OK..gonna build my own..need some advice

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by flyweed, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Hey guys.  I just got my new PID, SSR and thermocouples in the mail yesterday. It was my intention to originally install this into my MES 30.but at 650 watts, I just don't think it would be that beneficial.

    So....I am going to just keep using my MES 30 until it dies, and during that time I want to BUILD a vertical electric smoker.

    So...my questions are...has anyone built a Vertical, electric smoker here that may have some DIY plans or photos?  I want to use wood..as I don't have access to alot of metal working tools. 

    Anyway...my plan is to build a box about the size of the MES 40..maybe a tad bigger..and then install a heating element in the bottom with a smoking bowl that sits on that, and then smoking racks above it.  all to be controlled by the PID controler.

    Hoping to find a 1200watt element to install in the bottom.

    Any pointers, advice, photos, plans would be much appreciated.

  2. hughjass

    hughjass Fire Starter


    I'm gathering the pieces to build an UDS with a 1650W heating element, controlled with PID, SSR....  The PID and SSR are left-overs from a home brewery.

    I'll be following this thread with interest.

    Thanks :cheers:

    BTW - Do I "know" you from HBT?
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now you're talking Dan!

    I knew you'd come around to that decision.

    There are a bunch of guys here who will give you a lot of great suggestions, plus you can do some searching & find a good amount of stuff.

    I know less about this kind of thing than you do, but I know you're making the right decision. Have a lot of fun while you're building it too!

  4. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Hugh...funny enough I had my start using temp controls in homebrewing too. In fact I still do home brew...mostly meads and ciders...I use a Vessel conical fermenter that I have a Ranco temp controller on for my ferments.

    Anyway....Maybe you and I could "tag team" and in this thread document our builds together.

    I have thought about a UDS as well...but not sure where the he$$ to find a barrel around here.

    I am still needing to find a good electric heating elemtent that will work too and not too pricey.

    So.....IT BEGINS!

  5. hughjass

    hughjass Fire Starter


    found my open head drum from a diesel fuel/asphalt place.  Still need to burn it.  The barrels are around, you just have to look a bit for them.

    I found this heating element.  It's 110v/1650 watt.  Not sure if I'll get enough BTU for proper smoke temps in the drum, but I'm gonna give it a try.  I'll let you know what I find there.


    RE: brewing:  I run a ghetto modified E-HERMS set up and brew ~40 gallon/month, mostly ales.  Ferment in sankes with the dip tube removed and rack with CO2, SS cane and carboy cap, ghetto style.

    Lookin' forward to reading about your build! :mug:
  6. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    well..I am gonna give this one a try.  it's 120v and 1500 watts...price was right..I got it for $8.00

    So we'll give it a shot.  Plus I like the circular design..will fit nicely into the design of the UDS

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Won't take up a lot of room either.

    One simple recommendation I'll make-----If you put that to one side in your smoker, don't put the top vent on the same side, like some commercial smokers are.[​IMG]

  8. hughjass

    hughjass Fire Starter

    Your element looks great, especially for $8.  Looks like it'd be easy to mount, too.  Angle bracket bolted to drum and element bolted to bracket.  Well done! 

    Got a link for the element?  Thanks
  9. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

  10. hughjass

    hughjass Fire Starter

    Thanks for the link.  Gonna try the one already purchased, but have this bookmarked as a back up.

    Thank you.
  11. Nice to see fellow brewers here!
  12. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I'll be posting pics soon as all my parts and pieces arrive.  I now have my PID, SSR, thermocouple, and heating element.  I have a 55 gallon drum on it's way..it is a "food grade" steel drum..so at least I know it didn't have anything toxic in it.  Picked it up for $20.00 delivered.

    So next I'll have to secure my racks, a lid, the vent piping..and should be ready to build.

  13. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Ok...I got all my parts and pieces for my UDS smoker.  I thought I'd take step by step photos of my build..but this thing went together in less than 2 hours, once I had all the parts, nuts and bolts and bits...so I thought I"d post a few photos of it pretty much finished.  I do have to add my PID control, blower and probe yet...so it's not quite done....and it goes in tomorrow to get bead blasted to take out that red coating inside.


  14. hughjass

    hughjass Fire Starter

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  15. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Well here's the finished product. I just added the "weber lid" mod..but am not real happy with it..the flat barrel lid had a tighter fit than the weber now does..I cut the lower ring off a weber grill and welded it into the top of my barrel so the weber lid would fit perfectly..but it lets out ALOT of smoke Oh well

    Here they are with PID connected........My temps seem to be higher now....with the WEBER lid mod...again it seems to let out lots of smoke compared to the old flat barrel lid..so not sure I am sold on that yet.

  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good flyweed!

    You can probably remedy the leak, but if it doesn't effect your heat too much, it's nice to give the neighbors a sniff now & then.[​IMG]

  17. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I dont mind giving the neighbors a sniff.but it just seems that this weber lid SHOULD hold in more smoke..I mean my old MES doesn't let this much smoke out..I would assume with as much smoke coming  out around the weber lid, it's GOT to affect the temps inside, since it's not a nice tight seal...I did hit almost 295F for a time today during a hamburger cook I was doing on it..this was with all vents closed except for the one with the blower attached, blower not running.

  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  19. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I suppose you could use a rope seal in the lip of the lid that sits down on the smoker drum....I don't know if the lid is heavy enough to create a good seal using a gasket or not.  It might be worth a shot however.  Or maybe a smaller silicone gasket of some sort.....just thinking out loud.


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