Making a smoker?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by shichangchu, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. shichangchu

    shichangchu

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    Anyone have any ideas on how to rig a smoker besides using a stove top. My stove is only 4 burners and with the amount I’d like to do, not enough room. I tried rigging a warmer that’s usually heated by sternos with a butane burner and cast iron skillet but the safety on the burner kept getting flipped after about 30 minutes. I’d like to be able to do about 30-40 lbs of meat at a time. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Two questions: Are you talking about hot smoking (which seems to be the case) or cold smoking? And, can you work outdoors?
     
  3. shichangchu

    shichangchu

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    For the moment I'm just going to worry about hot smoking and yes I have access to the outdoors. That's where we tried doing it. I forgot to mention also tried rigging a hotel pan with the wood chips in it and placing it over another pan with a few sternos in it. The sternos got too hot and caught fire.
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    One of the simplest smokers is to convert a new metal trash can.

    Start by cutting a doorway down near the bottom tkhat lets you slide a pan in and out easily. The door should be hinged so you can close it. Leave room under the pan for the burner, which, in this case, is an electric charcoal starter.

    Run the wire from the burner to the outside, and attach it to a dimmer switch.

    Meanwhile, rig the inside of the can with brackets and hooks for holding pans, grates, etc.

    Drill a hole in the cover of the pan and mount a thermometer in it. Drill afew more holes, randomly, in the cover to allow ventilation.

    That's all it takes. Fill the pan with wood chips, set the dimmer (which is now acting as athermostat) on high and let things go. Later on, should you choose to go to cold smoking, the dimmer switch will control the temps for you.
     
  5. linny29

    linny29

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    [*]KYHeirloomer, sounds like you have done this a couple times /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
     
  6. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    You could say that, Linny.

    First one I made, in fact, dimmer switches were not readily available. What I had to do was wire in an old-fashioned fuse base, and use light bulbs to control the power.

    If you have access to cutting and welding equipment, or know somebody who does, a 55-gallon steel drum can be an even better choice. Either construct as above, or cut it in half the long way, like a grill. Add a chimney to one side, and an off-set firebox to the other, and you're good to go.
     
  7. shichangchu

    shichangchu

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    Thanks for the help. That's sounds like something I could pull off. Do you know of any videos that show the process. Sorry, I'm more of a visual learner.
     
  8. vohrtex

    vohrtex

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    Alton Brown made one with a hot plate and some terra cotta flower pots



    I would think the hardest part would be getting a hot plate that fit in easily.

    -Matt
     
  9. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Sorry, ShiChangChu, I don't. I've made those kinds of smokers for more than 30 years, and, in the past, had written about them in outdoor magazines. But I don't know of anyone else who builds them.

    Alton Brown made one with a hot plate and some terra cotta flower pots

    And why not? All a "smoker" is is an enclosed chamber and either an internal or external heat source. I've seen smoking done with a cardboard box, open fire, and section of stovepipe, for instance. Worked just as well as the most sophisticated, commercially built ones.
     
  10. maryb

    maryb

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    Semi pro/retired now