Biggest smoker build... = success?

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by smokin-aces, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Hello all,

    For those of you that may have been on here for some time, you may remember my last build I documented (probably not, but maybe). See the link for my last smoker build of a 300 gallon tank.

    With the above mentioned smoker, I have since started a BBQ catering business and entered one competition last Summer. The catering business is growing rapidly and I am trying to prepare myself for expanding the business for the BBQ season this summer. I plan to chase large events such as company cookouts. Furthermore, my business has been added to a local wedding venue as a food vendor. I will continue to pursue wedding venues as well.

    So the most economical design I could think of for making a catering smoker for large events (500+ people) is by using a horse trailer as the shell. That's right, a horse trailer. I have been searching the web for local horse trailers for sale that fit what I want (I would like to build this one and be done building smokers for a while).

    See the picture below for what I am going to probably buy tomorrow. It is a 14 foot horse/cattle trailer just waiting to be converted to a BBQ catering machine. I will document the build as it goes. Please feel free to ask questions or comment below. I'm sure there are plenty :)

  2. See below for more pictures of the future smoker. I know it may be a stretch to imagine this turning into a smoker, but I have a plan, and I would appreciate any suggestions. 

  3. kettleq

    kettleq Smoke Blower

    I can't wait yo see the finished product Good luck
  4. I am in the planning stages right now. I am trying to find the most cost effective way to put the shelves in the trailer to cook on. I was thinking about using angle iron as rails and using wire shelves from ULINE as the meat racks. That is a pretty expensive option though. ~$300-$500 for the angle iron and another $800-$1000 for the shelves. That is way over budget.
  5. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    Now that looks like a great project.
  6. Im in.  Cant wait to see this one finished.  [​IMG]
  7. Any suggestions for the shelves? I was thinking I will have a shelf starting at the floor all the way to the top spaced out by 1-2 ft. The shelves will be on both sides the from the front to within 3 ft of the back. The last 3 ft will be the firebox/wood grill. 

    I need suggestions on how to build the shelves in a way that won't cost an arm and a leg. The trailer is 14' L X 6' W X 6' H. 
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hang the shelves from chain...

  9. I'm not sure how that would work... I can imagine the concept, but how would each shelf be hung on the chains? Please elaborate.
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    "S" hooks
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  11. I keep wanting to use wire shelves as the racks, but they are so expensive. And it seems like buying expanded metal to make the shelves is pretty expensive too.

  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Expanded metal needs a frame or it will collapse... The shelf in the pic can be purchased as a NSF product...
    Why aren't you planning on using the entire shelf system in the smoker.. Easily removed to wash etc....
  13. That's what I mean the expanded metal and angle iron is expensive. And I am planning to put shelves in the entire smoker, bit I ain't yet decided on what to use. I'm going for cheap and durable. What do you mean by NSF?
  14. What do you mean by this? I misunderstood you I do believe.
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The shelf you pictured comes with legs... set up the shelf and legs in the smoker.....
  16. I think I finally decided what I will use for meat racks. I am going to use pallet rack decking. Sturdy, semi light, already built, and best of all CHEAP!
  17. These are only $4 a piece from someone on Craigslist. These will do just fine for holding pans of meat in the smoker.

  18. I got all the racks I'll need for this build. The only thing I lack now is sheet metal. I guess I'll have to go to scrap yards to get that.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  19. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    $4 each? That's a steal! I've got them in my smoker. I had to narrow mine down to fit, so some bracing was needed. I ground the paint off the top surface, and pitched them in a bonfire to "clean" them up, and have no complaints.

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