Author Topic: single burner for smoker  (Read 15568 times)

Offline stevesavy

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single burner for smoker
« on: March 30, 2004, 04:45:58 pm »
I recently built a smoker out of a new galvanized garbage can and painted the inside and lid with high temperature stove paint (to seal the metal). I then insulated the entire can with aluminum covered bubble wrap (Home Depot).  I inserted a toastmaster 1200 watt solid plate burner at the bottom of the can and have only been able to get the temp. up to ~ 140 deg.  (the temperature control knob has since melted and is permanently on the highest setting).  Do you think this design is ok (safe), and what brand burner do you recommend to get higher temperatures in my smoker?  I think a coil type might be the way to go.
Thanks,
First time smoker

Offline Bassman

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2004, 09:15:46 pm »
Steve,Before I owned a Bradley Smoker, I was using a converted refrigerator with 2-electric hot plates,one for heat & one for chips.I had the same problem you are having, I could never get the temp above 200F,the knob had melted off from being on high for long periods of time & I had to keep opening the door to load chips.I couldn't find a suitable burner for the ol Fridgerator.The solution to all my smoking problems came the day my Bradley showed up.Good Luck

<i><font color="blue"><b>Jack</i></font id="blue"></b>
Jack

Offline Oldman

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2004, 11:35:07 pm »
This is your call but I would 86 the galvanized can. See my reply I did concerning this type of metal on the link listed below. My reply is at the bottom of that thead.

Olds
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Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2004, 12:41:31 am »
I'm with Olds on this one. For your first delve in smoking, I can see not wanting to put out the money for a Bradley if you're not sure you're gonna like it. Go get one of the $30 Brinkmann watersmokers, it's a much safer alternative.

Once you decide you like the food & the process, you're going to tire real fast of the labor intensity of that thing & will be able to justify the $ for the Bradley.

Welcome to The Wonderful World of Smokin'[8D],

Kirk

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Ya think next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non?" they would mind?
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Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?

Offline trout

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2004, 12:46:01 am »
Olds is right.  Isn't metal galvanized with lead?  Maybe its zinc these days I'm not positive, but either way I wouldnt want to heat it anywhere near 200F for a very long time or risk some fumes in your food.  And add plastic to that and you will probably have trouble remebering names 2 minutes after meeting someone like I do.[:D]  What you have created is basically no different from one of those electric H2O smokers except they can reach far over 200F.  I would just buy one of them (under $100) if you want low budget.  But if you want to be able to make good summer sausage without overheating or make pork without drying it out, I would spent the coins and buy a smoker like the Bradley that keeps moisture in well.[;)]

Let your trout go and smoke a salmon instead.

Offline Kummok

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2004, 05:27:34 am »
Steve:
Smoking is one of the few areas where I'd recommend going with more $$ up front and get the Bradley. Anything else is going to challenge your smoking tenacity. You can definitely smoke good stuff without it....folks around here have been using Big and Little Chief Smokers for years and won't turn loose of them to try anything new. But with the exception of one guy, I've tried their smoked goods and seen them tie up many a night babysitting their smoker. I have messed up brine, meat and cooking times/temps with the Bradley and STILL haven't made anything as inedible as the "trout chips" I made with my Little Chief once.

Save the money on fishing gear, your boat, your ammunition or something of lesser importance, but get the Bradley if you plan to smoke good stuff reliably and still have time to live and love life [;)][:D][8D]

Kummok @ Homer, AK USA

Offline Kummok

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2004, 05:32:00 am »
P.S. Steve.....IF you decide to go with the Bradley, save yourself a lot of time, effort, and some $$ and check out Chez Bubba's site....not very likely that you're gonna find a better deal when you consider the fast shipping and reliable customer support that has become legend on this site! Whatever you decide, don't be a stranger to the site.....let us know what you did and how it's working for you [;)][:D][8D]

Kummok @ Homer, AK USA

Offline snapper39

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2004, 01:32:35 pm »
Steve I have built a smoker out of an old 1952 Kelvinator fridge and am having "great" success. A couple of hints I learned the hard way. Most directions tell you to just put the hot plate in the bottom of the fridge. DONT DO IT, you melt your knobs and have to open the door constantly to adjust temp. I cut a hole in the bottom of the fridge with a jig saw and a metal blade and mounted the hot plate from under the fridge (where the compressor was) the only part of the hot plate that is actually in the fridge compartment is the element and I adjust the temp from the compressor compartment without opening the door. You must have an infinite heat hot plate ( one that stays on always and doesnt click on and off) The fridge works great because it really is just an over insulated Bradley. I can achieve temps of over 275. It probally goes higher but I have stopped it at this point. I get the same results with 2-3 times the cooking space and I had a whole lot of fun making it Only problem is the previous owner painted it blue and the wife is screaming for me to pretty it up.

