smoker size

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by stircrazy, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Ok so I have been looking at electric smokers for the last month and have a question.. why are they all so small? I have not found one that can hold a full rib rack on a shelf little lone two.

    I have decided to build my own and was wondering if there is any important design conciderations to look at.

    the smoker will be double walled and insulated, and have 1 element for main heat and a external smoke generator, just have to figure out how to build one that works the way I want.

    I am planning on making the inside to hold racks that are 15" deep and 20" wide this will allow plenty of room for two full rib slabs per rack and I am looking at doing 4 to 6 racks.

    how much space should there be between racks and how much should you leave between the element and the bottom rack or does it matter much?

    and finaly would you incorperate a water pan into a electric smoker build?

    any other sugestions are welcome

  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You need to look at the MES 40' at Sam's Club for $299.00.

    My wife pick me up a new one about 2 hrs ago and is on the way home with it as I type. What ever you do stay away from the Bradley units you would be disappointed.

    I bought a new Bradley Digital 6 rack last fall and have used it 2 times. It is worthless in my opinion. I plan on selling it on Craig's list and taking my loss.

    Bradley 6 Rack Digital
    • Dimensions: Inside 15”W x 11.5”D x 33”HT
    • Dimensions: Outside: 17”W x 14”D x 39”HT - 24"W with Generator on side
    • Internal Heater: 500 watt cooking element / 125 watt smoking element
    • Bradley Price: $599.00
    MES 40"
    • Sam's Item # 173462
    • Dimensions: 41" x 20" x 24-7/8
    • MES Price at Sam's: $299.00
    • 3Yr Extended Warranty: $39.00
    • MES has 1200 Watt Heating Element
    Which would you buy?
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Have to agree the 40" MES will hold all the racks you want to cook at one time.
    Get the vertical racks that they sell after market and run the MES w/ 2 grates. you can do 12 racks easy this way.
  4. Problem is the 30" MES up here is 300 - 400 and the 40" is 450 to 500.00 (got to love inflated pricing that has nothing to do with exchange rate.)

    what is the size of the rack in the 40" MES?

    I can build the same thing but better with a PID temp controler and external smoke generator for under 300 and probably close to 200 CDN which is why I am looking at building one myself. Granted it won't be stainless and may not have a window in the door

  5. graybeard

    graybeard Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hey Steve, I like your idea of building your own and like you, I love to save $$ in the process. Keep us posted!

  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Steve,

    I'm always up for a good challenge, and "Farmer Engineer" lots of projects on my own. Some good and some not so good! Yes, you can most likely buy a MES for less than making an electric smoker, but the self satisfaction of accomplishing a project sometimes outweighs the cheaper alternative.

    I currently own a 1200 watt MES, but I'm also looking for a stainless steel commercial fridge or freezer to make a larger smoker. Maybe it's just a "Guy Thing" that we're really never quite satisfied with what we have, and always trying to make it a little better?!?!?

    The MES is probably the biggest bang for your buck and if you read the posts, is very reliable and easy to use. Does Cabelas sell/ship to Canada? They sell the 40" MES for $349.

    If you're leaning towards building one, I would check out some commercial appliance dealers for a broke down fridge, freezer or oven. Most of them have urethane foam insulation and can be converted to a electric smoker without too much work. The recyclers don't like these units because of the foam, and the dumps charge a lot to get rid of them. I bet if you do some hunting around you can get a decent unit for $100 or so. I'm constantly searching Craigslist for used commercial fridge/freezer, and have just missed a few of them.

  7. they may, but the shipping and duty fees would probably be up to 200.00.
    and after figuring out some rough costs, it is actualy going to be cheeper to build one as I am looking at around 200 bucks and say add 50 bucks for things I may have forgotten about. so 250.00 to build a smoker that can smoke 12 full slabs of ribs at once.

    I thought about using a frigde, but decided it was to big and heavy to move around by myself. also there is the problem of getting rid of the freon as that would cost about 60 to 100 bucks to get some one to come out and evacuate it. years ago I built one out of a dishwasher and did a bunch of jerkey. just added a oven thermostat to the heating element in the dishwasher and boom had a smoker. didn't know enough to add a hole for the smoke to get out... good think I like my jerkey with heavy smoke [​IMG]

  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    What ever happened to "Free Trade" between US and Canada?

    I ordered a rebuilt fridge coil unit for my RV from a guy in Canada, and the US charged me $25 for a "911 Fee".

    Gotta Love Taxes!

    Good Luck With Your Build and Keep Us Posted!

  9. Free trade only applies to what the US wants it to [​IMG] the free trade agrement is one of the worst things our goverment has done since Trudeau agreed to sell so much oil to the US and buy it back as gasoline. shut down 3 refineries in canada and drove our gas prices up.

  10. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What if you drive into Washington and pick one up in person and take it back. That way you wouldn't have any shipping. Aren't you allowed to take back a certain amount of personal goods? Where you are on the map doesn't look that far from Bellingham, Washington.
  11. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't you love free health care... got to pay for it somehow...
  12. we do.. I pay 32 bucks a month for my health care.. well did, now I am under the wifes as I retired and she pays 55 bucks for the whole family.

    now not every one pays, it is pro-rated on your income and only 3 provences actualy charge a health car premium.

    there are advantages and disadvantages to free helth care.. the disadvantages are for the rich people as they get in line for elective surgery and tests and such like anyone else. the advantages for everyone else is you are getting the same quality of care as the guy that is worth 5 billion bucks.

  13. I could do that.. would take 8 to 10 hours of driving, 100 bucks in diesel and one night in a hotel as we have to stay therte for 24 hours to get an exemption. so 300 US plus 200 cdn is about 500 cdn as we are pretty much at par now. plus I would haf a slightly smaller smoker with a temp control system that is very limited compared to an adrunio based system and costed me about 300 more.

    and I wouldn't have the fun of building it [​IMG]

    how far apart are the racks on a 40" MES? and how much space is between the bottom rack and the bottom of the cabnet?


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