1920 Frigidaire refrigerator

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by french1028, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Hello all. I am new to this site and I do own a barrel smoker and its just not big enough to do the stuff i wanna do. I started looking into Refrigerator smoker projects. I have came across a 1920 Frigidaire refrigerator and its in great shape as a shell. Has no compressor so that part is done. Its really clean and would be a great buy at 25.00. The only issue if any is its Porcelain. I know the older 1's you have to watch out for because lead paint and zinc. What do you all think? Just looking for input if anyone has any. I thank you for your time.
  2. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    if its metal inside, and likely it is, it should be porcelain. easy to figure it out, look at the inside, you'll know right away. I've never heard of any that weren't porcelain.

    great looking fridge/

  3. Thanks Mike for getting back to me. It is all Porcelain inside as well. Back of it is Galvanized steel. Is this a good fridge to use as a smoker? Love the look of it, love the hardware and the porcelain is flawless. Just want to make sure its safe to use? Thanks Again
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    man.. that things in great shape... dunno if I could cut it up and make a smoker out of it.. I'm pretty sure all the webers are porcelain on the outside... so I'm thinking it should be alright...
  5. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    Man that is one cool looking fridge!! It should make a beautiful smoker! The only thing about porcelain is you have to be very careful when drilling,cutting, or tightening screws on it so that you don't crack it. Always tape off the area to be drilled or cut, I used duct tape with success on a weber I drilled for a mod, and go very slow when doing it.
  6. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    nice! what the bottom compartment look like?

    that might be the perfect charcoal fridge conversion with the bottom compartment already there. or electric, maybe put the smoke generator in the bottom. so many optins with the at beauty!1
  7. Thanks Wolfman 1955

    I have been reading that to make sure to use tape for drilling.

    Its all enclosed at the bottom and looks to be in great shape. The door tilts forward and the back is all open. I have done some research on this Frigidaire and they say is built extremely well and very well insulated. Do I split the cavity and check the insulation and glues/tar? I would rather do it right the 1st time, rather then a 2nd. Any info you all can help with would be great. I do appreciate it.

    I am uncertain what to do with the bottom cavity. I am not looking forward to cutting it all up. Any suggestions? So I was pondering going electric

    with a A-maze-n Pellet Smoker Tray. I found a electric range with the heating element and would also use the digital Thermostat. Any help and suggestions are appreciate. Thanks - Andrew
  8. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    If I were you I would split the cavity and check the insulation. Insulation from back that far could be anything from cloth to fiber to horse hair. I would wear some kind of mask till I found out what it is. I would just plan on replacing it with Roxul, cause regardless of what it is, it was for refridgeraton not heat.
    I am not sure you would be happy using a temp. control from an oven, i think you will find that they realy don't control well. As far as using the old element if you don't mind having to have 220 volt power source then it should work fine if it will fit in.
    Keep Smokin!!!
  9. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    As far as fitment of the oven element.. the broiler element is usually a little smaller but gets hotter ... is there any opening between the 2 compartments (top and bottom) doesn't look like it in pictures.. You will be much happier with a PID controller rather than the even controller ... the thing about oven control is the hot.cool.hot.cool.hot,cool,.. The PID will keep it dead set on your setting...

    I mean if it's gonna become a smoker it will NEVER become a refrigerator again... So I would open it up between the top and bottom and make the bottom the fire box with access threw the bottom door... for me, I like charcoal/wood fires ...
  10. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    looks like a small opening in the bottom front left corner.  Most fridge builds id say electric, but the bottom compartment on this one would make a really good wood/charcoal smoker. 

    electric is easiest to set and forget with a PID control as JCKDNLS said. I am on my second build and using this controller from Auberin again, its fool proof and the most versatile. http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_28&products_id=381, i love this controller. 
  11. hugestapedius

    hugestapedius Fire Starter

    Madman do you have any pics of your pid mounted inside the project box and how did you wire your swtichs etc. Sorry to hijack thread
  12. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    thjis is the only one i have right now, But ill be working on my new control box for another build this week or next, ill tak some how to pics with it to show exactly how i do it.

    pretty simple really. The power comes into a bank and splits out from there to here it needs to go. It was a little confusing getting the controllr hooked up right, but that was my fault for taking it apart and removing the back plug ins tht make it a plug n play about 2 months before i finally started. Very glad i had the forethought to take pics of the way it was wired when i startedd clipping wires in it. haha

    i should mention too that all the wiring going to elements and my convection fan are all run inside the outside and the insulation. keeps everything self contained and cleaner looking. 
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  13. hugestapedius

    hugestapedius Fire Starter

    Just ordered my auber pnp 3 days ago i kinda wanamount in a box similar to yours....looks nicer and more custum... let me know when u rewire maybe do a build post with pics to follow along...

    Also was it you who used old oven wire for the wiring?

    I have a brinkman i am worried about melting the wire. What if i coated the wire with rtv. No wire is exposed to open flame just worried will get hot when i crank the temp
  14. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    You bet, ill have a build threadstarted likely next week when i hopefully start assembly. Ill start with the control box. Have to get the fridge prepped to get a vinyl wrap instead of painting.

    heres the thread i started for my build too. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/175818/fridge-build-2 
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  15. Well I finally went on a road trip and picked up my 1920 refrigerator.  Its not a bad looking unit. It will be all I need to do what I want. I'm going to start to disassemble today to check out insulation and I will be posting pics depending what I find. At this point I'm undecided what kind of smoker I want. I do know I want electric. I am thinking of going this route The Original** Pellet Pro® Pellet Hopper Assembly.  If I go this route this would be everything i need, right? Just don't really understand quite how it works. The heating element. Has anyone have any problems with this unit? Or do I go buy everything seperate  and do myself? I enjoy hearing feedback. Thanks - Andrew
  16. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    The Pellet Pro is an assembly that first feeds wood pellets into a burn pot, then ignites them with an electric hot stick, It has a blower that feeds air to the burn pot to keep the pellets burning. The controller feeds more pellets to the fire at a rate required to maintain the set point temp. that you put into the controller. You will not be able to smoke below the minimum set point allowed for the controller{usualy 180 deg. not sure on the Pellet Pro.}
    If I were you I would use PID controlled electric for heat and one off the A-Mazn products for smoke. I think you will end up with a much more easily controlled smoke if you go this way.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  17. Well this morning started to disassemble and see what was inside. There is at least 1 inch thick of tar, then some insulation. My best bet is to remove all right? Will I have to sand the wood to get it that too? What you all think? 

  18. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    I would get as much of that tar and insulation out as possible, don't through all of the tar away, see if you can find something to disolve it. Not somethig worse than the tar, try organic cleaners like simple green, or even tar remover for your car that will not harm the finish. Then clean it up as best you can with that.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  19. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    if you can tear the wood off with all the tar and insulation on it that would be best. Your not going to want the wood on there anyways.
  20. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    It looks to me like the wood is the frame of the fridge, Is it?

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