Steel thickness - insulated cooker

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by crd26a, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. crd26a

    crd26a Newbie

    BBQ Engineer's thread on his reverse flow has me thinking of having something similar built (a little narrower but a little taller, like a veritcal cabinet cut in halves). I know he was using 10 Gauge in his build, resulting in some weight being there.

    As I know some of the cabinet makers (Stumps, Backwoods, Spicewine, etc) are "light" units, my question is what would be the minimum thickness you'd want both internally and externally for a build? I was thinking of doing it in 11 Gauge internally (heavier on the fire box) with 14 Gauge on the outside, but if it could even be shaved down to 12 & 14 or something else, the weight savings could be nice.

    Any inputs / thoughts would be great, as my knowledge in this area is lacking.
  2. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Maybe someone will be along soon.
  3. crd26a

    crd26a Newbie

    Maybe lol

    I did find today that on the new Stump Stretch cookers he was using 3/16th inside his prototype, so BBQ Engineer might not be too far off. Of course, the Good One Rodeo we use for some competitions is 11 gauge in the body (including firebox) so who really knows.
  4. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey CRD26A,

    I originally started out looking at the Backwoods and Stumps smokers. I was intrigued, but my pockets didn't go that deep! I Like to build things and started with a "prototype" cabinet smoker that uses charcoal. I thought I would refine it and give it away to family or friends, but it was so awesome, that I kept it.

    At the time I was looking to start on my cabinet smoker, I mentioned it to my neighbor, and his wife worked for a metal distributor, so I got a "friends in high places" discount on some 10 Gauge steel. I bought a bunch of it since it was really cheap, and then by default the reverse flow smoker was made out of what I had in the shop.

    I will agree with you that it is rather heavy, but my smokers are definitely built to last. For the reverse flow, it needed to be thick, since the heat source is way more extreme. I do believe that you could get away with thinning it down for a cabinet smoker. When I wanted to buy one of the stumps or backwoods, I called and talked to them and found out what gauge they used, and it was considerably thinner than the 10 gauge I used. I will be interested to find out what some of the other insulated rigs use.

    Since my cabinet was really heavy too, I put an industrial looking cart under it, and then refined it for one that I made for my brother. It worked really well, and I added some trailer jacks to level it too. Here's a few pics of the cabinet smoker and cart I made to roll the smoker around:

    The theory of my cabinet smoker...SS Exit is the smoke stack exit:

    Insulation sandwiched between 10 gauge shells:

    Cart in the rebar basket!

    Painting and finishing touches:

    Good Luck and Happy Smokes!
  5. randya

    randya Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I really like what you did. I don't see the weight being an issue because of the way you build the cart.

    Thanks for sharing...

  6. davenh

    davenh Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I did the main box of my insulated smoker with aluminum sheet. Basically ended up with a Stumps style gravity feed weighing in around 325 lbs. Cooking chamber is 20x20x43.

    Just another option for cutting down the weight.

    If you want to know about anything related to Stumps clones, check out this site.

Share This Page