Snap

I'd walk a thousand miles to smoke a "Camel"

Offline trout

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2004, 10:25:38 pm »
Snapper, do you have any trouble with the plastic inside the fridge getting too hot at 275F.  I have thought about making an extra smoker with a compact fridge, but worry about the plastic getting hot and fumigating the inside with poisonous fumes.[?][?]

Let your trout go and smoke a salmon instead.

Offline Oldman

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2004, 11:55:06 pm »
trout

I quote: <b>old 1952 Kelvinator fridge </b> I was 2 then and plastic was not really around LOL!

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Offline trout

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2004, 12:59:38 am »
My 1957 Chevy had some plastic in it.[;)]

Let your trout go and smoke a salmon instead.

Offline snapper39

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2004, 04:36:39 am »
Olds hate to tell you but I wasn't even a gleam in my fathers eye in 1952!!  Seriously though, there was a little plastic that had to go. The entire inside panel of the door was some type of primative plastic (maybe fiberglass) I simply took it off laid it down on top of a $12 piece of sheet metal, traced it and cut a new one with some old tin snips. Took all of about 15 minutes. I also screwed in guides for the oven racks that I had a local shop cut for me from one inch angle iron. Really it's been a piece of cake. The thing works AWSOME. Remember these old fridges have about 3 inches of insulation in the walls, so heat retention and getting back up to temp after opening the door is a joke (10 minutes) And I have six racks, all abou 8 inches apart, I could add more if I wish.

Snap

I'd walk a thousand miles to smoke a "Camel"

Offline adlee88

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2004, 09:58:38 pm »
I've been keeping up with this forum for the past week since I first became interested in the Bradley smoker and this site.

I haven't smoked a lot lately but did start out w/a brinkman charcoal smoker about 18 years ago when I first got married. As my family life grew I just didn't have enough time to cook anything slow and low.  But I still crave to smoke and since seeing the smoke generator it seems like I could now smoke in my sleep!!

I'm very interested in building a smoker out of an old fridge like Snap has done. In fact I've been looking for one within the last week and it turns out that my parents have an 1940's fridge in the garage which they happen to be getting rid of (moving) Meant to be!!

I've done some home projects before but nothing like this. I'd love to see some detailed pictures of your 1952 Kelvinator fridge and other info. to get me started. Like where does one find the hot plate, thermostat, etc. ?

Can you guy's help?

[8][8]

Offline snapper39

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2004, 11:47:47 pm »
adlee: If I can solicit some help from Olds I would be glad to file some pics to see. I got the hot plate at the local hardware store. Make sure when you purchase one that it has a coil type element like your stove, NOT a flat type hot plate (not enough heat). I havent hooked the thermostat up yet but will be experimenting this weekend as I am out of town on business for the remainder of the week. I'm average at best when it comes to being handy and had no problems completing the project. Mine is functional now, but I will be going back at it and straightening a few things out to make it look "pretty". The only tools you really require are a grinder with a metal blade (borrowed that) a good drill (had that) and time (didn't have that, but got it done through a move and a busy schedule at work in about a month an hour here and there)but if I really went at it I could have had it done in a weekend.
Is the compressor mounted under the fridge so there is a seperate compartment under the fridge compartment?
If Olds is willing I will send him some pics of the conversion as well as some pics of the end product SMOKED BUTTS or if you want I can just email them to save everyone elses time.

Picked my "Bradley Smoke Generator" up for $180 CDN ($120 USD) they are made in Canada. I might have $150 in the rest, as I had to replace the door gasket and it cost me the most, $50.

Snap

I'd walk a thousand miles to smoke a "Camel"

Offline adlee88

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Re: single burner for smoker
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2004, 02:17:04 am »
Snap,

Thanks for replying!!

You can e-mail the pictures if that would be easier.  I'll look for the type of hotplate you've described. Where can I get thremostat's, reostats, j-couplers? This is completely foreign to me so excuse me as I really don't even know what those are except for the thermostat. Is the puck ramp from the generator above the hot plate or heating element or below as in the Bradley smoker? Did you put in a smoke diffuser/grease catcher like the bradley smoker? I was also wondering if the adapter/collar from the generator was long enough to adjust for the wall thickness in your fridge. I'm not sure but the wall thickness on my fridge looks about 2 1/2"-3" wide and it was metioned in another topic that the adaptor/collar will only go up to 2 1/2". Any problems with that or did you have to have the collar adjusted somehow?

Thanks,
[8][8]