Smoker finished and "smokin"

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by wazoo, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. wazoo

    wazoo Fire Starter

    I am the proud papa of a new smoke house.  I finally have my smoke house finished (well almost) and cold smoking some bacon.  So it seemed like a good time to post some pictures.  The beginning of the build is in another post.  The smoker turned out as nice as I imagined it.  I really want to thank the members that gave me ideas and answered my questions.

    The smoker is basically 4' x 2'  x 22" deep in the smoke camber.  It is lined with aluminum over Hardie backer board with 1 1/2" of insulation.  The fire box is lined with ceramic tile.  I did fire it up for about 6 hours to start seasoning it and to play with the burner, vents, and dampers before starting the cold smoke for my belly bacon today.  The outside temperature was about 55 degrees and with the small ring lit and everything open it will run in the 115 to 120 range.  That will be perfect for the first part of sausage smoking.  I did not have any problem getting it up to the mid 250's with both the big and small burner.  So I am confident that I have the range the I was looking for.  I am still waiting for my second external dial thermometer to arrive but my Maverick ET-732 worked great for the test run. The double stack worked pretty well but it did take quite a bit of adjusting to get the temperature balanced from top to bottom in the smoker.  The good news is that I could make that happen.  I am really looking forward to playing with it a lot in the up coming months.

    Here are some pictures.

    I am using the always popular Northern Tools burner and I have an 18" A -Maze-N-Tube-Smoker for cold smoking for adding other smoke as needed.  I put in a full sized 2 1/2" deep stainless steamer pan for a water pan or drip pan as needed.  I am planning on using the water pan mostly when smoking salmon or some types of sausage. r

    I hung the AMTS on the door for easy access when I am using it.  I put the deflector on the vent to help keep some of the fresh air directly away for the AMTS and to also deflect any breezes from blowing out the burner when it is on low.  As it turns out it is nice for keeping any ash from the AMTS away from the vent.  When I cold smoked my very first belly bacon today, the AMTS worked great and gave me a little over 6 hours of smoke per load. 

    I also put on side vents to try to help add cool air to keep the temperature down for sausage and jerky.  I put deflectors on both of those to protect the flame also.  I do have brass screen on all of the vents and the stacks to keep critters and bugs out of the smoker.  The 12' cast frying pan was a hand-me-down that was sitting in the garage.  It makes a nice heat deflector and is great for smoking wood chunks.  I am thinking about getting a lid for it to slow down the wood smoke a bit.

    I have dual 4" stacks on the back.  I could not find 4" damper so I had to build dampers for control.   They worked well for the 6 hour burn-in.  This picture also shows the metal roofing that I put on.  We live in the trees so this will help shed the pine needles.  That is also why I used a peaked roof rather than a sloped flat roof.

    Finally after several weeks of designing, tinkering, and fabricating I have TBS.  BabySmokologist was completely right when he told me to enjoy the build.  It was a lot of fun with a lot of satisfaction.

  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice job! Your gonna love it for years.

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great Looking smoker!!
  4. That a really nice looking smoker.
  5. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    It's Pretty!

  6. dj mishima

    dj mishima Meat Mopper

    That looks really good!
  7. Wazoo,

    That's an awesome looking smoker...

    I noticed how you have the AMNTS mounted too the door (genius) that wood that it is attached too? I used the clamp portion of exhaust brackets as a cradle for my 18" AMNTS, but I like it hanging...looks cleaner. The only thing I'd advise, is watch the tube for getting too hot and charring the wood the brackets are attached too (I wouldn't want you to lose your new baby)!!! From the picture it looks too close, and the AMNTS gets hot enough to start a fire...maybe throw a few spacers/washers between brackets/door to get it further away?

    If it's spaced away, forgive the picture it's hard to tell?!

    Happy Smokin'

  8. wazoo

    wazoo Fire Starter


    Thanks for the concern.  That is ceramic tile that I have the AMTS mounted on.  The tile is over Hardie backer board so the heat is a couple layers away from any wood.  Even though there are a lot of wooden smokers out there I was a little paranoid about heat vs wood.  I think fire wins every time.  So my whole smoker is lined with Hardie backer then covered with either aluminum sheet or ceramic tile.

    goingcamping likes this.
  9. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great looking smoker Thumbs Up
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am interested in how your AMNTS holder works. I just attached mine in a similar way. I sloped it a bit so that the first bot of pellets don't fall out of the tube. An issue I have had when just putting it flat on the rack.
  11. Great smoker and you will have it for a long time! 
  12. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit day I'll get the time to build one myself.  Thanks for sharing.
  13. wazoo

    wazoo Fire Starter

    The holder seems to work very well so far. I have only used it for about 6 or 7 tubes of smoke.  It is very handy and easy to recharge in a long smoke. The way my smoker is designed I have about a 2 inch space between my water/drip pan and the door.  In theory, the smoke comes up the front over the racks on out the back.  Of course, any time I have opened the door the whole chamber is full of smoke. So obviously I was over thinking it.  I like the thought of sloping it a bit because I have had that same problem with the first few pellets falling out.  My only concern would be too much slope and the heat generated by the burning pellets will be away from the new pellets which could effect the way it burns.  I just let it burn a touch longer at the start so the smoking pellets are back up the tube a bit.  I still get about 6 - 7 hours out of one burn.  Sorry for such a long answer.  I hope it helps.
  14. the photo it looked like painted wood! Based on how you built it and how the AMNTS works, I'd say you'll be fine!

  15. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Looks great!
  16. mike5017

    mike5017 Fire Starter

    Great smoker!!!! Congratulations!!!
  17. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cool looking build.......
    Question: the air baffles....... Do they help keep the burner burning smooth? I find with mine when I turn it up I get a very non smooth flame.......
  18. wazoo

    wazoo Fire Starter

    No not really.  I do think that they help me hit lower temperatures.  I can run around 120 without too much problem with just the center burner.  I am having the same problems that I think you are experiencing when the burner is turned up.  The flame is not a smooth nice blue flame.  There is a lot of yellow with a lot more soot that I want.  I am going to try playing with it the air vents on the burner to see if I can get it to operate a little better.  Overall I am happy with the burner but I want to perform a little cleaner and smoother.  Please let me know if you come up with a solution.

  19. wazoo

    wazoo Fire Starter

    Now that I have been using the smoker for a few weeks, I have decided that I need to add a few items.  I need a shelf to hold trays when I am putting things in and out of the smoker.  I also want to have some dry storage area at the smoker to keep things like gloves, lighters, tongs, and anything else that I want handy rather than going back and forth to the house.  I needed a platform for the propane tank and I wanted it covered.  I live in the Pacific Northwest in among a lot of large pine trees.  Pine needles and rain are a given.

    I decided to go with the same sloped aluminum sheeting roof that matched the smoker roof  which created a great storage area. Here is the propane tank platform and storage area.


    I wanted the shelf to fold away when it was not in use to help keep it clean.  I used a spare piece of aluminum bent over a piece of 3/4" plywood.  I added a 5/16" stainless rod that I had laying around and "presto"  a fold up/down shelf that is strong enough to hold a 25 lb. tray of food.

    I think that I am pretty well complete with smoker.  That is until I decide to add something else.  [​IMG]   I still plan on doing some rock landscaping in front but that is a project for this summer while I am turning some animal flesh into a smoky delight.

    Here is the finished product.


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