Coldspot ELECTRIC Fridge Build. Request Advice EXHAUST SIZE , Thermocouple placement, and Door Gaske

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 10, 2014
Green Bay, WI
Problem #1 SOLVED (see post 6)

I was unable to get ALL of the miserable BLACK SEALANT TAR &$^%#$%^ out:

-I used a putty knife

-I used acetone

-I used Lacquer Thinner

... I re-read forum post's... and found something I missed a: HEAT GUN.... Used that.. worked way better

-I then Pressure washed (that did almost next to nothing)

I came to the conclusion that this black sealant crud is in the folds of this fridge and unless I cut out/remove the bottom of the fridge, I will NOT be able to get it all... please see pictures and tell me what you think... how big of a problem is it?.

Problem #2 SOLVED (going with a single exhaust straight out the top of the back, either 2" or 3" I don't know which size yet)

I don't know what to do about the placement of the stack. I have seen TWO different designs. Design 1: has a stack straight out the TOP or one out the back from near the top. Design 2:  has TWO outlets out the back  One near the TOP and one in near the MIDDLE leading to the same stack. .. I want to do things RIGHT the first go around.

-If I did Design 2, I would use 2" black pipe out the back with a BALL VALVE on each outlet leading to the stack so I could control the flow and which outlet I want to use.... but.. is there a reason WHY I would want to shut off the TOP outlet and only use the Middle outlet?

Problem #3

Should I bother to use a face dial mechanical thermometer drilled through the side/back/door? If so, in what location? ALSO what location for the PID thermocouple? (middle, high, etc?) (I'll be using a Maverick 733 also....)

Problem #4

I still need to get a Door Gasket. I was going to probably get a Tadpole design one and use the screws on the door panel to secure it. I need about 12' and I have a .350" gap to fill.... so I assume a 3/8" gasket would be too loose and I'll need a 1/2" for a tight seal? Looking for the best options.

Aside from those issues, This is what I have cooking:

-Electric 115v 1500watt Brinkmann Heating Element.

-Bunch of stuff from CHINA off fleabay to build a PID that will be located in the bottom area.

-AMNPS that will be in a metal box, with a door that has intake dampeners which will also be in the lower area and a 2" pipe connecting it to the BOTTOM of the smoker area.

-Lowes with ROXUL is 1.5 hours from me ONE WAY... so I bought this other Thermafiber MINERAL WOOL Ultrabatt from Menards Made from mostly recycled stuff..... it must be better than the smelly fiberglass from 6 or 7 decades ago that was in there?

-Stainless Door skin from a VIKING Professional unit (.047" or 18 Gauge) that worked as an inner skin to the fridge door AND the remaining pieces were welded to the INNER shell of the Fridge.

-4 Chrome plated oven racks... that fit PERFECT... but I don't know what they came out of?

-Welded 1/4" grade 5 nuts to the inner fridge shell so that I can screw in stainless studs OR bolt in whatever I think of in the future.

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I would either cut the bottom out or build a false bottom to seal off the gunk.

For exhaust venting I would install one vent on the back da high as possible. I'd make it 3"-4". You could use a floor register that has operable shutters. You will want some sort of air intake as low as possible or you won't have any draft and you will end up with stale air.

I wouldn't put a vent 1/2 way up. Your heat will want to escape there and you will run into problems with your upper racks being cooler.

I'd give the 1500 watt burner a test run before fully assembling too make sure it has enough juice to get the temps where they need to be. That's a big box for a small burner.
I used varsol to get rid of the residual blacl tar. then wash with "sunlight" liquid soap... its what is used at my buddies machine shop to cut the grease and solutions.

of i would make another smoker i would put the vent high out the back as i do get some creosote dripping down on my heat dispenser pan now and then. ihave 1 thermometer from my PID and 1 from my Maverick... seems enough for me.

door gasket i used and is AWESOME !!!!


I'll keep working the black sealant issue then.. that stuff is INBETWEEN the sheets when they put the fridge together... so even If I get all I can, there will still be some you can never get to.... I'm thinking of using a weed burner maybe...

Is 2" too small of an intake and exhaust?... I can only find black iron pipe up to 2".. I wanted to use threaded pipe so I can take this thing apart in the future to replace the insulation if it ever gets soaked or something. (still planning on ONE in the floor for intake and ONE HIGH in the BACK for the exhaust now.

What is the recommended location/height of the PID and TEMPGAUGE?

The box is only 16" x 21" x 38" which isn't MUCH bigger than the MES40 with a 1200watt element, and insulated better so I'm hoping the 1500watt element will do its job. ... (well maybe it is TWICE the size a MES40 I read online has 3.4cubic feet of "cooking" space/5875cubic inches and mine is 7.4 cubic feet/12768 cubic inches of TOTAL space inside)

It "worked" in the drafty round "gourmet" brinkmann smoker that had TWO staked on top of each other. (It has a base to put it on a weber charcoal grill, the 1500watt electric element base, and a propane base.... it's nice to be able to move the whole stack from one source to the other while smoking... I had to bring some sausage up finishing temps when I was in a rush ONCE (had an appointment and didn't give myself enough time before starting) so I moved it from the electric to the propane to get the job DONE....

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I heated it with MAPP GAS torch just to see what it would do....

I hit it with brake cleaner (as you can see I buy the stuff by the case and clean everything with it, the thought crossed my mind, but I didn't actually bother to use it until you said suggested it (thanks RADIO GUY!!!)

BRAKE CLEANER cuts it like HOT BUTTER!!!! ..

It is STILL in all the seams, you can hit it with brake clean, wipe it 100% clean, and it will still ooze out of the seams.... see pictures..

So I used a combination of BRAKE CLEANER and PRESSURE WASHING.... and.... it is STILL in there/BUT mostly gone... and it is just as clean as ANY OTHER FRIDGE SMOKER out there originally made with this black sealant because unless you destroy the fridge to clean the seams.... that stuff is STILL in there!

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loos great, but wasn't necessary.

the goop in the outer shell doesn't really matter. its very well insulated from the low heat of the smoke

the 1500welement is more than eough to get that little space over 450f if left on.
If I did Design 2, I would use 2" black pipe out the back with a BALL VALVE on each outlet leading to the stack so I could control the flow and which outlet I want to use.... but.. is there a reason WHY I would want to shut off the TOP outlet and only use the Middle outlet?

go straight out the back or if you have the room go out the top with a 90degree elbow then out the ba. I did this with my last build and it work awesome. The elbow out the top of the tub fits between the tub and the shell, it angle down slightly so that moisture and tar don't run down onto the food but down and out the vent. I can get better pics from he insode and the back later this week, I sold this smoker to a customer for his restaurant

MADMAN MIKE, Is that 2" exhaust? Do you think 3" would be TOO BIG on an electric smoker? (heat retention issues)  What door gasket did you use?

I was thinking the same think about the temps and the insulation in regard to that black sealant, especially after I saw that the there was no way to get it all and the stuff doesn't even BURN under MAPP GAS....

Where should I place the Thermocoupler for the PID and should I put a Manual Temp Gauge through the side? (I'll have a Maverick 733 on it too)

Any other screw in door gasket options? I was looking for maybe a silicon coated fiberglass?
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