Water Pan Questions

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by golfpro2301, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    I am looking at modifying my fridge to work better for competitions and to make it easier to transport. Thought this would be easier and cheaper then designing and building my own version of a vault cooker. I will be cutting the door in two pieces and moving the firebox inside the fridge on the bottom. I will be welding in a water pan to seperate the two areas. I was going to do Myron's style where the left and right side are welded to the side walls then front and back has a small gap to allow heat and smoke up to the meat. At the top edge of water pan there are pieces welded at an angle to divert the heat and smoker down to the middle of the water pan so it moves straight up the cabinet. Then I thought about designing my own. I was thinking about making a 4" deep water pan in the shape of the roman numeral #3. The two slits in the middle would be open to the firebox below. Then weld on long roof shapped metal pieces leaving about 1/2"-1" gap between the top edge of the water pan and about 1" up the underside of these angle pieces. I was hoping this would distribute heat and smoke more evenly throughout the cook chamber. Or my other idea was instead of making long rectangle open slits to the firebox below was to make two circles and weld on octagon shaped steel cover to distribute heat in multiple directions. Those of you that are familiar with heat and how it moves could you please chime in. Dont really want to copy another design would rather do something else
  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I like your thought process. I am curious to what experts have to say.

    Personally I am in the thought of no water and using either sand or another type of heat sync.

    My smokehouse has a single heat source in the center at the bottom. I placed a single sheet of metal with 2" gap around all edges. The stack is centered at the top. I get even cooking and color. Not sure if that helps.
  3. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah I am really curious to see how it would work. I have grown to be a fan of moisture cooking. I also like to do dry as well. I will be adding an refill valve on the outside and a 1" drain valve on one side. I will fill it with sand a few times then add water and let it run out when finished
  4. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I used a Pitmaker Vault at my last work location. They have a drain valve on theirs as well. I would say try to go bigger on the drain valve then 1", they have 1 1/2" and it will clog from time to time if bits fall into the water pan.

    I pike the fill valve idea. Theirs does not have it and it sucks filling during a cook.
  5. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    Alright so I am dropping off my fridge to get the firebox moved to the inside and a water pan welded in. Also going to get a fresh layer of powder coat on it. I am going back and forth on the water pan idea. Originally I was going to have a "floating waterpan". It would have a 1.5" clearance all the way around the pieces of angled steel directing the heat down into the water and back up. Similar to myrons but all the way around. I still want to do this but add thee 2"x9" slots in the middle of the water pan which will open to the fire below. I would cap these with a 10GA piece of metal leaving a 1/2" opening on the sides for heat and smoke to come through. This way the heat is coming up through 1/2" gaps on the sides and middle. Hoping this would even out the temps a little. Do you think the open spaces in the water pan directly above the fire would create hot spots with that thick of metal on top of the gap?

    JARJAR - I am going to go ahead and do 2" valve for the waterpan and firebox air inlet as well as my (2) 1" valves for my guru

    Cant wait to get this done and take her to the next comp
  6. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looking forward to your build results.

    If you are in the Orlando/Lakeland area let me know. Would love to the build up close.
  7. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    I plan on cooking the apopka competition in Feb. Will also do one of the ones in lakeland next year.

    I am torn on the fire box size. I plan on having 2" clearance on the bottom of the charcoal box. How much room should I have above that. I was planning on 9" anyone know how many inches there is above the charcoal grate to the water pan in the Vaults?
  8. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Maybe a foot. It is not more then that, but I feel it is bigger than 9". It is hard to remember, but the basket was about 4" deep and they about 2x that from the top of the basket to the bottom of the water pan. I will try to call my old location and see if they can measure it for me.

    Very good on the comps. I judged at the one in Apopka earlier this year. We usually will go to the ones around Lakeland.
  9. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    The way I have it drawn out my firebox would be 26" wide, 19" deep, and 13.5" tall. If I had 2 inches under the charcoal grate that would leave around 11" after taking in account for metal thickness. I would just hate to do all this work and spend the $$$ to not be big enough.
  10. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    So I dropped off the fridge yesterday. I am adding another inch to the firebox area to make 2 inches of insulation all the way around. The water pan will be welded to the sides with 1.5" gap on the front and back. Heat and smoke will come up these than a deflector will direct back down to the water and up the cook chamber. Also in the middle of the water pan there will be three slots that open to the firebox below. These slots will be covered with a small cap that will leave 1/2" gap to allow heat and smoke to come thru. I believe with all of this the heat will be directed in all areas of the cook chamber eliminating hot and cold spots (hopefully). I also am installing a water refill port on the outside of the fridge so I can refill without opening door. There will be a 1.5" drain valve ran thru the bottom of the water pan and out the side of the firebox. I will have (2) 1/2" valves for the BBQ guru as well as a 1.5" valve for draft control when Guru isnt being used. There will be (5) racks that are spaced 6" inches apart. There will be a single 6"x6" sliding damper (like myron's) at the top. The depth of the fridge is only 18" and I need 20" for a steam pan so the metal on the door is going to be recessed in 2.5" to allow pan clearance. Doing this is going to allow me to instal a Tel Try thermometer on the door. Finally there is going to be a small stainless steel folding shelf on the side

    I do need help with paint. I am looking to get it powder coated blue/graphite grey or electric gree/graphite grey. Any cool design ideas would be helpful.

    Cant wait for it to be finished
  11. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like a plan.

    I am not good with designs. I am sure there is places close by for powder coating, if not there is a place down the road from me. Just a 4hr drive....
  12. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    So the fridge is coming along nicely and its almost time to do the water pan. Need help with spacing between top edge of pan and metal fins I am putting in to redirect heat down into pan and back up middle. Same thing Myron uses in his but I am going to go all 4 sides as I am making my water pan a floating pan in the middle of the box

    Here is rough sketch. I will have 2in on all 4 sides of the water pan. The pan will be 3.5IN deep The two slants you see coming towards middle will be welded to the inner wall. My questions is how much space should there be from top of water pan to this slanted piece of metal? I drew arrows and question marks to are I am talking about. I was thinking 2 inches as well but thought that might be too much. Would more or less space make temps even? 


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