My little smoker that could!

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by mudbug, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Well, just as the title says.....the little one that could.

    Without jumping all over the place about the issues i'm having on my smoker I do want to say that it really does an extremely good job for what it is.

    A little history about it: I bought it froma guy near Dallas that makes them in his off time.  I believe its made from an air compressor tank, could be wrong, thats just my opinion.  (Thin metal).  Anyway, I got it for christmas from my wife and I feel bad about selling it but I reallly want something of a thicker gage metal that'll hold the temp more effectively.  I'm looking at a OC Wrangler after I sell this one.  I've read the reviews on it and believe it'll  better suit my needs than this one mounted on the trailer.

    After the purchase of the smoker, I bought the trailer it sits on, cut the legs to fit my height, and mounted it on the trailer by means of welding.  Not knowing what I was in for or what I was doing, I attempted to make it a reverse smoker by welding a full length baffle plate inside and moving the location of the exhaust stack to above the fire box.  Little did i know or try to educate myself about the "PROPER" flow, design, heat, dimentions.....and all of that jazz.  I have several issues and now i'm seriously considering putting it back the way i originally purchased it. I know there's some mods that i'll do to it while this porcess goes on, like: modify the fire box to make it more user friendly, fix the air inlet, seal up the cooking chamber.

    Now, saying all of this, I'll say this: It does cook extremely well.  Holds my temp at 250-275 flawless but my fuel consumption is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!  I'm talking about 20lbs of charcoal or a wheel barrow full of split a 4 hour period. I have thought that the thin metal plays a large part of the heat loss and temp swing. I'm thinking there's much more wrong with my little smoker that could besides what I've stated.  I know it's difficult to diagnose or even say...."hey, this is wrong or that needs attention".....without actually seeing it in action.  I'll come back and post a few pics in just a few of the internals and fire box......if that'll help.

    Honestly, I'm at a loss of what to do with it.  Should I just keep it, modify it, and roll on with what I know or sell it and start over with something I know is better quality and will smoker better and suit my needs better.  Most of the time it's just me and my wife, however, there are times I have about 25-30 people at the house for a afternoon of horseshoes and adult beverages. Firing up this thing is daunting on me and really a pain in my ass before I read the articles about fire management and such. Coming up, building my minion and basket.  

    I'm VERY impressed with this forum. The weath of knowledge and willingness of people to constantly help out is sometimes overwhelming. Thank you for having such a great place here. The ease and user friendly way each sector is laid out, makes it a great place to sit back, read and learn something.  The Mods and Admin here are nothing short of AWESOME, even thouhg i've never talked to any of them just yet.  Thank you, that's all I really wanted to say.

  2. Warming it up!


    Rolling smoke, look at all of the smoke/heat loss.


    Rabbit back straps.


    While cooking

  3. Day I picked it up


    Shut down and cool


    Inside cooking area


    Usually how I cook

  4. After MUCH consideration and thought.......this beauty will find a new home this weekend!!!!!  Wife isn't happy with my decision, but ultimately......she's not the one that takes care of the smoking.
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    WAITTTTTT... don't give up that easy.. the biggest problem is right there in your firebox ... I can see a few things wrong that will be easy to fix... first would be to raise the fire box grate up (6-8") off the bottom.. the problem there is that the ash is smothering your fire... The air can't flow UP through the fire.... the next thing is going to be a little trickier... that intake air vent on the door is to high.. it needs to be closed up and a new one (of the right size) put down at the bottom of the door... so the sir will come in under the fire and go up through ... those are just the 2 things I can see in these pictures... what you need to do is take some measurements of the opening from the firebox (FB) to cook chamber CC) write all these measurements down... size of FB .. size of CC ... how high the RF plate is from the bottom.. the opening at the end of the RF plate... stack size and height ... some of the pro's will be along and give their opinion as well... we'll get this thing working like a "little one should".. and then the wife will be happy
  6. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I think the biggest reason nobody has replied yet is the section this thread was put in... maybe it would better under the Reverse Flow Build section ....
  7. Edit
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  8. I certainly appreciate your response to this. Since posting this thread, I've done a little modifying to that fire box to make things a little easier. I've moved the grate up about 5" from the bottom. As you see in that last pic posted, I had it sitting on the bottom. It now sits just about even with the top of the air inlet door, more like 3/4" from the top of it. Either way, I fired it up a few days ago when a guy came to look at it. I couldn't help myself and threw some pork chops on. Needless to say, that guy didn't take it home. That night I did notice my charcoal/wood consumption was about half of what I normally use and my temp didn't have a problem reaching 250/275 like before. I'm now in the process of making my exhaust stack larger. The one I have on there is just too dang small, 2"x4" tubing. I'm looking at some 5" pipe to put in its place. That'll come when I can get my hands on a welding machine.
    Now I'm not selling it, for as little as I do have the time to use it....I may as well modify this one and roll on other what I have.

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