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toning down electric smoker

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  • toning down electric smoker

    I have a Brinkmann smoker and love cooking in it. I recently bought an electric element made for the smoker. Looks like a big oven element. It runs on 120 and does draw a substantial amount of electricity. Not over 15 amps since my breaker is still intact. It keeps the smoker about 30 degrees hotter than i'd like. Is there a way to use some kind of reostat to vary the voltage down so I can lower the temp without sending the amps too high? I"ve seen speed controls for routers, would that work?

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

  • #2
    Re: toning down electric smoker

    What you want is a variable autoformer type transformer. They do get into some good $$$ but are an item that if you get a good heavy duty one will last for many years given just a little care. STACO and Superior Electric are the two leading companies that make them today. At one time General Radio was the leader. Do you know the electrical ratings on the heating element(s)? By the way you can use this as a super duty portable lamp dimer too. Unlike the cheapo dimers, the output remains a clean sine wave and they can be used as voltage adjusters for electrical and electronic equipment. Please see the thumbnail picture and click it so you get a better look. I'll send you links and some model numbers if you like. Keep in mind that both companies make many models depening on the user's needs.
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    • #3
      Re: toning down electric smoker

      There is another way that won't cost quite as much but would take some work on your part. It's to make up and use a "Voltage Bucking" transformer. If you know an electrician he/she could rig one up for you. As for the little speed controls, forget them. They aren't near heavy duty enough for the heater load. While I really can't recommend this, if you have 100 feet of 14-3 extension cord, try plugging the smoker into it and then plug in the extension cord. Be sure to totally unwind the extension cord. No coiling it up when in use. The resistance of the wire in the extension cord will lower the Voltage to the smoker a little bit. It's worth a try if you already have the extension cord. A 16-3 is not heavy enough and a 12-3 most likely won't make much difference. 2) 50 foot of the 14-3 could be used too. Please don't buy the extension cord(s) if you don't have them just for this. Save the $ for a more serious way.

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