• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Heating source for large smoker

tdnelk

Newbie
1
0
Joined Dec 3, 2020
Hi all, im new to smoking meat forums and have a question. I'm building a large smoker- 52 in by 52 in by 7 ft tall. I am looking at propane heat and want to set it up with digital automatic heat control. Does anyone have any information on where to buy that type of setup or have any experience putting one in? Thanks for any information. Tim
 

dernektambura

Smoking Fanatic
836
525
Joined Oct 12, 2017
it may (probably will) get to expensive and beat the purpose of having joy and fun smoking meat... Automatic propane/natural gas heat control and you are start getting yourself in to building fully automated furnace with smoke problem...
Indaswamp beat me posting ahead... lol...yeah... pricey...
For that size you can go electrical setup route using two dryer heaters and then install auto control... depended on are u ok with KW/hr price...
 
Last edited:

dernektambura

Smoking Fanatic
836
525
Joined Oct 12, 2017

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,222
2,879
Joined Apr 27, 2017
what I would suggest sir is to build frame above your "fire pit" and install wet furnace filters... filters will catch all impurities and hold relative humidity at proper level at smoking...
excuse my ignorance, we do not have furnaces down here...too hot in Louisiana....but what is a 'wet furnace filter'? Got a link?
 

bill1

Smoking Fanatic
699
229
Joined Apr 25, 2015
Could you consider doing the bulk of the cooking with gas, that you set at a fixed fuel consumption level but a temp ~10 degF under your desired level, and then do the final 2% of your power delivery via electric filaments? It's very cheap, easy, and effective to electrically turn resistors on and off in a thermostatic fashion. Gas burners not so much. And you can build a smoker the size of a house and still be able to accomplish precise temperature control this way with the electric power from a simple 120V/15A circuit. Large all-electric smokers have the disadvantage of needing much larger power requirements.
 

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,222
2,879
Joined Apr 27, 2017
I am working on a system that will use propane to heat 80% of the temperature needed to reach set point. That can be adjusted manually, and will remain constant. The other 20% will be variable and controlled via. a controller.

The biggest set back for an auto gas set up is the on/off cycling....just like your gas oven, it will result in huge temp. swings. Not good for smoking sausages.....

I'm still working out the kinks in the system.
 

SmokinEdge

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
650
412
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Propane with a turkey fryer type burner with a needle valve installed after the regulator is working very well for me. Not really set and forget, but once everything is warm, setting the needle valve to a constant heat is pretty easy and I can leave the smokehouse for a couple hours at a time easily.
 

bill1

Smoking Fanatic
699
229
Joined Apr 25, 2015
There's real variety on this blog over the desired level of temperature control and what constitutes good enough. Bottom line, gas systems will have 10+ degF of temp variation. If you calculate what effect that has on how the inside of a big piece of meat as it heats up, it's pretty negligible, but still, some folks want 10X better. That crowd needs electric. If you're limited to 15A standard circuits, you'll take a while to heat up if you're all electric, even with good thermal insulation. But a hybrid system, where gas provides the base and electric modulates the top, can keep both camps happy.
Of course you'll have to get some wood smoking for flavor but both methods can do that.
 

Winterrider

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
3,258
1,713
Joined Sep 29, 2018
Propane with a turkey fryer type burner with a needle valve installed after the regulator is working very well for me. Not really set and forget, but once everything is warm, setting the needle valve to a constant heat is pretty easy and I can leave the smokehouse for a couple hours at a time easily.
This has worked for me for 20+ yrs when using this smoker. Have done summer sausage, bacon, etc overnight. Not a problem.
what I would suggest sir is to build frame above your "fire pit" and install wet furnace filters... filters will catch all impurities and hold relative humidity at proper level at smoking...
And my guess on the filter situation is they would be full of your dripping rather quickly, would they not?
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.