Commercial refrigerator build need help please

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Fireman_81

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Original poster
Oct 20, 2021
8
2
Hey everyone I am going to attemp to convert this into a smoker for doing sausage in. According to the specs it has polyurethane insulation in it and from what I am reading and from the refrigeration guy I talked to said I will not have to take the insulation out of it. I do need some ideas on how to build this though. I was curious what everyone thinks I will need for a burner and also what peoples opinions were on putting a smoker generator on it instead of a wood chip/chunk box inside of it.
any help on this would be much appreciated.
Thanks
 

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I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. I plan to build a large smoker myself once I finish the project I'm on now. My plans (in my head) are very close to what you have as a base.

Are you thinking electric or gas? Im leaning to electric due to the tight control you get fro PID controllers.

Corey
 
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We love DIY smoking projects here but I have to say that looks like an awfully nice 'fridge. Does it work as a fridge? If so, you might get more Money for it as is and then buy a commercial smoker unit you can use as is or a really cheap starter unit that you can DIY and still come out money ahead.
 
Nice box. I would go electric burner(s) for heat. Depends on how fancy you want to get, but you could go full PID control and have it all run off your phone and be fully automated. That’s a lot of know how this hay seed can’t help with, but if you search these forums, they have been built here with step by steps. I’m more old school and run a wooden smokehouse with a PID controller (me) running it. I manage heat and smoke manually.
 
I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. I plan to build a large smoker myself once I finish the project I'm on now. My plans (in my head) are very close to what you have as a base.

Are you thinking electric or gas? Im leaning to electric due to the tight control you get fro PID controllers.

Corey
Cory, im going to do gas just so i dont have to run it on 220. I really have no idea what i am doing so i will need as much help as i can get! 🤣
 
We love DIY smoking projects here but I have to say that looks like an awfully nice 'fridge. Does it work as a fridge? If so, you might get more Money for it as is and then buy a commercial smoker unit you can use as is or a really cheap starter unit that you can DIY and still come out money ahead.
The fridge does not work anymore. My friend who owns a bakery gave it to me because the compressor is shot. Inside dimensions 52" wide 60" tall and 27" deep. I am curious what to use or how big of a burner to use. I am planning on using this for smoking deer sausage so my max temp will be 180 or slightly higher. Got any ideas on burners and what I should be doing? lol
 
That fridge looks kinda familiar! Kinda looks like this one...

20211103_090942.jpg


Just to give you some ideas...



20211103_091127.jpg


No, I don't leave my kettle in there while I'm using the big one. But I have used my kettle and my mes 30 while sitting in there ( colder and windier than all get out days!).
The burner I use is just a 3 burner cast iron, $10 garage sale finds.

20211103_091142.jpg


The racks are out of old ovens. But being you want to mainly smoke sausage you will most likely want to set rods up so you can hang them.

20211103_091205.jpg


I only have one permanent rod that runs the entire width of smoker... stainless steel pipe I had laying around. It's at the top in the center... originally used it to hang bacon but usually just lay it on racks now. I did buy some stainless steel rods that the racks sit on... 2 for each level.

Ryan
 
I apologize for this being so long! I'm about done lol. Another look at top of smoker

20211103_091158.jpg


I did add a box on the side that I could use charcoal or wood in but really don't use it.


20211103_091250.jpg


As far as for smoke... I basically only use an amnps tray with pellets. Its so simple, gives you hours of tbs smoke. The burner works fine for me but depending on where you live and ambient temps would make a difference of what you need for a burner. If I can find it I'll try to find some info on a burner and a needle valve that Pop's used in his smokehouse build, or you can search for it.

I used a hole saw to cut the hole. My intake is on bottom right hand side.

Ryan
 
I apologize for this being so long! I'm about done lol. Another look at top of smoker

View attachment 515366

I did add a box on the side that I could use charcoal or wood in but really don't use it.


View attachment 515367

As far as for smoke... I basically only use an amnps tray with pellets. Its so simple, gives you hours of tbs smoke. The burner works fine for me but depending on where you live and ambient temps would make a difference of what you need for a burner. If I can find it I'll try to find some info on a burner and a needle valve that Pop's used in his smokehouse build, or you can search for it.

I used a hole saw to cut the hole. My intake is on bottom right hand side.

