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Sealing a Smoker

09/29/2009 5:29 PM

just got a new "used" smoker! the problem i have is the doors for the fire box and the door on the "food box" has a opening of about 1/4 of an inch all the way around "its like a 55 gal drum cut in half, the top is hinged and around it is the opening" i need some thing that will not give off harmful fumes during the cooking and "heating" of the unit, in other words from o to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. i did think of silicone but not real sure if it will stand up to the heat and if it will give off any fumes that is dangerous around food i have tried the metal tape for heat ducts but the heat melted the adhesive.

thanks in advance for the help !!!!

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#1

Re: Need to Seal My Smoker

09/29/2009 5:47 PM

How about this:

Wood Stove Door Gasket Kit with Adhesive Cement
Includes 7' long pre-cut length of knit braided fiberglass gasket and tube of adhesive cement. Withstands 1000 degrees on continuous basis. Gaskets should usually be replaced yearly to assure a tight seal for longer burn times.

Found at gascoals.net. Might work for ya.

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#9
In reply to #1

Re: Need to Seal My Smoker

10/01/2009 1:47 AM

A true smoker NEVER gets hot enough to disturb cured silicone. However, in the event you want to use the smoker as a high temperature pizza oven or grill, a fiberglass or "grapho-glas" rope would would be ideal. I have the exact item pictured and was looking for an old photo, but Doorman was quicker on the draw. GA to you sir!

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#2

Re: Need to Seal My Smoker

09/29/2009 6:01 PM

I just voted good answer for Doorman...I needed to seal a 55gal drum smoker about 5 years ago and contacted Vermont Castings wood stove company and purchased replacement wood stove door cord, at a much higher price than I just found Doorman's idea for on the web. Good, handy find.

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#3

Re: Need to Seal My Smoker

09/29/2009 7:18 PM

I'd get some metal strips a little thicker than the barrel and attach them to one of the halves with screws. Fit them with the lid closed and you should be able to get it pretty close. Maybe the strips could go over the outside to make a flap seal?

Or the inside for that matter. You don't see flexible polymer seals on cookers for a reason.

Good luck.

Oh, never mind, I see someone has a better solution.

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#4

Re: Sealing a Smoker

09/30/2009 11:08 PM

Hello OK,

You are correct do not use silicone the off gas is bad news. There is an easy answer then you can send me some of your first batch of jerky.

Go to Lowes or home depot or your nearest real boiler part supply house. In OK Federal Boiler is the best. They all sell small (pint size) cans of furnace cement. Simply clean the surface and trowel it on and in a couple of hours your good to go.

Mike

miketheboilerguy@aol.com

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#5

Re: Sealing a Smoker

09/30/2009 11:09 PM

Is that 1/4 inch the only vent that air can come into the smoker to fuel the fire ?

Most barrel smokers are make to burn really slow and cook a long time not hot and fast.

Our smoker works great about 200 - 250 degrees then before pulling the meats we run it up to 325 for a little while.

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#6

Re: Sealing a Smoker

09/30/2009 11:30 PM

If I were you, I would clean it really good, and use PURE silicone rubber..

After it cures, that temperature will Not affect it..

I did a test one time, with a wood burning stove. I laid a patch of pure silicone rubber on the outside of the firebox.. That firebox at times was red hot, but the silicone rubber stayed, and only turned a little yellow.. Also No fumes after is was cured

Donald

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 12:54 AM

Gasket material has evolved through the years from asbestos rope to fiberglass ropes in various sizes and density. The usual gaskets are 3/8" to 1" thick. If in doubt about what size and density to use, remove the door and take it to a wood stove store to test a variety of gaskets in the groove. The right gasket may be cut to length from a large reel or packaged by the manufacturer in a kit for your stove.

Rock-wool is a suitable gasketing material too...

The bottom line is ALL Silicone Rubber products are synthesized from Petrochem.

It is well known that Petrochem are carcinogens.

Therefore, ALL silicone rubber products should not be used for food, thereby avoiding implications with long term cancer.

Those in the research labs know that Silicone Rubbers used for food baking have some measure of smoke and within this smoke are carcinogens.

I have thoroughly researched this topic, and all conclusions lead to low levels of carcinogens released during any baking processes.

We know Cancer takes time to develop, and all you need are a few molecules of carcinogens to build up in your body to allow mutations of cancer to appear.

