Location, Location, Location

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by enterprise, May 3, 2010.

  1. enterprise

    enterprise Fire Starter

    I noticed that some companies place the exhaust for a offset smoker about at grate level and some companies put them up high. I am doing a horizonatl drum smoker with sfb and want to know where to put the exhaust? At the grate elevation or at the top of the barrel? What is teh difference in location as well.
  2. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    If the exhaust is placed at the highest place in the cooking chamber, some fear the smoke will never get to the cooking grate. They believe (I'm one as well) the smoke will rise straight to the top of the cooking chamber when entering from the fire box, travel directly over to the exhaust pipe and out. This will also cause uneven temps along the grate. That is why you see tuning plates, baffles, or other mechanical devices being used to keep smoke on the food and temps evened out.

    The couple of smokers I've helped to build have had the fire box entrance at the top of cooking chamber and the exhaust pipe inlet below the cooking grate (it was actually my dad's idea 25 or 30 years ago). This design keeps temps more even and ensures smoke to all parts of the chamber. Reverse flow designs essentially do the same thing. IMO, the closer to the cooking grate you have the inlet to the exhaust, the better the design. For me, below the grate is best.

    Hope that long-winded response answers your question.[​IMG]
  3. enterprise

    enterprise Fire Starter

    Thanks Dirt Guy! After osme searching that is what I thought but was a little confused. i think I'll put it at grate level and run with it. Thanks again.
  4. On the one I built I put the exhaust below the grate leve. My thinking was that smoke nautrally rises and by putting the exhaust at the bottom the smoke would rise out of the fire box and then circle downward towards the exhast while circling the meat. Not sure if I am 100% correct but it produces some tasty food.
  5. bbqhead

    bbqhead Smoking Fanatic

    like dirt guy said , you place it at the top that would its quickest escape route. at grate level or lower it rises and then has to come down, and being circular shape it will smoke your food more evenly before tbs escapes. and also help hold temps better.
  6. enterprise

    enterprise Fire Starter

    Thanks guys I cut the hole today. I put it at pretty much the center of the drum. It will be splitting the cooking rack so I pretty much kind of split the difference. I will post some pics of it once I get some time.

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