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  • #16
    Re: toning down electric smoker

    Just try a 50 and/or 100 foot 14-3 extension cord. The idea of lamps in series will get totally out of hand and the Variac - Powerstat will seem cheap. Actually they do make 2000 Watt lamp dimmers that could be used, but again they get costly. Buying a variable transformer "Variac" on eBay gets wild. Very few people know how to ship one so it won't get smashed up. A used machinery dealer may have one around you can see and also test out some before purchase. That's where I found mine.

    If anyone wants a good reconditioned Variac, try looking up the web site of David Riddle Co. out in Cal. www.davidriddle.com and do yourself a big favor. *&^%$# the eBay part and just call them.

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    • #17
      Re: toning down electric smoker

      The light bulb would need to flow somewhere around 10amps.
      I don't think the filament will hold up.
      The light bulb filament would need to carry the same amperage as the heater.
      And the bulb will operate at a lower voltage.

      When I was in school many moons ago we used large resistors that would handle this load.

      One of the original ideas of a triac is also a good idea. Cost a little more.

      If you could find some heavy duty resistors one or 1/2 ohm and connect them in series to vary the voltage it is just an inexpensive method. Personally I wouldn't use an extension cord as a resistor for a heater.

      Or you could put a 10k ohm resistor in parallel. Then the resistor would operate at 120v and a lower amperage. The resistor would only need to carry one or 2 amps.
      Last edited by bluecon; 03-12-2007, 02:29 PM.

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      • #18
        Re: toning down electric smoker

        Putting anything in parallel with the smoker coil will not affect the voltage drop on the coil and therefore would do nothing to change the temperature of the smoker coil. The only thing that would affect the voltage acorss the coil is adding a load in series with it. If the smoker coil is say 1500 watts then to get a 50% voltage drop across the smoker coil you would have to put another 1500 watt load in series with it. That would give you 60Volts acorss the smoker coil. The problem is we don't really know what we want the voltage to be acorss the smoker coil to be. Another thought is to put a thermostat on the smoker, the thermostat will cycle the smoker on/off to keep the temperature where you want it. I would think that a good smoker would have a thermostat on it. Lou

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        • #19
          Re: toning down electric smoker

          Originally posted by electricLou View Post
          Putting anything in parallel with the smoker coil will not affect the voltage drop on the coil and therefore would do nothing to change the temperature of the smoker coil. The only thing that would affect the voltage acorss the coil is adding a load in series with it. If the smoker coil is say 1500 watts then to get a 50% voltage drop across the smoker coil you would have to put another 1500 watt load in series with it. That would give you 60Volts acorss the smoker coil. The problem is we don't really know what we want the voltage to be acorss the smoker coil to be. Another thought is to put a thermostat on the smoker, the thermostat will cycle the smoker on/off to keep the temperature where you want it. I would think that a good smoker would have a thermostat on it. Lou
          Watts are power. Has nothing to do with voltage. Volts are similar to pressure and amps are similar to flow. Watts equal amps times volts. If you reduce either volts or amps you will reduce the power and the heat.

          You are dangerous.

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          • #20
            Re: toning down electric smoker

            Sir, YOU ARE THE DANGEROUS ONE, I happen to teach electricity and YOU for sure are clueless. As you suggested to add a load in parallel that would DO NOTHING to change the voltage across the smoker coil and therefore would not help with the gentlemens problem. ONLY adding a load in series with the smoker coil would reduce the voltage and hence the temperature. Other than reducing the voltage to the coil there will be no affect on the temerature unless a thermostat was added somehow to cycle the coil on and off. You had better go back and study my friend. Lou

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            • #21
              Re: toning down electric smoker

              wow, didn't know I'd start a tiff with this question! LOL

              anyways, I was at a yard sale a few days ago and saw a Variac and ended up getting it for free!!! May try wiring it up somehow and see what happens.
              Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

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              • #22
                Re: toning down electric smoker

                TWM

                If you can post the model, I bet I can find and post a wiring diagram. I hope it's a totally enclosed model with some type of terminal cover. If not, you might make a wood box with little air holes in it and place the unit inside. This is mostly to keep fingers from danger. I hope your's in rated at 15 or more Amps. and for 120 Volt input.

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                • #23
                  Re: toning down electric smoker

                  The Variac is an older model. I'll get the specs and post them.


                  Just did 3 chickens and were done in 2 hours!! (dinner isn't for another 2 hours!!!) I pulled the plug and will wait another hour and plug it back in to keep them hot. I used cold water in the bowl and combined with 3 chickens, I figured atleast 3 hours, but 2 is just too fast for good smoking. I'd prefer 4 or 5 at a much lower temp. (sigh!) Oh well.

                  Mark
                  Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

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                  • #24
                    Re: toning down electric smoker

                    TWM

                    Glad to see you back here. Please do post more about it. If you can, please post a picture or two. I'll do what I can to help you with it.

                    Woussko - The Old Wouss

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                    • #25
                      Re: toning down electric smoker

                      T W M

                      Where's the info on your Variac?

                      For what it's worth most have 5 connections. For your needs 1 = Neutral, 5 = Hot, and 3 which is the brush would be the hot going to the receptacle. Be sure to install a small fuse holder and a fuse based on ratings of the unit. The same neutral (from power cord) goes to the neutral terminal on the receptacle.

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                      • #26
                        Re: toning down electric smoker

                        When you asked, it was buried behind a pile of cabinets I'd just finished building! LOL I can get to it now and will try to get it out and take a picture of it. Sorry.

                        Mark
                        Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

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                        • #27
                          Re: toning down electric smoker

                          may i be so bold to ask.............. but why not use ........WOOD? wouldn't that do the job you are looking for as far as smoking? just asking.
                          9/11/01, never forget.

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                          • #28
                            Re: toning down electric smoker

                            T W M

                            No hurry.... I was just wondering what happened. I like OSC's idea of cooking with wood. Great flaver

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                            • #29
                              Re: toning down electric smoker

                              Originally posted by oldslowchevy View Post
                              may i be so bold to ask.............. but why not use ........WOOD? wouldn't that do the job you are looking for as far as smoking? just asking.
                              I started out with charcoal but when it's first going, it's quite hot, then cools down in about an hour far enough to not cook much. I then have to start up another pile in my BBQ and transfer it into the smoker and the cycle starts again. I like how charcoal cooks but the electric is much more constant, but just about 30 degrees too high. I usually place all my Hickory next to the heating element and it smokes for a long time compared to putting it on top of the charcoal. Both have good points and bad. (sigh!) decisions decisions.

                              Mark
                              Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

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                              • #30
                                Re: toning down electric smoker

                                lol well is there a way you vent the cooking chamber to to lose that extra 30 os so degrees?
                                9/11/01, never forget.

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