Newbie - "Cut Case" Smoker Build

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by dsjardo, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. So I work on the railroad and scored this cast steel cut case. The door is air and water tight so it should work perfect.

    It measures 24 deep x 34 wide by 60 high.

    I would like to make this something that will last for years as I am a hunter and do 100s of lbs of sausage.

    I am hoping for help with a few questions.
    1. What kind of wood should I line it with? I am guessing anything that isn't treated.
    2. What kind of heat source do you all recommend?
    3. The floor is non existent. Can I use wood or will I need steel to prevent fire?
    I will have a lot more questions and continue to add photos as I go but I am planning on adding an external smoke device. Possibly something that uses the wood pucks like the Bradley but that is a ways off yet.

    Thanks for help and looking forward to sharing updates.
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I would line it with Durock, concrete backer board, it is fire rated.

    For heat I would go electric with a PID controller for perfectly controlled temps, will make sausage smoking a breeze.

    Pour a concrete slab to set it on and you can anchor it to the slab and it will never go anywhere.

    You might want to check out the AMNPS for smoke generation.
  3. OK ty.

    As far as electric I want to stay with 110volt.  Will that be sufficient?  or will I need 220.

    I am very unsure as to what size element I will need. I rarely go over 240 in my smoker.

    I have looked at the amnps but my issue is finding dust and pellets. I live in the country and chunks/briquettes are easier to find.

    I was considering adding a pistol or bradley smoke generator.
  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I just built a smokehouse and was going to use propane then started thinking of safety issues since the SH is real close to my house. I also wanted a temp controller so I decided to go electric for safety and I could use a PID and now I am really glad I did.
    The inside of my SH is 28"X28"X72", I am using a 1500w 120v element and with the vents open just a bit it will only get to about 165*, if I close the vents I can get up to about 185*. It is very well insulated so I don't think ambient will affect it other than the fresh air coming in. I built it just for sausage and jerky so those temps are fine for me.
    I think if you want 240* in that size of a SH 1500w isn't going to be enough. Finding anything much bigger in 120v isn't easy. You might have to go 220v if you go electric and want that higher temp.

    Propane is an option and you can make a burner real easy and cheap and you can get safety valves but that starts really adding some costs, I looked into that and that's when I decided to go electric. What I would spend on a safety valve I could get everything I needed for a PID setup and have money left over.

    I just mentioned the AMNPS because it is what I am using and it works great, I buy all my pellets from Todd and he runs specials every month and ships out quickly.
  5. I like the duroc idea and think I will go ahead with that.

    After some reading I think I will look at the AMNPS but first need to find a souce for wood pellets here in Canada.

    Thanks for the help.

    I will post pics and questions as I go...
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cool, I want one!! Dave has you covered on just about everything. I too am going to be building a smokehouse dedicated for sausage and jerky and will also be going electric. I an however going to be using wood as a lining, except down by the heat element. For wood linings fir, is a good choice.
  7. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Sorry I didn't realize you were in Canada, I'm not sure if Todd ships to Canada.
    If you would do us a favor and add your location to your profile it will help everyone when offering help, Thanks!
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ds, evening.....   I think you will have a serious problem trying to heat and maintain temp in that smoker, especially with duroc inside....   The steel will suck up the Btu's and sweat in the cold climate.....     Think about insulating the outside of the smoker and trimming it out nice with tongue and groove cedar or pine...  That will keep the heat inside or the heat outside in the summer...  Have the inside sand blasted to remove the paint etc. and then coat with flax oil to condition and keep from rusting.....   

    The type of hinges on that beauty, would make insulating a breeze.....  

    I'd use a 220V heating system and have a small circulating fan to make stuff uniform inside...   maybe the guts from a convection oven ??

  9. Thanks for the input.

    Had an old fella pop by today when he saw me working on it.

    He uses one a tad smaller and says the cheapest way to maintain my heat is fir.  He also said I would need a fan for circulation and has one he is going to give me.

    I went ahead and ordered 2 of the 6x8 trays from Todd.

