Inexpensive oven style thermostat?

I am looking for an inexpensive oven style thermostat to make a meat smoker with settable temperature. Range of 150-300 degrees F would be fine. The thermostat would have to have a sensor inside an enclosure, and control an electric range style heating element. The lowest prices that I have seen is about $55 or so. Is there anything cheaper that I missed?
Thanks.
http://igor.chudov.com/tmp/ferrups-meat-smoker /
i
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I have made my own thermostats for egg incubators, using two strips of metal from old cans. I riveted a strip of "tin can" to a similar strip of "aluminum", and fixed on end so the other end would swing to and from a contact at the free end. It wasnt pretty, but it was *inexpensive*. That "moving strip" can actuate a relay that will control the high voltage for the heat element.
Jerry
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Ignoramus21962 wrote:

prices
These guys have just about everything for smoking and sausage making: http://www.sausagemaker.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID '4
Not cheap, though. This looks like some standard commercial product, if you can find out who made it. Their catalog has some other items that don't show up on the web site.
There's some industrial surplus outfits out there that sometimes have oddball controllers and thermocouples for cheap, a couple of places to start are Surplus Center and C&H Sales. Undoubtedly Google will turn up others.
Stan
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Just go to the dump and rip one out of a thrown away oven.
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Battery packs have a thermoswitch in them. I don't know the temp at which they switch off but it is quite warm. There are also other temps available with these simple bimetallic switches and they can be had with either hi off or on as desired. -- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
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Thanks to everyone. I am changing my mind a little bit. I have decided that I can do without a thermostat if no cheap one can be found. I would simply use a portable electric stove and would adjust heat setting depending on ambient temperature. There is a couple of thermostats on sale on ebay, if I can win them for a sensible price, I would use them, otherwise, I am not interested.
I am also thinking whether it would be sensible to use a little fan to move air inside the enclosure. I have a shitload of 10-30 watt fans, including ones with little if any plastic, and could easily wire one up inside the enclosure, to distribute smoke and especially temperature more evenly. OTOH, perhaps this is unnecessary. In any case, the cost of the fan is zero.
i
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Ignoramus21962 wrote:

There's a 2-burner electric countertop range in a pile of stuff I'm getting ready to haul out to the corner to put under a FREE sign. Let me know if you want it. To email me see http://www.tinyisland.com/email.html - GWE
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I'd still consider ducting to keep the fan mostly external to the unit. of course, it'd still technically be "inside" the unit... but i think it would be subject to less heat.
Another option is to run a shaft with metal blades though to the outside and connect to a small motor.
good luck
--
be safe.
flip
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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Ignoramus21962 wrote:

Try to find an old electric oven. Often the thermostat is still good and will do what you want. They're often laying around for free. Check my website for a similar use of salvaged oven parts.
--
Gary Brady
Austin, TX
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wrote:

Great job on your powdercoating oven. I would, obviously, be able to use my UPS in the same way.
i
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As a thought...if you're looking for what I think you are you could use the fan sensor from your furnace. The older ones allowed for adjustment for the on-off temperature point. R. Wink
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Thanks for your suggestion, but I already bought (but not yet received) a real oven thermostat, $9.99 plus shipping. I will set out to work on this over the weekend.
i
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I like to barbeque (real barbeque, not grilling), and built a "cracker-style" two-barrel cooker -- fire in the bottom, meat in the top.
Since a 40 or 50lb shoat takes 24 hours or longer to cook, I wanted to stop tending the fire all night. Even beer and books get kinda wearisome at 3am, unless you have four or five guys stokin'.
So I visited Habitat and bought an old gas stove for ten bucks. Stripped out the thermostat and gas valve, and set a burner in the flame pipe between the top and bottom barrels.
Now we smoke with real fire for about six to eight hours, then put on the gas flame, and let it maintain at about 200F for the remaining cooking time.
GREAT addition to real barbeque.
LLoyd
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This is a great idea. Congratulations. Would be nice to see pictures. I am already going the electrical route, and am a little afraid of gas. That said, we have a gas line with a quick coupler, right where the smoker is going to be, so something could be done along these lines.
i
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