First smoker build question

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montana smoke

Original poster
Feb 21, 2017
Hey guys, I am building my first homemade smoker and would love some advice. I am using a 120 gal propane tank to build a vertical smoker. I really want it be electric with a thermostat so it will maintain constant temp. I tried a 1500 Watt hotplate in it last night to see if would work. It got to 100 degrees inside temp and that was it. My plan B is to use parts from an old electric oven. My thought is to cut the base plate out of it with the heating element attached and cut a hole in the middle to mount one of the big elements from the top in it. I want to use the controls from the oven/stove so that I can use the middle element as a constant heat source for smoking chips and the the oven element to provide supplement heat when needed and help maintain a constant temp.  Has anyone attempted this before or have any input on this. From what I understand most ovens don't work well when set under 200 degrees so maybe a PID controller in the mix?

I will attach a pic of the smoker so far.
Will an oven element fit inside the diameter of the tank? depending on the shape of the element, you could probably drill some hole for the leads to come out and a wire bracket to support it on the inside -OR- You can buy unbent straight but bendable elements in the "green" form where the internal packing ceramic is cured in the final shape after bending by the heat of the element being used for the first time.... personally I'd try to find one that fits from a poplular oven to ensure cheap and readily available replacements .

Most oven controllers won't even heat below 170*

Looks like you have easily 2-3 time the cubic feet that I do, but I'm building with a 2600watt baking element and building a pid. 

I would strongly recommend an "AMNPS MOD"... search "MB MOD" ... Then you can get the exact smoke you want without the burner element interfering with flareups of your chips/pellets, etc. Then you can also use it to cold smoke without the problems of heat from chips and elements.
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