    He also suggested ordering a propane setup to keep it hot enough and directed me to a website that carries a kit for about 375.

    If 220 was an option I would go that route but just isn't do able for the location its in.

    I am also planning on having a blank that I can put in the shelve locations to cut in half when doping smaller smokes.

    I am definitely sandblasting the inside and then I will oil and install the fir.  It was lined with wood already so I can use pieces I removed as templates and original fasters to secure.

    Will post pics as I go and hope she works in the end..
  10. cityofvoltz

    cityofvoltz Fire Starter

    Hi, looks like it will be a great build already.

    A note on durock-- built a roof on my smoker out of durock recently- but i almost got the wrong type.  the home center had a slightly lighter type (darker grey) had styrofoam pieces strewn throughout it (recommended for a bathroom floor i think)  Obviously the foam would melt, just stick with the regular durrock.  
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ask The Sausage Maker.....  They list a thermostat in the parts list for the smoker itself.....    I did notice they use electric to generate smoke also....     that's a good idea....   

    Our 100 lb. Capacity Smokehouse are specifically constructed with the dedicated meat smoker's needs in mind. The inside walls are constructed of high quality Stainless Steel for increased durability, and is insulated to ensure that the walls of the unit will never sag or allow the temperature to waver. We feature fully adjustable Stainless Steel legs to make your new industrial smokehouse fit perfectly in your chosen location. Both the thermometer and the thermostat temperature control are situated in a protective Stainless Steel housing on the side of the unit for your convenience. The smokehouse is fitted with 5 brackets for maximum smoking capabilities. If interested in upgrading your smoker to hold 10 brackets, please call customer service to arrange customization. Includes six (6) Stainless Steel "V" Sticks for hanging product.

    Our gas unit is specially designed for safety and ease of use. The gas valve incorproates an electronic ingition system and the included smoke generator produces smoke for 3 hours with one sawdust filling!Does not include shelves.

    Features include:
    • 31,000 BTU output 
    • 120 Volt, 0.5 Amp blower
    • 5 Sets of Brackets for shelving 
    • Adjustable stainless steel legs 
    • Insulated non-sagging 1 5/8" walls 
    • 304 series Stainless Steel interior and exterior - Food Grade, Won't Rust! 
    • Item #49303  Thermostat control +/-5 deg.F variation 
    • Item #49600  2 1/2" dial Thermometer 
    • Item #47105  Heating element to start smoking sawdust 
    • Item #47400  6 hanging stainless steel sticks 
    • Item #49280  Titanium gas burner with 31,000 BTU output 
    • Item #47100  Smoke generator with every unit 

    • Item #45202  Additional brackets for shelving (maximum of 10 sets in gas/butane design)

    • Item #47301  - Optional Shelving


  12. So I decided to pain stakingly gring the paint off using my angle grinder. Living where I do it wasnt economical to have it sandblasted.
    I have also given it 1 coat of high temp flatblack paint.
    I will share pics when I get the wood lining installed.
    I have decided I will order the 100lb smoker setup from sausagemaker.

    Still u decided on 2 amazensmokers or a side smoke box with element.
  13. So I have been watching and see a few people using the burner from Northern Tools.

    I am curious if the double burner will be big enough for my smoker.

    If I can save money that would be great.

    I am finishing lining it with wood and now looking for shelving materials.

    Will 3/4 expanded be heavy enough for shelves this wide?
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What gauge is the 3/4? If it's the stuff from Home Depot or lowes then no it will bend unless you weld some flat, angle, or rebar to it for supports.
  15. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic


    i have a freezer build much the same size as what your doing. of course mine is insulated. i put the 1500 watt 110 heater in and it took a long time to come up to temp so i added a burner from a 110 hotplate on its own control. once i get up to temp i turn the hotplate way down and the PID and the Brinkman burner look after everything just fine. i had no 220v source readily available so i went this route and im super happy with it. as for pellets, you will read on here that any pellets will work for you. they do for me.. and im in north western canada

    just my littel bit

    goods luck and happy smoking

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