Here's a smoker I'm working on and need advice

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by mikedixon, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. mikedixon

    mikedixon Smoke Blower

    I am t trying to build a propane powered smoker out of this but it gets too hot if I open the damper enough to breathe or the burner goes out if I try to throttle it down. I am thinking the burner needs to go on the bottom, underneath the entire unit. I wouldn't be opposed to making it a charcoal unit. I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions.

    This is the outside. It was an old oven. Everything stainless inside and out.

    This is  quarter view. Notce the damper I built? It is pretty much infinately adjustable.

    Here is the damper all the way closed. It is air tight like this.

    This is the top and my "smoke stacks" fully open

  2. mikedixon

    mikedixon Smoke Blower

    By the way, I know electric would be much easier but for some reason, I just don't like electric smokers. I bought one for my youngest son and have used it a few times, but something just isn't there. Maybe it's just me, but the meat seems to have a different taste.
  3. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Any idea how many BTU's that burner puts out?  With such a nice sealed enclosure like that, the insulation may just be too efficient and retain too much of the heat that burner throws off.
  4. mikedixon

    mikedixon Smoke Blower

    I have one Tejas pipe burner that puts out 160,000 BTUs and the other one I have is a smaller side burner off my old gas grill that I made into a pipe burner I think it was less than 100,000 BTUs though but I am not positive on that. I made it so I could use the heat control off my side burner too so hopefully I could control the heat better but no luck with that. I am thinking I need to make a box for the underneath that will allow plenty of airflow for the burner and regulate the heat with a damper somehow, or just build a side box and pipe into it and make a reverse flow of sorts and burn charcoal. Propane is just much better for me since I work full time and go to school and have a family, It is hard for me to babysit a fire for 12 or 13 hours.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You need a burner that put out about 1,000 btu's and is adjustable.... That small a space won't work too well using flame... 

    Closing the vents to control the heat is no good... If the flame goes out, you now have a propane SS lined bomb.... A very big bomb...  

  6. mikedixon

    mikedixon Smoke Blower

    Where can I buy a 1000 BTU burner?  I would think with all the insulation (4 inches all the way around), a candle would heat the thing up to temp. I knew snuffing out the flame wasn't good, that's why I'm on here, trying to get expert advice. I have built a charcoal offset smoker before. They are much easier to build. It was all stainless too, I am a welder/fabricator by trade and happen to specialize in stainless. I have fine adjustment on my smaller burner, but I think it is still at least 70,000 BTUs, possibly over 100,000.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Take a look at this outfit.... If the burner works in that small smoker, it should work in your smoker.... maybe.... Your smoker is pretty well insulated... Install the burner with the venturi outside the smoke chamber and have plenty of ventilation around the burner itself for safety reasons...

  8. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    "-------Where can I buy a 1000 BTU burner? ----"

    May be you can use the burner (head) of a propane torch ? It comes with an adjustable knob.

  9. dcarch...I was gonna build a propane smoker with an old RV propane grill/griddle I had...decided against it as the "propane bomb" idea was a HUGE concern!!! I decided that electric was a better way to go for my build?!

    Here's a link:

    DaveOmak has tons of experience and is extremely helpful in getting whatever type of build you want! If you heed his advice, you'll have a fine smoker!

    Look forward to the end results!

  10. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    You can get electric hot water heating elements much cheaper. $10.00?

    They are generally 220v and more than 2,000 watts; however, if you run them at 110v, it become 500 watts. 

  11. I paid $4.16 for my 110v 1,500w element...doesn't get much cheaper than it came with the controls (which I've decided to go PID) a moot point. Good to know on the water heater elements?!

    My other smoker (The Electric Frankensmoker) is a 220V, 5,000w smoker...he runs 2 elements to get 4 fans for cooling and convection!
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  12. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    $4.16 is a fantastic price. Even the Chinese can't make it that cheap. LOL!

    Most replacement heating element can coast from $30 to close to $100.

    5,000 watts!!!! You need to live near a nuclear power plant! [​IMG]

    My 4.5 cubic ft smoker uses about 350 Watts.

  13. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You missed it, dcarch.  The inlet on the side was for the feed from the reactor. 

  14. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    That explains why your food glows in the dark.

  15. mikedixon

    mikedixon Smoke Blower

    Dave, I have talked to the guys you suggested and they seem to have what I need but i just have not ordered it yet. I hope to in the next couple of weeks. I appreciate all the advice guys. I have an electric smoker but I am just not partial to it. It may be me but i'd swear the heat is different or something compared to the propane or charcoal/wood.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mike, be sure to keep us "up" your project.....  Dave
  17. mikedixon

    mikedixon Smoke Blower

    Will do. I hope to get it done soon. This weekend coming up I have to cater a class reunion. I wanted to turn it down but it's the 3rd year in a row I have done it so I kind of feel obligated. I guess my smoker can wait until the next weekend.

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