Meat smoking (wood chips) question

Just got myself two stainless electrical enclosures 30x24x12 inches long, for $21 apiece. (note metal content)
http://www.algebra.com/~ichudov/tmp/enclosure.jpg
(they are better than the picture would suggest)
I would like to sell one and use another for making a meat smoker, in the following way. Put in a old "vintage" electric single burner stove (all metal and ceramic, no plastic visible), which I already have, to be controlled by a thermostat set at 225 degrees (already got one as well).
My question is this. For making desirable wood smoke, I would just like to put a little pot on top of the electric stove, full of chips, covered with a cover. My hope is that the wood would make smoke when heated by the stove below.
Would it be the case actually? (meaning, would there be enough smoke from whatever heat is needed to make a 2x2.5x1 foot enclosure stay at 225 degrees F?)
I have some experience with meat smoking, but none with making smokers. Maybe someone here made one and could share some experience.
i
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Ignoramus24559 wrote:

It used to be common to just put a small cast iron pan on one of those burners and have at it. Most use crappy aluminum pans now which I assume helps the heat transfer but doesn't do much for life. If you check your local everything store, many have replacement burners for commercial smokers really cheap...those may adapt more safely than an old stovetop burner.
Reading back you mentioned that the pot would be covered? don't do that. use an open top or a highly perforated cover. Also make some sort of deflector so no grease drips on the burner or chips. Grease smoke makes things taste nasty and is more flammable than I would like to see.
In terms of heat and staying at 225, you'll lose a ton of heat without insulation. A small burner cranked up will probably heat the inside of the cabinet to 225 over time but you'll burn up chips so fast that you'll need to feed it constantly....letting the heat out of course.
Look into cold smoking and curing as your cabinet is best suited to that. However, you might be able to put a second burner in for temperature along with the one for the actual smoke making.
Alton Brown on the show "good eats" did it with a cheap burner, cast iron pan, and a cardboard box so you are likely to be able to get something that gives good results.
The best will be fresh alder including the bark....1/2" branch pieces cut fresh from the trees....makes a killer smoked salmon!
Koz
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Yes, this will work fine. I think the important thing is to make a cone-shaped cover to stop the drippings from landing on the burner and chips and making a big mess....
Mmmm, I can smell it now...

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On Mon, 31 Jul 2006 21:12:09 GMT, Ignoramus24559

If the interior is at 225 degrees anything you smoke for any length of time will be cooked. That's fine if you want it cooked. But if you are making jerky or smoked salmon, for example, you will want the temp to be at 160 degrees max. Be careful about the size of the wood chips. The best chips for smoking will be almost sawdust. You can buy bags of the stuff at most stores. Luhr Jensen makes some. There are chips you can buy for smoking in the BBQ that are supposed to be soaked in water first. If you use those dry in your smoker they will catch on fire. Then the smoker contents will be really well done. If it's the burner itself that will be 225 degrees then it will probably not be hot enough to make the wood chips smoke. Cheers, Eric
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wrote:

Usually, I do want it cooked. I cook/smoke beef brisket or chicken. Beef brisket always turns out good if I cook it for about 16 hrs. I do smoke salmon also, in the same grill, just a lot less time.

No, the burner is a old (like 50 years old) single burner electric stove, the most plain cooking appliance imaginable. I bought it about 2 years ago, because I reckoned that there would not be any plastic inside, so it could be safe for smoking. At the time, I wanted to make a smoker out of a UPs enclosure, but now it is a phase converter. The SS enclosures are a lot more suitable for meat smoking.
So, no, its heating element gets red hot or almost red hot. That's why I wanted to cover chips, so that they do not catch fire.
i
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On Mon, 31 Jul 2006 21:12:09 GMT, Ignoramus24559

IME an old fridge make a great smoker. I like cold smoke for jerky. A cast iron fry pan and a few charcoal pieces works real good. Add the smoke wood (small handfull) when the coals are well started. Sprinke wood chips with water for good smoke. Keep a water squirter bottle handy for flare ups.
It usually takes 3 smoke loads for good jerky--15-24 hrs \
I also use a propane burner in mine. Not much more than a pilot is needed.for jerky Don't overheat jerky or it will cook.
I use expanded metal for shelves on angle iron standards riveted to the sides. Set the smoke pan on the ground a good 24" away from the first shelve. An adjustable vent at the top & bottom is a good thing especially when making jerky. Remove all plastic and galvanized metal.
Smoked duck-- baby back ribbs, sausage ect needs more heat than jerky.
ED----hunting season starts in 4 weeks :-)
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That's true, but it is unsigntly and I do not have an old fridge, and I am concerned about outgassing of finishes and other plastics. I do have (will have tomorrow) a 30x24x12 stainless cabinet.

