The Fridge

Discussions about turning that old refrigerator into a Smoker
User avatar
Gary_G
Wants to build a smoker
Wants to build a smoker
Posts: 27
Joined: November 14th, 2017, 7:40 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Alabama

The Fridge

Postby Gary_G » November 16th, 2017, 2:23 am

I built this one in 2011, so here is a recap of my cabinet smoker made from a double wide industrial refrigerator.

The original unit had been stripped of the exterior stainless and doors, and the compressor was gone... so all I had to do was chisel off the foam to reveal two really nice SS cabinets. That much was free.

I have the second interior shell in the back yard today, and am thinking of cutting it down to make a mini with 3 racks (eventually...some day maybee)

I built a exoskeleton out of angle iron and insulated everything with 2 inch rock wool.

I riveted in 8 pairs of angle iron rails and built the 24x24 racks. To get a reverse flow action going, I put the stack vent holes towards the bottom of the CC. The outer skin is aluminum.

I started down the path of wanting to make it a pellet burner, and decided to build the pellet system from scratch. Just a few pictures of that work to show I gave it a good try.

I ended up dropping the pellet drive motor/auger assembly, and it never worked right after that, so had to I built a quick and easy (and really light) gravity fed firebox to get it ready for a large event.

Since then, I have done a few large cooks around just over and under 200 lbs, and several more around 125, 100, 75 and 50 lbs.

The quickie firebox has lasted 6 years.

The firebox needs rebuilding so thats why I'm here. Planning to go thicker in some areas, since the original was 1/8 inch plate and a really thin stainless chute.


ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk


Regards,
Gary

User avatar
ajfoxy
Expert
Expert
Posts: 1438
Joined: April 12th, 2016, 8:07 pm
Title: Neophyte Smoker Bldr
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Re: The Fridge

Postby ajfoxy » November 16th, 2017, 3:10 am

That is a nice build.


Learning generally boils down to "Repetition or the avoidance of pain", some people learn by doing, some by watching and some just have to pee on the electric fence.

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. Henry Ford

User avatar
Rodcrafter
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8053
Joined: July 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: The Fridge

Postby Rodcrafter » November 16th, 2017, 3:59 pm

:beer: :beer: :beer:


Current Smokers: Backyard RF Offset and Hybrid RF Offset trailer rig with Cowboy cooker and fish fryer, always room for more........

User avatar
Gary_G
Wants to build a smoker
Wants to build a smoker
Posts: 27
Joined: November 14th, 2017, 7:40 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Alabama

Re: RE: Re: The Fridge

Postby Gary_G » November 16th, 2017, 7:14 pm

ajfoxy wrote:That is a nice build.
Thanks !

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk


Regards,
Gary

User avatar
Gary_G
Wants to build a smoker
Wants to build a smoker
Posts: 27
Joined: November 14th, 2017, 7:40 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Alabama

Re: RE: Re: The Fridge

Postby Gary_G » November 16th, 2017, 7:16 pm

Rodcrafter wrote:
Ah, the icons looked like 3 cups of butter to me !

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk


Regards,
Gary

User avatar
Big T
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4468
Joined: September 1st, 2013, 2:40 pm
Title: Go Getter
BBQ Comp Team Name: Backyard Boys
Location: Lower Alabama

Re: The Fridge

Postby Big T » November 16th, 2017, 8:16 pm

Nice setup!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

User avatar
Squiggle
Expert
Expert
Posts: 2611
Joined: December 19th, 2015, 5:04 pm
Title: Reformed non-smoker!
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Mole Creek, Tasmania

Re: The Fridge

Postby Squiggle » November 17th, 2017, 4:13 pm

Very cool! :kewl:


Formerly known as "Hey you there in the bushes!"

User avatar
Gary_G
Wants to build a smoker
Wants to build a smoker
Posts: 27
Joined: November 14th, 2017, 7:40 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Alabama

Re: The Fridge

Postby Gary_G » April 29th, 2018, 11:33 pm

Post mortem update... the firebox is dead. Heres the hole that appeared on my last cook. I need a firebox makeover before I can run my fridge cabinet smoker again.

No surprise that this thinwall FB eventually burned through. Everything else on the cabinet is doing well, although have some improvements in the mental marinade for the drip pan and heat transfer tube at the bottom of the cabinet .

I drawed up plans for a new firebox to get some more ash and chute capacity from the same basic space I have available... time to start collecting materials so I can burn some wire on a new FB.

You can see where the heat is concentrated in the second picture. The ash box and 2x4 tubing and angle iron is just 1/8" thick, and the grate is 1"x1/4" stair tread. The chute is like a 7.5" dia stainless stove pipe. The FB weighed about 30-40 pounds.... really light!

