Continuing on my build, need some opinions guys!

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by bigbluetruck, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. bigbluetruck

    bigbluetruck Newbie

    Got my fridge out and stripped down, all the compressor and lines were already removed, got the inner liner out and found the insulation was cardboard, so went and got some Roxul, at the moment Im waitng for my uncle to cut the plastic trim pieces from some stainless sheets we had laying around. Now Im trying to figure out whats the best element to use. I was thinking of going with the Brinkman replacement element, but after doing some measuring, I think its gonna be too big. The fridge is actually pretty small, the inner box is about 32x23x14, so Im trying to get as much usable space as possible.

    My new plan is to use a finned strip element, like this one;$smthumb$

     and sink it down through the bottom of the inner box in a stainless steel pan like this one;

    So what Im wondering is how big of an element will I need? It will be pretty well insulated but I would like to use it in the winter time here in Nebraska and it can get pretty darn cold. Also how big of a vent am I going to need? Ive got a 3 inch exhaust and was thinking of using 1 or 2  inch or inch and a quarter ball valves to regulate the air flow. Im still trying to decide whether to put the AMNPS in the smoker itself or do the mailbox mod. Any insight on that would be helpful also.

    Ill try and figure out how to post some pics I took.

    Edit. Forgot to add that it has to be 110V and I will be using a PID to control it
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  2. bigblue,

    I used a 1KW stove burner element in my freezer smoker.  Got it at Allied-Kenco.

    It's the Element, Smokehouse:

    I looked at fin heaters too, but seemed to just take up too much space, and I didn't want to carve a cavity in the base to put a heat chamber in.

    I used gate valves for airflow, one on each side, and either a 2-3/4" or 3" vent on top.

    For sealing the door I used 3/4" Meeco oven rope gasket.  When I pulled the door plastics and trim off there was a large gap to seal off. This worked great, and there are lots of different diameters ropes to select from.


    Here's a link to my build a couple few years ago:

    A mod I want to make to mine:

    - Change my controller to one that can regulate higher than 220deg.  Not sure why it can't be dialed higher, but that's its highest setting.  I'm just using a bang-bang, on/off controller, can keep within ~+/-2deg of setpoint.  I may go to a PID controller though.

    Also, I'm in WI, and have used it when around 10deg or so, and no issue maintaining temp in the cold at all.  So I'd say 1KW burner is fine, depending on your insulation.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  3. bigbluetruck

    bigbluetruck Newbie

    Thanks for the reply, I have another question for you, how far is it from your element to the first rack that you use for food? Ive been searching around on here but haven't found any answers.
  4. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    When using a finned strip heater (fsh) you need to make sure you have enough open air space and are flow around it. Unless there is a whole in the bottom of the sink or pan you plan to you it will burn it out

    Lets see a pic if the fridge your using. Might have some better suggestions
  5. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Buy a plug and play controller from auberins. Buy the dual probe 1800w one. There is no home built pid controller I've seen built or plans for one that can do what that controller can. Using it on my second and 3rd builds underway for a couple restaraunts. It's the best and really not that much $ whe you look at what it does.
  6. bigbluetruck

    bigbluetruck Newbie

    Thanks for your replies Mike, to answer your concerns, Yes I plan on putting 2- 1.25 pipes with ball valves under the bottom of my pan to bring air around the heater. And I bought what I would call the build your own system from Auberins, Its the same thing as the plug and play system but Im putting it in my own enclosure.
  7. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Perfect. I forgot they have the build it yourself dual pid. Though it'll cost $100 more to build it than buy the one all ready done.
    I've taken apart 2 and mounted the. Reused most if the parts. Just need a few things to connect the wires and a box to put it in. Fits in a 6"x8"x4"d.

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