Rear-Facing Reverse-Flow Barbecue Trailer

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by spankerchief, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Suck-cess!

    Pro-tip for the day:

    Go to the DMV bright and early on a weekday.(Right when they open the door, be there.)


    At the busiest office in Kern County, I was there all of about 10 minutes, tops.

    I am now free to make with the Q'ing.

    Side note:

    I probably have to upgrade my electrical service to the house now, moving all the room addition breakers to a sub-panel and opening up the slots for a new 220.

    For...You guessed it; a stick welder.

    I've got, (I poop you not) five actual requests(pending down payment) for copies of this crazy little smoker.

    I'll have to stop telling people that I'm only investing $1500 in materials, because I'll be charging @$4,000 for these things if I start.


    I was looking for a hobby...
  2. Awesome smoker. Looks great. [​IMG]I wouldn't ask less than 3K for one. Can't wait to see some blue smoke and Q.
  3. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!   on the build as well as the future orders.

    For what its worth, and you may already know this.

    ESAB has an awesome little machine out.

    Caddymig 160 and also the caddymig200

    The 200 will soon reside in my garage winning out over the miller passport plus. 

    The passport actually preforms better on co2 but the price wins out hands down. 900 vs 1900, it was a no brainer.

    With the amount that it sounds like you could make on these, I would have to spend the 400 or so dollars more and run with the mig.

    That little sucker can really crank out some fantastic beads. 
  4. Thanks, Tom.

    I shall indeed look into it!
  5. I learned a few things on my second 'Q:

    First off, my design uses about 30lbs of charcoal for a 4-hour smoke.

    [​IMG]Seems like a lot to me, but I don't know.

    It'll hold about twenty racks of ribs on the single grate:


    Ten racks(counting the trimmed chine pieces I threw in) filled it about halfway. Seems like there's room to consider a second rack too.

    I probably didn't really need to put these on:


    -But they keep the bugs and rain out, I guess.

    I really need to work out where to put smoke chips:




    Better, but then it wouldn't stay lit.

    Notice the water trays?

    The whole rig takes about an hour to warm up. I'm pretty sure the mass of liquid wasn't helping.

    However when all was said and done, the temp(thanks to the water trays) never got above 210 or so and despite the pork being cheap and tough to start with, the end result was fall-off-the-bone-tender(I barely got any of them out in one piece) and many brownie points were scored with the staff at work. :)


    I suppose I'll have to get the Amazin' Smoker after all, unless I can weld in some kind of container for chips somewhere between the firebox and the smoke chamber.

    I'm gonna try using splits next time to see if it'll make any difference.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Man o man Those are some great looking ribs.  [​IMG]
  7. Looks great. Chunks instead of chips should work better.
  8. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    that is one great looking smoker, and I would agree chunks would work better than chips in your smoker.
  9. I turned 40 this week, so I threw a weekend barbecue.

    It was about 8 hrs in the planning alone.

    I made Bourbon ribs, a flat-cut corned-beef, brisket(w/pastrami rub), Beery ears of corn, cole slaw, Twice-baked potatoes, baked beans, etc, etc...



    So I went and modified the barbecue just a bit more:


    I also added some springs to the stack covers so they'd quit jumping out and swinging around stupidly when I hit a bump.



    I know this is supposed to be idiot-proof, but I just could not keep this thing lit.

  10. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok, those are some awesome looking pics. 


    I can't offer much on the a maze n smoker as I have never used one.

    But, on both of my reverse flows I have switched over from a fire on a grate to a basket full of coals.

    Light one side and it burns the minion method. BTW small chunks about half fist size fit great into the basket with the charcoal.

    30 lbs of coals seems like alot. 

    Are you using lump? 

    Something is outta wack man, that sucker oughtta get way way better gas mileage then what its getting. 

    The 500 gal rotisarator we cook on don't even use that much charcoal, and it has a fan blowing into the firebox.

    I am in no way knocking your build, only trying to help offer ideas that may help tune it up a bit.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Spanker, Your smoker is really awesome!!!

    About that AMNS:

    I had the problem of it going out, until I got the hang of it, so I'll tell you what I tell everybody else.

    If it's not getting dripped on, the biggest reason for it going out is you didn't have it lit right in the beginning.

