I need suggestions on what to use for an electric heat source on a fridge build.

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by rbranstner, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Ok I am able to get a non working fridge for from TJohnson and I need some suggestions on what I can use for an electric heat source. I have 3 other smokers so I don't really need this one but it seems like the right price and I wouldn't mind having a electric smoker. The problem is I know absolutely nothing about electric heating elements, PID controllers etc. I don't know how many watts or anything that I would need. The fridge is lined with metal and has a glass door so I would probably just need to cut an intake, exhaust and come up with a heat source as I will use my AMNS for the smoke source. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don't need anything fancy I just want something that I can set it and forget it. I have been doing lots of research but I am not sure which direction to go. Being I know nothing about electric heating I just don't want to get myself in way over my head. 
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Well you could make a low temp smoker for bacons and sausages. I have my old Gosm and I used it for low temp smoking. I use a single hot plate from Walgreen's. Now you could use a double and I'm sure that you could heat that thing up nicely. You could even set it up in your garage and just vent it out the side wall of your garage to. For those really cold nights that you have there.
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That brings up another good point. Are there some electric units that I have to stay away from because they won't work or hold up to the cold weather here in ND? I know you guys use your MES's when its cold but have read how some have had issues with the cold messing up their unit. Also ideally I would like to have the controls on the outside of the smoker so I don't have to open the door to turn the heat up or down. I would like to be able to get the temps to around 225-250.
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Check out this place... They have about any size element you could ever want...


    Size wise on that size box I would look at getting something around 2000 - 2500 watts and if possible go 220v.


    That is just my thoughts as better too big than too small...  With the glass door you might need the extra wattage for temp recovery...

    On Edit:

    You might want to look at this one also...

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Is there anywhere that has a one stop shop set up? I am looking for a whole kit  element, thermostat, probes etc. I am searching for info but I have no clue how to rig up one of those elements to a thermostat or what you would even need to buy. At least if I can find a whole kit I will know I have everything since I am clueless on what I even need. 
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  6. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sausage Maker does, Sit down before you open the link and don't have anything in your mouth...


    You might get an old electric stove and take the element and controls out of it and use that, that is what my nephew done.
  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So would this work for a controller on my smoker? 

    First thing getting a cooking controller like this. http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=44

    Maybe not this exact one but just so I can get an idea of what to get.

    Basically I would take the probe and plug it into the sensor port and that would go into the smoker to monitor the internal temp of the smoker. Then I would plug my heating element into the "Output" port on the back and the controller should turn the heating element on and off to hold the correct temp I set. Some type of element with a three prong power outlet like this is what I was looking at


    Am I missing something here or would this Controller work for controlling and maintaining the temp I set it for?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I actually like this heating element since it has a metal barrier under it.

    I just wonder if a 1500 watt element is enough.
  9. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    How about buying all the electrical parts for a MES, that way there are plenty of people here that could help you install it.

  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How about anyone with a "JUNK" MES that wants to donate to the cause?

    I bet a 1500 watt element would be plenty for the unit.

  11.  that one has a themoniter that is set for liquids.  less sensitive than one or air temp.

    the smoke  section has this one


    I was going to get that but ended up buying the parts them selves so I can build my own box. 

  12. baboy

    baboy Fire Starter

  13. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks that is perfect. I think I am going to go this route since it makes sense to me. No I just need to find some air intake valves. I saw some nice stainless steel looking ones yesterday I believe on the sausage maker web page but I can't seem to find them today. I will have to do some searching.
  14. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    How's the build going?
  15. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Its not going good at all I have yet to start. haha. I actually have some ambition to work on this so I am going to start a little this weekend as I am ON Call for work so I have to be around home anyway. I just started a new thread with some questions if anyone has any info I would love it if you chimed in.
  16. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ross, get ahold of SOB,. he has a Gatorade cooler he is re-building for smoking...He'd love to talk to you[​IMG]. Good dude, friend...[​IMG]
  17. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I was talking with him off and on last winter about our builds.  I sent  him a PM a week or so back. Hopefully I hear from him. It can't remember if he is still working on his or if his build is done.

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