I always use a stoker fan, for the past 3-4 years I have been using 2*6 mm fans. You can see from the thermometer that it cranks out some serious heat, and I have measured with a thermocouple 1200 F when it is pushing hard with small charcoal in the chute.

The third picture is from a couple years ago, and shows a couple of dents in the area that eventually burned through. I remember tapping the chute with the wrong kind of object, like a slag hammer or something. Wonder if that made a weak spot ?

Keep in mind I made this from stuff I had laying around, and wanted to see/show where the heat is in the GF charcoal type of FB. ImageImageImage

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk


Regards,
Gary

User avatar
Big T
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4468
Joined: September 1st, 2013, 2:40 pm
Title: Go Getter
BBQ Comp Team Name: Backyard Boys
Location: Lower Alabama

Re: The Fridge

Postby Big T » April 30th, 2018, 8:27 pm

You definitely got your monies worth out of it. I wouldn't have thought 1/8'' metal would've lasted that long. :beer:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

User avatar
Rodcrafter
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8053
Joined: July 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: The Fridge

Postby Rodcrafter » May 1st, 2018, 5:20 pm

1/2” is the way to go. LOL


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Current Smokers: Backyard RF Offset and Hybrid RF Offset trailer rig with Cowboy cooker and fish fryer, always room for more........

User avatar
ajfoxy
Expert
Expert
Posts: 1438
Joined: April 12th, 2016, 8:07 pm
Title: Neophyte Smoker Bldr
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Re: The Fridge

Postby ajfoxy » May 1st, 2018, 7:20 pm

Only 1/2" RC??? My, you have mellowed. =))


Learning generally boils down to "Repetition or the avoidance of pain", some people learn by doing, some by watching and some just have to pee on the electric fence.

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. Henry Ford

User avatar
Rodcrafter
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8053
Joined: July 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: The Fridge

Postby Rodcrafter » May 2nd, 2018, 5:39 am

I know what you mean, I didn’t want to scare him off.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Current Smokers: Backyard RF Offset and Hybrid RF Offset trailer rig with Cowboy cooker and fish fryer, always room for more........

User avatar
Gary_G
Wants to build a smoker
Wants to build a smoker
Posts: 27
Joined: November 14th, 2017, 7:40 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Alabama

Re: RE: Re: The Fridge

Postby Gary_G » May 2nd, 2018, 7:03 pm

Rodcrafter wrote:I know what you mean, I didn’t want to scare him off.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
How much should materials for a "typical" GF chute and firebox cost, assuming the optimal (not crazy) thickness in the right places ?

I guess I will have to spend some money on the next one... thinking I may go as thick as 1/4" or 3/8" on a few pieces on a new ash box and lower chute - where I can see all the heat. No need to go thicker where it is holding up good, right ??

I am surprised that the 1/8" 2x4 transfer tube is not flaking out or showing any signs of heat damage... it routinely sees 1000F on the first pull and after keeping the door open to add more cold meat.

My new design will have two transfer tubes, one for each side of the cabinet. I also plan to use some double wall "insulation" around the hottest part of the FB since mine is external.

Ok, so how much for typical FB.... gotta set a price (and weight) to beat.

Heat is no problem with charcoal and a stoker fan !

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk


Regards,
Gary

User avatar
Gary_G
Wants to build a smoker
Wants to build a smoker
Posts: 27
Joined: November 14th, 2017, 7:40 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Alabama

Re: The Fridge

Postby Gary_G » May 2nd, 2018, 7:39 pm

Here is what I am thinking for the new FB dimensions and a couple of improvements.

Square chute, with a wider taper towards the bottom and enough volume to hold more coal than the old one. That means more nap time between feedings.

Chute lid and FB door with real BBQ smoker grade hinges and latches that wont rust or fall apart.

Double wall construction around the hottest areas of the FB and chute ... will route the intake air through the cavity for cooling, while warming the intake air going into the FB.

The stoker fan(s) will have to be easy to mount/remove in a place where they can not get too hot.Image

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk


Regards,
Gary

User avatar
Big T
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4468
Joined: September 1st, 2013, 2:40 pm
Title: Go Getter
BBQ Comp Team Name: Backyard Boys
Location: Lower Alabama

Re: The Fridge

Postby Big T » May 2nd, 2018, 8:27 pm

It looks like you've got it figured out. Most guys use 1/2'' steel plate for the fire box area to withstand the heat.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

User avatar
Rodcrafter
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8053
Joined: July 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: The Fridge

Postby Rodcrafter » May 3rd, 2018, 5:16 am

Yeah that.

The ash box 1/4”. FB 1/2”


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Current Smokers: Backyard RF Offset and Hybrid RF Offset trailer rig with Cowboy cooker and fish fryer, always room for more........


Return to “Refrigerator Smokers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests