First build

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by trevorab2, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. trevorab2

    trevorab2 Newbie

    Well hello I'm building a new smoker/grill and I'll post some pictures but I'm thinking of using propane with a smoke generator for easier control anyone have any thoughts it's not too late to add a firebox
  2. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    I am not a big fan of home made propane cookers unless you have some safety devices in place such as thermocouples and safety valves to shut off the gas in case the flame goes out. I have seen pics of solid cookers with no doors left and folks burned bad from propane assisted cookers gone bad.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Man killed when meat smoker explodes

    Colleen Kottke, The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter 4:49 p.m. EST December 15, 2014

    (Photo: The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter)

    TOWN of LAMARTINE, Wis. — A Wisconsin man using a homemade meat smoker to cook turkeys and chickens died when the smoker exploded, police said.

    Richard L. Zabel, 55, was found dead Saturday afternoon inside a machine shed.

    "The North Fond du Lac Ambulance and Lamartine first responders were called to the scene for the initial report that someone had fallen," said Lt. Cameron McGee of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office. "When investigators arrived on scene, they discovered that a 55-year-old man was dead inside the building."

    Zabel, a town of Lamartine man, did not live at the building's location, but lived nearby.

    "Evidence indicates that the flame on the LP burner went out and as a result the gas continued to accumulate inside the smoker," McGee said. "And when (Zabel) went to relight the burner, the spark from the lighter caused the gas to explode."

    McGee said the force of the explosion caused the heavy duty door of the smoker to blow open, striking Zabel in the head, killing him instantly.

    "When something explodes, it's going to blow open at the weakest point which was the door, which was triple-latched," McGee said.

    McGee said the smoker was larger and better constructed than most store-bought models.

    "It was about 4-feet tall and about 3-feet wide and built really solid, including the door. Someone really put a lot of thought into building this thing," McGee said. "We were told that they had been using it for the past three years without any problems."

    The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.
  4. trevorab2

    trevorab2 Newbie

    Ok so wood is generally safer
  5. trevorab2

    trevorab2 Newbie

    Safety issues aside anyone have any other insight my buddy has a propane one that works pretty good this is why I ask?? Most of the safety issues can be cured with common sense....and proper setup I did not intend to use a homemade burner even though that is how I've seen them made in the past.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Find a flame sensor that will turn off the gas when the flame goes out....  Home made burner is fine with a flame sensor.... 

    Or, build it any way you like...  We are pointing out safety issues....  Many "store bought" burners do not have safety devices on them..   They are used in the open air...   When a smokehouse fills with unburned propane, it becomes a serious bomb...  That's all we are saying...

    If you have a pan where you are charring wood for smoke, and the flame goes out, when the propane reaches the embers in the pan, It's all over.. 
  7. trevorab2

    trevorab2 Newbie

    Ok thanks. that was something I hadn't thought of Firebox it is, don't want to chance that.
  8. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    Complacency is the # 1 killer in propane assisted accidents. I have never and will never install a gas assist in one of my cookers. If a buyer wants one they need to look elsewhere for the install.
  9. trevorab2

    trevorab2 Newbie

    Ok so how even does a reverse flow heat?? That seems to be the most popular choice...i have never used one built like that all the wood fired ones I have ever used were direct in the barrel and temp would fluctuate a lot. That's why I was after more control.
  10. trevorab2

    trevorab2 Newbie

    Thanks for your input.
  11. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    In my opinion you have better control of left to right heat with tuning plates over a fixed reverse flow plate cooker. I have built and cooked on both and the grate temps do not lie. 
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


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