DIY electric smoker build questions

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zhaley7777

Newbie
Original poster
Dec 13, 2023
17
6
Hi all,
New to this site. I’ve made lots of snack sticks in an oven so I was looking to build my own smoker which I would like to be 6’ tall 3’ wide and 3’ deep. Also have 240v access. I was thinking of using an oven element and PID. And a smoke tube when needed. Any suggestions for elements and PID combinations you have used? Thought about using concrete board for interior and tongue and groove pine for exterior. Any suggestions? Would I also need to insulate it further?
 
Can't help on the build, but I'm sure others can.
But, welcome to the forum from New Mexico.
Glad you could join us.
 
Hi all,
New to this site. I’ve made lots of snack sticks in an oven so I was looking to build my own smoker which I would like to be 6’ tall 3’ wide and 3’ deep. Also have 240v access. I was thinking of using an oven element and PID. And a smoke tube when needed. Any suggestions for elements and PID combinations you have used? Thought about using concrete board for interior and tongue and groove pine for exterior. Any suggestions? Would I also need to insulate it further?
What are your target temps? You will need insulation if you are strictly doing electric, for the volume of air you have you’ll a good size(wattage) heating element possibly two to get your higher temps… give us an idea of what your shooting for?
 
What are your target temps? You will need insulation if you are strictly doing electric, for the volume of air you have you’ll a good size(wattage) heating element possibly two to get your higher temps… give us an idea of what your shooting for?
I would say no more than 350 degrees
 
I built one of the same size.. I used both elements (bake and broil) from a stove... Had no problem of reaching higher cooking temps, Although I never did cook that high... Only used it for low temp cooking (sausage, etc) ... I just wanted it to recover temps quicker after opening the door...

As for a PID controller... are you wanting to build one (what I did) or just get a plug and play ? Ether way you'll want one that has the ramp/soak feature.. meaning you can program it to ramp temps up slowly for sausage ... Not having to go out and move temps up manually every hour...
 
I built one of the same size.. I used both elements (bake and broil) from a stove... Had no problem of reaching higher cooking temps, Although I never did cook that high... Only used it for low temp cooking (sausage, etc) ... I just wanted it to recover temps quicker after opening the door...

As for a PID controller... are you wanting to build one (what I did) or just get a plug and play ? Ether way you'll want one that has the ramp/soak feature.. meaning you can program it to ramp temps up slowly for sausage ... Not having to go out and move temps up manually every hour...
That sounds about like what I need. Is there any way you can tell me how you built one and also do both elements run off of 1 240 v outlet. Also are both elements in the bottom of the smoker and did you use a fan?
 
tell me how you built one

On the heat elements I bent the spades (where wire plugs onto) on the bottom element UP... Then the spades on the broiler element I bent DOWN... Both 90 degrees... The bottom element should already have legs/stands on it... I made some out of plumbers strap for the top one (broiler) to sit above the bottom element to where the spades from both elements overlapped... This way I could run a screw through both spades... Then I attached my wires (using heat resistent crimp connectors) using a screw through the connector and screwd through both spades on the elements...

do both elements run off of 1 240 v outlet

Yes... Both on one circuit... It's the same thing as if you ran a cleaning cycle in an oven... It runs both elements at the same time... So no need to run two circuits...

are both elements in the bottom of the smoker and did you use a fan?

Yes... Both elements are in the bottom... I put a layer of fire bricks on the floor and then a coarse around the sides... just placed in there, no mortar ...

No fan...
 
On the heat elements I bent the spades (where wire plugs onto) on the bottom element UP... Then the spades on the broiler element I bent DOWN... Both 90 degrees... The bottom element should already have legs/stands on it... I made some out of plumbers strap for the top one (broiler) to sit above the bottom element to where the spades from both elements overlapped... This way I could run a screw through both spades... Then I attached my wires (using heat resistent crimp connectors) using a screw through the connector and screwd through both spades on the elements...



Yes... Both on one circuit... It's the same thing as if you ran a cleaning cycle in an oven... It runs both elements at the same time... So no need to run two circuits...



Yes... Both elements are in the bottom... I put a layer of fire bricks on the floor and then a coarse around the sides... just placed in there, no mortar ...

No fan...
Ok that makes sense now. Do you by chance have a wiring diagram and if I were to go plug n play with a PID they all look like they have 120v female outlets. Also what did you use as far as insulating the smoker? Sorry I have so many questions I just want to get it done right the first time. My main goal is to be able to do 100lbs of snack sticks at once and occasionally use it for smoking other things
 
Don't know where you have searched for PID's ... I use Auberins... The plug and plays are pretty pricey but they do have them for 220v...

I built mine using this controller... The 220v does not go through the controller... the controller controls an SSR relay in which the 220v goes through...


If USB port is needed/wanted then this would be the one

 
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Ok thank you for the info. I will look into that. Did you use wood for your interior of the box? And how would I go about sealing the door?
 
Mine was/is (I have a smaller house now) just a plywood (1/2") box... Since I don't do any high heat cooking in it. No door seals or anything...
 
FYI - In case you want to build your own...

 
FYI - In case you want to build your own...

That’s the best explanation I’ve seen so far as to what a PID is Has anyone used a non insulated Cres Cor 150 and insulated it? If so would that work? I found one online for a lot cheaper than I could build one
 
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FYI - In case you want to build your own...

That’s the best explanation I’ve seen so far as to what a PID is Has anyone used a non insulated Cres Cor 150 and insulated it? If so would that work? I found one online for a lot cheaper than I could build one
 
That’s the best explanation I’ve seen so far as to what a PID is Has anyone used a non insulated Cres Cor 150 and insulated it? If so would that work? I found one online for a lot cheaper than I could build one

I haven't seen anyone use that particular configuration but that would work fine.

You would have to plan for heat, air flow, drippings, meat placement and capacity limits.

If you have the skills and equipment I would try it. Not sure what you would use for insulation.

JC :emoji_cat:
 
UPDATE!!!!!!! Got the shell. Ut now I just have to decide what to use for the interior. I did some more research and seen that concrete board wasn’t the healthiest idea to use so I thought about just using plywood , not sure yet. Open to suggestions other than metal that would be too expensive.
 

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You could make it look really nice with Tongue & Groove on the inside.
Would also be solid for mounting any shelves or rails.
 
UPDATE!!!!!!! Got the shell. Ut now I just have to decide what to use for the interior. I did some more research and seen that concrete board wasn’t the healthiest idea to use so I thought about just using plywood , not sure yet. Open to suggestions other than metal that would be too expensive.
Looking good... I'm still working on mine... All wood cabinet, 220v, oven heating element, using a Auber Dual Probe PID Controller for Smoker, Oven (SMD-200A), which is 2 years old... because Auber is up to a SMD-200C... lol. I used two layers of ceramic tile to make the "pit". I really need to start a thread... since I do have a few pics. Anyway.. here is a "in progress" pic of the "floor"..
20230819_154357.jpg
 
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