1st Draft of my smoker build

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by jwchestnut, May 3, 2013.

  1. Howdy all,

    This is the first draft of plans for my new smoker.  Any input and suggestions would be appreciated.

    I'll probably add a handle to the top rear to help with moving it around.

    {EDIT} Credit for this draft goes to my buddy Ernie of Ernie's Welding, Austin Texas. 
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would size your rack rests to hold the standard Weber 22.5" racks. They are cheap, easy to find, and work well.

    Also find a pit calculator (online free ones) to make sure you size the opening between the firebox and the smoke chamber correctly.
    jwchestnut likes this.
  3. That's a great idea for the racks. As far as the calculator goes, everything I've seen says those are for horizontal smokers. I would think that a vertical offset would be different since you wouldn't be as concerned about draw. I could be way off.
  4. One concern I see are those burn marks on your shins from loading meat into the smoker with the firebox and cook chamber door on the same side...any reason not to move the door to the opposite side?
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree. Make the FB on the side of the Vertical , or you will have access difficulties.

    Also , make sure to set-up the FB correctly , i.e.- Intake manifold below the Fire Grate and this level should be 4" above the intake. You should also design in a draft hole , with adjustable opening  , ( one above the level of the Fire , about the level of the "throat" of the FB/CC interface) to allow for better draft through the Smoker.

    Just some ideas. Hope it turns out good for you and I'll be watching...[​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
  6. It's been a few months, but I have one heck of in update.  She's turned into quite a big girl, but is nearly done.  A little taller than we planned on, but decided I wanted to use the firebox to sear when needed.  So a little over 7 feet now.  Held 200 degrees for over 8 hours on just 3 small logs during a burn off yesterday.  Threw some sausage on during the burn off, no need to waste good smoke.

    Getting painted on Monday, then should be in place by next week.  Just have to prep it's home.  

  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JW, morning.... Looks good....  Nice build...    I see you didn't add the upper air vent to the firebox....   You may want to add it later for temp control.....   need the temp dropped 20 deg, open the upper vent, leave the fire where it's at....  It also will move air through the smoke to help with cooking....  Smokers usually like good air flow.... 

  8. Thanks, I'll see how she does and may implement that later.  One of the things you can't see is a baffle plate in the bottom of the smoke chamber.  I know my temps are higher on the farthest side  away from the firebox, so I'll take temp readings at each level and on both sides, to find any hot or cold spots.
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  10. Smoker gets here tomorrow. Along with a load of seasoned pecan. Stocked up on some spare ribs, a pork butt, brats, BBQ sausages, and leg quarters. That'll keep me busy while I'm testing temps.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you think a heat diffuser plate will help with the temps, w-mrt has pizza pans full of holes....  some folks have used them as diffusers.... 
  12. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    the easiest way to check all racks at the same time for temps is a cheap can (or 2) of biscuits... place them on all the grates at 9:00,12:00,3:00,and 6:00 and 1 in the center.... then you will see the difference in color on each of them to tell you where it's cool,warm, or hot... just an easier way then moving the therm all over the place... I also see you have the top (exhaust) vent almost closed... that needs to stay WIDE OPEN all the time then control heat with just the intake vent.... just a few suggestions...
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  13. Thanks Dave. I'm really starting to get a little concerned over temperature differences within the chamber, maybe I need to take a crash course in thermal dynamics. Other than an obvious hot spot closest to the firebox, should I be able to expect a fairly consistent temperature throughout? I know the 3/8" steel will do a good job of holding temp constant, but will I see a significant difference between the bottom, middle, and top?
  14. Thanks Jack, That sounds like it'd work perfectly. How long would you suggest leaving them in there?
  15. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    yup.. it does work really well... just check em after 10 minutes or so.. have your smoker up to temp before putting them in... how ever long it says in the directions and then maybe 5 minutes longer... as your smoker will probably be around 225` and the directions will say to cook at 350` or whatever... so yea.. maybe 5-10 minutes longer than directions...

  16. Finished product
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  18. comosmoker

    comosmoker Smoke Blower

    [​IMG]    [​IMG]   Nice looking rig!!!  I am jealous!!
  19. usherk44

    usherk44 Fire Starter

    That looks great. How did your temps turn out from bottom to the top? What kind of paint did you use ,how's it holding up. I'm asking because Im almost done with mine and its very similar to this.
  20. Usher, I'm geeting hotter temps on the bottom rack and up the left side of the chamber, my baffle keeps most of the heat rolling up that side. So I can adjust my results by placing meat in different spots. I did two pork butts on my top rack, both about 11 pounds. Placed one on the left and one on the right. The left one had a much nicer bark. I can't remember which paint I used, I'll have to get back to you on that.

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