Custom heaters for a DIY BBQ smoker

Spring is in the air, and with that comes savory meals cooked over the course of dozens of hours. While preparing for your yearly allotment of pork and beef, check out [Brett Beauregard]‘s custom heater elements he built for a DIY wood smoker.

This build follows the very successful smoker [Brett] built last year. This year, he’s using the same toaster oven heating elements, only cut down to make the heater smaller and more efficient. Basically, [Brett] is making a small cartridge heater out of the equipment he already has.

After cutting the toaster oven heating elements to length, [Brett] reamed out the ends to expose the nichrome wire. A short hit with a TIG welder bonded the lead to the heating element. Insulated with furnace cement, [Brett] had a custom heater perfect for charring chunks of mesquite or hickory.

Meat smokers aren’t very complicated – they can be built with a flowerpot and a hotplate, and will still cook up a delicious dinner. We might have to borrow [Brett]‘s technique when we build this year’s smoker.

Comments

  1. Edward T. says:

    Love the little how to.

  2. Hacksaw says:

    I’m gonna be a jerk here…if there is no burning wood it isn’t BBQ and using electric is just WRONG!

    • tehnoo says:

      Heh, I get what you’re saying from a “traditional down home BBQ” kind of angle… but if if there’s smoke coming from the wood, isn’t it burning?

    • Brett says:

      I completely agree. electric is an abomination. which is why I’ve named my rig the franken-smoker. I’ve done the all-wood thing, and it’s just such a pain in the ass (yes, I know that’s part of the fun.)

      this is part of my over-arching goal to make a quality product in a set-it-and-forget-it fashion. I’m using pid electric control in the chamber and get +/- 1 degree for hours and hours. the results are, well, worth the shame.

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