Author Topic: New guy/ new project  (Read 15246 times)

Offline KRAKMT

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New guy/ new project
« on: December 25, 2010, 12:17:27 pm »
Merry Christmas!

So a couple weeks ago a buddy was headed to town to buy a smoker, his wife got a monster bull elk, old bull- think lots of sausage. I mentioned that my neighbor had offered me an old fridge/smoker because neighbor's wife wasn't a fan of smoked meat. Well after my buddy decided he didn't want to spend $ we started.
I think I have read every thread and have gleaned about as much as will fit in my brain. So then I ordered a generator.
Fridge inside is 17x19x31. It has 12 inches height space below which is where we plumbed in the smoke generator and the heat source. We welded in two baffles to make two separate chambers. We have a 1000 watt hot plate we plan to install in the back heat chamber but we might need more power.
We plan to install two 2" stacks between the heat chamber and the meat chamber. Same for between the smoke generator chamber and the meat chamber.   

Any suggestions/comments? We will revise the electronics after we see if the mechanics work.



Fridge/smoker came with a two inch square smokestack which doesn't seem like enough but we may just add a exhausting fan to remove the smoke and move the heat up.
   

Offline DTAggie

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2010, 12:53:41 pm »
Welcome KRAKMT.  I am no help but somebody will be along soon that is.  Board is a little slow today as well enjoy Christmas.

Offline beefmann

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2010, 02:25:25 pm »
here is a few ideas as well. first is a 900 watt finned heater ( and yes they make larger )

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=17329.0

and a timer / pid

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=17304.0

the timer switches between the smoking and the cooking, the pid is a  digital temperature control , if you are going to be running a 1000 watt or  more, you  do need a temperature controller  of some kind to regulate the  heat not  just regulate the  power to the  heater.

on that size of unit i would consider a fan or blower to move the air over the  heater and  back into the box, if possible mount the heating  element  near the top. the blower behind it and force the  air down along the back and into the bottom below your bottom rack and above your grease catch tray.

good luck and looks like a good project
Where Da Beef ! ! !
OBS with Original 900 watt mod
auber PID with Smoke timer and duration time
Rec Tec RT 680 pellet grill

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2010, 02:33:23 pm »
That looks like a very cool project!  Look forward to seeing how this goes.

A few of questions:

1.  What temperatures do you expect to run in the meat section of the smoker?

2.  How do you plan to control that temperature ?

3.  How does the smoke get into the meat section form the SG chamber ?
I like animals, they taste good!

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Offline KRAKMT

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2010, 03:12:31 pm »
That looks like a very cool project!  Look forward to seeing how this goes.

A few of questions:

1.  What temperatures do you expect to run in the meat section of the smoker?

2.  How do you plan to control that temperature ?

3.  How does the smoke get into the meat section form the SG chamber ?

We stuck the hot plate inside with a couple cinder blocks from outside(below zero) and were able to get to 165 within 7 minutes. I will be happy if it will hold 200 on the highend.
Ifn the mechanics work I will tackle the Pid. The hotplate has a control knob that we will stick out the back for early testing.
On the line on the inside(in the first picture) will be a row of 2 inch holes- 2 in the smoke chamber and 2 in the heat chamber. We have a diffuser/ drip cover to go over the holes and room for drip trays on the insides. We hope the two 2" holes will be enough but we can go bigger if need be.
I came to the forum before I drilled to double check to see if I was missing something.
Still need to put stoverope around the door, caulk a few gaps and figure out some racks but forging ahead. 



Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2010, 06:12:46 pm »
Is the interior of the planned meat compartment metal or plastic ?  I can't tell from the pics.
I like animals, they taste good!

Visit the Recipe site here

Offline KRAKMT

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2010, 07:29:18 pm »
Its all steel- oldstyle steel.Probably from the 40s? Whole fridge is metal with 2inches of insulation all around it.
I had to dremel the hole for the generator because the hf hole bit wouldn't touch it.
Got the racks rebuilt and need to make a few adjustments and install sausage hangers somehow.

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2010, 10:38:47 pm »
Cool! 

Sounds more like a tank than a refrigerator.
I like animals, they taste good!

Visit the Recipe site here

Offline KRAKMT

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2010, 07:08:30 am »

A couple questions and possible design option.
1. When smoking we need to exhaust the smoke. But what is the highend temp needed just for smoking?

