Step 1: The History
Step 2: Gatget Guy Modifys the Old Terra Cotta Smoker
It came working on new project at work. Hot plate welders. Basically you take a piece of metal, heat it to a certain temperature, bring 2 pieces of plastic into contact with it, remove the plastic and press them together. Sounds simple enough. The hard part is controlling the heat. So we have temperature control units.
Then it hit me, why not use a temperature controller with my smoker. So that's exactly what I did.
Step 3: The Guts of the Smoker
Step 4: THE CONTROL BOX
Inside the box are the following:
temperature sensor plug
Being a machine designer, I was able to scrounge up some old parts at work (the electrical enclosure, temperature sensor w/ armor cable, various cables and connectors). The controller I found on eBay for $50. They normally sell for about $200. The other stuff I found at my local hardware store.
Once assembled this makes controlling my smoker extremely simple. Turn it on! It retains the last programmed temperature setting. If I did want to change the temperature, all I have to do is push the up/down arrows. Talk about easy.
On this controller, the red display is the current temperature and the green is the target temperature. Once the controller reaches the desired temp, it will switch on and off to maintain a constant temperature.
Step 5: The Final Result
Step 6: The Parts List
2 terra cotta pots, one was slightly smaller than the other
hot plate, only used the top heating element
smoker box, stainless steel vented box for smoking in gas grills
replacement round grill grate
throw away foil pie pan, used as a drip pan
metal coat hangers, used to hold the drip pan and to make grate removal handles
Step 7: Whats Next?
Some great sites that inspired me on this project: