Brick/Cedar Smoke House Build w/ offset

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by bobjr21w, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Good morning everyone. I'm still consider myself a newbie when it comes to smoking but when I do it I think I do a pretty good job. I do a lot of hunting and I have decided to build a permnate Smoker on at my home.  It will be used for multiple families since we hunt together and will process all of our own meats.  I have a rough pretty good idea of what I'm going to do but I want some expert advice.

    My smoker outside dimensions will be 48x32. The base will be Cinder blocks 24" high.  Everything above that will be cedar.  I plan on having a separate fire box.  Should this fire box be set sever feet from the house in order to prevent to much heat getting into the smoker? I was thinking of using a 24" stove pipe to go from the fire box to the smoker; then additional piping to reach the center of the smoker. 

    Does this seem to big? I laid out the blocks yesterday and it seems large but I don't wan to under build it.  The fire box I'm planning on building 12x24 inside dimension. I'm believe this will be large enough to meet the needs of the smoker. 

    Let me know if I'm crazy and this thing is going to a monster vs practical.  Thanks for any info
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I really can't help you with your questions.

    I just wanted to say this sounds like a great project, & I will be following your build.

  3. I'll be sure to post some pictures once it gets underway. I'm excited to get it started and finished.  I just want to make sure I get it done right the first time.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The perfect smokehouse needs temp and smoke controls...   below is a drawing of what I consider the perfect control system.....   use your imagination when viewing....

  5. Thanks Dave.  That helps a lot.  Unfortunately I won't be able to have much elevation change since I live in ND.  I'm just going to try to put the smoke pipe at the top of the fire box.  With the heat pipe how tall do you think I should make it?  2 feet?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The smokehouse acts as a chimney...   The bypass heat pipe acts as a chimney...   If the bypass pipe is too short, the smokehouse will suck cold air from it... and heat / smoke will not go up the bypass pipe....

    The design is to ease control of heat and smoke...  without it, you will have to regulate everything using fuel in the Fire Box,,,,   darn near impossible..
  7. Do you have a recommended diam. that the heat pipe should be?
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The pipe between the FB and the SH should be huge....  Reason....  BTU transfer....  if the FB is  putting out 400 deg. hot air and you have a 6" duct leading to the SH, the SH temp will not get very warm...   Like trying to heat you living room with a hair dryer....  the hair dryer may be 200 deg. but not enough volume...  Smoke Houses need lots of air flow...   Remember, a wood fire's one product is moisture...  Moisture is not good in a smokehouse...
  9. Great info.  I think I'll have to increase the size of my FB now.  And possibly more pipe for smoke/heat transfer.  So you do you use water anywhere in the SH?  In the FB do you have a grate that the wood sits on or is it just on fire bricks?
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your FB should be OK....  Maybe it's minimal but OK...   Maybe 16" wide X 24" high would give you room to have a good coal bed and add splits as needed...   A large fire that is too hot, heat can be let out at the bypass....  OR, opening the lower air inlets on the SH would reduce the draft and let cool air into the smokehouse...   There are many ways to "tweak" the heat and smoke on this design...   After a few runs, maybe a cold one or two and messing with the controls, you will see how easy it is to control regardless of the fire size...    I've always built my fires on the firebrick..  when the firebrick heats up, it keeps the fire going really easily...  like having a heat source to keep the wood lit...   Once mastered, you will love the simplicity of controlling the fire and smoke....  Probably doesn't seem like that now...  Having a way to control the temp in the smokehouse, by itself...  having a way to control the heat going to the smokehouse, by itself, is really cool....   if you get a trickle of smoke going into the smokehouse and it's say 20 deg. too warm, opening the lower smokehouse inlets bring in fresh cool air to adjust the temp....  

    Now I suppose you are thinking of a way to add servos to the smokehouse dampers to control the temps..  could be done...   add about a 15 minute delay, for stuff to stabilize, and you are good to go...  Just sit in the lawn chair, watch the condensate drip from your cold beer, and the temps self adjust in the smoker.....   HAHAHAHAHA.....
  11. Well I can tell you one thing I'm pretty good at sitting in a lawn chair, with beer in my hand.  Do you use a remote thermometer or static ones attached to the house.  I was planning on having two build in; either half way up on opposite sides or on one side on top and bottom.
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have 2 calibratable dial therms that have ~16-18" stems so they read towards the center of the smokehouse...   I drilled several 5/16" holes in the smokehouse to move the therms around to find hot and cold spots..  Drill the holes just below the food racks so they don't interfere...    Cabled remote electronic therms are also a very good option...  They can be clipped to the food racks....
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've been thinking about the heat transfer tube...  How about a Sono Tube...  then cover it with concrete .. maybe some chicken wire...  maybe use the concrete that has fibers in it to hold it together....   Don't worry about the cardboard catching fire, it won't... it may smolder for awhile...  at 250 degrees it should last for a year or two...     I would make the crete about 1.5" thick....  The form could also be square with the tube in the middle...  vibrate the form by tapping with a rubber mallet or hammer to displace the air....  one of those vibrating sanders may work also to remove the air...  also, when installing the tube, a few cross braces at the top of the form will hold the tube "down" while filling the form with crete....
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  14. I've though of using the square clay pipe or just taking the cinder blocks I use for the foundation and turning them on their side.  it would create two 4" columns for the head and smoke to travel.  But I'd still have to figure out a way to install a heat pipe.

Share This Page