FWE Food Warmer smoker conversion questions

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by pcchase, May 1, 2013.

  1. pcchase

    pcchase Newbie

    I picked up this food warmer at a school board auction for 70 bucks. It has a bad thermostat but the heating element checks out good. It comes with a 1500 watt heating element and has a fan that pulls air in and across element. It is double walled with fiberglass insulation. The inside dimensions are 28"deep x 23" wide X 62"  tall.

    I plan on using a PID to replace bad thermostat and use something to generate smoke like smoke daddy, bradley or amazn. still deciding on that.

    Will the 1500 watt element generate enough heat say to 225-250? Or is there a way to calculate what size I would need for that size box?

    They do make a 220v 2000 watt heating element for this warmer but it is expensive at $174. But it would fit perfectly without having to modify anything.  I have 220v in shop for my welder with a 15foot pigtail so power would not be an issue

    Any good ideas on where to get racks? I could build some out of expanded metal if need be.

    I am sure I will have more questions as I dig in.



  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mine didn't have an element, it was just a rack. I just cut a hole in some 3/16 steel and put a 220v element from a stove. It slides in like a shelf. I put a 10" frying pan on top of it for using wood hunks. There is enough room behind the element for AMNPS.

    Buy high temp oven wire for your element. Regular wire will melt the plastic coating and short out. (Even if you try it twice like I did)

    Your going to have a nice smoker, especially for sausage or bacon because of the height. I had to insulate this smoker and now this element has had the smoker to 375 and climbing. (2100 watt)
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  3. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice find!

    If I were you, before I did anything, I'd buy a probe thermometer like a Maverick, and hang the probe inside to see what temps it'll get to now with the 115v element. Because it is such a large space, you may want to upgrade to the 2000w 220v element if plan on loading it up with meat. A couple turkeys for instance, might make that 115v struggle. For $174, I'd do it.
  4. pcchase

    pcchase Newbie

    Bypassed the thermostat and let it run. It only gets to 185 after 30 minutes. Not sure how much traction I will get with the 2000 watt or if I should hunt for a bigger element that will fit. To hot to measure element right now though:)
  5. pcchase

    pcchase Newbie

    Still got some work done on it, added 2 pid's one to control heating element and the other to shut down power when food reaches temp. I also put in a cooling fan to pull any and a Bradley smoke generator.. need to put a roof vent on and wire everything. hopefully be able to trial run this weekend after fishing tournament with a smoker king.


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