Portable smoker build

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by rad racer, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. I am pretty new to the smoke'n scene....my only experiences have been with a "Little Chief" smoker my dad gave me years ago.

    My fascination with smoking was reignited a few weeks back after my younger brother brought his Bradley smoker along on our 4-wheeling trip.  My experience with smoking was limited to the use of a "little chief" electric smoker.   It required so much attention I quickly lost interest, then I saw his Bradley. I really liked the machine, the automation was great and my interest was instantly peaked. After getting home from the trip I immediately started researching smokers and initially decided the Bradley was for me.   After further research, and seeing all those custom builds, I got the bug to do my own thing instead of purchasing a ready made machine.  Before going further I should note one of my favorite hobbies is building machines so a DIY smoker seemed like just the right summer challenge for me.

    My idea is to build a "portable" electric smoker that can be brought along camping and such.  I don't expect this build will be breaking any new ground or to create something that hasn't already been done a 100 times before.  For this build my thought is to pull the best ideas from the various smokers available and incorporate these ideas into a single machine.   

    Well that's enough talk for now....let me show you some progress pictures.

    The interior is all SS sheet, cut and formed to shape.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  2. I ordered the racks from amazon, they are made from heavy gauge 304 SS with 3/8" grid.  ~$20ea 

    My smoker is sized to take standard sized cooling racks and "half sheet" baking (drip pan) for easy low cost replacement in the future.

  3. The smoke chamber is assembled with SS rivets.  

  4. Here I am making the shelf supports.  

    These are made from .063" 5052 aluminum....light weight and strong.

  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  6. After a little break I am finally back at my smoker project.

    Installed the shelf supports and the convection fan.  

    The fan is from a JennAir oven....it fits perfect.

  7. Making some headway.....heater installation is next.

  8. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow! Your quite the tin bender..

    Is there a reason, other than cost and availability, that you went with 5052 instead of 7075-T6 for the aluminum? 

    Any corrosion concerns with the SS and the aluminum?

    Great looking build so far!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks cool! Nice start.

    For me electric and camping don't go hand in hand. But the mini-WSM works! I off grid camp and hate generators. So that leaves charcoal,propane or wood as my only option. Always fun smoking up a big meal at camp!
  10. I used 5052 because it bends easy and I had some on-hand....I also have some 6061 but it is tough to bend without cracking.  I would have liked to use SS but it meant a trip the the steel yard.

    I am not too worried about corrosion....I can always replace the shelf supports if necessary.

    Thanks glad you like the build. 
  11. I hear you....off grid can be fun.   We do a lot of trips with our XP900 SXS, you gotta haul it......so it's toy haulers, generators and all the other stuff that goes with it.

    BTW, you can't even hear a Honda 2000 if it's ~15ft away [​IMG]

  12. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I called a cow elk before dawn one morning pull-starting a Honda EU2000. I pulled it, didn't start but made that little squeak, a cow meowed(?) beck about 50 yards away. Unfortunately for her I had a cow elk tag in my backpack. 

    I harvested her about a mile away after the sun came up..

    They are some quiet generators though..

  13. Installed the heater assembly today.  The black material is a high temp fiberglass type material I had left over from a previous project.....this will prevent heat transfer from the element to the chassis.
  14. Great looking build. Would love to see the finished product.  I'm located in Farmington, MN. Currently working on a fridge conversion. Just wondering what steel yard in the area has the best pricing???

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