New Smoker Help

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by popcan33, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    Hey guys, what a great forum. I am new and can’t believe how much info there is on here!

    I am new to the forum but not new to smoking. Are family owned a butcher shop and we did smoke meat as well. I bought this smoker from a friend for $100. It needs new guts (thermostat, heat, ect). I have done quite a bit of reading here but thought I would show you what I have and hopefully help me outfit it.

    The smoker has two 26x26 by 56in tall chambers. There is a barrier in the middle but has openings for the smoke/heat to travel between the two. There is one chimney and four doors. I have attached pictures of the outside and inside.

    I was thinking electric heat as from what I read it is easier to control. I have a few hundred to spend. So….what do you think.

    The pictures are out of order...cant fingure this posting thing out. They are of the front and back and show inside the smokehouse. This first one is the barrier.

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  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF please don't forget to make a thread in the Roll Call section. Looks like a great project what kind of heat was he running in it before you got it?
     
  3. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    The guy who had it before put a turkey fryer burner in there before. I want to make it a lot nicer than that. I was told that it was in a Chinese/oriental food restaurant as a barbecue beef cooker? I know it will make a great smoker once I outfit it!
     
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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    Now it does look like you have your work cut out for yourself now. But once your done you should have a nice smoker. I think that gas might be the way to go with that smoker for electric sort of heat seems a little small for all that area. I would think on means of a turkey fryer setup sounds like the way to go. Then after you make this decision then you can stop into Roll Call like Jerry said.
     
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I've kinda thought about something along those lines and my thought was to strip out parts from an old electric range it would mean using 220 but shouldn't be hard to do nor expensive
     
  6. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    My first thought was gas as well but from what I have read it is very hard to control the temp? Is there a way to put gas on a thermostat?
     
  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I was thinking about an electric oven I think it would have better temperature control but again it would be 220 volt if you used a standard old stove to strip out the parts from
     
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not all that familiar with gas stoves but the are thermostatically controlled, maybe find an old gas stove locally and gut it out for the parts.
     
  9. hello popcan,

    the bit of info about the unit being in a Chinese restaurant may be more help full than you think, I own a similar unit it is made in New York by a company named TOWN makers of Chinese/ Mongolian design smokers, they are gas fired, thermo shut off, there is a water pan over the burners and a chip box and deflector metal that when the grease drips on it it turns to smoke also. this design you can cook ribs in 1hour and they fall off the bone using higher heat, not so sure if yours is a Town due to the 4 door design if that is what I see from your pic,s. If it was mine I think I would rip apart a large char broiler type BBQ and use that as your heat. I found the web site so you can see what I am talking about.http://townfood.com/ranges_smokehouses.html  If you go this route be sure to add the water pan it will steam your meat with the smoke. hope this all helps with your decision.

    WOLF
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  10. harryho

    harryho Smoke Blower

  11. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    That does help...thanks. I am very good at putting things together once I know what to get. I emailed them and asked them for a price list. I bet they will tell me what I will need and can find it cheaper elsewhere. I have a propane burning oven so I guess you could set it up the same way? It would be nice if someone with major skills would do a write up on how to set up a propane burner with a pilot/safe light, thermostat, etc! I know you out there!
     
  12. harryho

    harryho Smoke Blower

    A couple of things.........

    - Pilot/Safe Light - Most propane camper burners and some turkey fryers have their own push button piezo-electric starters. You can use the same for your project.

    - Thermostat - The need for a thermostat should be pretty minimal. The beauty of a gas/propane smoker is that temperature control is pretty easy unless you want a smoker that would be Ronco-Showtime-ish.....Set it and Forget it.  I have a propane smoker and have done overnighters more than just a few times. Once you have the burners set to where temperatures are pretty stable, It is basically on cruise control. The key is to keep a close watch on the smoker until it ramps up to temperature and observe the chamber temps as it stabilizes for at least several minutes. Once the chamber temperatures are stable, I just check on it on a regular basis until the meat temps have been reached.
     
  13. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    I would go propane on that rig.  Its pretty easy to build your own burners that will fit this application.  Check out this site http://www.tejassmokers.com/index.html and give Jim a call.  He will tell you everything you need to know.  He helped me out a ton on my build.

    If you go electric, you are pretty much stuck using this only in places you can get the proper supply of power.  With gas, you can go anywhere.  That is if this is going to be portable.
     
  14. smokey paul

    smokey paul Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have never built or use a big rig smoker but reading all the idea for how to control the "heat" and all i was thinking about a propane water heater. I know they start and stop at temp. May have to come up with a different way to check temp because you don't have a water tank, but the temp probe should work in air also MAYBE??

    .02 of a way to do it..

    Good smoking...
     
  15. harryho

    harryho Smoke Blower

    It might work if you can verify the operating ranges of both the thermostat and the probe. But you bring up a good point.......if popcan wants a complete temperature control unit, the automatic gas valves are available and you can put in a PID control unit to control the chamber temps if you want.
     
  16. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    Thats what I am talking about. I have been doing a ton of reading and found that you can use the gas control valve. I think that I need to find a "dual" gas control valve that will handle two pilot lights since I have two chambers?
     
  17. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    What BTU calculator do you guys use?
     
  18. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    does anyone know of a controller that will handle two pilot lights?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  19. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

  20. popcan33

    popcan33 Newbie

    Just put a gas control valve in. Works awsome. Hopefully going to smoke some salmon this weekend.

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