thermostatically controlled gasser?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by yardbird, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper

    Does anyone make a thermostatically controlled propane smoker? I'm thinking about canibalizing a regular propane gas oven from a range or something to get the burner and control valve and stuff, and constructing my own. But before I even ATTEMPT to go down that road, I was wondering if I'm reinventing the wheel. I believe a "normal" house oven made to run on propane is expecting a higher pressure than that found in a 20# tank. And it would have to have power supplied as I think the burner control needs to be connected to 110v someplace. I'd have to investigate that.

    anyone have any ideas?
  2. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    If you want help makeing one I'm game. Have had high and low pressure boilers licens scince 99. Do you want a standing pilot or spark or coil ingtion. Are you wanting on the cheap or do you want all the bells and whistles. I have been looking for a heater with a cracked heat exchanger to get all my parts on the cheap. You don't have to have power to it if you go old school with a pilot genterator like on old floor furnace or wall makes its own millavolts the hard part is I haven't found oven con.rtols in milla volts
  3. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Damm auto correct. I'm on a phone.
  4. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper

    Well since it's an outdoor cooking thing, I would be concerned about a pilot blowing out. That's one of the reasons I was thinking about supplying it with propane and also plugging it in. I don't need this for cooking out in the woods. I'm looking for the set-and-forget convenience of an electric, but I haven't found an electric yet that would give me the high heat I use on poultry. I've pushed poultry to 375 with no ill effects on smoke flavor AND I get better skin. I have a chef friend who regularly cranks out poultry at 450-500 degrees and I'm tellin' ya it comes out spectacular (not smoked).

    Anyways. I'm thinking of a prototype built with metal studs and insulated with fiberglass insulation. I don't think any of the foams will handle oven heat. I could start with a premade box, like my Smoke Hollow *grin* or just fab from scratch. The big thing is finding a burner and control that is hopefully readily available and making it work.

    ** oh yea....** if I can't pull this together for a very reasonable cost, I'll probably buy a pellet grill heheheh.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  5. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Can't go wrong with a coil igntion. They are on all the latest equipment. If you had a pilot it would have a safety to shut it down absent a flame. A honeywell smart gas valve would be a good place to start cause it has a circut to help with the controles and a coil igntion pair it with a good pid and a good amount of high heat limits and you'll have. A solid unit . All you need is a pilot tube kit to light the burrner. You could make a burrner out of black gas pipe . Their are many threads on here about that.
  6. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    You will also need a transformer to step the voltage down to 24.
  7. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I took a retired stainless steel commercial fridge and converted it to be used as our sausage smoker about 5 years ago. It propane powered, thermostatically controlled and has an electronic auto ignition pilot light that takes care of it if the flame is blown out. The pilot light is 12 volt which I added a trnsformer so I could plug it into 110. This set up works very well for me and it hold steady temps from 100º to 250º.

    This last fall my wife's uncle got a hold of a commercial sliding door cooler and took out the doors and added a homemade, insulated hinged door and used my parts list to heat his and it is working very well for him also.

    I used a burner from a Holland grill on mine, my wife's uncle used a larger BTU square style burner since the interior of his smoker is larger than mine.

    I found and my wife's uncle had the same experience that a 20 lb. tank does not put out enough pressure, both him and I have to use 100 lb. tanks to make our set ups operate properly.

    I do have to say in warning, we are playing with propane here and it can be very dangerous. Make sure you know what your doing and use common sense. I don't want anyone hurting themselves.

    Here is a list of the major components I used -

    Brackets – used to hold the burner off the floor – ordered them online later seen them in the local hardware store cheaper.

    Thermometers for the door – wanted something low enough to show 90°, purchased Cooper thermometer 2” dial with 5” stem our range was -40° to 180°. We bought these locally from a restaurant supply company in town.

    Holland Grill propane burner from a BBQ grill
    Had an extra laying around from parts to a grill

    Thermostat user manual from the part - this is the site we bought ours from but I don’t see our model # there anymore. Maybe call and see what would be a replacement.
    Product # - 141-0521


    Ignition Kit
  8. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Most gas valve are 24 vac not 12vac. It will drive up your cost for special voltage.
  9. trent

    trent Newbie

    Several years back a member on this forum "setitandforgetitsmoker" converted his propane smoker to a temperature controlled unit with a PID, propane gas range valve, and pilot light.  I think he posted some pictures of his mods.

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