    If it's only lit on the outside, it will go out. You have to get it burning deeper into the dust.

    The following might seem like a PITA, but it well worth the effort, believe me.

    On the end/s you are going to light, taper the dust down in the last 2" or so.

    Hold your torch there for at least 30 seconds, until you get it glowing red like a cherry on a cigar.

    Set your torch aside, and blow gently on that cigar cherry, making it glow & smoke real heavy.

    Leave it alone for a minute or two, until the smoke dies off to a trickle.

    Blow gently on it again, until you make it glow & smoke real heavy again.

    Do this a couple more times.

    Now you should be good to go.

    This whole ordeal takes me about 10 minutes, but then I get 10 hours of perfect consistent smoke on some of my smokes.

    Hope that solves the problem.

  12. @Tom
    I used oak splits for this last 'que and it seemed to work wayy better. Started out with three logs on a bed of charcoal and was adding small splits every 45 minutes. I used about eight pieces of @4"x4"x16" (+ or -) oak total for a five-hour smoke. I think I might be relying on the water pans too much. l might be giving the coal too much air to compensate for all the heat loss through the stacks (I haven't been closing off the stacks AT ALL) The coal I'm using is about briquette-sized on average btw. Lotta dust.

    Thanks, man.
    I'll give it the cigar treatment next time instead of torching a tunnel into it.
  13. :Slaps Forehead:
    The STACKS.
    I was complaining about the lack of smoke and the massive amounts of fuel...
    This thing was pouring heat out the STACKS. With no back pressure, it was breathing like a marathon runner...
    Jeebus, I'm dumb.
  14. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL, now thats funny, couldn't help but to laugh having a visual of the slap on the forehead. 

    I was thinking that the intake vents were open pretty far. 

    Ya may try cutting um both back just a little. 

    I really think that when ya get her dialed in it will be a very smooth running rig.

    Nice work.
  15. It's gonna be a bit before my next smoke, but I wonder:

    Could someone with a reverse flow kindly run me through the start up settings for theirs, so I can get an idea of how much air to give it?

    Seems to me that the design calls for huge air inlets and exhaust, but then in practice, you never actually open them all the way.

    Somebody at work said to close the exhaust stacks nearly all the way, then fiddle with the inlets to get the temps correct, then only open the exhaust more if the smoke was too heavy and/or the heat wouldn't come up.

  16. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There direction is pretty close. 

    I would try the stack closed half way.

    The reverse flow that I use, gets about 6 ish lbs of lump coals in a basket and I light one side of it with the weed burner.

    Usually I put one full fire place size split on top of the basket. 

    If its cold I leave the door open a little bit but once it takes off I close it up.

    As far as the vents, there is no real rule.

    I would say, with the stack half closed then go ahead and open the side fire vents all the way.

    When you hit 125 to 150 close one side and see what happens.

    You could also close each side 1/4 of the way. 

    From this point just sit back and watch the temps.

    I like to give my fires a good 10 to 15 minutes to level out after a change.

    So if your still climbing and hit 225 then shut her down a little more. 

    Alot of the time I don't fret to much if my temps hit even 275 on start up  cause I'm getting ready to have the lid open and cold meat going in.

    As long as I dont drop below 190 I dont mess with it much. 

    Once you have leveled out and running good then you can back down the side vents and also close the stack a little bit.

    Careful tho, since its easy to over smoke and get a bitter taste.

    The stack is like a woman,,,,,treat her gentle or theres a good chance your gonna get kicked in the balls. And then you have bad meat. 
  17. Thanks, Tom.


    The "old bedspring" noises this thing was making were really depressing me.

    I like the added bonus of now being able to hit train tracks at 60mph and not have the thing flip up into the bed of my truck.


    Big shocks, yeah. But I wanted the 8" of travel, just to be safe.

    Also put in a little storage space:


    I'll add latches of some sort shortly. I made the drawers out of 1/8" plate with 3/16" fronts.

    -NOT something I want dropped in front of me on the freeway.
  18. This keeps getting better. What a great smoker.
  19. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    WOW. I would charge people just to look @ that smoker. So cool
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Spankerchief,.................... If I was a few years younger, I would ask for drawings................... Geniuis...............Pure Genius.................


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