Not Sure What I Have Here

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by 222dea, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. 222dea

    222dea Newbie

    Not sure what I have here. I picked this up a couple of weeks ago and thought it was an electric smoker. Sense I'm incredibly new to electric smokers, I thought this was how some of them were made. The temp on this box, on high, hits 225 then shuts down and cools off to about 170 before it heats back up to 225. There is no venting from the outside on the bottom of this box so if you try to put wood chips into a bowl they eventually get choked out and stop smoking. If you look underneath the element, there is a small electric fan. Also, there was a small stack that came out of the top, but it was crushed so it's not shown in the pictures. The other odd thing that was inside this box was a very heavy cast iron pot that fits perfectly in that hole over the element.

    If anyone can help me out with what I picked up, I would appreciate it.

    Thank You,

  2. Can't tell you much about it, but the pot sits above the element with wood chips inside it. When the element heats the pot it causes the chips to smoke. Of course the fan blows in fresh air. Sounds like all you need is a new temp controller or thermostat.

    Smoke it up.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  3. 222dea

    222dea Newbie

    hamrhead1971, that's exactly how I thought it should work. However; there is not outside air intake. There are no holes in the main compartment and the fan is in a sealed unit with the element.

    As for the temp of this unit, I was also thinking it was probably the thermostat.

    Two questions:

    1) Do you I think I could just drill some holes towards the bottom of the compartment to bring in fresh air? Hoping this will allow the chips to keep smoking.

    2) Can I disconnect the thermostat to see if the element will get hotter than what it's doing?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  4. Dan,
    I wouldn't go drilling holes just yet. Does the fan run? If so, close the door, turn the fan on and feel around the entire bottom for air flow into the box. It just doesn't make sense to me that it isn't pulling air from somewhere. To get smoke you have to have air.
    You can unhook the thermostat just make sure you don't let it overeheat and burn something up.
    I am also going to mention a couple other members here because I am certain
    that @dirtsailor2003 and @DaveOmak can be more helpful.

    Smoke it up.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I say ship that thing to me and after a few years of testing and a playing with it I might send it back if it works!

    I wouldn't be surprised if the max temp is only 225. There are many commercial smokers that are set to lower temps. As for the cycle where it heats to 225, the drops that's pretty normal unless you have a good PID controller. Can you tell at all what the wattage is if the element? Looking at the size of the box it would be a good candidate for a 1500 watt Brinkman or Bradley replacement element if that one doesn't work out. Couple that with a good PID and you'd have one heck of a smoker. I'd probably add a separate external smoke box and pipe in the smoke using either an AMNTS, or AMNPS smoker from AmazeN.

    My thought on the fan is that there may be no intakes. The fan is used to force the smoke and internal air out of the smoker through the hole in the top. The fan creates the air movement required to keep the chips, etc smoldering. Have you tried to burn chips or chunks yet? I'd try one or two 2"-3" chunks. Warm up the smoker with the cast iron pit on the burner. Add the chunks. You may need to torch the chunks to get them started. Close the door turn on the fan and see what happens. Throw some chicken wings in there, why waste smoke!
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  6. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Or move the thermostat up away from the heat source if you have enough lead. Or extend the thermostat leads with additional wire so it reads at food level. You'll probably want digital probe therms to be on the rack at food level anyway which you can set the heating element accordingly.
  7. My friend you have a Carter-Hoffman heated transport cabinet, It looks like the interior stainless lining and insulation have been removed along with the pan slide rails. the heating unit should be 1500 watts. Mine does not have the hole cut in the top of the heating unit. I replaced the thermostat with one that will go to 450F even though i have only used it to 350F. The fan and motor was bad in mine which I replaced. My unit is a smaller version of the one you have and I have been very happy with it so far.  I use Todd`s 5X8 pellet smoker tray for my smoke source setting on top of the heating unit.I posted some pictures of my build in the the "other smoker builds" page. Happy Smoking.   Ed  (Uncle  Ob)
    bdskelly likes this.
  8. 222dea

    222dea Newbie

    Thank you everyone for your reply's. I now know what I have.

    @UnlceOB That's exactly what it is, a commercial holding and transport cart. I think someone converted it into a smoker, that's why it has a hole cut into the top with a makeshift 3" vent tube attached to it.

    I'm still stumped how they got fresh air into the unit. I cannot keep my chips smoking and I'm pretty sure it's due to lack of oxygen being drawn into the unit. On your build you added an external fan to cool down the existing motor and to bring fresh air into the cabinet. On my removable element/fan there are no holes going from the outside to the inside of the cabinet except where the rod holding the fan blades go through. Did you add additional holes to let more air pass through? I did a smoke test to see if any outside air was being drawn into the unit, and if any was being sucked in I didn't see it.

    This unit obviously smoked before with all of the blackening on the walls.

  9. The area marked in light blue is where the fresh air comes in. The fan motor that came the unit might have not been the factory one. The one I used has a 1/4 inch shaft where the one that came in had a 3/16 shaft and was damaged along with the fan due to someone trying to grind a flat spot on the shaft. The factory motor may have had a wider c frame motor. Mine is not a factory replacement motor so it left a gap along the sides of the c frame. My fan on the end of the box that hangs down pushes air into the smoker through the area marked in light blue. I also put in a speed controller for the main fan, but it only works down to about 75% then it shuts off the main fan. I hope this helps you understand what i did.   Ed  ( Uncle Ob )

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