Electric smoker build - Stainless food service cart.

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mstafford, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. I've recently acquired a large, three door stainless food service cart that I am converting to a smoker.  I'm going electric and have already bought several components for the smoker (electric elements, shelving, door seals, temp gauges, etc).  I'm gettign ready to wire it up and have a question I want to throw out there and see what suggestions I get.

    The cabinet has three individual compartments all side-by-side.  Each compartment space is about the same as a large bullet type smoker with shelving, it's insulated (somewhat, I'll be adding more), each with it's own door.  I plan on placing 1 - 1500W electric smoker element in the bottom of each.  I'd like to wire it so that I can control them individually. 

    My general question(s) are: 

    Can I safely wire all three elements to one 20amp breaker with 12-2 wire?  Does anyone know how much these things really pull?  Will I need a 30 amp breaker (the math says yes)

    How would you control them individually?  I've seen people use 1500W dimmers,and temp conrollers.  I'd take some suggestions here. 

    FYI, I'm fairly technically competent, but like to keep it simple.  I process a lot of deer meat every year during hunting season (20-30) and the idea is to be able to do a LOT at once instead of smoking sausage and jerky every single night of the week for eon's with my charcoal smoker.

    Thanks everyone in advance.

  2. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Are you useing 120vac or 240vac?Wireing it for 240 will have a lower amp draw.
  3. We'll I bought regular brinkman replacement elements to start with.  They're 120vac. rated at 1500w
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]    Glad to have you with us!
  5. I have my smoker together now and have done some test burns in it.  It has three seperate compartments with a 120VAC 1500W burner in each.  I'm still looking for a simple way to control the temp in each compartment.  I had thought about just using 1500w dimmer switches, but is there something else that's easy (and cheap)?  I really want a simple way to just turn them down a little and use my temp gauges to dial them each in where I want them to be. 



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