Tile backer board as insulation

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by wiredbob, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. I use a vertical propane metal Char-broil smoker.  It uses more propane than i thought it should because of heat loss.  I covered the outside with 1/4 inch ceramic tile backer board.  This helped but I noticed the outside was still way hotter than I had expected.  I was working on the burn assembly and noticed the way the racks are inside there is room to put backer board inside as well.  I have bought the additional board to put in and was wondering if there may be some reason to leave it out.  I used the holes that mount the rack support and the handles mount holes to attach the outside board.  I thought I would remove the outside backer panels and use them as a template to cut the holes for the inside panels.  The bolts I used may need to be replaced with longer ones but, this seems a an easy upgrade.  My real questions is there any thing in the backer panels that shouldn't be near food? 
  2. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not sure myself, but would like to hear what others have to say.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now your question is the same one I have. Food Safety is a good concern for I sure you don't want to get anyone sick or yourself. I mightg do some research on the subject before I use it on the inside. Then if you think about it how much propane are you really using after all. I have been smokin for years on a propane smokers and I use maybe a bottle every 6-8 long smokers or it could be more.
  4. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    I get three good smokes on each 20 pound tank with my smaller propane smoker.  I have heard of people using celeotex foamboard with spacers intbetween the foamboard and smoker on the outside to insulate it.  I would think the concrete board is going to soak up the heat and your not going to gain too much.  and I think it would put off a slight odor.  I could be wrong.  never tried it. 
  5. mgnorcal

    mgnorcal Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I don't have the references handy, but when I was studying someone's backer-board mod I concluded that (1) backer board is a really lousy insulator and (2) when heated it could give off some chemicals I don't want near my food.

    On the outside, it at least increases the thermal mass, but on the inside I just don't see how it makes any sense.

    I'd suggest a welding blanket on the outside instead.
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    What do they use to insulate gas furnaces/ fireplaces?  You may be able to pickup some pieces from an HVAC contractor.  I know that concrete backerboard has a lot of fiberglass in it.  I have used it on the floor of my smoke house to prevent the very unlikely spark from reaching old drippings and making my cold smoke a very hot smoke. 
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Tile backer board has Portland cement in it, very nasty stuff that you do not want to eat, the welding blanket idea is a good one IMHO.
  8. I believe this discussion has talked me out adding board inside.  I knew the concrete isn't a good insulator but I wanted to use something that stand up to moisture.  I was counting on the mass effect I was counting on to provide heat stability. The propane is costing me about a dollar for an hour cooking.  I guess that is reasonable.  My name is Bob and I smoke meat.  (as soon as I can get the smoker back together) 
  9. Good luck on the quest there Bob!   I once searched online for insulating materials when I first started my fridge smoker build and there is some pretty cool stuff out there - but spendy. Keep searching and you'll find the right item for your specific needs.

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