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Chest freezer to smoker build

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by daveomak, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I purchased a chest freezer in about 1977. It is due to be converted into a smoker. Probably next summer. I will fire it with electricity.

    It is metal outside and inside w/plastic liner in the lid.

    I plan on removing the plastic lid liner and replacing it with steel or aluminum. The magnetic gasket will be replaced with (what do you suggest)? I have read where electric oven gasket is a good choice. I saw some smokers with wood stove gaskets also.

    Seems the carcase is somewhat flimsy. It twists and turns fairly easy. I noticed that while trying to level it. The lid is also flimsy. Hopefully this problem will go away when all is set in it's permanent position.

    I would like to make this an upright smoker because I have never heard of an electric fired horizontal smoker. Heat travels uphill u-know. Don't know how to make an electric horizontal smoker.

    Since this build will take some time, I first need to know if anyone has used a chest freezer for a smoker. Do I need to replace the insulation with Roxul insulation. Seems I read that here somewhere.

    How should I reinforce the chest and door to reduce the flex?

    Secondly, am I on the right track?

    Patience, patience, patience. Good food takes time to prepare. A good smoker takes time to build. Thanks, Dave
  2. I use a chest freezer to cold smoke, and thus it did not require all of the mods yours will. I use a commercial warming cabinet for my hot smoking and that just needed to have smoke added. Using a freezer and looking at how much you will have to do, it almost seems like it would be easier to start from scratch. I am interesting in how this turns out. PLease post pics and I am sure someone here can offer some sage advice.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the advice. I believe you are right about starting from scratch.

    My current meat smoker is lined with concrete board. I hauled it here when I moved. It does not work in cold weather. Too much thermal mass to get it warm. It works really well when the temp is 80+. Holds too much moisture (condensation) when colder out. Bad choice on my part. I do consider that build "a valuable learning experience".

    Since it is below freezing about 3 months of the year here, and not much to pressing stuff to tend to, I decided to build a new smoker and fill up some spare time. By the way, this ambitious project is SMF's doin'. I was perfectly happy on the tractor forum until I found you folks. Thank you very much.

    As I gather up all "your thoughts" from the posts and put it all together, I'll post somethin'. Thanks again. Dave