Commercial Fridge acquired help needed

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by txq4u, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. txq4u

    txq4u Newbie

    I have read thread after thread after thread .  with only one vaguely similar.  My over all goal is I would like to make it into a wood smoker for that low n slow smoke....

    Please help......
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wood smoker ??  Like build a fire to heat that unit...   How are you planning on keeping the temperature low enough to smoke food... 

    What temps are you planning on operating it at..   

    A 1500 watt electric element will probably heat that well insulated unit to 300 deg. F...  A smoke generator like the AMNPS or AMNTS will generate plenty of quality smoke for hours... up to 11 hours with the AMNPS and about 4-5 with the AMNTS, which provides about twice the smoke as the AMNPS....
  3. txq4u

    txq4u Newbie

    TX Low - N - Slow baby.  NEVER to exceed 300.  :) ,  And electric smoker isnt real smoking.  I have read sever builds and I know i need to insulate it as I would if making an electric and then some.  I have see large one converted and use a propane with charcoal basket.  I could do a charcoal fire box and throw chunks of wood vs  a complete wood burner.  I just dont know how to feed the smoke into the unit.
    tiggyt likes this.
  4. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    OMG  [​IMG]
  5. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your first hurdle is to get the blown in foam insulation out and replace it with rockwool or mineral wool insulation (or if you feel real frisky ceramic kiln insulation).  The blown in foam in 99.9% of the refrigerator units is not going to hold up to even a low temp smoke of 225* without starting to break down.  Worse, if it starts to smolder most blown in foam insulation gives off horrible fumes and can catch fire at a very low temp.

    I don't know about propane or wood in that cabinet.  You might be able to design something, but most folks go with electric for heat and either an external smoke generator of a pellet tray/tube for smoke source.  I've never used one of these, but it looks wicked cool and appears to be made for a cabinet build.  And it uses easy to find pellets!!!!

  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't want to be the "harbinger of doom" for this project but I would be very wary about using that commercial fridge for hot smoking. I recently acquired two of them - one for hot smoking (the same as you) and the other for cold smoking. On researching its construction though I found that these fridges almost all use polyurethane foam as their insulation. This is not a problem with the temperatures used in cold smoking but they are unsuitable for use at higher temperatures. Many of the rigid polyurethane foams used for thermal insulation start to break down at about 250 C (482 F) with some starting to decompose as low as 150 C (300 F). The composition products can be quite nasty and include appreciable quantities of hydrogen cyanide, acetonitrile, acrylonitrile, benzonitrile and other equally nasty compounds.

    I know you said that you never intend to exceed temperatures of 150 C (300 F) but that will be average cooking chamber temperatures. Your fire box is likely to be far hotter than this at times, especially if your temperature regulation fails to work properly at any point. With the old style fridges you could fairly easily clean out the old insulation and replace it with something heat stable like rockwool bur these modern fridges have the foam pumped in as a fluid and then it sets solid. It is almost impossible to remove without destroying the fridge. 

    After doing my research (which eventually included contacting the original manufacturing factory in China!) I found out exactly which type of foam they used and decided that it was just too much of a risk to use for hot smoking. I therefore abandoned the idea and only made the cold smoker.

    Before you continue with this project you may want to make absolutely sure you know what is being used as insulation in that fridge.
  7. That fridge would make an awesome hot smoker of you are willing to rip it apart change the insulation cut it up add a chimney maybe a separate door to add wood. Or easier could add a pellet pro. Hope to see your progress.

Share This Page