Smoke house questions

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by cjordan, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Alright guys, and gals I could use a little help please. Just a little background. I live in Central Louisiana, where it's warm in the winter "compared to other states", and hot in the summer, with humidity that just doesn't ever seem to go away. I would say in the winter we average between 35-45 deg a day, closer to the 45deg mark, and in the summer its between 95-105 deg. I have been thinking about building a side firebox smoker, and probably still will eventually, but for now I would like to check into building a smoke house. I have been doing a little reading and seen where there is cold smoking and hot smoking. I have been looking at several builds on here, but cant seem to find answers to my questions, Im sure it has been asked several times already but I cant seem to find it. So any help would be greatly appreciated. I would like to build a smokehouse somewhere around 3'x3'x6'. If I need to change some measurements I can. I have seen where some folks put a burner of some sort in the bottom of the house "gas or electric", and some folks pipe in the smoke, and heat from an off set firebox of some type. Here is where I need some help please. I would like to build a smokehouse about the size mentioned above, but I would like to build a fire box out of some 20" pipe. I will try my best to describe how this will be set up, and hopefully you can tell me if it will work.

    3x3x6 about 2' off the ground, lay a piece of 20" pipe on it side cap the ends of it then run a 6" piece of pipe into the bottom of the house. Im not for sure how long the 20" pipe would need to be to do this, and if I need to go bigger, or smaller than 6" I can do that as well. I figure the firebox will be around a foot or so away from the house, so I would pipe out of the end of the FB then 90 into the bottom of the smoke house. I will have a door on the end of the firebox with intake holes just like on a regular side firebox smoker build. I would like to heat the smoke house up to 225,  or higher if needed. I'm sorry about being so long winded, but I do appreciate any help you can give. I'm just trying to get this figured out before I waste a lot of time and materials. Thanks
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To heat a smokehouse the size you are contemplating, a small Weber charcoal smoking grill will work... at least to test stuff out.... A 20" pipe would work also with a small fire in one end... Be sure the smokehouse is not air tight..... vents near the top and vents in the bottom for good air flow...

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  3. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Thanks Mr.Dave. I have been trying to read up on smoke houses as much as I can. It seems like everything I was reading said what I described would be a cold smoker. I just wasn't for sure if I could hold 225 deg or so building it this way. I have thought about using the burner method, but gas is pretty expensive now days. In the winter time we make a lot of pan sausage, pork and deer, I would like to try making some smoked sausage. Will it matter how long the pipe is from the firebox to the house? Also.... if I build the firebox 24" long out of 20" pipe, do you think I will be able to hold temps pretty good with out having to mess with the fire to much? Thanks
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Will it matter how long the pipe is from the firebox to the house?

    It needs to be tall enough for good air draw... probably about 24" above the pipe would work... taller would be better.... 6" should work well....

    Also.... if I build the firebox 24" long out of 20" pipe, do you think I will be able to hold temps pretty good with out having to mess with the fire to much?

    Use the minion method with a wire basket... in some smokers, that will hold fire for 10 hours or longer...
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Do you intend to do any cold smoking.  If you are you will need to give the smoke time to cool off before entering the smokehouse.

    I built a 6x6x8 smokehouse about 3 ft off the ground, then a 3 x3 x 2.5 fire box about 8 ft away and connected them with heater vent.  I am able to cold smoke bacon, sausage, hams whatever.  If I want hot smoke I can put an additional heat source on the floor of the smokehouse but I prefer to just fire up the reverse flow.

    I think you can always add heat if the smoke is cold.      I live in SE Louisiana and if my bacon isn't smoked by this time of year then it won't get smoked until October!
  6. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    As of now, I don't have any intentions on cold smoking. This will be more along the lines of smoking sausage in the winter, then cooking-smoking hams, briskest, roast, ribs and what ever else may come up throughout the year. As you would do on a reverse flow or traditional side firebox smoker. I have never been around a smoke house so I guess I should ask if a smoke house would do the foods through out the year? I guess I could just build a smoker and be through with it but I kinda like the thought of a smoke house.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check out Pops threads and the food he cooks/smokes in his smoke house....

    Every different type of smoker has stuff it does better than other designs..... You can't build an all around smoker.... every smoker has it's short comings..... you may have to build 3 or 4 smokers..... Join the group.....
  8. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    I think Ill start out with the smoke house then build the smoker afterwards. I have some 18" pipe at work also, I may use the 18" for the smoke house and keep the 20" for the smoker
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a plan...... Thumbs Up
  10. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Mr.Dave, when you say 24", and taller would be better. If I run the smoke stack into the back side of the house so it's horizontal instead of vertical would that work the same? Also I thought we had some 6" pipe at work but I guess we used it all. If I run two 4" pipes will that work, or do you think there would be to much friction loss? This will only be for hot smoking. Thanks
  11. dandl93

    dandl93 Smoking Fanatic

    I am biulding something close to your idea it will be done in about 2 or 3 weeks.If you are not starting your build before then I will let you know the pros and cons go.

  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    4" pipe = 4 x 4 x .7854 = 12.6 sq. in. area and Circumference is 12.56 inches .... 1 to 1 ratio

    6" pipe = 6 x 6 x .7854 = 28.3 sq. in. area and Circumference is 18.85 inches .... 0.666 to 1 surface to area ratio...

    1 / 0.666 = 1.5 ratio

    As you can see from the numbers, 4" is less than half the area and the surface area is and the surface to volume ratio is 50% greater....

    Soooooo, NO... 2 each 4" stacks would not equal good flow.... I would go with 7 or 8" or larger... you just need something that will keep air flow moving through the Fire Box and not choke the fire... The air/smoke flow can be adjusted with air inlets to the FB....

    Think of it like the smokers in the days gone by.... a small fire was built on the floor of the smoke house... no dampers to adjust.... just a small fire adding smoke ......

    Seems way to simple but...... simple works......
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  13. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Thanks guys for the help and input. I will go with 8" pipe, which I know I have plenty of. Mr.Dan I can't wait to read your reviews.
  14. dandl93

    dandl93 Smoking Fanatic This is the start I will add more pics in a few days.I would of pasted this earlier had to figure it out first hahahahaha


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