When there’s the need to serve an unusually large number of guests at home you should not be limited by the capacity of that expensive smoker. Today’s project is a function of two common things in almost every home’s cooking setup: the fridge (an old one specifically) and parts from a kitchen range.
In general, though, to convert an old fridge into a smoker, the concept is the same anywhere though the execution method and choice of complementary accessories may vary depending on the kind of fridge being used and the amount of money one is willing to spend to see the mod through.
- Fire source
- Switch and temperature gauge
- A thermostat
Here’s a one example of the fridge smoker setup:
Mine is an old Kenmore freezer, I put a electric replacement element for a Brinkmann in for heat source. I use an thermostat control that I got from Allied-Kenco. It is pricey but basically a plug and play unit. I have a seperate smoke generator that is an old printer cabinet with a hotplate and stainless steel dog dish. This gets piped in to the smoker. I have also just added a Smoke Daddy style generator as well, I’m still tweaking it. The photos are the original incarnation. It’s different now. I’ve also added fire brick to the bottom and am making a perforated sheet metal diffuser plate.
My smoker is primarily for sausage and cured products. I also do jerky, cured turkeys and chickens and plan on bacon and hams. I have done some brisket and ribs on it as well, although I am from the charcoal wood camp when it comes to BBQ. My smoker will do hot and cold smokes very well, but that wasn’t my goal when I built it.
It is designed so that once I put something inside the meat chamber, I don’t have to open it again until it reaches the proper internal temperature. The “cooking” portion, or the actual freezer has the thermo controlled Brinkmann element. The smoke is generated in a separate box alongside. I just changed from the Little Chief box to a metal printer cabinet. Inside that is a 1250 watt hot plate upon which I place a stainless steel pan (dog dish) of sawdust or chips, the smoke is piped into the freezer.
I also just added a Smoke Daddy type generator for smoke as well. So my goal was to keep smoking heat and cooking heat sources seperate to prevent heat loss, but it will work beautifully for cold smokes, since the heat required for smoke generation is physically removed from the freezer.
So that’s the idea. With a little planning and research you should be able to mod one of these yourself. We’d like to hear your thoughts and experiences on this one.