The food network needs to step up and outlaw these carcinogenic products for food baking and processing.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TWB-3SPGV96-P&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1030532375&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=9ea076451fc2e7a373161ee66f9207c1

I learned about silicone when in the Navy, when silicone coated items became hot we were required to wear protective gear including respirators and use added ventilators; nothing silicone gets near my food.

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#7

Re: Sealing a Smoker

09/30/2009 11:35 PM

I gave the doorman a good rate also. However you can also salvage the seal material from around the average house hold range/oven. This material can with stand quite a lot of heat, and could be held in place with a few pop rivets.

TMF

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#14
In reply to #7

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 8:01 AM

Hello TMF,

This is my thinking as well. But, on a smoker that has no chimney perhaps, it may not be a good idea to have a perfect seal, as the smoke should be continuously replaced?

We have no idea what this smoker looks like or how it works, so a pic would say a thousand words!?

Where a good seal is necessary I totally agree with you that any 'rubber' normally used on an oven can take lots of heat. Though with a smoker, as I understand it, there should not be that much heat? I suppose it could be used for both a cooker/roaster and smoker, in which case it will help to have a decent seal, but it is not totally necessary really.

I have not done much smoking but if I did I would choose wood as my smoking medium. The smoke is relatively safe with no Petrochemical contaminates. And it tastes great! When using Apple wood it smells wonderful as well.

Take care

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#19
In reply to #14

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 12:26 PM

Hello babybear,

I agree with you also. I do note however that the poster fails to explain just what kind of smoking results he wishes to achieve. You can get a combination of a fairly quick smoke and cook of the meat by using a water bath just above the fire pan/wood container as this imparts steam as the cooking source.

Then you can incorporate the slow smoke/cold smoke method by having the fire box a distance away from the smoking chamber and only connected by a flue pipe containing a damper with a small vent at near the top if said chamber. OR: one might use a similar set up with the fire box much closer to the smoke so as to impart a hot smoke to the meat being treated. Said hot smoke system only requires a curing time of about 1 hr per day for three days, but does require that the weather be cold enough to prevent the meat from spoiling during the hours between the firing/smoking times.

Again the poster fails to state weather or not he is smoking his meat to preserve it for consumption at a later time or immediate consumption.

TMF

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 1:53 PM

Hi TMF,

Appreciate your reply post, thank you.

I agree with all you say. Far too little detail. I hope we get a pic' soon.

I would have thought, by the size, half an oil drum, it would be used for meat eaten pretty much on the day of smoking and or cooking?

I cannot pretend to be any expert in smoking,................. I am thinking 'common sense rules' of how to prevent this smoker from becoming a bomb!

Thanks once again......................

Take care

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 2:58 PM

Your "COMMON SENSE RULES" is a very right on remark regarding the size of this smoker.

But a smoker that is constructed with only 5 4'x8' sheets of plywood as the smoking chamber can contain a huge quantity of meat. Imagine hanging 10/12 hams from the ceiling area. and creating a tent effect for each of several layers below that for other cuts of meat, using aluminum foil to prevent the upper meat drippings from landing on the lower products. with a horizontal layer just above the bottom for cuts such as standing rib roasts and neck roasts, with lots of room for sausage filling in the gaps.

This is enough space to smoke 5/6 150 to 180 lb. pigs, or maybe throw in some chickens or a little venison if available. Of course this would require constructing racks to carry the other cuts with a little room for the deflector aluminum foil beneath each layer above, as only a small gap is enough for the smoke to pass around the products to be smoked.

With a little more thought added to the idea, one could construct an insulating blanket to fit around the entire affair, and if he/she knows a willing refrigeration participant, they just may be able to "conjer" up a small compressor from a mini refrigerator. a small evaporator from a small AC, a little fan from a trashed computer and convert the above smoker to a nice cooler. This would extend the life of the preserved meats in warmer climates for just a few dollars a month.

And; this is just what the folks who would like to live off the "grid" or at least be a little more independent could build, that if protected from the weather, would last for a long time and be well worth the expense. From time to time, some lucky independents might find that panels that are used to build coolers and freezers in commercial establishments that are being remodeled or demolished will be available just for the asking. "There seems to be no end to the thinking that goes on behind these baby blues"!

TMF

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 3:40 PM

Hello TMF,

Your ideas on smokers sound fine.

