Hybrid Reverse Flow - Please review my proposed build****UPDATED WITH PROGRESS PICS***

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by tackleberry, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. tackleberry

    tackleberry Newbie

    Okay, so after a bunch of research on the forum i have drastically changed the my build design.  The reason i have called this a hybrid its because i plan on using 3" thick insulated cooler panel for the Cook Chamber and 3/16" mild steel for the Fire Box construction.  

    I did use Feldon's for all my dimensions and for the opening from FB to CC i multiplied the opening area by 1.5x.  

    So my big question is:  Will this flow?? 

    I have not started building yet, so i am open to opinions, but before you review please consider what i wanted to accomplish with this build:


    1) Build a large smoker with large capacities for things like Jerky, Cold smoke sausage, Thuringer sausage...

    2) Utilize the 3" cooler panels i have (FREE)

    3) Build a smoker that utilizes a fire box and not electric heat and fans, controllers...etc

    4) Max temp required 230 F  (This is not a grill!)

    5) Attain CONSISTENT temperatures and smoke flow throughout the CC.  I don't want to have to shuffle racks and move meat around all day..

    Here is an update on my build.  I had the FB made by a fab shop for me.  It is 1/4" plate material.  I cut in a pie shaped intake on the opposite side of the entry to the CC.  You can't see it from this picture, but it is there as per recommendations from you guys...

    This is the start of my cook chamber assembly.  Made with 3" thick refrigeration panels. 

    This is a shot of the rough cut FB opening.  It will be lined with silicone heat resistant material to protect the inner foam from the heat off the FB.  

    Now to build the door.....I embedded a 2 x 2 piece of wood on the right side for hinge backing...

    Door and latch is on.  Everything is now flashed in.  For such a big heavy door, it seems to work great.  The whole unit is very solid.  

    I picked up this 1/4" square Stainless mesh for making meat trays out of.  Was really expensive, but i think it will be ideal for jerky.

    Here is my stainless rack that will go inside the CC.  It is a salvaged bakery rack from commercial bakery.  Mesh tray cut to fit.  The CC will hold 2 of these units.  That should be enough to do 75 lbs of jerky in one batch. 

    This is basically the finished unit, less the chimney, which is being made currently.  The chimney will be  a rectangular shaped plenum made of 22 ga stainless, c/w damper.  

    I built a pallet for the unit to sit on.  Will be using my front end loader/tractor to just pick it up and move it out of the barn when i am ready to smoke.  FB is sitting on 1/2" thick cement board (fire rated) as well, i installed some cement board on the vertical wall between the FB and the CC.  

    Here is the angle support for my Reverse Flow Baffle plate.  

    I will add some more pictures and a test report once i get the RF plate and Chimney installed.  

    Wish me luck!! I hope this thing works.....
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  2. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    I can answer your air intake question. IMHO you would be better served by adding an intake up higher on the door or left side of FB at the height of your FB to CC opening.
    The lower vent for fire control and the upper one to help move the heat and smoke into the CC. You may want to consider extending your stack down into the CC or using a plenum setup to lower it on the outside of the CC this would pull the heat /smoke more across your grates.
    That being said I am worried about the insulation in your 3" thick insulated cooler panel for the Cook Chamber. Coolers are made for just that, cooling. If your panels have foam insulation, they probably will not hold up to the heat of a smoker, especially where the FB and CC join.
    Keep Smokin!!!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Air management using multiple air inlets is a good thing.....

  4. tackleberry

    tackleberry Newbie

    Thanks for the review guys.  

    Wolfman,  I see where you and DaveOmak are coming from on the intakes.  I will certainly incorporate that in the FB.  Also, i like the plenum ideas as that makes good sense for this rectangular shape.  As far as the insulated panels, i realize they are not popular due to the foam vs heat but i should add some comments here on how i plan on doing this and what background i have had previously with the foam filled panels...

    Currently, i have an existing foam panel made smoker....Used it for years, but it was rather hastily built and is now falling apart because it was not joined properly with flashings, but rather just metal brackets screwed into the skin of the panels....  One time i was making jerky and stupidly did not check the temp for a long period of time and there was and issue with the gas burner i had in there.  The temperature got up to over 375F!!!  Oddly, there was little affect on the foam panels.  It did warp the metal skin while it was hot, but the foam did not degrade (visually anyway)....

    My research on the foam has found that the foam used will not give off any harmful vapours when burned and i will ensure that the entire interior is properly sealed with the food safe, high temp caulking.  

    In addition, i had planned on a silicone liner where the steel FB meets the Foam panel CC.  

  5. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    It is your build! If you are confident with the foam panels then go for it! One of the main themes of this site is to err of the side of saftey, that is the only reason I questioned the panels in the first place. Keep us informed on your build and feel free to ask questions, cause our goal here is to help you build the best smoker possible! Remember we all love pictures!!
    Keep Smokin!!!
  6. tackleberry

    tackleberry Newbie

    Have a look at my progress pictures.

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