Electric Smokehouse Design Help

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downdabayou

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Original poster
Nov 15, 2013
14
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I am in the design stage of my smokehouse. I want to built it 3x3x6 inside dimensions. I plan on using durock cement boards on the inside with insulation and plywood exterior. I have an old MES that crapped out on me (was my primary smoker for the last 4 years) that I am think about using this for my smoke and heat chamber. I am going to connect it to the main smokehouse with a insulated tube and use a fan motor to force the heat and smoke into the smoke house. This way I can turn off the heat if i want to cold smoke. My question is, what size heat element would I need to heat the smokehouse quickly to temps around 300 if I needed it? I looked at the design on sausagemaker.com and they use a 220v, 5000w element to heat a chamber half the size I want to build. I have read on another post that you could use a TSI tubular heating element (I think he recommended a 1000w element for this size), but would this be enough to do what I need? I controlled my MES with a pid from Auberins and would like to use something similar in this build. Thanks for any suggestions!
 

daveomak

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Nov 12, 2010
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I have an old MES that crapped out on me (was my primary smoker for the last 4 years) that I am think about using this for my smoke and heat chamber.
Not a good idea....   To get the new smoker up to temp, the MES will get too hot....  Also, you don't need a smoker that goes to 300......  If you want something crisp, put it under the broiler or on the gas grill...   Use the AMNPS for a smoke generator....

Get the 220v 5000w element and controller from sausage maker to run the smoker...   that will save you headaches and you will have a great smoker...... The sell all American made stuff....  
 
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downdabayou

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Nov 15, 2013
14
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Thanks Dave,

On second thought I will design it with everything on the smokehouse like others have down here!
 

daveomak

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Nov 12, 2010
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Bayou, evening..... take pics of the build....  I love to look at smokehouses....  makes me hungry....    Dave
 

downdabayou

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Nov 15, 2013
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OK. The weather has been cold, wet and nasty lately, but I have managed to get this much done so far. I ordered some 26 gauge stainless sheet and hopefully it will be in so I can try and finish it this weekend. I have completed all the electronics and the info is in another post. Thanks to everyone on this site as I have gained a ton of knowledge from it.

It will be heated with a sausage maker 5000 watt heat element and blower and a pid controller that I made.
 

bamafan

Smoking Fanatic
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Jun 4, 2008
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Crestview Fl
Nice work. With a 5000 watt element you should get some high temps out of it. I get up to 200 in mine with a 1800 watt. I only use it for sausage and cold smoking so that's as much as I need. Look forward to the finished pictures
 

geerock

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Oct 25, 2010
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central ct
Why do you need a 5k watt element for that size smokehouse? And be sure that the PID can trigger that heater in the small bursts that it will need to do to hold steady temp.
 

downdabayou

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Nov 15, 2013
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I am definitely not an electrical person, but I think running it at 240 will be more efficient. The smokehouse is huge (36 x 39 x 72)compared to my MES I had and I wanted to make sure I had enough power for it! I guess as soon as I finish it and make a trial run I will find out.
 

jackhammer

Newbie
Jan 14, 2014
2
10
Sparta, Michigan
Nice smoke house, I never thought of a design like that. Please keep me posted on your heaters and what temp you get out of it. I'm planning on a smoker about that size myself. I want the ability to program it with a shutdown once an inside meat temp and possibly a moisture meter are meet. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks, Jack
 

logical1

Newbie
Jan 21, 2014
26
11
portland, Oregon
I second the sausage maker stuff for your house. My smokehouse is big, modeled right after the 100 pound sausagemaker. The 220 is the way to go, the forced air blower moves warm air and circulates smoke perfectly. My smoker is plenty big and anything less than the 5000 watt element would make for a long holdover waiting for my sausage to come up to finish temp.
 
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downdabayou

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Thread starter
Nov 15, 2013
14
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My Thanksgiving week project is nearing completion (6 months later). After a very cold winter, a bout with double pneumonia, and getting caught back up at work, my smoker is finally almost complete. I still need to put the racks in, put door gaskets in and paint the outside. I fired it up yesterday and got it to 180 and held it there for about 3 hours. It didn't burn down so that's always a good sign! It took about 15 mins to get to 180 so I'm glad I went with the larger element. I enjoyed every step of the build except lining the smoker with the SS sheet. OMG that was a PITA! Drilling holes through it was even more of an adventure. My controller box seems to work as planned. I was a bit nervous when I plugged it up and turned the switches on, but it fired right up. Hopefully I will be smoking next weekend!

 
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mr b

Fire Starter
Feb 24, 2015
34
18
Nice, very nice smoker....

Where you get the burner or auto pilot from...
 

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