BUT, I cannot see most people wanting to smoke anywhere near the amount you give as a 'for instance'?The kind of sizes for the smoke box, is the size often used to smoke at a professional level. After smoking there would also be a need for storage as well. Most people in a normal sized home cannot afford the space or actual cash cost for the storage.

If, you have enough cash then your ideas are fine. In fact very good!

Take care

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#10

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 3:18 AM

Cured silicone rubber can stand continuous duty up to 480ºF. If it is peroxide cured, it needs post curing for 6 hours at 390 - 400ºF to remove all residual peroxide. Platinum cured silicones do not need post curing.

Both versions are inert and safe for food contact.

Fluro elastomer Viton (Dupont) will also work.

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#11

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 6:42 AM

Hello likeinfo,

I find your 'facts' a little odd with regard to your smoker. Any smoker I know of does not get very hot, and certainly not 450 °F.

Also, the 'door' may be made like this to allow ventilation and thus adjustable smoke thickness? It sounds to me that it may be a better idea to have a small, in fact very small fire source under your smoker or, preferably to one side of it outside of it, with a linking pipe to direct the smoke into the smoker?

Check out this site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBfrkfTG9po&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Good luck.

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#12

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 6:45 AM

there is the material that they use for around the fire box doors of out door boilers to seal them, it is a material of some sort that will with stand all the heat you can throw at it and it should be available at your local hardware store. but you do want a certain amount of smoke to escape from the the smoker so the food doesn't get a stale smoked taste that is very unpleasant.

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#13

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 7:52 AM

Sure, you can seal the crack with an appropriate gasket that need to be replaced regularly. But why not consider re-positioning the hinges so the smoker cleses better. Possibly less work and a permanent fix.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 8:04 AM

Hi welderman,

I like this idea. A little 'lateral thinking does wonders sometimes!

If, as I suspect the doors are too small, then a fillet of metal either on the smoker body or the doors would work also?

Take care.

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#16

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 9:02 AM

I would try to use cedar wood or sheet metal, I have a smoker in my yard made out of Block and we have only block ,metal and wood used. I would not use any kind of plastic or other material, if it creates smoke it will be tasted in the food.

We have to replace the wood periodically since it gets warm, it sound like you will need to use metal due to the drum style smoker you have. You most like will burn the wood away quicky. in our smoker the heat source(wood) is not as close as yours good luck.

You can allso try to attach the sheet metal and use aluminum foil as a gasket.

Good luck

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 10:55 AM

"I would try to use cedar wood"

I once tried using cedar to smoke some porkchops, and the result was inedible. The flavor that winds up in the meat does not taste anything like the smoke smells. If you are going to use wood, I would recommend Hickory, Oak, Pecan, Ash or Mesquite. And carefully look at your smoker, they need to "breathe" to get the best flavors. If you have a chimney, be sure there is a damper to give you some air and temperature control. This is like brewing good wine or beer, far more art than science here.

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#20
In reply to #17

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 1:28 PM

Hi Guest,

The problem with Cedar, is it very oily and almost petrol like. I would not use any type of Pine for the same reason, too oily and, as you say, the smell that may be nice in the smoke, is not the taste you get in your smoked stuff! Cedar is fine for making a fire though!

Take care.

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#18

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 12:06 PM

Consider using thin steel stock about one inch wide to form a flange. Rivet or screw it to the doors and finish with heat resistant paint. My smoker does not provide a perfect seal and works fine.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 1:34 PM

Hi thefudgemeister,

Your idea sounds pretty good.

If there is no smoke-stack, any proper seal is potentially very dangerous. The heat is a gas and has to escape or explode? As I said in another post, a picture would be handy?

Take care.

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#25

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 4:32 PM

Hi likeinfo

If you only smoke once in a while and don't want to inhale the fumes (sorry Mr. Clinton) make your self a "dough snake" and seal the gap. Ask your Granny if you are not sure how to make one. Just apply it like boat builders apply the tar and hemp to fill the gaps. After use just scrape it off. Ad salt or sugar to taste and the kids will love the seal too.

Just my empty flour bag's worth. Good luck, Ky.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 6:48 PM

Hi Ky,

make your self a "dough snake" and seal the gap.

Nice idea...................... Bread to go with the Burgers perhaps? ;=)

Take care

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#27

Re: Sealing a Smoker

10/01/2009 8:47 PM

Use 1/4" sheet-rock dampen to shape and screw on with large washers but mind not to over tighten.

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