Help with whiskey barrel smoker design

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Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
I'm wanting to make a whiskey/wine barrel electric smoker. So here is the reason why. My daughter is getting married next June and I'd like for it to be a gift to them. I have the barrel design covered but I'm ignorant to the facts of the controller, heating element design or if it needs a fan ect. I'm from the stick burning crowd not the electric crowd.

Heating element?
Does it need a fan?
Pan and diffuser design?
Here are a few links that you might find helpful. I don't know what hazard would be present in a wood barrel with a hot heating element. Aside from a simple hotplate for heat and a steel bowl to hold the wood, an old electric skillet would work as well. But again, elements do get screaming hot till the thermostat is able to regulate the heat at a decent low and slow heat. Good luck! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.