We made a smoker!

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Fischerman

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2023
10
18
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After 4 months of redesigns and waiting for various parts our custom smoker is finished!

Started with an old commercial fridge and some stainless steel cabinets/tubs purchased from a neighbors junkyard pile.

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Fridge had non heat rated insulation so we ended up having to strip it down to bare metal. Pretty much only salvaged the doors and hinges from it.

Fire box and base fabrication.

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Used 1” mineral wool for insulation, fit into 1” tube steel frames. Stainless steel sheets to cover.

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1/4” steel plate directly above the burner for thermal mass. Went for a reverse flow design in hopes of more even temps within the cooking chamber. Heat flows from the fire box up through a 1” channel on the outsides into the top of the cooking chamber. Exhaust exits the cooking chamber on the bottom and flows out through the 1” chamber back middle.

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Thanks to old posts found on this site we were able to install an automatically controlled propane heating system. Pilot with thermocouple safety valve into an electronic solenoid valve into a propane tube burner. Auber wifi controller used to operate the solenoid valve. Mechanical bypass valve used for preheating and/or use without wifi.

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Doors were next and they were the biggest pain. After stripping the non heat insulation the frames were weak, in hindsight we should have reinforced them. Or better yet we should have fabricated our own….was a nightmare getting the seams to seal. Waited 6 weeks for a custom 1” heat gasket, have 60ft of it left if anyone needs some lol

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While waiting for the custom gasket we tested it and found some issues. The burner would extinguish itself once it got hot. After some advice from the fine people here we rectified three issues. We removed 80% of the angle iron channel the burner was resting in, allowing air to flow around the burner. We increased the intake air vents around the firebox. Finally we added circulation fans to help promote the reverse air flow design.

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Next came the interior shelving, electrical wiring and smoke generator.

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Applied some finishing touches and filled it with meat!

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Overall a fun project and so far a success. This site was super helpful in making this build happen. Please let us know if you see any issues with the design we might have missed!
 

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Last edited:
I opened this thread immediately after finishing dinner, and now I'm hungry again.

Very cool project!
 
Awesome job. Im planing a build similar but pretty much only the size of 1 of the 3 chambers you have, that thing is massive.

Corey
 
WOW!!!! So is it just geared towards jerky and sausage smoking? Or will you be doing butts, ribs and etc also? That thing is massive!!

Jim
 
WOW!!!! So is it just geared towards jerky and sausage smoking? Or will you be doing butts, ribs and etc also? That thing is massive!!

Jim

Yes designed mostly for sausage, we end up doing 300-600lbs a year depending on how many animals we harvest. The smoking was the pinch point that would take days doing multiple batches in the cookshack.

I did crank it up to 275* and it was able to hold temp, not many times we will need 25 pork butts smoked at once but you never know lol
 
  • Haha
Reactions: JLeonard
Nice fabrication and design work. I’m looking forward to seeing what that beast can smoke!
 
Both the smoker and the smoked goods look fantastic. Nice job on both.

Point for sure
Chris
 
Wow, amazing work.

"I love it when a plan comes together." - John Hannibal Smith

Would you share the part number of that gas solenoid valve you used please?

I am trying to set up a PID gas burner control system but have been having issues sourcing the proper solenoid valve for propane gas.

Thanks,

JC :emoji_cat:
 
Wow, amazing work.

"I love it when a plan comes together." - John Hannibal Smith

Would you share the part number of that gas solenoid valve you used please?

I am trying to set up a PID gas burner control system but have been having issues sourcing the proper solenoid valve for propane gas.

Thanks,

JC :emoji_cat:
1/2" Solenoid Valve

Also need to make sure the power output matches your PID controller. 110v, 220v, 12v, etc

Make sure you also install some sort of thermocouple safety shutoff valve.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
That looks like an awesome build and some awesome food as well. It may have taken you awhile to build it but it looks good and probably functions very well now. What kind of fans did you end up using?
 
That looks like an awesome build and some awesome food as well. It may have taken you awhile to build it but it looks good and probably functions very well now. What kind of fans did you end up using?
Auber Circulation Fans

We do have a small issue with the fan setup. We are getting overcooked meat directly under the fans due to the constant flow of hot air. We plan to make some sort of baffle cover to divert the hot air down and into the center chamber without directly blowing onto the meat We may try adding 2 more fans in the bottom of the smoker to help even out airflow as well.
 
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