Smoker Plans

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This topic contains 107 replies, has 31 contributors, and was last updated by richp RichP 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 108 total)
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  • July 31, 2007 at 9:42 pm #504616 Back to Top REPORT



    Joined: 5/24/2004
    Where do ou get the needle valve? I have found them in pluming, but figured that wouldn’t work for gas.
    Casey
    July 31, 2007 at 10:05 pm #504617 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006
    Casey,

    I just picked up a regulator at the local hardware store, make sure it is labeled for propane. Assuming that is what you are using for fuel. Also, get the adjustable version, you can identify it by the big plastic nut on top, like you see in the picture. That way if you don’t get enough heat out of your burner, you can take the big nut off, and below it is an adjustment screw (it usually has a allen wrench type head, but yours may not). If you need a make and model number, I can still get it for you if you need it, just let me know.

    Any needle valve should work fine. If it works for air it will work for propane. Again, I just found one at the hardware store.

    I hope that helps.

    August 1, 2007 at 3:16 am #504618 Back to Top REPORT



    Joined: 5/24/2004
    Thanks for posting. I have seen regulators like that, but wasn’t sure. Now I will have to look at the compressor section for the needle valves. Hopefully, if I find what you said to get, I can be using my smoker by the end of the day on Thursday.

    BTW I like the pictures of your shop. I am a big woodworker, but must work out of my three stall garage. My tools and boats take up all the space. No room for the cars. I would love to have a shop like that.

    August 4, 2007 at 6:31 pm #504619 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006
    Thanks, Casey. I had a two stall garage to begin with and did the same thing you did. Every time I went to work in the place I had to make sure it was nice and clean by the end of the day so sawdust and whatever didn’t get tracked into the house. It didn’t matter if you just sanded a couple of items or tackled a big project, a mess is a mess and it had to be cleaned up. Maybe because I have (or had) four kids running around. Not too mention starting the vehicles and backing them out, heating up the garage, getting everything rolled out and ready…

    And then I knocked the back wall out of the garage and added on a 24×28 addition. I use one side for the workshop and the other side for boat storage. It really changed how I do my projects, I have my own space and nobody really gives a hoot if I have it clean or if I have 4 inches of sawdust on the floor. Just shut the lights out and come in when I’m done.

    I feel lucky to have it.

    November 17, 2007 at 3:30 pm #504620 Back to Top REPORT



    Joined: 5/24/2004
    [font=arial][/font]
    Very nicely done. I am in the process of searching plans for a SmokeHouse…a walk in type. If you have any tips or ideas, I am all eyes.
    November 17, 2007 at 5:11 pm #504621 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006
    I’ve seen a couple of walk-ins that were just a converted old outhouse.

    I also have a friend who built one a few years ago with cement block. The only wood was the door. Interestingly, he had a fire and burned the door out, even had to call the fire dept. But he was trying to fully bake turkeys, I believe, and had the fire cranked to the point where the meat dripped excessively and caused the fire.

    I think I’ve said this before, in my opinion, and only my own, if the meat is dripping you are running it too hot. Even turkeys. Smoke them to give them flavor, and then finish them in the oven, either that day or when you take it out of the freezer later on.

    If anyone wants to get a good read, get Rytek Kutas’s book. I’m sure you can find it somewhere without the VHS tape. It’s packed with incredible information. http://www.sausagemaker.com/index.asp?P … ProdID=444

    November 27, 2007 at 3:51 am #504622 Back to Top REPORT

    possumgritz

    Joined: 6/1/2006
    Very Nice 8D

    I love making sausage and want something that will hold more meat. I like this one :thumbup Do you use a water pan? Any suggestions on placing one in the smoker? I have found that while using natural hog casings they come out more tender if I use water in a pan about half way into the smoke/cook.

    Do you know if the burner that you have assembled would be adequate for a larger smoke house? I know I’m pushing it with all these questions but here’s one more. Do you have any internal temp variations when hanging summer sausages that are say 24 inches long?

    Thanks for taking the time to post this!

    November 28, 2007 at 12:39 am #504623 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006
    I think I can answer those questions.

    I don’t use a water pan. I don’t see why a person can’t just add water to the same pan as the sawdust if that is something you might want to try. I have used wetted down sawdust before just to see how it worked out, but went back to the dry method after seeing little benefit.

