Utility Cart Holding Cabinet Conversion - Should work well eh?

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by thepackerbacker, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Myself.. i like the mailbox idea.. granted, with a better looking box... but this takes the smoker out of the CC and gives more room for food... don't have to worry about covering the AMNPS to keep grease from dripping in it
  2. correct, thats what im going for with the auxilary firebox/mailbox mod. all that left is figuring out how to install the element and protect it.

    First need to figure out whicih style to buy.

    Brinkmann 1500w?

    1000W stove top style?

    Or cheap hotplate and modify it, something like this?

    And then the strip style?

  3. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here is the way mine is laid out. This was my first try with standard wire. I cut a 3/16" flat steel to fit in the shelf and cut a round hole for a round stove style burner. I now have the burner plate near the floor because I found it doesn't matter where I put it.

    The burner is offset towards the front so there is room for AMNPS in the rear. (This just one idea.) Some day you will look back on how much fun you had building your smoker.
  4. Does the steel plate heat up? That's kind of how I was think I could do it with a round. Burner. I guess I'm trying to build while preserving the most space inside for cooking.
  5. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, the plate gets hot. I have it about 8" above the aluminum floor. The floor gets warm but I can hold my hand on it. The original standard wire melted and it was 1" below the plate.
  6. I don't really have 8 inches, the whole inside is 24" tall. Could it be closer? Maybe I need to look into hot plate?
  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do not have the round heat deflector under my element. That would cut down a lot of the heat and some insulation placed around but not under the burner would help. The Brinkman element you showed is raised and could be bolted to a plate.
  8. How would I place the insulation around exactly?

    Aluminum is good up to 1200 right? So how hot would the burner actually get if I set the pid to 300 (building a PID)?

    Internal temp is 300 but the burner would be hotter than that.
  9. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I was thinking insulate between the plate and the floor and staying a few inches away from the element. With the heat deflector pan under the element it will force the plate to be about 2" above the floor. Room for insulation around your wires.
  10. Ok so make a false bottom on the bottom shelf?
  11. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, what do think?
  12. If that's the best way to do this then that's what I shall do.

    I would prefer to avoid the false bottom so as to have more room for meat but if there is no other way
  13. tjohnson

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

    I found a small holding cabinet at an auction for $25

    Replaced the element, and the controls actually work!

    Still need to cut an intake and exhaust.  It's stainless, so I'll have to get a plasma torch

    Anyway, it's a simple way to make a great little smoker

  14. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice! What does it have for a door seal?
  15. tjohnson

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

    The door seal on mine is rubber, and marginal at best

    I'll most likely use a rope seal, and silicone it onto the door

    Holding cabinets are a great way to make a smoker

    Some are insulated

    Most of them only heat to 175°, so you'll need to find an alternate heat source

    My controller happens to work, but if it did not, I would invest in  an Auber PID

    Most Proofers or Holding Cabinets are NSF Approved.  By adding a AMNPS or Tube Smoker to it, you now have a NSF Approved Smoker for far less than buying one from a Mfg.

    The NSF sticker is missing on this one, but I really don't care

    I have bought and sold 12 Proofers and/or Holding Cabinets.  The cheapest I paid was $25 and the most expensive was $325.  Some were way to nice to cut up into smokers and I resold to a restaurant.

    Keep your eyes out for them!

  16. Where would you place the intake and exhaust? I was thinking intake on the bottom towards the front left. And the the exhaust on top towards the right rear.

    And suggestions on nice looking vents/dampers/piping to use?

    I thought bottom for intake as if I do add a small firebox I can come up through the bottom and still be all flush in the side.
  17. Okay, getting ready to pull the trigger on everything for the PID controller. I want dual probes, one for smoke/box temp and 1 meat probe. Am i correct in assuming I can use this 2352P to set a temp manually and hold that temp? And then also have the ability to program temps using the ramp/soak feature? I just want to make sure I can manually set the temp too because it says in the description "This controller has all the features of the standard PID controller (except the manual control mode)." What exactly is manual control mode?

    Also, do I need 2 SSR's or just the one? The 1512 will only be used to monitor internal meat temps on things like Turkeys, etc.

    Total Items: 6  Weight: 1.693lbs  Amount: $167.85
    Qty.  Item NameUnitTotal  


    PID Temperature Controller w/ Ramp/soak, Kiln (SSR Output)
    Item #: SYL-2352P



    25A SSR
    Item #: MGR-1D4825



    Universal 1/32 DIN PID Temperature Controller
    Item #: SYL-1512A



    External Mount Heat Sink for 25A SSR
    Item #: HS25ET



    K type thermocouple 4"probe, Smoker, Oven
    Item #: TC-K3MM



    K Type Thermocouple w/ 6" (150 mm) Probe
    Item #: WRNK-171


    Sub-Total: $167.85
  18. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is why I bought the Auberins WSD-1503CPH. Yeah, it was a little more, but completely worth it to avoid these kinds of headaches. That's why I built a set-it-and-forget-it unit in the first place.
  19. What do you guys think of this insulation?  

    Thermafiber® UltraBatt™ is a new residential and light commercial mineral wool insulation batt. UltraBatt is made with 70% pre-consumer recycled content and is fire resistant to temperatures over 2,000°F. UltraBatt provides thermal insulation, fire protection and sound control.
    • Designed for Wood Stud applications
    • R15
    • 3.5" x 15" x 47" each batt
    • 5 batts per package equal 24.5 sq ft
    • Unfaced
    • Mineral wool is more dense than traditional insulation batts, the added density improves sound control
    • UltraBatt is ideal for walls between bedrooms, exterior walls, basement walls and ceilings, bathrooms, home theater walls and dividing walls in multi-family housing.
    • Mold Resistant
    • Easy to Install
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2013
  20. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I called the company that manufactures Thermafiber Ultrabatt and they said it has not been tested for being around food. They said it is made from slag impurities skimmed off molten steel. It is spun like fiberglass into insulation. The guy I talked to said he wouldn't say it is safe for food because the impurities are not all the same and each would have to be tested. He said it is excellent home insulation and really expressed the sound proofing qualities.

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