Quick, easy, and removable Mod for my new PK 100 smoker

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kevin james

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jul 30, 2012
455
343
Sacramento, CA
So I recently purchased a PK 100 electric smoker, specifically to use for ultra low temp smokes on sausage, jerky, snack sticks, and bacon. The smoker is built like a tank, it's 100% stainless steel inside and out, and it's fully insulated. It's also very consistent with temp swings of only +/- 3-4 degrees, and from the bottom rack to the top rack it runs within one degree. I really couldn't be happier with it... except for one thing, and I knew this going in to it, but also had an idea I thought would adequately address the one dislike.

The one thing I dislike, is the way it generates smoke. Basically, it is dependent on the heat generated from the burner, as you sit a stainless steal bowl filled with dampened saw dust right on top of the burner. This was a concern because most often, I will be smoking in the 140-150 degree range for the items noted above, which is obviously a very low temp. While it isn't a problem now, I'm concerned it will be in the summer as it can and does easily get up to 110 degrees in the Sacramento area where I am, so the burner won't have to work very hard to raise the temp in the chamber by 30-40 degrees, especially since it's fully insulated and retains heat very well. I'm just not sure if it will generate much if any smoke under those conditions.

I had a feeling the solution would be to separate the smoke generation from the heat generation by using an A-Maze-N pellet tray. I tried this out when I was testing the unit a couple of weeks ago, and it worked great, but the perfectionist in me wanted to take it a step further to make it even better.

So... I ordered a 12" x 12" piece of 7 guage carbon steel from onlinemetals.com, and built a small defuser that sits right over the burner using some 1 1/4" long machine screws as legs, and the A-Maze-N pellet tray sits right on top of it. The thought is that the defuser will catch any ash from the pellet tray and keep it from getting on the burner, and it will allow the tray to sit dead center in the cabinet right in front of the damper in the front door, giving plenty of access to oxygen to keep the tray going. I say that because I originally bought the A-Maze-N tray to use in a MES 30 about a decade ago (MES is long since dead and gone), and I always had problems keeping it lit due to insufficient oxygen no matter what I tried. This on the other hand should work perfectly.

About to test it right now with a batch of jerky and will report back.

And now for some pics:

The smoker itself:
PK100-Smoker-1.jpg

This is the burner inside of the unit:
20221111-104140.jpg

And the sawdust bowl it was designed to use to generate smoke:
20221111-104220.jpg

Here is the defuser, The 1 1/4" screws were the perfect size to lift it up just enough over the burner with plenty of room above it:
20221111-103702.jpg

A top view with the A-Maze-N tray sitting on top:
20221111-103724.jpg

A View through the damper showing the tray right there:
20221111-103813.jpg

And a close up through the damper:
20221111-103941.jpg
 
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sawhorseray

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Oct 17, 2014
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Gilbert, AZ
I got my Pro 100 from Cabelas 17 years ago on a trip home from Reno, we lived in Elk Grove. I got it for the express purpose of smoking sausage, it's a beautiful piece of gear that does a fantastic job and has never let me down. I'm really liking your idea and will most likely copy it in some manner this winter to smoke cheese, sold my offset last year so no longer have the CC available to use. Gee, your new rig appears so pristine, that won't last much longer, but it's a beauty! Did you save the box it shipped in? I cut the box down to save that form fitting styrofoam for the top, it will protect the electronics forever. I have a covered patio so no need to worry about storing the unit outside that way. Welcome to the PS brotherhood, I still get all my gear for sausage from them, it's the best smoker made. Wait until you smoke a prime rib or rack of spares on that baby, you'll be happy! RAY

004.JPG

DSCN4216.JPG
 

kevin james

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Thread starter
Jul 30, 2012
455
343
Sacramento, CA
I got my Pro 100 from Cabelas 17 years ago on a trip home from Reno, we lived in Elk Grove. I got it for the express purpose of smoking sausage, it's a beautiful piece of gear that does a fantastic job and has never let me down. I'm really liking your idea and will most likely copy it in some manner this winter to smoke cheese, sold my offset last year so no longer have the CC available to use. Gee, your new rig appears so pristine, that won't last much longer, but it's a beauty! Did you save the box it shipped in? I cut the box down to save that form fitting styrofoam for the top, it will protect the electronics forever. I have a covered patio so no need to worry about storing the unit outside that way. Welcome to the PS brotherhood, I still get all my gear for sausage from them, it's the best smoker made. Wait until you smoke a prime rib or rack of spares on that baby, you'll be happy! RAY

View attachment 648323
View attachment 648324

Wow, 17 years and still going strong? That's awesome! Funny thing, I did not save the box, I actually cut it up for recycling, but I DO still have the styrofoam top that sits over the electronics in shipping and the big plastic bag that is over the unit in shipping.

I do not have any cover over my yard where it is set up, so I ordered a custom made cover for the PK 100 from coversandall.com. It only cost me $91.00 with tax and shipping so I'm pretty happy with that. In the mean time, I have just kept the plastic bag over it as a cover to protect it from the rain we've been having and that has worked just fine fortunately, and the cover should be here soon.

Like you I bought mine just for sausage, but will also be doing snack sticks, jerky, and bacon in it, as well as cheese with no heat, just the A-Maze-N tray. I may try doing some hot smokes in it for some easy weeknight meals, we'll see. I mostly work from home, but don't have time to babysit a smoker on work days. Weekends though when I'm off and weather permits, that's an offset kind of day using the Blue Smoke Smoker by Big Phil's Smokers.

The other selling point for me though, was because this can run at those low 140-150 temps, it will also double as an insulated holding cabinet for me for over-night heated brisket rests.

The offset:
Big-Phil-s-Blue-Smoke-Smoker-Pic-1.jpg
 
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sawhorseray

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Oct 17, 2014
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Gilbert, AZ
One thing you will want to be sure to remember to do is spray the door gasket with food grade silicone lubricant spray after a smoke, critical! Also keep the door shut so it barely has any pressure on the gasket when storing. I've been using this stuff from Cabelas forever, used to get for $8.99 a can, last time I got four cans for $12.99 apiece, now it's up another five bucks. Don't forget to do this each and every time or due to the smoke residue the door gasket will bond to the smoker frame and get ruined when you try to pry it open. RAY

 
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kevin james

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Thread starter
Jul 30, 2012
455
343
Sacramento, CA
One thing you will want to be sure to remember to do is spray the door gasket with food grade silicone lubricant spray after a smoke, critical! Also keep the door shut so it barely has any pressure on the gasket when storing. I've been using this stuff from Cabelas forever, used to get for $8.99 a can, last time I got four cans for $12.99 apiece, now it's up another five bucks. Don't forget to do this each and every time or due to the smoke residue the door gasket will bond to the smoker frame and get ruined when you try to pry it open. RAY


Thanks for the tip! I do have some food grade silicone lubricant spray, so I will make sure to use it on the gasket after every smoke.
 

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