Could I please pick your minds

ssorllih
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Feb 23, 2013 19:15

The oven in the galley on my boat is heated with a simple burner and the oven temperature is controlled by adjusting the burner flame. The safety on that is a thermocouple shutoff if I loose the flame.
Ross- tightwad home cook
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Post by NorthFork » Sat Feb 23, 2013 19:32

Ross is correct, just make sure that what ever you use it has the proper safeties and will function in the application. Most burners are not designed for fluctuations in pressure and such and could become a pain in the tail if you have wind conditions and such playing with you. The burner will need to have fresh air from outside the smoke house as the smoke from your burner will deprive the flame of oxygen and you will end up with monoxide (instead of dioxide) and a sooty mess in your smoker. A standing pilot control can work but may snuff out with a good gust of wind. A baffle or protected source of fresh air could solve that problem. If you use a standing pilot from another appliance do some test runs before you head to the beach leaving a bunch of sausage at the mercy of the elements!

Using your fish cooker should be pretty dependable and simple, just make sure it gets enough fresh air and isn't too close to the combustibles.
I've always tried to set a good example for others-but many times I've had to settle for just being a horrible warning!
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Feb 23, 2013 20:10

I sometimes see steamer baskets that are tall perforated inserts for large kettles often used when cooking pasta. I wonder how effective they would be for sheltering a gas flame?
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Post by NorthFork » Sat Feb 23, 2013 21:45

The perf cover would shelter the burner some but you still have to arrange the air supply so it is not overly influenced by the ambient (outside) conditions. You have to make sure the fresh air is getting to the burner.

Let's let Butterbean catch up here-don't want to get too far off course and hi-jack his thread with a lot of (fun) innovations!
I've always tried to set a good example for others-but many times I've had to settle for just being a horrible warning!
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Feb 24, 2013 03:39

I thought I'd do another test today and see how it did on some sausages. To kill two birds with one stone I thought I'd make a batch for the Boys Ranch which will be my good deed for this centruy so I made up about 50 lbs and stuck them in the "pre-heated smokeless smokehouse" :wink: and let them dry at 120F. Once the pellicle formed I built a fire in the firebox - in the pouring rain - (note to self. Need to build a lean-to over firebox) I turned the heat up to 130F and let it smoke for about 2 hours. Temp never budged. I then turned the heat up to 150F where it sat stable for some time and I've hence bumped it to 170F and am waiting for them to finish which should be shortly.

I really like the way it cooked this sausages and fairly quickly too.

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While the fish cooker is doing a fine job I have a friend who builds grills for a living and he has a contraption in his grills which is basically a length of stainless steel pipe with a flamethrower type thing inside this. This puts off a lot of heat and is fairly noisy. I think the noise would be a good thing because it will warn me if the fire goes out. I'm thinking this contraption could be placed on the back wall and lined with brick for additional fire protection as well as getting the benefit from the brick holding and stablilizing the heat. Will also be pouring concrete in the floor so this will add to this effect.

While its not what I set out to do, I think having an interior heat source independent of the firebox outside is the way to go. I'm really pleased with how stable the heat is and the amount of smoke I'm able to produce with so little wood. I guess it goes to show that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Feb 24, 2013 04:16

I just pulled the sausages and I'm very pleased with the whole project. The sausages taste wonderful. One kielbalsa and one old scottish sausage. I think these hit the mark and I hope the boys like them.

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Post by redzed » Sun Feb 24, 2013 04:42

Primo! What time do you want me to come over for the tasting session! I am green with envy of you guys with big smoke houses! I'm still in the sandbox with my toy Bradley. :sad:
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Post by ssorllih » Sun Feb 24, 2013 05:25

Bean, this valve will help to keep you smokehouse from going boom. http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/WHITER ... _vc=HPPVZ3
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Feb 24, 2013 15:49

Would you need this on the house with or without a thermostat
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Post by NorthFork » Sun Feb 24, 2013 16:47

Butternean,

As long as you are just using a manual control (no T-stat) all you need is common sense precautions-protect the combustibles from the flame/heat, make sure you have enough fresh air to the burner to prevent monoxide, safe propane connectors, etc. If you want to add the T-stat you will need to start adding controls and safeties. The fresh air source can be as simple as a short length of light gauge pipe from outside to the burner location(with a screen to keep unwanted critters from taking up residence in your smoker). You may find that there will be enough oxygen in the smoker without this, you can determine this by viewing the flame through a view port (small hole through wall located so you can see the flame), you are looking for a nice blue flame(possibly some orange at the flame tips but not much). If you start seeing the blue fading to red or orange you are oxygen deprived) and need to pipe some air into the burner. You could also place a pan or pot on the burner (such as when you are using it for a cooker) and simply check the bottom of the pan for any adverse blackening or worse a coating of soot. If you use the pan method I would suggest some water in the pan to avoid a melt down.

Pat
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Feb 24, 2013 20:19

Thanks Pat. All of what you said could easily be incoporated. The tube contraption my friend uses in his burners could easily be modified with an air pipe run through the floor. The loud noise it makes would also keep me informed how the flame is going and if it went out for some reason.
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Mar 02, 2013 15:21

I'm down to the short rows now. I built and installed this heater and poured concrete on the floor of the house. Fired the heater up to see what it would do and it brought the temp up to 250F with no problem but I smelled gas. After investigating I felt some wind coming from the injector and noticed a pinhole in one of the welds. Being a genius I thought I'd test this to see if it was a draft or leaking gas so with wind in my face I struck the lighter and I now know what Hiroshima would have looked like had someone been in a hot air balloon over the town on that firey day. Had this been a lesser man the flames would have surely engulfed him but being quick whitted and all I was able to exscape which just minor scorch to those hairy parts. Welder definitely needs his butt whooped for such shoddy work. :oops: :lol:

One more tap with the rod and it was fixed. I ran the burner for a while then shut it off. The concrete on the floor really seemed to hold the heat and the house stayed warm for some time. With the added heat in the house the draft really picks up from the smoke box too.

Though I build the burner on a stand and I think its perfectly safe from a fire hazard I believe I may lay some bricks under it and as a back splash too. I think this would not only give added fire protection but would also add to the heat stabilization. Not that it really needs any but I think it would look cool and I do like to tinker.

Anyhow, I think this is really going to work well and I appreciate all the help and advice you guys gave me. Next, I have to decide on what to make.

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Post by Butterbean » Sun Mar 10, 2013 02:44

She's finished after I ironed out a few bugs.

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Like someone predicted, I had to add an air vent for the propane burner. It now sounds like and A10 taking off and will give me all the heat I want with a pretty blue flame. I also reversed my door, and installed a digital meat thermometer through the wall so I don't have to open the door to check the progress. I think this is going to work well now that the bugs are ironed out. Thanks again for all the suggestions and food for thought.

You can make out the extension. And just for future reference I was a bit concerned with running a steel pipe through the wall due to fire danger and suspected I'd have to add insulation of some sort but just as I lost heat from the firebox to the smokehouse from the radiant heat tranfer the principle works the same here and the large draft kept the pipe cool to the touch even though the smoke house was at 300F.

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Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Mar 13, 2013 06:28

JM, that is a work of art! I'm green with jealousy. Very nicely done pal!

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Post by ssorllih » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53

Very fine work! You have anchored it against the winds?
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