Heating Element Advice

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by dan gostisha, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. dan gostisha

    dan gostisha Newbie

    I am in the process of planning and purchasing parts for my first freezer conversion.  I am using an upright freezer, internal dimensions are approx. 5'x2'x2'.  I am mainly looking to use this smoker for temps under 170.  I already have a digital controller for whatever element I get.  I will be using 1 or 2 AMNPS for smoke generation. I am just wondering what size heating element I would need for this sized smoker.

  2. That kind of depends on where you live and how you build it. 

    Happy smoken.

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well insulated, as it is, 1500 watt will be plenty.....   In a cold/hot smoker like you are building, 2-4 sq. in. air in, and 4-6 sq. in. air out will be plenty also...   I recommend exhausts on the sides of the smoker, as vents on the top, tend to drip condensate on the food...
  4. dan gostisha

    dan gostisha Newbie

    I live in wisconsin.  The inside of the smoker is already metal, aside from the door.  So I just plan on removing the shelving and sanding the walls down.  I will sheet metal the door and put new seals on.  I am planning on one vent with dampers on the bottom of each side of the smoker. Thinking of having my exhaust go out the top 1/3 of the backside of the smoker.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When you re sheet the door, I recommend removing the door....  lay on the floor with the 4 corners supported and wedged with wood shims available from a box store.....   Drill the 4 corners at the extreme edges and install sheet metal screws.....   tie strings in an X pattern across the door and make them taught....  shim the corners until the strings "just" touch in the center......   lay the new sheeting on the door and secure....   That method will insure the door will be in "plane" with the refer body and close and seal correctly.....

    I learned that method when I built my first refer smoker, and after several attempts to install the door sheeting so the door would seal....  The original door seal will have been removed and a new one will be needed....  using the existing hinges, the new seal will have to be the SAME  thickness...   I used 1/4" lath for backing and sisal, manila rope for a seal....  worked very well....  the smoker never went above 170 and was used exclusively for salmon....  Now there are better seal materials....  like pellet stove seal material....  and high temp silicone sealant to secure it...  The sealant in the pic is for high temp smokers like wood fired smokers...

  6. dan gostisha

    dan gostisha Newbie

    Great thanks for the tips on the door! Yeah this smoker won't ever go about 170 either it is going to be for sausage, jerky, fish and cheese.  I have other smokers I can use for the higher temp stuff.  mainly making this so that I can smoke larger batches at a time. And I have an upright freezer i got for free.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015

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