Almost every one of us has been to a BBQ party and we know that the effort must be put in by yourself to have delicious meat as a result. Being a Smokey flavour enthusiast, you should have a smoker at home. One of the types of smokers is a pellet smoker, which uses wooden pallets as fuel. If you do not own a pellet smoker, you can build one yourself at home, with some basic equipment. One thing you must take care of is the toxic fumes that the equipment releases when exposed to heat. If you want your food to be safe make sure to use temperature-resistant powder coating on the interior of the BBQ chamber.
The easiest way to make a pellet smoker if you own an outdoor grill is to convert the grill into one. If you do not own an outdoor grill, then you can convert a 55-gallon drum or scraps of metal into a pellet smoker by following the procedure mentioned below. Another thing to remember is that while purchasing the supporting equipment, select the iron ones and the ones safe for food. You will also need to purchase a temperature-resistant powder coating on the inner surface. It would be better if you use a pellet smoker conversion kit, as it helps distribute the heat evenly.
Converting Your Grill Into Pellet Smoker:
Converting your grill into a pellet smoker is a safer idea because firstly you do not have to worry about the harmful chemicals, and secondly, in the future, you can use your grill even without the smoker if you want. To convert your grill into a smoker, pellet smoker kits are available in the markets that can be attached to any grill to convert it into a smoker. Using a smoker kit will make things easier as you will not need to top up your smoking wood pellet whenever they run out of wood, thus equally distributing the temperature of the grill. By converting your grill into a pellet smoker, you can also keep on using it as a grill too. Conversion kits work by fixing it aside from the grill. They have PID controllers which allow you to grill anywhere between 105 F to 500 F. You can also adjust your temperature at any time. PID controllers can effectively control the temperature of the grill by adjusting the rate at which the auger feeds the grill.
Converting Scrap Metal Into Pellet Smoker:
A DIY pellet smoker is commonly built using either a keg, a drum, or a hot water tank. The requirement is that what you are converting should be used to only store nontoxic substances.
The following components are required if you are converting a drum or a keg into a pellet smoker.
- A Chamber: What you need to keep in mind while choosing a chamber is that it is a food-safe metal tank, and its walls are thick enough to contain heat.
- A grill rack: It is any type of rack or grate, which will be used to cook on, in the pellet smoker.
- Heat diffuser: You can use any type of metal sheet to diffuse the heat throughout the chamber. Also, a heat baffle and oil tray help greatly in diffusing heat.
- Wireless thermometer: It is required to monitor the temperature so that you do not overcook your meat.
- Pellet smoker Hopper attachment: These are commonly used as pellet smoker conversion kits.
Steps to follow, to assemble a DIY pallet smoker kit
These kits usually consist of a fan, ignition rod, auger, and a preinstalled controller. The installation instructions are different for different brands. Talking about it generally, first, you have to cut a hole on the side of the chamber about the size of your grill, usually between 4 to 5 inches for width and height. Another thing you need to consider is that the conversion kit will occupy extra space, of about 12 inches, which may vary if you buy the kit from another brand. Follow the instructions provided in the manual to fix the conversion kit to the chamber. After it’s done, start loading wooden pallets into the chamber’s firebox. Conversion kits are equipped with PID controllers, which are a feedback-based control system that measures the chamber’s temperature and controls the release of wooden pallets to the grill. Most of these PID-equipped pellet smokers perform between 150°F to 500°F.
Advantages of building a Pellet smoker
There are many benefits of building a pallet smoker out of your BBQ grill, some of them are as follows.
- As the functions of a grill and a smoker are somewhat similar, you do not have to spend a lot of extra money on it.
- There is a very slim chance of overcooking your meat because the temperature is constantly being monitored and regulated by the PID controller in the conversion kit.
- The DIY pallet smokers are very low maintenance.
- A smiley flavor is added to the meat you grill, in the smoker
Building a pallet smoker at home is not that much of a complex task. By following the instructions provided in the conversion kit manuals, you can easily convert your grill into a pellet smoker. Having a smoker at home is important if you and your family are all smiley flavor enthusiasts.