Electric Smoker Modifications

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dutch, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    I do that too when doing cooler smokes
  2. kookie

    kookie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am working on boosting my lil cheif's output. I removed the lil 250 watt element and I am sticking in a 1000 watt element. And if the still isn't enough I am making sure the I can stick the 250 watt elememt back in and use both elements together. So hopefuly along with my temp control and the insulated enclosure that I made will let me smoke this winter when it gets cold here. Well thats all I am working on for now. Love the site. Always looking for new ideas. Have a Merry Christmas everyone.
  3. kookie

    kookie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well I just wanted to update from my last post. I got my new element installed in the little cheif and I decided to leave the original 250 watt element inside and hooked up. So with the new element and the original element I will have a total of 1250 watts to heat the smoker. I am planning on most of the time of only using the 1000 watt element. And using the 250 watt when I need a boost. With the new element my temp control works great, it gives me good control on temps. Now I just need the time to do some smoking again. Maybe this coming weekend. Merry Christmas everyone.

  4. hi do u happen to know what brand/make and model it is. im looking for 1 and it would be a big help
  5. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    this is my third smoker i have built each time i try to make it tighter better door gap and seals made vents tight when closed.this last one worked great when seasoning it temp was 70 to 75 outside smoker run at 230.
    had several good smokes out of it till christmas day it was a little breezy and 20 outside temp. max smoker temp i could reach was 190 after 6 hours of head scratching and more charcoal then i have ever used i shut er down. then da the good seasoning made it even tighter. i open bottom vent today outside temp 24 smoker 290 way to hot ,vented down, thru on fresh turkey and away we go. got on ebay bid on electric oven thermostat 17 amp contacts. i run a 750 watt element this will handle 1500 watt no problem. so thanks teacup13 info was great.
  6. can't find a thermost, need help
  7. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    just playing with this idea but i think it will work have several more mods to do .
  8. Has anyone tried using a dimmer-type control? You'd be able to provide constant heat, while keeping the temperature from getting too high. The only con is that you'd have to monitor the temperature and adjust as needed, but once you've got it tweaked, it should work. Once I get my smoker cleaned up and cured, I'll know whether or not I'll need to install any kind of controls, but I have a feeling I will.

  9. woodruff

    woodruff Fire Starter

    I just learned over the weekend that if you purchase a temp control sensor for an electric over ( G.E. ) or other famous brands, you can place this unit inline with your hot plate or other burner and it will heat up to desired temp and then shut itself off till more heat is needed, you still have a small amount of heat coming from the wood/charcoal to help maintain temp. the black jack smoker i just got has this unit in it and im told it works very well. he also said to use a heavy duty drop cord to supply power so you dont loose petential power to the element. ill track to parts needed to do so and post them later
  10. I was pursuing this issue the other day, looking at Home Depot for something to use to regulate the voltage, rather than to turn it on and off. I looked at the light dimmers, but the highest-rated one I could find was only 600W, and that's not gonna work. I talked to an electrician friend of mine, and he said you can get 1500-2000W or so rated dimmers, but they're up there in price ($100-$150). As I looked around HD, I found a "mechanical" electric baseboard thermostat. By the way it looks, it's just a high wattage dimmer - no temp settings, just higher and lower. Fortunately, my smoker doesn't get overly hot, so I don't need one, but it's an option for anyone who might need some sort of control over their temperature, but doesn't want to worry about not having consistent smoke.

  11. woodruff

    woodruff Fire Starter

    HI Jm, i have a buddy that runs a woodshop and as we talked i told him about the quetion as to what would regulate the heat element for us smokers that would be able to hold the power level . he told me to check into a router speed control unit. so i found some a www.harborfreight.com router speed controlers with power dial and meter. they areonly $12.99 and item # is 43060-4yea . he said it can hold alot of power cause he uses huge table routers and they perform well. ill call harbor freight and get the power ratings and a diagram for wireing. hope this helps
  12. woodruff

    woodruff Fire Starter

    OK friends, i called harbor freight and they dais that the router speed controler would handle peak power of 250 volts which should power any electric element . the technical dept is searching for the shcematics of the item and will call me back with the breakdown of the information. we are trying to find a watts handling level and other power related info.
  13. woodruff

