my new smoker

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by slayer73, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. slayer73

    slayer73 Newbie

    2nd rack of ribs I did on Sunday...forgot to take a pic of Saturdays rack

    inside...need a better way to get the chips

    I mounted the burner so the controls came in from the side so they are more easily adjustable, needs some paint so it looks better.  I got this from my cousin.  He was moving and didn't want to move it with him.  It works really well.  I would like some help with figuring out a way to get the chips burning better.  It has a very small spot in the middle of that plate that gets hot enough to get the chips smoking.
  2. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    what does it have for air intake near or below the element? that is likely the cause.
  3. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm curious what this started out life as?
  4. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    i was wondering the same thing.
  5. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    looking closer at the pic of the inside im going to say its your airflow. I don't see any intake, that bottom rut under the element looks like it would seal off the bottom and I see no holes anywhere inside other than where I assume the exhaust is in the top.

    You should put a hole down near the bottom of the smoker, then put a hole in the sheet under the element. Put a 1-1.5" ball valve. use steel fittings and pipe, can find them at places like home depot, though they don't see, to carry anything over 1" pipe and fitting. don't go under 1", you can always close a larger valve down but you cant open a small to be bigger.
  6. slayer73

    slayer73 Newbie

    It was a old chest freezer. If you look at the burner picture, there is two 6" & 8" holes covered with aluminum foil. I have the one moved so it has a slot that air can come in thru the bottom (back) of the freezer. The heating element is this one
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  7. My smokers are converted oven/ranges. I set electric stove burners into the bottoms of the ovens with the original factory rings beneath them. This lets the air in beneath the burner, and I think that's important. They were both originally wired for 220V and I've changed that to 110V. This allows me to use thin aluminum pie tins as chip pans, which spreads the heat nicely. I haven't had any problem igniting the chips. I heat the ovens with the oven and broiler ring elements that came with them. When I build a fridge smoker, I intend to use the same setup.
  8. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Ah, a chest freezer on its side!! Its so obvious now. haha. that plate under the element is the divider often in them.

    what is the opening in the bottom of the smoker to allow air in like? is there an actual air intake spot at the back?  even with the 6" & 8" opening if there isn't enough fresh air actually getting into the smoker then it wont smolder properly.

    Also when do you add the chips? do you add them when the smoker reaches temp or when you turn it on? if its not when you turn it on but after you hit temp then the element wont be cycling hot enough and long enough to get a good burn going. sometime too early and youll burn them up right away.
  9. slayer73

    slayer73 Newbie

    I plan on smoking this weekend again and will try to open up one of the holes farther on the bottom.  I had a opening 1/2"x3" but I will open it up a bit farther and try it.  One problem with the burner is that the plate that I have on top of it only has a spot about 3" in diameter that gets hot enough to burn the chips.  That is why I was thinking about getting a cast iron pan of some sort.  I figured after it got hot the whole cast iron pan should be the same temp and if the chips are touching the cast iron they might burn.  In theory anyways?

    Thanks for the help!
  10. Cast iron is actually not good for spreading the heat. You will have a hot spot in the pan right above the hot spot in the element, and it will take quite a while for the heat to spread to the rest of the pan. Aluminum is better for spreading the heat, but easier to burn up. That's why I went with a separate 120V burner for the chip pan. It keeps the pan temp cool enough that a thin aluminum pan won't burn up. That provides a steady baseline amount of heat and the controller on the 240V element boosts that up to smoking temp.

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