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I'm converting an old gas char-Broil outdoor grill,now used as a charcoal grill, to an electric smoker. See details. Answered

For my initial design I'm using junk box parts (electronic hobbyist/pack rat).  The heating element is a 120vac, 500w burner previously used as an electric charcoal lighter.  The grill cavity is 15"H x 14"D x 25"W, with two rack heights leaving room for the burner, water pan, and possibly lava rocks/bricks.    

The question is about temperature control.  I understand 500w may or may not be enough.  I'm considering a DIY full wave open loop SCR control, as I have many of the parts.  The purely resistive load is @2.4-2.5 amps and should be able to be temperature controlled using  demand oriented transfer or phase angle firing w/diacs.  I want maximum control cheaply and am having trouble selecting an appropriate design.  I have larger current SCR's in case I need a larger wattage elment.

What can contributors suggest? 

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Downunder35m
Downunder35m

5 years ago

Temperature controller including SSR is uner 40 bucks on Ebay.
Set the desired temp and job's done.
But 500W might be enough for a sausage or two but not for a BBQ catering for 2 or more people.

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SamT37
SamT37

5 years ago

Yes, a temperature probe would be best, however I would use one which you can adjust. This would be possible with an arduino micro and a temperature probe, and interface it with the smoker through a relay, using the arduinos code to keep the grill between a set temperature range, which you could set using a few buttons and a small LCD. It's not the MOST cheap, but it would give you the most control, and likely feel the most natural.

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rickharris
rickharris

5 years ago

My inclination would be to do a very simple on off control using a suitable temperature probe and switching - For a grill you don't need precise control keep it simple and avoid breakdowns.