New Braunfels mods

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by jay1340, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. jay1340

    jay1340 Smoke Blower

    I originally posted my New Braunfels (NB) restore in the newb section. Haven't been around much since I posted about a couple of Dino Ribs smokes.

    Since I live in West Lake Hills & the Tree Huggers around here get their panties all up in a wade with the drought we're in, there's no outdoor cooking unless the "fuel source of propane, natural gas or electric." YUUUP, you heard me right, in TEXAS and some tree huggers make it where you can't run the smoker. So Google being my friend and answering some many of my questions for my last 15 years in the Army, I typed up "wood smoker propane modifications" & found all kind of insanity! Some propane bar burners, some raping of gas grills, but the easiest seemed one about a turkey fryer burner in the fire box. Hmmm? That's easy enough, ordered up a high pressure from the ole interweb with an adjustable regulator and a hose. I had a 100lb tank from what I call a "torpedo heater" so figured I ordered the hose to fit the fitting, it's the wrench style fitting.

    I tried to run the hose thru the intake, didn't like it, so I broke out the plasma cutter and zapped a hole in the fire box under the cooking chamber, drilled a hole in the bottom of the firebox & mounted the burner. Ran the hose with a spring thing for heat dissipation, loaded the whole thing in the truck and made a run to the local propane shop. Besides the comment of "it's doesn't have a safety shutoff something or other for if the burner blows out to shut off the flow." "It should work fine." They drained and refilled my tank for $80 something, loaded back up, when home, unloaded, hosed up on the balcony and all good!!

    I used it all last winter and was constantly fiddlin with the regulator. I just couldn't lower the pressure enough without the burner flame popping out. So I ordered a ball valve to go after the regulator. Installed that, soaped up all the connection and as ole Phil says "we're cooking with peanut oil!" Well, not really, more like PROPANE! I jacked the regulator pressure up till it sounded like my turkey fryer, then use the ball valve to regulate flow. NOW, we're cooking LOW & SLOW! I can draw er down to about 200* on a Texas July or August day! Which means just under 100* of cooking temp and 100*+/- of ambient temps!! NOT bad!! In the winter, depending on temps and whether or not I throw my old Army Wool blanket over the cook chamber, I can get upwards of 450*, probably more, never tried!

    I needed a way use "wood for flavoring not fuel" to meet city ordinance! So I removed my expanded metal fire rack and welded this up to hold a cast iron skillet for wood chunks.

    I also added some lava rock to hold heat. Though I eventually moved them into the bottom of the cooking chamber and covered with foil. Works better keeping the heat in the cooker instead of trapping in firebox.

    I also didn't like just having a hole in the cook chamber and drippings flowing out the bottom, so I welded in a drain valve.

    I've a Brother who cuts trees that go on one of those band saw sawmill things, so I get all the pecan, mesquite, oak scraps I can use. I bring em home, chop em up on my miter saw, then put them in a large cast iron skillet on the grate. Works just fine, I can add or subtract chunks for level of intensity of smoke flavor in the wood. Another benefit is I'm not using NEAR the wood as before, so my wood hauling is almost nill!!!!

    Yes, someone already got their nose in my bidness, called because they smelled wood burning (so they thought), the city tree hugging inspector showed up. I showed her the setup, she didn't get it even when I quoted her ordinance. Told her to call the Fire Marshall since it's actually a Fire ordinance not a tree ordinance. He shows up, I raise the lid, he looks in, looks under, says "yuup, cooking with propane, he's good!" She said something about the wood smoldering, he said "That's flavoring not fuel." She left. He asked "WTH did you come up with that?" So I filled him in. The only thing he mentioned was that if the burner blows out and the chamber fills with propane, then ignites itself, it's bye bye barbque!" I told him, "yeah that's why I sit right inside that glass door with a digital thermometer watching the exhaust." Never had another issue & I've never had another issue with the flame blowing out after adding the ball valve to regulate flow, not pressure!!

    So here's the safety warning!

  2. Hello Jay1340.  Moved from God's country in 2000.  NO QUEING WITH WOOD IN TEXAS??? Let me get my gun!!  WTF???  Has the world come to an end without someone telling me??  That just ain't kosher!!.  Nice mods and kudos for running the bureaucrats crazy.  A country boy WILL have que.  Keep Smokin!

  3. jay1340

    jay1340 Smoke Blower

    I can assure you smokin with wood is still legal in Texas! Just not if you live in West Lake Hills! It's overpriced, tree hugger neighborhood!! So even if I go outside to have a hippie smoke, they start jumping around and gettin their underwear all up in a bunch, have to sneak off in the garage! My girlfriend bought the place before I retired & for what she paid we could have had probably 50-100 acres, with a new house and 50x100' shop, where I could smoke meat with wood in nothing but my birthday suit! But, Well, I'm in The Republic of Texas, I'm not gallavantin all over the world for the man anymore! I did however spend 3 weeks across the pond this summer, 1 week in Italia und eine woche im Deustchland! I'll be back next year too!! I LOVE EUROPE! One of my German Brudders was here this last March, had a filling of barbque, went home, broke out the grinder & welder and built a pit just like my NB. He's a Master metalbetrieb (Metal worker, machinist, metalurgist). I also have a Bloody Bastard Scottish Brother over there who goes home to Bloody Scotland that I will be taking a trip with him as I'm DYING to go back to Isle o Man!!
  4. richjt92

    richjt92 Fire Starter


    Liberal Tree Huggers in must live near Austin....

    You need to call Gov. Perry and tell him to fix this....

    Gig 'Em Aggies!

  5. richjt92

    richjt92 Fire Starter

    I bet it is not the kinda smoke your Hippie Neighbors like...I bet they like to smoke the leafy variety....if you know what I mean....

    Gig 'Em Aggies....

  6. jay1340

    jay1340 Smoke Blower

    NOT THIS neighborhood. These are those reformed ones (if there is such a thing) who have their noses in the air now! I'm just hiding out, camouflaged! It is quiet though!!! And doesn't look all cookie cutter!
  7. richjt92

    richjt92 Fire Starter

    Probably a bunch Yankee Carpet Baggers who have left New York City and now want to contaminate the State of Texas...

    Gig' Em Aggies......

  8. jay1340

    jay1340 Smoke Blower

    I've met several of them, most are Texans or been here quite a while! Though I do have a new neighbor from Colorado, literally right next door! And she's the looniest toon, I HAVE EVER met in my life!! Took every rock out of the little creek, guess she likes soil erosion! There are trees everywhere and leaves, if she gets two on the ground, it's run the leaf blower ALL DY LONG! She's argued with the city constantly over tree trimming and yard landscaping. I thought well, she's from Colorado, so I'll make her an offer, that'll settle her down a little and welcome her to the neighborhood. NOPE! She wants to stay all wound up!! She needs to go back! Spoke to her husband once, seemed to be one of the nicest guys ever, DEFEATED but nice guy! Felt sorry for him!

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