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Looking for some advice on a SS chest build


Joined Nov 12, 2020
Hello All, I'm stuck on a build direction. I picked up a free Stainless Steel chest style towel heater ( chattanooga hydrocollator ) . With the current element and controller it will run at 165F but I believe I can get it go over 200F . Thats about perfect for what I smoke. I also have another element I can rob from my barrel smoker if needed. That's not my hurtle, do I keep it as a chest or flip it on it's side ? It's the appox size of a 7cu ft chest freezer. I believe it's insulated except for the door. If I keep it as a chest . I only have to make some racks and I will probably loose some rack space to access my smoke pan. I even considered a side hatch to add in wood. If I flip it I will have to make racks , move the wheels, and move the element, possibly loosing the controller aspect.

I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel here and there must be a reason almost all the smokers I see are vertical and not a chest style..

Hit me with your knowledge




Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 13, 2019
Nice grab. I would buy a smoke tube and give that a try before doing any major surgery. Should work good for bacon/summer sausage/jerky type cooks. Then if not happy get out the tools. Good Luck!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
The insulation will be the deciding factor imo, you can get controllers to run it to what ever temp you want, that would make a great low temp smoker for sausage ect, leave this post up for a couple days before you jump on a direction

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