Weber 22" Kettle as an electric smoker.

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Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Nov 6, 2022
Brentwood, TN
Hi fellow SMF members. First post, but a long-time lurker. I've been learning a lot in my quest to smoke meat. I am focused on sausage and snack sticks right now. I am repurposing an old Weber Performer as a smoked sausage hut. I purchased the Onlyfire Extention, which allowed me to hang the sausage, which I wanted to try instead of laying flat in my Yoder YS640.

I am using an amazing pellet tube as the smoke source, but I wanted to add some heat. I could use charcoal, but getting temps below 200F seems problematic. The performer has the propane ignite option but using that on a simple test produced way too much heat. Lastly I put in a 200W space heater with a fan. That option seemed most promising. However, my max temp is 120F. I would like to achieve 200F max.

First question: I notice many people use hot plates as a heat source. Why not a space heater since it has a fan? I was thinking of getting a 1500W ceramic version. Eventually, I would control it with an Auber PID.
2nd question: What do you recommend regarding a heat source for those of you who have gone down this path or something similar?

Wild card... I typically finish my snack sticks in a Sous Vide.

I really appreciate any advice you can provide.

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I'm currently working on this . 1500 watt analog , that will be controlled with an Auber 1510 . I'm not doing it for sausage though , and you certainly don't want to cut into that nice vintage performer . That's a nice rig .
I fired it up just to test it out . No controller .
Wouldn't know why a hot plate or a heater wouldn't work .
We used to heat our lunches in a card board box and a 500 watt halogen work light .

This is a charcoal grate from an Old Smokey smoker . This is from a 22 " Fits in the Weber just below the cook grate . I'm going to use it as a deflector . You could get your heat source as low as possible and see if it works if you're worried about to much direct heat .
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Thanks, Chopsaw; I was hoping you would reply. I read that you were doing something similar. I like your approach a lot.

Unfortunately, my 27-year-old performer rusted out at the center of the ash sweep. :-( So I might cut into it... Fortunately, I have another blue one I use for my daily cooks.

How did you cut into the kettle?
How did you cut into the kettle?
I picked my location and cut the hole small with grinder and a cut off wheel . Then I worked the rest of the cut by hand with a file .
I'm made my living as a commercial metal stud and drywall Carpenter . So I'm used to cutting metal and different profiles and shapes .
I worked the penetration with a file because I knew the shape wasn't plumb straight and square due to the compound radius of the lower bowl of the kettle .
I got it pretty close , but missed the top cut a bit . I thought the whole thing would be a " smile " , but the top was a frown . The bottom a smile , and the sides had a little splay to them . I just didn't want it to sloppy .
How bad is it rusted out ?
I have a 2006 Performer . Love that thing .
Never saw one do that before . Was it in a flood maybe ? You could patch that I bet , and you can still grill with it but if your into using it as an electric I say do whatever it takes .
I looked around this morning and found some coil type hot plate replacement burners for under 20 bucks . That set up I have was $34.00 . You could also use an element for a MES 30 or 40 , but you would have to have a controller .
I would say no to a heater . It would be prone to over heat and probably shut down and fail in the long run .

I need to get mine in some kind of stand so I can see how it runs . is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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