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-   -   Hot plate question (http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f84/hot-plate-question-48978.html)

pacanis 08-06-2008 08:09 PM

Hot plate question
Does anyone know if there is a difference in the way a hot plate works depending on if it has exposed coils, much like an electric stove, or a "die cast burner plate", which looks like a solid cover where you would place the pot? Does one produce more heat than the other, wattage being the same?

Thanks for your input :smile:

babetoo 08-06-2008 08:42 PM

not a clue, sorry


pacanis 08-06-2008 10:30 PM

Well it gets danged hot. I have no idea why it isn't getting my garbage can smoker up to temp or making any smoke out of the chips on it :mad:

Andy M. 08-06-2008 10:37 PM

I missed the thread on the smoker. Do you have the chips in a foil packet or on a foil pie plate on the burner?

gadzooks 08-06-2008 10:58 PM

Use a hotplate with an exposed coil. It should get hot enough for the coil to glow red.

pacanis 08-07-2008 07:03 AM


Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 660438)
I missed the thread on the smoker. Do you have the chips in a foil packet or on a foil pie plate on the burner?

Here's the thread that going me going on this idea http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ker-48710.html

If you follow the link I found you can see what I did, only I used a 20 gallon can, so it should get hotter I would think. Unfortunately, the instructions do not say which hot plate to get, so I went with a 1000 watt GE hot plate with a 2 year warranty as opposed to a 750 watt Proctor Silex (exposed coils though) with a 1 year warranty. Visiting Amazon, it seems like the PS hot plate has a habit of burning out shortly after the warranty expires. And 1000w has to be hotter than 750w.... doesn't it?

I'm going to check the temp again, but using my digital thermometer instead of the one I bought to put in the lid, but I still don't think it got anywhere close to the temps needed to smoke.

The chips were laying in a foil meat loaf pan. You could smell them, but they were not producing any negligible smoke. Can chips go bad?

gadzooks, do you think the 750w would be my best choice for this project then?

Andy M. 08-07-2008 09:03 AM

More watts = more heat, all things being equal. Could it need moer time to start making visible smoke? Does the hotplate need to be hot before you add the foil pan?

Robo410 08-07-2008 09:41 AM

a hot plate with an electric coil or an iron burner plate should be fine. A glass top warmer won't get hot enough.

pacanis 08-07-2008 10:18 AM

It's got the metal burner plate Robert.
I don't know if it needs to heat up first or not, Andy. I wouldn't think so, but who knows.....
I called "GE Walmart", the 800# on the instructions. He suggested I take it back and try another one. That he would think the temp would get hotter than 155. However, he also said that he didn't think hot plates got hot enough to boil water.... that surprised me. I thought you could cook with the things, not just reheat.

I'm going to fire it up again and put my digital right on the plate, just to see how hot it's getting at the source.
Or, maybe hot plates were allowed to produce more heat in '03, which is what the website was dated that showed this DIY smoker.

GrantsKat 08-07-2008 10:28 AM

This link shows how to make a smoker without the hot plate, I dont know if thats something you wanna try.....

Trash Can Smoker

pacanis 08-07-2008 11:43 AM

Thanks Kathe.
If I can't get this thing to work with a hot plate, which is basically set it and forget it and why I liked it, I might as well buy a smoker and will probably go "purist" charcoal. You can buy a cheap charcoal smoker, but the electric ones I see add another hundred bucks to it.

I haven't given up yet, but I wish I knew how to find out if older hotplates were hotter

pacanis 08-07-2008 01:08 PM

Well, just for the record, there is nothing wrong with the hot plate or the thermometer. That thing got up to, maybe over, 300F in no time flat. That's all my digital goes up to and I took the dial thermometer off once I saw it climb over 275.

So, it could be that it just won't heat the inside of a metal garbage can, or it might be in the foil container I used for the smoke chips. Maybe the container is acting like a heat sink and dispersing the heat off the plate. When the plate cools I will put it in the can without anything on it and give it a try.

Andy M. 08-07-2008 01:14 PM

Put a piece of the wood you're using for smoke directly onto the burner. If it doesn't ignite, it's a no go.

If the alum. pan is dispersing heat, it should be going right to the wood chips.

pacanis 08-07-2008 01:27 PM

I've got the plate sitting back in the can now on high.
When I looked at the wood chips from yesterday, some of them are charred, so I'm not sure what the problem was yesterday, but I'll know more in a while....

pacanis 08-07-2008 02:22 PM

OK. This might need a little playing around with. I think maybe there is an overheat safety feature in the unit, but I haven't called.
The temp was climbing nicely, then stalled at 225. Then quickly fell to 150. I put the proble directly on the hot plate with the wood chip container holding it in place, checked a couple minutes later and the temp was up to 250.
I'm thinking that if there isn't some kind of "load" on the plate, that is shuts down or turns the temp down automatically. Sort of like a duty cycle. This won't work.....

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