Hello all I need help finding a electric burner for my first build.

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by newbiefrank, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    I currently have a 120v 1500w brinkman burner that I was using in my old smoker. I built a new smoker out of an old refrigerator and the burner cannot get past 190 degrees. Id like to keep the smoker a 110v system. What I dont understand is the old smoker was not insulated and almost the same cubic inches. Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

  3. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    few issues it could be or contributing at least. but need more info 

    looks like at least a 4" vent, might be drawing too much air and not allowing enough time to heat the air due to flow through., and/or your intake is too large.   you really dont need much on these size of smokers.

    how long is the power cord from the outlet and if its plugged into an extension cord than what guage is the cord and lenght? if ts a medium duty cord and longer then youll have a drop in power. 

    i use the brinkman 1500w in a fridge about the same size and only have an issue when its really full. And keep opening, (im really bad for that and its a huuge no-no)

    what are you using to control the element? thermostat, PID or unregulated and temp balanced with venting
  4. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    had the same problem when it gets real cold so i put another burner above, one out of a 110v hot plate. have it on its own switch. when i get up to temp the 1500w brinkman can take over, sometimes i just run both.

    i also have the bottom of the smoker lined with fire bricks and this element set up sits on that

  5. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    I have a six inch exhaust. When testing I taped it almost shut. That is when I hit 190. Also when testing I had intakes almost closed. The burner has a thermostat but i removed it to ensure that was not the problem. I plan on reducing exhaust to 3". Also intend on installing another burner in series and running it on 220. If anyone has a better idea please let me know. Id like to get smoking soon. Thanks for the help.
  6. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic


    my fridge is not much different than yours and i smoked 3 briskets outside at 225 for several hours with no issue. and is -30C to -35C.

    using the same element. It tames some time to get up to temp in that cold, but once its there it recovers pretty good and doesnt fluctuate at all once there. 

    where is your thermometer located to monitor house temp?
  7. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    The thermostat/thermometer is halfway up on the back wall. I also have a thermometer in front door. They only protrude a inch or two. I had it plugged into a 3' 30amp cord to reach the outlet. What size intake and exhuast do u have. I'm wondering if that is my main issue. Because my previous smoker was a wood box with the same element and it had no problems. It was almost the same cubic inches. Thats why I have been dumbfounded. Im planning on reducing exhaust to 3". The intakes can close so im not to concerned about them.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like all the heat from the burner is heating the lower box and all it's thermal mass..... You only need 4-6 small 1" holes for ventilation in an electric smoker... Can you open up the opening between the heating chamber and the smoking chamber...
    Totally close the exhaust and fire it up... add smoke.... check for air leaks... small air leaks will kill your heat.... and make for cold spots in the smoker....

    That thing should work awesome once you get stuff figured out.... 1500 watts is more than enough...
  9. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    DaveOmac the opening between the upper and lower compartment is 18" * 5". Do you think the opening needs to be larger? The cross section of the inside is 24" * 14". For the intake i have two 4" holes on right side and three 3" holes on left side. They all can be completly closed. I think the seal is very good but I will check with exhuast sealed. Thankyou for your help.
  10. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    I have a 4.5 cu. ft. converted refrigerator. I am using a 300 watt halogen lamp as the heat source. It seems to me that the PID controlled lamp only needs to be on 1/2 the time to keep temperature to 190F, which is the maximum temperature I normally smoke food.

    My smoker uses a cold smoke generator, and the exhaust pipe is only 1 1/2" diameter. I get very nice smoked food with my setup.

  11. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Test the element.  It could be going bad.

    If you take an ohm meter set to measure ohms, unplug the element and measure the resistance between the two blades of the element power plug (the two flat blades, not the round ground), the resistance for a 120v 1,500 watt element should be 9.6 ohms. Make sure you set the meter dial for the low end of the ohm range or it may look like the display is showing 0.00.  If the reading is much higher than that, then it is failing and cannot provide the rated heat.  You will not need to take it out of the cabinet to do this, just unplug the element and measure at the plug. 
  12. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Agree with Dave, seems that there is likely an issue getting the hot air into the smoke house from the lower chamber. 

    Worth testing the element, but looks more like an issue with the separate compartments and flow through. 
  13. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    I agree the exhaust is way too big.

    Also, check to see if you have a wrong 1500 watt element. May be it is 1500 watts for 240VAC, which will give you only about 450 watts of heat.

    A heating element works exactly like a light bulb. If it is going bad, it goes bad very quickly, Very hot for a few minutes, then dead.

  14. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    I am in the processes of making the hole between the two compartments larger. I will let you know if that takes care of it. I am also reducing the exhuast. Thank you for the help.
  15. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

  16. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    Thankyou all for the advice. After enlarging the hole between the upper and lower compartment, and decreasing the exhuast to 3". The smoker is hitting temps writhe the 1500 watt electric burner. The advice saved me from running 220. Saved me quite a bit of $$$.

    So again thank you.
  17. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    NIIIICE!!!! that unit is going to be as awesome as it looks!!

    If you pick up an AMZN smoker youll be able to cold smoke too.

    What are you using to control it?
  18. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    I am using a Dual Mini Temperature Controller. It is not wired yet but it will be soon. I do have the AMZN smoker but I have not had a chance to use it yet. Im hoping to break her in this weekend with a few pork butts.
  19. newbiefrank

    newbiefrank Newbie

    No I wish I had that one, it was my first choice. I had to settle for a cheaper controller for the time being. I will eventually order that. I have the maverick to monitor the food temp.this is what i am using as a controller. I had to add a larger relay to handle the amperage of the burner. I think it should work for now. http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=111040589656&alt=web

Share This Page