Let the smoker building begin:

Discussion about Reverse Flow Smokers
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Big T
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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Big T » December 1st, 2017, 9:44 pm

You could get by with a small fire in the CC but I wouldn't build a raging fire or it could possible distort the door. I would probably do the CC fire first and then clean out the CC and build a big fire in the FB and let it run really hot in the CC for a while just to be sure it's cleaned out. You could add another piece of plate on top of the bp to help with a hot spot, usually it's done underneath the bp with about an inch of air gap. I believe that it'll be pretty even temps if you're cooking low and slow once you learn the size of the fire that you need to burn. It doesn't take a very big fire to run in the 225-275 degrees range, if you plan on cooking any hotter than that I would probably double the first section of the bp. I've painted all of my pits with rattle cans and they turned out great, you could buy a quart of paint and use HVLP if you wanted too. I've never used primer and I don't think that it's recommended by rustoleum. The firebox paint burns off pretty regular but the CC paint hasn't had any issues. I don't think there's anything that'll stay on the FB for too long as it gets extremely hot. RC and The Czar are the real experts so they can tell us if I'm wrong, I'm just an ol' hard headed country boy that has learned a little bit from all of my mistakes. You've built yourself something to be proud of for sure!


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 2nd, 2017, 12:11 am

Thanks big T, that really means a lot to me. I really appreciate all the good advice and will put it to use.
I got some more time today to work on the counter weight for the cc and the rest of the handles welded on. It was a good experience for me. I used 1/4”x2” c channel and a piece of 1/4”x2” flat strap and welded them together to get a strong arm for the counter weight. Welded and grinded it smooth then used a 3’ piece of 1/8x4x4” and welded them together. Once I had it where I needed I added some scrap pieces of steel and got the weight I wanted to balance the cc door then welded caps on it. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Pete Mazz » December 2nd, 2017, 6:31 am

:LG: :LG: :LG:


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Cole » December 2nd, 2017, 7:18 am

The handle is awesome! Should put a weather vane on that stack! When the flavoring going to begin?



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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smurf » December 2nd, 2017, 7:58 am

Nice work :beer:



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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 2nd, 2017, 11:37 pm

Thank you for the compliments fellas, this has truly been a labor of love. This project is giving me two main things: a tool to continue smoking meats. And second it is giving me the opportunity to learn how to mig weld. It started off only as me having a buddy fab me up a smoker, but ended up not only giving me a smoker I will have for years. It also created a passion for welding and metal work. Giving me a reason to pick up another skill that I can benefit from. If I wouldn’t of found this great forum I would’ve have never attempted this journey in the first place. Again I thank you all for all your words of wisdom. This is such a great forum!!


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 2nd, 2017, 11:43 pm

So back to shop talk: what seems to be the best location to place me temp gauges. I have two that I am going to use just to track any difference in temp from one side to the other. They will be on the cc door but where is the best location to mount them. I am going with 2- 3” river country temp gauges if that makes a difference??????


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Rodcrafter » December 3rd, 2017, 9:50 am

I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you until now. I like my temp gauge as close to the cooking rack as possible so I have an accurate idea of what the meat is experiencing. As for the fire basket. I have to say I like heavy stuff, that being said the bottom is not square tube its solid square stock. I make the shape of the ends then stand them up and clamp them to the welding table and lay the bottom out and tack it in place and tack the top angle slides in place. Then weld it all up and lastly cut the 3/4x9 in as replaceable pieces


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 3rd, 2017, 11:09 am

RC thanks for getting back with me on the fire basket. Being a newb at all of this (including welding) how would I make the expanded metal replaceable, I assume just a few tacks that can be cut off and grind down? How often do you find yourself replacing the 3/4x9? And lastly (for the moment) I have two racks in my pit, would I place the temp gauges between the top and bottom racks or place them both above the top rack?Imagei added the pic for quick reference.


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Big T » December 3rd, 2017, 8:06 pm

I would split the difference seeing as you have your handle already mounted unless you wanted one on each side of the handle. I done several test fires and checked temps with my maverick before I ever cooked anything just so I would know what was really going on and now I know what the temp zones are based on my single door gauge. The temps end to end are usually within 5 degrees but the top rack is about 10-15 degrees hotter than the bottom. I know you are ready to be done but if I could recommend 1 more thing to add it would be a drip ledge to the inside of the door. These traditional doors are bad about the grease splattering on the door and dripping down the front of the cooker. I believe that I have a picture of mine and I'll try to add it in a few minutes so you can see what I'm talking about.


