Need Help! FWE E960 Food Warmer Conversion

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Original poster
Jan 15, 2014
Hi All,

I am new to the forums here but have read some really good info so far!  I am thinking some of you may have some good insight on what I need to do with this project...  Recently my workplace was going to throw out a FWE E960 food warmer.  I scored it for $100... It is a double door warmer with convection fans in it etc.  All works except for 1 element I found out today...  It is supposed to hold temps of up to 190F.  I could only get it to go up to 140 or 150 in 2 hrs...  After a little looking I found a dead element.  These can be replaced for like $60...

I would like to be able to smoke at 225F for butts ribs brisket etc...  I also smoke a ton of sausage and jerky etc.  This would work perfect for that but I need a hotter temp for the briskets \ butts.

 I also have a converted fridge smoker with a robert shaw rheostat and an oven element (small one) that works great...  I thought about gutting it and moving everything over to the FWE but think I would need a bigger element.

The FWE's inside dimensions are as follows: 44" W x 48" H x 24" D...  That is the area I would need to heat.  Any Ideas in elements rheostats etc?  I plan on making or purchasing a smoke generator to provide smoke so I can cold smoke in it as well...  All ideas welcome!  Experiences etc.  I just dont want to buy the wrong stuff or if I could use the stuff I have I will...  The rheostat for the fridge runs off 220...  The FWE is 110 has 3x 500W elements... Pics below.

Any Ideas Fellas?

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Is it possible to replace the existing 500w elements with larger ones that would still fit? Perhaps something that could all run off 220v. That would be my first option.
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I dont know...  I am far from an electrician! lol.  I dont know how all of the internals would work when doing so...  I considered calling FWE or a repair place to find out the same.  Just want to do it the cheapest route.  I found out a new 500W element to replace the broken one is between $60 and $120 depending upon the website selling it...  The $60 is out of stock... go figure.
New question...  And still haven't gutted this thing...

I know that prior the 3 500W 110 elements would only bring me up to about 200 deg....  But is that because the rheostat for it only goes to that temp?  So, I'm thinking to myself, "gee Mr. Obvious, if the dial only goes so high, thats probably whats limiting you!"

Anyway, What would happen if I put a 1275W 220 oven element in this thing?  I have an old oven sitting around, and took the temp probe, rheostat, and bake\broil switch out of it...  It will allow me to set the rheostat to 450 deg. if need be, but would it heat 30 Cu. feet? the smoker is about 4 times as big as the oven is...

Any help is much appreciated!  I just want to get this thing going.
I would stay with the original wiring and elements, its good to go as is just by replacing the 1 bad element. You really only need to get it to 250 at the most and depending on what your planning on smoking that may be rarely. If you can change the controls to get that extra 50 then you don't have to do any thing but decide the smoke source and what you are going to smoke first

Id go either amazin smoker or smoke daddy.

you could likely remove the controls panel and put a pid controller. There should be plenty of room to make a new control panel and put your own controls in it.

you may want to consider a fan to move the smoke around. that's a pretty big space that will have issues moving the smoke around evenly.
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