Reverse flow in a vertical cabinet. Rule of thumb for raceways.

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by uglydumbsmoker, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Hello all,

    I'm new round here so let me take a second to introduce myself. My name is Chris and I'm located across the pond in the town of Cambridge, UK. I've been dabbling with bbq for sometime now. And due to the lack of availability here I want to build my own vertical smoker. The build diaries posted on here are amazing and I've found them deeply inspirational. I'd like to try a backwoods style cabinet for which I've found some awesome plans.

    I wonder If I could ask how you calculate the size for the smoke raceways? The only calculators I can find seem to be for RF for a horizontal offsets. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers and have a good one.

  2. On the vertical smoker, the calculations for the openings are not as much as a factor as long as you can achieve enough air flow to feed the fire and have a big enough exhaust to keep from choking down the air flow.

    DaveOmark made a good remark recently when giving some advise for a vertical smoker, something along the lines that they are more for commercial application and if insulated can be an efficient smoker.  I believe he hit it on the mark with that statement. The key to a successful vertical smoker is for it to be well insulated where as you really dont need a big fire in order to create enough cooking heat inside the chamber, with the smaller fire allowing the heat differential to be more manageable. Most commercial operations will load these with uniform cuts of meat, so there is not much opening of the chamber going on during the cooking process,.

    If that sounds like the style of cooking your wanting to do, a vertical smoker should work well. I have had great success with them doing ribs, and smoking mullet. 

    But if your looking to just do some entertaining, and cook different size cuts of meat at the same time and tend to like to open the door often to play around with the food while its cooking, then I would recommend that you take a second look at an off set style smoker.

    Anyway, good luck and happy smoking!
  3. Wise words sir. And very informative.Thanks for the reply. I appreciate you takin the time to help a rookie out.

    So if I understand you correctly. The intake/exhaust relationship is key. And I guess from that the ability to adjust the flow of either is equally important.

    From what I've read so far adding Insulating layers must encourage consistent temps which contributes to a better end result I guess. From your reply I'm now convinced that a vertical cab is the one for my needs. I've been toying with the idea of a convection fan in the top of the cook chamber to encourage more even cooking temps but I think I'm gonna factor the ability to add one easily in the future. Dont wanna try n run before walking.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and happy smoking to you too.


  4. I would take the time to look over some of the commercial units out there and see how they are set up before you settle on a design. I visited one of our chain resterants we have here in the states ( Chile's) and asked to see how they cook the baby back was  very interesting how this smoker was set up..

    We are not supposed to post links to other web sites on here, but if you surf the web looking at some of the Polish sites for making sausage, there is some cool info out there on vertical smokers. Them guys put us all to shame over there.
  5. There are very few smoke pit restaurants over here at the moment. Generally bbq in Britain is considered to be semi cremated burgers or sausages but low n slow food is gaining popularity as people are introduced to it.

    The pits I have been to in london by and large use FEC 120's as the "mothership". They are very consistent and also convenient. The cost of bringing one over here is around US $9-10000. Currently cookshack dominate the (admittedly small but growing) UK market so its difficult to get a different perspective.

    After visting this forum and seeing the amazing ingenuity of folks kind enough to share their passions I think a build is the only way to go. And so far the backwoods style cabinets seem to be the way forward. I've got some mates who are skilled fabricators so I should be ok. Haha famous last words !

    I'll check out those polish sites for sure. Thanks again Ribwizard :)
  6. Welcome...and have fun with your build.
    For what it's worth, I grill up bangers on my grill for breakfast when doing long cooks...and the "eyes" on my RF are made from BSA alloys and were machined in Daventry!

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