Building a 250lb propane tank SFB smoker

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by wildhogfd, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Hey everyone! Just getting started on this new build, I already have my trailer frame and getting everything else together. However, I think my deal on the propane tank fell through. Whats the opinions on using a fuel oil tank or aluminum diesel fuel tank as far as food safety is concerned. I'm not crazy about the idea, I just don't feel that safe using them. Thanks for the help. BTW pics soon to follow.
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I've seen people that have used old fuel oil tanks and they work out alright but they sure aren't as thick and durable as a propane tank. Personally I don't think I'd try to use aluminum.
  3. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is my buddies rig in the first pic and my current smoker (now remounted on a trailer) in the second pic.



    Both were once diesel tanks and never once has anyone said so much as one word about any kind of taste problems. His was burned out and mine was washed out. I can't say that it is 100% safe as I am no expert but I can say that I feed a bunch of picky people, and they would complain if they could.

    I will agree that the propane tanks will yield a longer life since they are much thicker.

    Around here you can hit the propane distributors and snatch up a 250 for around 100 bucks if I'm not mistaken.

    Another thought is a construction truck graveyard, old concrete truck water tanks make good rigs as well.
  4. I've got some stainless sheeting off a tanker truck trailer I thought about lining the tank with do you think that would prolong it's life?
  5. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    WOW!!!  I wish I want I wish  ummm.. boy stainless sheet would be awesome. The smoking stuff you could do would only be limited by your imagination.

    And Yes its would defiantly make things last longer. Even if you only made liners from the stainless it will help a bunch. Say on a RF you could line the RF plate with stainless that would look like a cookie sheet of sorts with a drain hole in it. A stainless ash pan would be great. A holder for buffalo turds also.

    Then if the sheet metal is in good enough shape you can wrap and rivet to the outside of the smoker for a killer appearance.

  6. Got my frame for my trailer today, should be picking up the 300 gal tank on monday. The frame is 56 inches wide by 90 inches long.

    Any suggestions on where to get an axle? I found a new 2000lb for $125 hub to hub including the springs and hangers, is this a good deal? People on craigslist around here are hittin the pipe, so no luck there.
  7. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    no problem on fuel tanks. there are thousands of them made into pig cookers.......

    heres mine

  8. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That oughtta work, be carefull cutting it open. Would hate to hear about you on the news. Remove the oxygen and you are good to go. Car exhaust is not the greatest aside from what most think, dry ice is good, water works, and argon purge is probably one of the better ways.

    Best way if you are not sure of how to do it, is to pay a shop to open it up for ya.
  9. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    NICE SCORE..................  Just get a garden hose and wash it out before cutting it open and make sure you use a straight edge to mark your cut. To trace cut lines I use a long t square. Tried using plumbobs and pop a line and not good. You have to get this cut perfect ot the drum will not close porperly. you will have a big gap when you close it on one side if you dont get it right.......
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  10. tank looks like one that i got to make a smoker then i got a air tank so now it will be my next build

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