    I have a regulator on the burner that is about 1/2# pressure. I think you could heat a whole house with the original regulator that comes with the turkey fryer burners. I think the original on this burner was a 5#. I know you could get one very tall flame from it when you cranked it up. I figured if I left it in place to use in my smoker I would run into trouble and burn it down. So yes, you could heat a much larger smoker if you wanted.

    However, with the taller flame you would have to come up with some way of keeping the wood from burning up right away. I am refering to the sawdust or chips you use. I’m not sure how you would do that, but I imagine with a little experimenting you can come up with something.

    The temperature variation on the summer sausage is a good question. My rule of thumb is to get the meat to 160 degrees. On my smoker, after using it for this long, I just know that in 4 1/2 hours it is time to probe the meat. And it will be right there. When the top of the summer sausage sticks are at 160 degrees, the very bottoms are 170 degrees. This has never been a problem. I’ll tell you why. One time I really screwed up (or so I thought) and ran the temperature on the summer sausage up to 190 degrees. When I took it out I was disgusted with myself. I thought I had just ruined 50 lbs of summer sausage. But guess what. The sausage sat in the fridge overnight and the next morning when I cut into it, it was just fine. If I had not seen the temperature at 190 I would never have known that I ran it that high. It just didn’t seem to matter. Did I get lucky? I don’t know.

    Here’s a little trick that really makes the difference when making summer sausage: When you stick that meat thermometer in the sticks and see that the temp is high enough to quit, shut everything down. Immediately remove the sticks and either spray them with a garden hose or soak the sticks in a cold tub of water. It stops the cooking process and keeps the sticks from getting dried out. And what I really like is it makes the casings look like store-bought summer sausage. If you do it right you won’t have the wrinkle that the typical home-made summer sausage has. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

    November 28, 2007 at 12:46 am #504624 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006
    Snow cools them off nicely too. :D

    February 1, 2008 at 9:09 pm #504625 Back to Top REPORT



    Joined: 5/24/2004
    How do you think your smoker would work with a elecrtic hot plate? would it get up to enough temp for smoking sausageAt present I cold smoke fish but my smoker is to big can’t get temp up and have never smoke sausage before
    February 2, 2008 at 12:35 am #504626 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006
    I don’t think you would get enough heat from a hot plate. It takes quite a little heat for a unit this big, especially when it gets cold out.

    Maybe they make bigger wattage hot plates than what I know of too. Or maybe a couple of them? I don’t know, let me know if you try it.

    I like the LP (propane), it’s tough to beat and I can control the heat no matter what the ambient temperature.

    December 8, 2008 at 9:49 pm #504627 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006

    December 25, 2008 at 2:23 am #504628 Back to Top REPORT

    boanda

    Joined: 12/18/2008
    Your smoker plans look great, I’m about ready to try making one. On other forums, people say that plywood should not be used since toxins from the glue in plywood could be released when heated up.

    Do you think I should be concerned about using plywood ? Their suggestion was using tounge-in-groove pine. Would this add a lot to the cost ?

    Thanks for your great work on documenting the plans.

    Dan

    December 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm #504629 Back to Top REPORT
    richp
    RichP

    Joined: 3/18/2006
    I don’t know about the toxins, although I did wonder about that same thing myself. My way of dealing with it was to heat the smoker up to about 250 degrees for a few hours with smoke rolling out of it prior to actually smoking any meat in it. I have no clue if that takes them all out, if there is actually any to worry about to begin with, or how you would even determine if there were any to begin with. Running a smoker at 200 degrees is actually very low heat, what does it take for wood to catch fire? Maybe around 1000 degrees? I have a hard time imagining toxins coming out of the wood or glue way down there at the 200 degrees, but what do I know? After a few hours of smoking, the inside surface of the smoker gets pretty well sealed up.

    Bottom line is, if YOU are concerned about it, I wouldn’t use plywood. I personally think it is fine, but that’s me. The tongue and groove would indeed be more expensive, but it would make a cool looking smoker. If you build one you’ll have to post some pictures.

    December 27, 2008 at 4:25 pm #504630 Back to Top REPORT
    pa_mathews_man
    PA_MATHEWS_MAN

    Joined: 2/22/2005
    How the Heck did I miss this topic :oops: #-o

    Very Nice Rich,, I think I May attempt this, I’m really bad at woodworking, But I think this May be easy enough to build, Plus I need an excuse to Use this Turkey Fryer I’v had sitting in the box for 3 years now ..

    Great post :thumbup

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 108 total)