• Team Blue

    Hey guys, I am currently building a Smokehouse. It is 6’ wide, 3’ deep, 7’ tall. It is propane fired. I was thinking I should put a fan of some sort in it to help keep the temp consistent. Any thoughts? I was thinking maybe a heat powered fan that starts working at 122° F.

  • Team Blue

    Brian Schneider One thing that bugs me is inconsistent heat zones in a smoker. A fan would be a great addition!

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    A fan sounds like a very good idea, but I would think you would want it slow enough to just stir the air a bit to even out the temperature, rather than give a significant convection effect.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Brian Schneider I wonder if there is a certain # of cubic meters you want to move per the total size of your smoker for ideal results. I’m going to ask someone and I’ll update on Monday

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide Wisconsin

    Cubic meters? Come on Jonathon, we are in America. BTW, my grinder showed up in great shape! Trying it tomorrow.

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon Thanks. I’m not sure about the volume output of these heat powered fans or if they blow faster as it gets hotter. I just came across them and they made say hmmm.

  • Team Blue

    I just looked up that fan pictured above and it says 140-170 CFM.

  • Team Blue

    I will post some pics of this build as it comes together.

  • The heat activated fan is a gentle blow and would do a good job moving smoke and equalize temperatures. Great idea.

  • Team Blue Canning Green Mountain Grill

    Good morning Brian,

    Do you mind if I ask where you found these fans? I actually may have a different use for them and would like to research a little.

  • I’m not Brian, but being nosy sort will interject an answer. I have two which I bought on line (Amazon I think). I use atop my wood stove to send heat around the room. They are silent and I never worry about turning them off.

    Try Googling “heat activated fan”.

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide Wisconsin

    I think the heat activated fans work good on a stove top, but I think inside a smoker it would get ‘‘gummed’’ up and not work too well. The fans I have seen say in the instructions not to get them wet, so cleaning might be a problem. Also the fan works because of a temperature difference between the base and the top of the fins and I don’t believe the inside of a smoker would have enough temp difference.

  • Ahaa! Good points, both! Guess I should have more experience with smokehouses… and fan technology… I’ll just quietly sneak away now…

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide Wisconsin

    Jimi stick around, this is a great place to be! Plus that’s my opinion, next person might say I’m nuts. I do recommend you join team blue tho!!

  • Team Blue

    wvhunter1965 I found it on ebay.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Okay, I looked through my notes from the Iowa cured meat short course I took in January of 2019 as I thought I remembered seeing a few formulas in there but neither had anything to do with airflow, it instead was Fouriers law od conduction (Q=-ka"core temp/surface temp) and Newton’s Law of Cooling (Q=ha"ts-t-infinity) just thought I’d share those so people could possibly think I understand them…I do not.

    The big take away from that section of the course was something called the breakpoint which is where the flow of the air (which is divided by whatever you have loaded into your smoker) meets again. This will be the part of your smoker that will be the hottest and where it will dry the faster. I’ll try to come up with a way o post some information on the best and the worst ways to do a partial load in a vertical home smoker.

  • I think I’ll need pictures.
    Yes, for sure I will.

  • Regular Contributors

    I would look at some commercial smoke houses and see what they have to circulate air in the smokehouse and I don’t know for sure but kind of think that the taller you go may not be better. I now have 2 oven convection fans in my homemade smoker and I still don’t have perfect temperature stability at all levels and if you want a whole load of product to come out of the smoker looking picture perfect, temperature stability is very important, otherwise you have to move the product around during the smoking process to get a consistent product and with the size you are planning 25% of less than great is a lot of money, time and effort wasted. I would also put a lot of planning in the burner for the smoker and try and get the flame area as large as possible with multiple flame tubes to distribute the heat evenly over the square feet of the bottom of the smoker. I would also recommend that you use a propane gas valve with standing pilot and a thermostat to control the temperature in the smoker and even then the closer to the bottom and flame the hotter the temperature. I would also have a separate smoke generator and I like the A-mazen-n smoker tube products pellet tube that puts out 4 hours of great smoke and is a lot easier and cheaper than chips. I would also put a shelf over the burner so that when you go the the last stages of cooking the product to 160 degrees you can add water to the pan to add moisture and speed up the heat transfer and cut down time. The last suggestion is to get a multiple probe digital thermometer so you can check temperatures at multiple levels and points in the smokehouse.

  • Team Blue

    akdave thanks for the input. I have a burner that is about 18" long. And I have a grilleye thermometer with 8 probes. I am planning to section off the smokers cooking area from the burner area so my smoke chamber will be 6’ wide 3’ deep and 5’ tall.

  • Regular Contributors

    Awsome looking burner, but not sure it will let you get to 180 degrees in that big of a smoker, you may want to insulate the outside of the smoker, The other thing that is very important with a burner that big that you have a gas valve with standing pilot so if the flame goes out the gas will shut off and the gas valve will let you hook up a thermostat to control temperature. After a lot of searching on the internet if found a thermostat that goes from 80 degrees to 240 degrees. Propane is heavier than air and sinks to the bottom and then seeps out and stays low and I had flames roll across a floor with a leak on a boiler and luckily I could get to a valve and shut it off.

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