modifying propane smoker to natural gas - Vancouver Canada

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by gatomuerte, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm relatively new to smoking having been smoking in an old modified charcole smoker that I inserted a hotplate element in to make it electric. For my birthday my wife got me the Masterbuilt dual (propane/charcoal) smoker but I would like to convert it to natural gas and have been looking for detailed instructions without much luck. if anyone could point me in the rght direction that'd be great, I really want to get this puppy fired up and see what I can do (just started making sausage last fall and am ready to go).

    Scooter in Vancouver British columbia
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get a hold of Masterbuilt for the proper natural gas orifice for the burner....
  3. [​IMG]   Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a beautiful sunny and cold day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything. 

    Good advice from Dave O

  4. Thanks Dave, from what I can find so far, because of liability issues, Masterbuilt will just say you should not do it. Found some info online but would like to find something with video or images before I go about drilling holes in things and possibly destroying my smoker, I prefer to be overcautious when working with gas or electricity.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here you go.... orifice sizing.....

    Using numbered drill bits.... check the orifice you have.... check the chart... make the appropriate adjustment... I recommend a smaller than suggested orifice when switching as the burner puts out too many BTU's when coming from the factory....

    Looking for a better chart.....
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  6. Maybe I'm being a bit thick but i'm confused, not sure what the inches of H20 references, and how do I check my  orifice? thanks fro your patience.

  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This site explains a lot.... and may have the parts you need.......

    Inches of H2O is the line pressure between the regulator and the orifice... like PSI but in inches of water pressure... and the orifice is a hole... and when measuring gasses, they use drill size... that can be converted to decimal ...
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
    About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
    and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
    We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
    Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
    because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
    Happy smoken.
  10. Be sure and post some pictures when you get her going

  11. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    I converted my Smoke Hollow 38 to NG a few months ago. I didn't take the time to find out what my water column on the gas line was and just took a stab at it, using a spare orifice, and the flame was too yellow.

    After starting out with another orifice and drilling up in one step increments, I finally found the sweet spot where I got a nice flame and still had decent heat.

    You will loose some BTUs as Dave's chart shows.

    I'll have to wait for higher outdoor temps to get a better feel for how many I lost.

    Before the conversion, at 75F ambient, I was able to get close to and hold 360F, with temps in the 40s and 50s, I can barley break 250f now.

    If you can grab an extra orifice or two online, it may be worth the investment, that way if you ever need to go back to LP you can keep the original. 

    Best of luck
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  12. Thanks Sly,

    Maybe I'm being too overconcerened, I was thinking of seeing if I could find a gas fitter to ask, but it sounds relatively straight forward - If I could only find out what an "orifice" is - the smoker came pre-assembled so I have no idea, what or where or how to find it (or where to look online and how to tell sizing and whatnot).

    I'll eventually get there.


  13. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower


    If your rig is anything like mine, the orifice would be where the propane shoots into the actual burner. This is usually part of the control know assembly.

    When I get back on my computer I'll see if I can find some of the images I found on the Web that helped me.
  14. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower


    The below photo is supposedly taken from a copy of the manual I found online for a Masterbuilt duel fuel, it might give you some idea of where the orifice is.

    The view is upside down. Usually the plate that holds the knob and igniter to the legs has to come off to allow the orifice to slide out of the burner.

    After that, the orifice will be the small, usually 1/8 NTP threaded piece with a small hole in it that allows the propane to flow into the burner. That hole is what you drill out, or if you like, pick up a spare orifice to drill out so you cane keep the original if needed.  
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  16. Good info and diagrams 

  17. Thanks so much Dave O - this all makes it quite clear and I think I'm ready to take it on. your help was invaluable - sorry i ddin't get back sooner but I haven't been getting updates to the thread..


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