    woodruff Fire Starter

    Call from technical support said that the unit would safely handle 15 amps of power and or 250 volts of current, dont know exactly how much the elements will draw but sounds like it would be a good thing to try, if i get to that point with my new Black Jack electric smoker i will try one. happy smokin
  14. bcolins

    bcolins Newbie

    Any chance you could take some pics of the the inside of your outlet boxes so we could see how you did it? Also,...how did you mount your temp probe inside the smoker?
  15. I bought that router control. The fuse blew the first time I used it so I put in a higher rated fuse. It worked, but when I picked the unit up to change the setting, it was so hot it burnt my hand. I finally went with a electric oven thermostat.
    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ead.php?t=6141 Bluezman
  16. bcolins

    bcolins Newbie

    I did the same thing for the first use of my smoker.........Lift up the middle and top portions of the smoker using the side handles to replace your wood chips.
  17. teleburst

    teleburst Meat Mopper

    My problem with the Brinkmann (as outlined on other threads) is that it definitely cooks at 250-plus. I want to reduce it to around 200. Short of doing the thermostat thing, has anyone tried venting the unit by opening the feed door and cracking the lid a bit? I realize that I'm going to lose some of the smoke, but I got great smoke from just three softball-sized foil wrapped chips (with a few chips thrown on top of the lava rocks during the last hour for good measure). Since that's not a lot of chips, I thought that I could double up on the foil packets and add another three about midway through the cook.

    My idea is that by finding the right amount of ventilation, I should be able to regulate the temp downward. Has anyone tried this? It seems like it should work pretty well once the right combination of openings is hit upon. I really want to do a 12 hour smoke of brisket but fear that at the normal temp, it will cook too quickly. Therefore, I want to actually reduce the efficiency while maintaining constant heat to the wood chips.

    Plus, it has the value of simplicity and working the smoker much as you would with working with charcoal. I like the idea of using natural processes to control the temp, much as you would with knowing when to add new logs to a wood-fired hearth, or adding new charcoal/wood to a fire.

  18. flyin'illini

    flyin'illini Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Teleburst - Welcome to the SMF! I have put no mods on my ECB electric and only 'vent' to control temps as you are describing. (side door open and/or by tilting the lid) I would like to do some of these mods but find just venting is good enough. I find the steady-state temp depends a lot on the ambient conditions are you in. (wind, outside air temp, etc) It is steady when the ambient is steady. You can run this for a long smoke, just get a good thermo to monitor it with and you should fine.

    I agree you get away from the 'set it and forget it mode' more than some think on a day when the external ambient is not steady. I ended up with a drum since I figured since I was monitoring so much on the ECB elect, I may as well about fire management and get a bit more space.

    Hope this helps.
  19. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    15 amps at 250 volts breaks down to 7.5 amps at 125 volt thats about 900 watts i would not go there.
  20. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    I recently purchased an ecb elec. and had read about the high temps that people were getting. I ran some tests on mine to see if I got the same results. I installed a thermometer after calibrating it in boiling water. I too got the same high heat readings (250-260 degrees). One thing that I noticed was the water pan acts as a heat deflector thus directing the heat up the sides and collecting at the top of the lid. I figured that the temp readings were not reprsentitive of the actual temp on the 2 grills. To confirm my suspicions, I suspended the probe from my Acurite half way between the 2 grills. There was a 20 degree drop in temp than what was showing on the lid thermometer. The Fix: I cut a 4" diameter hole in the lid, as close to the top as possible. By chance, I had an old aluminum coffee percolater, the kind that would go on a propane stove or open fire. The lid to the basket was exactly 4" with a 1/4" lip all the way around. The Test: With the grills and water pan in place (water pan 3/4 full of hot water) and the probe from the Acurite half way between the 2 grills the temp was 225 and with the lid from the coffee basket in place, 238 degrees. The lid from the coffee basket has a boatload of small holes in it, so it vents quite well. Now for the real test: I put a 4lb pork shoulder on the top grill and let it do its thing. 6 1/4 hours later the meat temp was 165 and I finished it off it the oven to 195. The pulled pork was outstanding!!! Mission Accomplished!!! By the way, I smoked the shoulder with the basket lid OUT. The heat was perfect.

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