Winter project for the back yard

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by dirt guy, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    Right now, all I have in the back yard is a charcoaler. This winter, I'd like to create a multi-purpose charcoaler~smoker. I'd like it to be able to do it all--charcoal, smoke, cold smoke, and keep things warm while the smoking grate stays full. I wouldn't be able to charcoal and smoke at the same time. But, I could grill and smoke at the same time if using the bottom fire box.

    Here is a rough design of what I've got in my head. Dimensions and other features aren't completely formulated in my head....yet.

    Any ideas or suggestions?


    Okay all you masters--tell me what's wrong and what's right with the idea.
  2. the iceman

    the iceman Smoking Fanatic

    Right off the bat I would say that you need to lower your vent between the firebox & smoking chamber. Rather than putting it at the top it should be toward the bottom.

    I'm sure BBQ Engineer would have some good insight on this.
  3. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    >>> Right off the bat I would say that you need to lower your vent between the firebox & smoking chamber. Rather than putting it at the top it should be toward the bottom.

    We have two smokers that have a down draft design. It works exceptionally well at keeping temps even. Pulling the heat/smoke down over the grate seems to prevent hot spots even close to the fire box end. It drafts really well too.
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your idea looks good to me but I was wondering if this unit was going to have lids on everything. I do like the whole idea or concept of the whole project but they just looks like something is wrong and I cann't quite put my finger on it. But I'll keep thinking on this thing and get back with you on this project.
  5. I am interested in hearing feedback on this as well... I have a mess of fire brick that I would love to turn into a project. Ideally, a woodfired pizza oven... if I could draft that into a box for smoking.... all the better. So I want to follow this for design ideas.
  6. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    This sketch is closer to what I had put down on paper originally. I lost the paper (probably used it to start a fire). I have put a legend in for where the lids would be. Nothing is to scale or dimensionally correct. The vertical box on the end would probably be up higher in practice.

  7. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I see a couple of things that come to mind immediately.
    1. First, the vertical chamber would probably benefit from being raised up a bit like you mentioned. I don't know the size of this but it might be a long way for the smoke / heat to draw.
    2. Also, for the second drawing you have removed a smoke stack. I assume that you had a drawing error on the first and only want one stack on this, and that is at the left side of the vertical rack. By having two stacks you will need a dampering system to block off the vertical and / or the stack between the horizontal / vertical.
    3. Also, by looking at your doors, I think you may be losing valuable space in your horizontal portion. If you plan on only putting in one grate, you are giving away a lot of space below if you have drawn this to scale. Maybe rethink the doors so you can add an additional grate, or lower the grate so you can get in larger cuts of meat or animals.
    This will be interesting and I would love to see it come to life. Be sure and take lots of pics and post so we can see your progress.
  8. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    This thing has been in my head for YEARS now. It began to come to form when my brother converted his charcoaler into a grill/smoker. I should take pics and post. His only has a horizontal smoker. I'd like to have the versatility of an added vertical. It should provide for a lower smoking temp when using both smokers.

    We've had good success placing large diameter pipe in our hydraulic press and making them oval shape. That's what I'm leaning towards with the horizontal. There will only be one rack there, large enough for two racks of ribs and some links on the side. I've got several ideas on the vertical--none solid yet.
  9. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    This is the foundation of what my build will be based on. This smoker started its life as a charcoal grill. Later, it was converted to a smoker capable of doing 3 or 4 racks of ribs at a time. When it was built, we were concerned there would be enough draft for charcoal grill to work well when grilling. After completion, no difference could be noticed.

    I'm wanting to take this to the next level--incorporating two additional features.

    1. move the firebox for smoking below the charcoal box, while leaving the charcoal close to the cooking grate.

    2. add a vertical smoker to the opposite end (capable of keeping cooked items warm AND cold smoking items such as cheese). **I'm not sure this is possible.

    Here's the basis of the project:

    Home built charcoaler/smoker:


    The charcoal grill


    Exterior view of exhaust from grill to smoking chamber:


    Interior view:


    Smoking chamber exhaust inlet (downdraft design--inlet below cooking grate)



    Smoking chamber exhaust damper:


    Smoking chamber drain:


    I'm thinking my preference would be for a completely rectangular build. I'm also considering insulating the smoking chambers.

    Any thoughts[​IMG]

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