Most of the people who’s opinions I care about are left-leaning liberals who have great respect for the rights and freedoms of others, and tend quite often to extend that respect to our four-legged friends by not killing and eating them. So, it’s no surpise that I don’t often shout it out, but can I just say it now?
I love meat
I love good old-fashioned, succulent, smoke-cooked, barbecued meat, so when I saw a floor model electric “bullet” smoker going for a song, I snatched it up and started tinkering with smoking meats. My first attempts to turn out a fork-tender briskit were rather discouraging. After installing a thermometer in the lid of the smoker, it became apparent that the thing was running way too hot.
The problem with inexpensive electric smokers is that they don’t have any control. The electric element is always on when the unit is plugged in. The temperature is pre-callibrated to produce acceptable results at average ambiant temperatures, but if the weather is on the hot or cold side, the smoker will run correspondingly hot or cold.
My solution was to install a bulb and capillary type thermostat. Most oven thermostats will cover the temperature range that you need for smoking. I found a surplus thermostat on ebay for around $10. I used sheetmetal screws to attach 2 metal electrical recepticle boxes to the outside of the smoker body. Inside one, I mounted the thermostat control, and in the other I mounted a grounded electrical outlet. The thermostat probe is mounted mid-level inside the smoker.
The heating element gets plugged into the outlet, which is wired into the thermostat switch, so when the smoker gets up to the preset temperature, it shuts off juice to the outlet. This arrangement also provides for a “quick-disconnect” to allow easy transport of the smoker body seperately from the base.
Now I can dial in 130 F and not have it jump up to 300 F when the clouds burn off, turning my dinner into shoe-leather.
Update! Now you can order up a genuine Finkbuilt BBQ Apron to wear while you’re basting your pork shoulder!