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Big T » December 3rd, 2017, 8:11 pm

2013-12-02_16-57-27_105.jpg

just a simple piece of flat bar welded on an angle to direct the grease down to the BP

2013-12-02_16-57-27_105.jpg
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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 4th, 2017, 12:12 am

Are you kidding Big T, I am always looking for an excuse to use my welder and get more welding time!!!!! I saw that edge before on another smoker but wasn’t sure of it purpose. Would 1/8” suffice or should it be 1/4”? As far as the temp gauges would it be better to put one towards the top and the other near the bottom cooking grate? When testing the temps in different places around the pit how long does the probe need to be in place to get an accurate reading? I am ready to put this bad boy to the test and see what it will do, but I also want to make sure I am getting it built right and not end up with regrets and have the “would’ve, should’ve, could’ve” deal.
I have the day off tomorrow and will be putting more time in on the iron dragon getting her closer to breathing fire and smoke.
As always thanks for the advice Big T and RC.


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Squiggle » December 4th, 2017, 3:53 am

Looks fantastic dude, can't wait for the Qview! :beer:

Awesome addition there BigT, very inventive. :kewl:


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 4th, 2017, 12:48 pm

Big T, I just put this guy on. I hope it will do the trick. It’s 1/8”x 3/4” now to focus on the temp gauges locationsImageImageImage


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Rodcrafter » December 4th, 2017, 3:22 pm

That will work fine. I like to put it as close to the rack as I can. There's a lot of moisture in these cooking chambers both from the wood and the cooking, it just runs down the door and drips out the front without this part. I mean these rascals get nasty enough without that. Even if its a good sorta nasty.

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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 5th, 2017, 9:59 pm

I have been going over this build trying to think of anything else I need to weld on it before moving it out of the garage. The only thing I have left to do is put on the temp gauges. Which means tomorrow night is the big night. I plan on moving it out and burning it in!!!! I plan to do several burns in it before I season it. The question I have (Big T this is a discussion we talked about) if I only do a fire in the fire box and get it really hot, and do this the next several nights after work would that do the trick of getting all of the old propane funk out of the pit or do I need to have a fire in the cc. I would prefer not to have a fire in the cc because I don’t want to take a chance of warping the cc door.


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Big T » December 5th, 2017, 11:23 pm

I'm no pro when it comes to propane tanks but your tank appears to be fairly clean of any residue so I would think that if you don't have a bad smell you could get buy with a few hot burns. If you get it hot a few times and that doesn't seem to work then you could do the fire in the CC as a last option.


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Rodcrafter » December 6th, 2017, 2:49 pm

I don’t know much about propane tanks either. I do know Frank and some others used to get them soda blasted after cutting them open. But since you are this far along BigT is probably right.


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 6th, 2017, 8:58 pm

Got home from work tonight and decided that tonight is the night!!!!ImageImageImage
This is my very first burn. I ain’t going to lie, it’s pretty sweet watching this thing breathing fire and smoke and coming to life. THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Big T » December 6th, 2017, 9:48 pm

Heck yeah!! :beer:


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Weldun » December 6th, 2017, 10:52 pm

Very rewarding, nicely done!


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Cole » December 7th, 2017, 6:30 am

Beautiful, I can taste to meat already! What going on first?



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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby ajfoxy » December 7th, 2017, 4:26 pm

Nice. Well done!


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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby pr0wlunwoof » December 7th, 2017, 4:50 pm

Looking good! Time for Seasoning.



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Re: Let the smoker building begin:

Postby Smokinnewby » December 7th, 2017, 10:49 pm

Thanks fellas!!!!! It’s night #2 burn. I burned the fire pretty hot last night and could smell the propane smell from its former life. I checked it this morning before work to see if I could smell propane in the cc after that burn. I couldn’t really smell any but decided to stick with the original plan and burn it hot several times before I season it.
Question: what is the best method for seasoning my pit? What tips or tricks do you guys recommend or use????


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