Ryan
I was thinking of using a smoke generator to keep from having to deal with the wood chips in a pan but I haven’t decided yet. Thoughts about a fan to circulate the heat and keep it more consistent temp throughout the smoker?
 
I was thinking of using a smoke generator to keep from having to deal with the wood chips in a pan but I haven’t decided yet. Thoughts about a fan to circulate the heat and keep it more consistent temp throughout the smoker?
Wood chips in a pan would be a pain ! That's what I originally started doing. Don't think you could keep your temps low enough and keep them burning. My one amnps tray is in pic sitting on burner... that's where most of the smoke came from in mine. From what I've read most of the smoke generators are either really costly or their fuel is or they produce white billowing smoke... bad!

Ryan
 
Forgot about fan question! I wouldn't worry about it to begin with. Get it built then test it out with several test probes if you have them. Or I have seen guys take muffin or biscuit dough and place around inside of smoker in different areas to check for hot and cold spots.

Ryan
 
Couple other ideas to think about... cuz I'm contemplating them also. Put a partition in center of smoker and only smoke using one side. Would have to add different exhaust for me going out back of smoker at the top but I only use one side anyway. For you it depends on how much sausage you would do at one time. If you planned on using your whole smoker and doing a big batch that will be a huge temp sink and would make a difference on your burner.

Ryan
 
Couple other ideas to think about... cuz I'm contemplating them also. Put a partition in center of smoker and only smoke using one side. Would have to add different exhaust for me going out back of smoker at the top but I only use one side anyway. For you it depends on how much sausage you would do at one time. If you planned on using your whole smoker and doing a big batch that will be a huge temp sink and would make a difference on your burner.

Ryan
I am planning on using the whole smoker as we do 150 -200 lbs of ring bologna each year and have been messing around with small smokers and im tired of smoking it an entire weekend
 
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Maybe indaswamp indaswamp can chime in with what he recommends, he makes a ton of sausage. Also SmokinEdge SmokinEdge just did some hams in his smokehouse, not sure or can't remember if he does alot of sausage but has some good pics of what he uses and at different temps. I'll tag you in his post also.

Ryan
 
Maybe indaswamp indaswamp can chime in with what he recommends, he makes a ton of sausage. Also SmokinEdge SmokinEdge just did some hams in his smokehouse, not sure or can't remember if he does alot of sausage but has some good pics of what he uses and at different temps. I'll tag you in his post also.

Ryan
Will also be doing summer sausage and like I said we have been messing around with the small smokers and it takes too long
 
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If you want to go gas, I also run this burner in my smokehouse, it’s what’s in there now, but up here as the season gets colder it’s not enough btu to keep up with a full smoker and cold ambient temps.
E8B27E7B-85C3-4364-8281-D8D203AB868D.png

That’s when I switch to the big burner.
7E4A05B7-397E-4F92-B36F-63D74A45CBA8.jpeg

This set up works good, but you need a good air source and exhaust, and keep an eye on things because I have had the fire go out before and it was just pumping raw propane into the smoker making a bomb. I’m just a simple country kid so I haven’t added any safety measures.
On warm days I use the northern tool burner because there are three separate valves controlling three different burners. This allows pretty decent control of temp. In my 3x3x7 box (non insulated) with cold temps outside it just isn’t enough btu to get 150* IT in product especially if I have a full box. I’m at 6400’ elevation so the air is thin up here and that doesn’t help with btu output.
 
I have had the fire go out before and it was just pumping raw propane into the smoker making a bomb.


This is why I urge the both of you to PLEASE use all the FAIL SAFE parts needed to correct this problem... Get the controller that cuts the gas off if flame goes out ... A few dollars is not worth a few lives ...

If that's not doable then I urge you to go with electric... Which is better in my opinion anyways.. Program it and let it run overnight with no worries of flame going out....
 
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and also what peoples opinions were on putting a smoker generator on it instead of a wood chip/chunk box inside of it.
Bradley sells their smoke generator separately but they can get expensive to run with the price of their pucks.
 
Bradley sells their smoke generator separately but they can get expensive to run with the price of their pucks.
I was considering using Bradley smoke gen also but the size would probably require 2 and i agree, pucks would be expensive.

Corey
 
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