Author Topic: Weber kettle conversion to smoker  (Read 8770 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« on: March 11, 2012, 08:28:34 AM »
So I dug through the garage for some sheet metal to build an extension on top of my kettle to better use it as a smoker.

Unfortunately, I have only galvanized sheet metal.

I've read that the heat from the smoker won't get hot enough to release the zinc coating, but I'm skeptical.

Lowes sells sheets of aluminum, but I think that is also coated with something.

Any thoughts?  Is galvanized a super-bad idea?  Is aluminum just as bad?

I can probably find some sheet metal that's not coated, but not in my garage (I have some stainless, but I think it's very thin and I stashed it way up in the rafters and buried it under a bunch of other junk last summer).
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 12:32:41 PM »
How hot does your smoker get?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 03:38:13 PM »
I haven't built it yet...

But I don't imagine over 250.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 03:41:58 PM by Joe Sr. »
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 04:20:20 PM »
I haven't built it yet...

But I don't imagine over 250.
I believe that would be fine, I've read galvanized is good up to 375F+
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 05:01:29 PM »
I've read the same thing, but I'm skeptical.

I'm trying to find some regular old rusty sheet metal.  If I can find uncoated aluminum I might go with that.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 05:11:24 PM »
How much is the pre-fabbed one?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 05:30:57 PM »
I think the ez-smoke is like $300.

The thunderbelly is no longer available.

Haven't seen too many more.

For $300 I'll just get a char broil or a masterbuilt and modify it.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline bluesman

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2012, 06:59:27 PM »
A WSM 18" is $300. I would opt for that if you're planning to spend that much.

If not I would look at McMaster-Carr for some sheet metal. They can probably get you a 6 ft long piece.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-steel-sheets/=gmgde2

Ron Price

Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 07:18:36 AM »
http://www.smokenator.com/

This is only 60 bucks plus shipping. I'm getting one this year.
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 09:37:14 AM »
Thanks, fellas.

The smokenator looks intriguing.

Don't know why I didn't think of McMaster Carr.

There's still one piece of sheet metal stashed in the garage I can't get to, but it also might be galvanized.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline jeffy

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 09:46:03 AM »
This is slightly off topic, but I have been thinking of increasing the size of my cold smoker to handle more malt with the idea that I could sell custom-smoked malts to small breweries.  Right now my smoker holds about one sack (50#) and I have been "contracted" to smoke 150# four times now.
Galvanized is the material I have been considering, but the smoke doesn't get much warmer than ambient temps.  I was also thinking of adding a cooler or heat exchanger to the "stack" to get the smoke even colder.
What do you guys think?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline bluesman

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2012, 10:01:48 AM »
This is slightly off topic, but I have been thinking of increasing the size of my cold smoker to handle more malt with the idea that I could sell custom-smoked malts to small breweries.  Right now my smoker holds about one sack (50#) and I have been "contracted" to smoke 150# four times now.
Galvanized is the material I have been considering, but the smoke doesn't get much warmer than ambient temps.  I was also thinking of adding a cooler or heat exchanger to the "stack" to get the smoke even colder.
What do you guys think?

The main concern with galvanized is the toxicity of zinc oxide that is created upon heating the coating. Zinc melts at about (787F). Here's the msds.

http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927329

But you say you aren't heating the metal. right?
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 10:19:22 AM »
If the smoker already doesn't get much warmer than ambient I wouldn't worry about it.  I'd be tempted to do it in plywood instead of galvanized, just because it is easier (for me) to work with.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bo

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 11:09:36 AM »
What about black stove pipe? Not sure of the dimensions you need, but a  piece of 6-8" round pipe flattened out is pretty large.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 07:56:17 AM »
I found some food grade drums on craigslist for $14.  $20 if you want the locking lid.

It's a bit of a drive to get them, but beats paying $50 for sheet metal.

I think I'll get two, just because the drive is so long.

I may still try to play with the stainless I have in the garage, but it seems like the UDS may be the way to go.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton