Insulating an Electric Smoker

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jiju1943, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. I hope this is posted in the right place. I have an older Smokey Mountain Series charcoal smoker that I converted into an electric several years back. The element or controls went out last year and I am just now getting around to replacing them. The element and control I had in the smoker I took off a small electric smoker I bought from Wal-Mart for $28. They lasted for about three or four years, they are the exact same element and controls that Smokey Mountain Series sells as a replacement but for twice what I gave for the others. I really would like to have a better control and element.

    The smoker I have is the box type and is about 4 feet tall from the floor and the element I had just wouldn't heat well enough in the winter to get the temps up where I needed them. I want to insulate the smoker and cover the insulation with some aluminum I have left over from building a teardrop camper several years back. I really don't know what kind of insulation will work on it. I very seldom get the temps over 250-275 (that was in the Summer time) and not for long then. Does anyone have any suggestions what type of insulation will work and hold up?

    The way I smoke a butt is at 175-180 until the core hits 180 then crank the smoker up to 225-250 until the core temps hit 190. I take the butt off, wrap in a clean towel and place in a small cooler for about an hour or so. I smoke with hickory saw dust in a cast iron box that Lowe's sold for chips. I get the saw dust wet before putting in the smoker about a double hand full of dust is all I need for a good smoke. I also put 3 or 4 chunks of charcoal in to get the nice smoke ring.
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Man, are you in luck -- my buddy the foam expert is sitting right here in my living room!  Phenolic rigid foam board (1 inch thick) is fire resistant and available at your home center or a rigid board insulation company like Blue Linx  (303-706-8000).  The foam board is NOT UV resistant, so it must be covered; that aluminum should be perfect.
  3. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd say kiln insulation, but there may be others that will work. 
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Or you could just wrap a welding blanket around it.
  5. I used a water heater blanket. A word of caution though. Don't fall asleep. I went from hot and juicy to dry and jerky by the time I woke up. I was smoking in Iowa in November and thought I needed the insulation. I have since realized I don't. Good luck.
  6. I apologize for not answering your replies sooner, being new to the forum I couldn't find the thread again until now.

    I really do appreciate the information, I will post how the smoker turns out, thanks again.

  7. I have googled Phenolic rigid foam board and it is a little confusing, is this the blue foam insulation sold at Home Depot or the aluminum foil covered foam board?

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