2. After 2 hours of smoke there is no need to exhaust, right?
So the recirulation of air across the heating element should come from the inside of the meat chamber rather than from the outside?
I am thinking of putting a stand of pipe in the corner from high in the meat chamber all the way to the bottom into the heat chamber for my circulation fan. 
Thoughts?

Offline KRAKMT

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2010, 07:45:23 am »
I am thinking about adding a fan like this

http://cgi.ebay.com/RUSSO-STOVE-CONVECTION-BLOWER-FAN-/160361158538?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item255645178a

that will vent smoke either outside or recirc air back down to the firebox.

(not that fan but to function like it and use an electronic air control to direct the air)

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2010, 07:50:09 am »
The answers to your questions depends on what you plan to smoke and what you want to achieve.  Personally, I would lean towards a simple circulation fan inside the meat compartment to keep the air well circulated (as in a convention oven), but always with an open vent to the outside.  There will almost always be moisture that should be vented.  That is the way convection ovens are built.
I like animals, they taste good!

Visit the Recipe site here

Offline Sailor

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2010, 07:54:06 am »

A couple questions and possible design option.
1. When smoking we need to exhaust the smoke. But what is the highend temp needed just for smoking?

2. After 2 hours of smoke there is no need to exhaust, right?
So the recirulation of air across the heating element should come from the inside of the meat chamber rather than from the outside?
I am thinking of putting a stand of pipe in the corner from high in the meat chamber all the way to the bottom into the heat chamber for my circulation fan. 
Thoughts?


1. If you are doing Butt or Brisket I would say 200 to 225 degrees. 

2. I think you need air exchange.  The meat will give off moisture and you have to exhaust it.  If you seal it up you will not release the moisture and the heat in the smoker will go down because the moisture is sapping all of the heat.  Sounds weird I know but a closed off vent will prevent the smoker from building heat.

I have been thinking about your project and how to make the smoke chamber and heat chamber work the best with the meat chamber.  Thing you have to remember is that heat rises and cold drops.  If you put a stand pipe at the top you are pulling hot air back into your heat chamber and not heating the colder air.   I guess if you have a fan that is changing the air you would be OK with that set up.  Pikeman (Kirby) built a smoker out of a RR switching cabinet and I bet he could give you some pointers.


Enough ain't enough and too much is just about right.

Offline Sailor

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2010, 08:06:07 am »
Here is the thread on how Kirby did his RR Switch cabinet.  You might be able to get some ideas from looking his photos.  http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=18181.msg220803#msg220803


Enough ain't enough and too much is just about right.

Offline KRAKMT

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2010, 10:04:27 am »
Good call. I made a air vent cover for fresh air to get into the heat box and still building racks.
Do you all think the convection fan will circulate enough? and where to install, in the meat area and hope it draws the heat up from the hot box or in the hot box to blow up into the meat area? In the hotbox is much easier, single wall and plenty of room.

Offline Sailor

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Re: New guy/ new project
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2010, 10:40:24 am »
KRAKMT,  Been thinking about your set up and by no means am I a certified engineer (I am certifiable)  ;D.  My thoughts are that with the smoke generator you are bringing in fresh air because of the design of the SG so you are getting an air exchange into the meat changer from the smoke chamber as it pushes smoke out the top from the smoke stack.  So with that I am thinking that you are ejecting the moisture from the meat chamber.  I don't think you will want to add a lot more fresh air in than needed.  What would happen if you cut a slot or hole from the heat chamber to the smoke chamber and then run your circulating fan drawing meat chamber air forcing it back into the heat chamber which will force it into the smoke chamber and back into the meat chamber? 

If you don't have a hole from the meat chamber into your heat chamber you will not run the risk of having grease drip into your heat element.  This is a good thing.  If you turn off your SG after the smoke you will still get an even flow of air going from the smoke chamber to the meat chamber back to the heat chamber and into the smoke chamber.  Seems to me that circulating the heat and air this way would give you what you are looking for.  The less "holes" that you have in the meat chamber the better.  This way you only have to have one hole in the bottom over the smoke chamber and if you get any grease drippings it goes into your water pan. 

You could cut a hole on the back of the meat chamber down low and pipe it to the heat chamber and have your fan mounted outside the box.  It pulls cooler air "from the bottom" and forces it into the heat chamber and then into the smoke chamber.

Not sure if you get what I am trying to explain.  ;D


Enough ain't enough and too much is just about right.