front of the smoker to accomodate the temp controller knob and the indicator light that lets you know when the element is heating.... the sheet metal tabs on the lower left and right of the smoker are used to set the door on for increased air flow for drying product to form a pelicle.. more to come later on that.... and the cookies I use instead of chips...  They burn longer and produce TBS as compared to chips.... Only 1 cookie in the pan at a time.... It takes 2 pieces of wood to make a fire....

    [​IMG]

    Here is the underside of the smoker...original power supply on the right side and the terminal block... on the left, the indicator light is installed and above it the adjusting knob for temperature controll... in the center are the legs of the heating element protruding through the bottom of the smoker with wiring attached.... Nothing difficult here... Just do everything exctly as it was before you took the hot plate apart.... Drilling the holes for the element legs to get it properly located is probably the most difficult for centering it in the smoker... be sure to drill the holes the correct size for the indicator and controller switch... I recommend a small increment step drill....

    [​IMG]

    Here is the top of the door cracked open to allow good air flow for drying product to form a pelicle with low heat or applying a light smoke while venting the smoker.... Notice the tabs on the left and right to keep the door from falling off.....

    [​IMG]

    This shot shows the tabs for holding the door in the lowered position... I had to bend down tabs on the door to fit the tabs on the smoker face....

    [​IMG]

    After all was said and done, the mods proved to be better than expected.....  Temp range of the smoker was expanded greatly.... from cool smoke with the door ajar to door closed to insulating with a blanket of sorts....

    Share This Article

Comments

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!