Fire Box ?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by bbq freak, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. bbq freak

    bbq freak Newbie

    getting ready to order a reverse flow smoker from Shirley Fabrication and they offer a upgrade on a insulated fire box and it is kinda pricey . does a insulated fire box really help that much ? the steel is 3/8 inch thick and would like your guys opinion , thanks .
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Shirley Fabrication has made some smokers that don't work too well.... Personally, I would purchase from a different manufacturer...
  3. bbq freak

    bbq freak Newbie

    is this from your user experience or just someone on the internet ? just curious what is wrong with them if you elaborate more , thanks
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Folks have come to this forum to question the design characteristic.... The smokers they purchased would not flow air/heat/smoke properly.... One of our members, boykjo, traveled to one of the purchasers home to modify the smoker and rebuild it so it would work... It was quite a job.....
    From what I have seen, the builder did not use and formulae or calculations to design the "convection" system necessary for a "gravity" system to work....
    They look nice... He may have done something to improve his design.... But, until it was proven to me the changes were in making an efficient and working smoker, I would steer clear....
    Most folks do not know, nor have used a properly designed and properly functioning smoker to know what to look for and how they should function....
    Many people were taken advantage of, buy the seller of those smokers.... I have seen them for sale in Washington State on Craig's list.... On E-Bay.... An old adage.... If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is....

    There have been folks on here in the last year that swear they are a great smoker and he has redesigned them.... Well... They look pretty close to the same to me.... and, if you have never operated a well designed smoker, how would you know....

    Just trying to save you some money....
    There are great designed smokers on this site that many folks will attest to.... and how to design them.... dig through the threads and put something together for someone to build for you.... I will be here to help as well as many others....

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  5. bbq freak

    bbq freak Newbie

    thanks for you imput  and you reasoning .
  6. And yes, an insulated firebox retains heat that ultimately goes into the cooking chamber rather than being lost to the outside. Over time you use less fuel which costs less money and would probably pay for itself over time as a result.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  7. bbq freak

    bbq freak Newbie

    they do offer a 1/2" fire box option that is a lot cheaper and I would think the thicker metal might be better . any thoughts good or bad ?
  8. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    The thicker the metal on a fire box the better. As far as insulated goes i have not been around one to form an opinion

    Keep Smokin!!!

  9. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    I can attest to buying a stickburner from a custom builder and having a lot of trouble with poor design and engineering. Trust me - you will get frustrated real quick if you have a smoker that doesn't function the "right way". When I first bought my smoker (pictured in my avatar), it had a short stack/exhaust 11" tall, was very narrow only 3" in OD, and had a 90 degree bend to top it off. Thise dimensions weren't nearly enough for my cooker and there wasn't enough suck to get good air flow from my fire. As a resul, I couldn't get my smoker above 280 degrees and also struggled to keep a clean burning fire. I had a welder add a new stack and now can easily get 350+ and consistently burn a clean hot fire. I tell you that because it was a aggravating paying good money for a smoker only to have to pay additional money to make it run right.

    DaveO and many others here helped me with my smoker mods, and they know what they're talking about. There are plenty of threads on here that describe how an efficient smoker should be built and operated.

    My firebox has an insulated top by the way (firebox is also 1/4") and it works really well. The top gets just warm enough for me to heat up my sticks before they go on the fire, but most of the heat is pushed through the cooking chamber.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015

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