DIY Electric smoker build

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by cp6485, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. cp6485

    cp6485 Newbie

    If one were to think about building an electric smoker just for jerky and cold smoking with AMNPS (no need for 225 temp) do you think the following thermostat and heating element would do the trick:

    I would prefer something closer to 500 watts for the element but am wondering if this type of setup would work.  Not sure if an Auber PID would be worth the added cost so I thought I would ask the experts!
  2. It would probably work. However you didn't tell us anything about the size and what the smoker will be made out of.

    Happy smoken.

  3. Those both would work fine for getting jerky temps. But consider this element instead of that one. I like to go bigger at the beginning JUST in case you want something a little higher. The power of the element doesn't matter seeing as you'll be controlling it with the controller anyway. Also, the below element is already wired up with a plug and everything and it's a bit easier to mount.

    Edit: mule's point is valid too. Obviously, you'll need to have an appropriately sized box.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  4. cp6485

    cp6485 Newbie

    Thanks for that element...definitely an easier option.  I am thinking around MES 40 size and am wondering if 1500 watts is overkill and would lead to wider temp swings since this is for jerky and cold smoking.  Having only done jerky on a dehydrator the temp swings may not be something to worry about so let me know what you think. 

    As to cabinet material I am thinking pine or cedar with some kind of lining (food safe sheet metal or tile/bricks) at the bottom and a little up sides where the element will be
  5. As far as the materiel, wood all throughout is fine. The temps aren't getting high enough to warrant adding other metals and stuff. 

    As far as temp swings, that's going to vary depending on the construction of your box. If it were me, I'd create an insulated box using 2x2's, some type of insulation, and some sheets of pine. The element will maintain a temperature, your box will dictate how often it's needed. 

    Also, if you're looking for a bit more precision you'd want to upgrade the controller. You could use a MYPIN and thermocouple setup for about $50 to get greater precision if you wanted.
  6. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Fire Starter

    Your swings will be more dependent on your controller than the rating of the element.  Sizing will more directly affect how quickly you reach temp and what temp you can reach.  For reference, the MES 40 comes with a 1200 watt element and is capable of maintaining up to 275F.  The MES 30 has the same temp but only an 800 watt element.  A good controller + adequately sized element is the key to proper temperature control and determining what temps you can reach.
  7. cp6485

    cp6485 Newbie

    Thanks everyone!
  8. brandonthompson

    brandonthompson Smoke Blower

    May be an ignorant question but, ill ask anyways. If a guy was to build a smoker with that brinkman element (listed at the top) how would you control the temp with that? Does it come with some top of control unit or would you have to wire in a PID controller?
  9. Personally is combine it with a MYPIN PID. Making an insulated box out of wood and such with the element and pid would be great.
  10. hike

    hike Newbie

    It does not give a dimension. Do you know the sixe of the heating element? Thanks

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