Yes. I like the thermostate idea for a simple reason, it is more idiot proof. Just turn it on and forget it.

I did make jerky, but on a regular fruit dryer.

I really, really like smoked beef brisket (the big, fat pieces). Unbeatable taste.
i
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On Tue, 01 Aug 2006 02:16:48 GMT, Ignoramus21606
Big snip

I have mine covered in redwood with a stainless vent stack. Sits on the patio next to the grill. Insulation is a good thing for a smoker. It will hold 4 racks of ribs or 1/2 a deer cut into jerky at a time. I do 1-2 deer and some elk most years.

Yea I had one of those---it worked ok. But wood is still the best. I've made quite a few smokers over the years. The nicest one was made from a scrapped pizza oven, gave it away-- too big. It's at a wild game meat plant last I heard. All propane, cold N hot smoke, thermostats, ect..

Try these spices---a friend of mine made their smokers...they know jerky http://www.hicountry.com /

If ever in NYC and you like Barbecue and Jazz: http://www.bluesmoke.com
Their Memphis Baby Back Ribs set the standard IMO
ED

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Sounds very nice. I picked up the enclosures today -- in fact, they were never used (mounted) anywhere. Made from heavy gauge stainless. Quite big boxes.
Do you know if a meat smoker needs a vent on top? This enclosure has one hole in the bottom, but not (as far as I could tell) on top. (I wil check some more). I need the bottom hole for wiring, as well as for dripping the "juice".

Sounds good. Since my thermostat is adjustable up to 250 degrees, I could sue same smoker for smoking at different temps./

I usually mix my own, from cumin, peppers etc, and MSG,
Thanks!
i
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A proper smoker need both a vent and a damper, I would highly recommend the book:
Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas
I've used it for a reference for many years and it's the best It covers all aspects of meat curing/smoking.
--- ED
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Thanks. It is kind of pricey, but I will keep an eye on it. Meanwhile, a damper is a device to regulate flow of air through the vent, right?
i
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ED wrote:

I used an OLD upright freezer. Modified the side so I can add wood on the hotplates without opening the main door. Inside I took out the original front door shelves and cut the side shelf supports off, then mounted adjustable shelf brackets on the sides and one strip down the back. It also has a grid mounted on top if I want to hang longer items. Works great and is mounted on the back deck.
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What? Not on the front porch with the washer and the two old, broken TVs?
LLoyd
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Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

Nope the front deck is to exposed to the sun. Makes it hard to regulate the temperature in the smoker. Washer is in the laundry room and the three plasma screens are on repair contracts.
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Ignoramus1611 wrote:

That should work pretty well. Make a stand to put it on and make a separate smoke box for it. Feed the smoke in from the bottom and put a pair of small damper vents on the sides and fire up the smoke. I would also mount a couple of thermometers on it. One on the bottom of the door and one on top. That way you can see what the heat/smoke is doing and control it better. Makes it easier to determine where to put bigger hunks of meat and where to place them for different smoking levels. Don't forget you can also smoke cheese in there as long as you keep it at lower heat and let it smoke a while. Apple smoked cheddar with some home smoked ham sliced on homemade bread..... MMMMMMM Oh the bread can be baked on a grill to keep the heat out of the house.
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Sounds good indeed. In my case, I have these enclosures and I want to use one of them, so no freezer for me (but I agree that they have a lot of nice features for smoking).
I may want to weld on little hinges to make the door easier to open (the door opens up and down), and add a vent on top. I'll talk to my spouse today.
i
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Ignoramus1611 wrote:

Maybe mount it sideways? That way the door will open to the side and be easier to work with. Make up some racks out of stainless and smoke it up. Lot's of interesting recipes online as well as in books. I have a neat list of wood/meat combos that work pretty good together. Some ideas
http://www.askthemeatman.com/woods_to_use_for_smoking_art_updated_9300.htm
http://www.smoking-meat.com /
http://www.bowhunting.net/susieq/jerky.htm
http://www.alljerky.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.html
http://www.greatjerky.com/recipies.html
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Sounds good, yes, I may mount it sideways if I weld on some hinges.
Thanks for the recipes too. I really like smoked meat (smoked by normal methods)
i

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