Some technical improvements on [Alton Brown's] hacked smoker

Bringing that smoky goodness to your cooking is neither hard, nor is it expensive. [Alton Brown], who we consider to be the MacGyver of cooking, always seems to be able to build cooking contraptions from common items. The smoker he built from a flower pot was the inspiration for [Tom's] own project. But [Tom] added in PID hardware to smoke at just the right temperature.

The enclosure hides a single electric burner at the bottom. A metal tray full of wood chips sits on top of it, smoldering as the burner gets hot. You could just set it and forget it, but it will take a lot of trial and error to figure out which setting achieves the best results. [Tom's] additional hardware, housed in the grey electrical box, switches the burner with a solid state relay. The PID controller takes measurements from a temperature sensor inserted in the lid of the smoker, ensuring perfectly prepared food every time.

If you’re interested in making your own you could try building a heating element from toaster oven parts.

Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Alton Brown knows his stuff. Anyone who uses X-Ray Diffraction to explain how fudge is made is all right in my book…

  2. Steve Z says:

    Or, you could build your own PID controller.

    http://hackaday.com/2011/04/05/pid-sous-vide-slow-cooker-bon-appetit/

    I used this example to build my smoker and it works beautifully.

  3. Cyk says:

    You can buy all sorts of complete heating elements and NiCr spirals from ebay, for very little money.
    No need to slaughter a toaster.

    I’m using one of those (called “Cartridge Heater Mold Heating Element”) as an igniter for my pellets oven.

  4. staticdet5 says:

    Can anyone source the face plates for that electrical junction box? It’s a Carlon E989SX. The box itself is around $25-$30. I just need half a dozen face plates for a project.

  5. Don’t get it wet when it’s hot!

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