Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Horizontal smokers with a side firebox and tuning plates.
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john_az
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Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 18th, 2019, 1:43 pm

I was just curious, as I have not really seen any smokers this "shape" before... the CC is 20" wide x 60" long and about 27" tall_1/8" thick.. FB is insulated and 20"x 24" long 1/4" thick.

There are a few advantages for me as to why this would be better than using a full cylinder,(space) but I really like the look and the function of the doors.. being able to open the smaller door just to spray the meat, or make an adjustment to just one side or the othe etc, rather than having to open up a huge door and let all the heat out....

I guess I just wanted to know if there was something I was not thinking of.. or a reason why this is not a great route.... I have never build a smoker from scratch before but thought i'd give it a go.....** I used the calc on this site to fine tune the size etc.

thanks for your input!
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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 18th, 2019, 1:45 pm

Here is another pic
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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 18th, 2019, 1:46 pm

and another... (why cant I post all 3 in one message...??)
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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by jose-da-weldr » April 18th, 2019, 3:09 pm

That is a nice looking smoker. Can't wait to see the build. As long as all your numbers are right and your flow is right, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Dirtytires » April 18th, 2019, 4:27 pm

Shape is fine if that’s what you want.

With a traditional offset of that legnth, expect considerable temp fluctuations from bottom rack near firebox vs top rack near exaust. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to know before hand.

The doors in the back are neat but add a lot of work, additional areas to seal and have questionable utility. I assume you are attempting to reduce heat loss and feel you will open it rather than the big door. Just my opinion, but I would rather have just one door so I can get in, do what I need quick and get it closed. The heat is going to escape anyway but the metal stays hot so My pit rebounds temps within 5 min or so. Also considering that I only open my doors about three times on a cook (put meat on, wrap at stall, remove meat when done) I’m not sure it would be as useful as you think. And, if you are constantly opening your door, it is time to invest in a remote thermometer setupso you don’t have to. Definitely your choice but consider there is a reason that you don’t see 2 sided door smokers too often.

As far as posting multiple pictures, some have had luck but not previewing their post as this sometimes deletes all but the first picture. Just hit send after attaching pictures. Good luck!



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by towtruck » April 19th, 2019, 2:38 pm

I would just make one set of doors, as DT said your not going to be in there all that often anyway. I like the drawings and the only thing I would do differently is add a top loader to the fire box. It's really nice dropping fuel in from the top.



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 19th, 2019, 5:36 pm

Wow, what great feedback @dirtytires!! So the theory behind the two smaller doors was because most times I do a brisket, and ribs... or ribs and chicken etc.. they all have different needs... brisket yes... toss it in, only touch to wrap and then remove... but ribs are more neeeedy.... and chicken is better by the firebox end, but also are more neeeedy.... so I could have brisket and pork shoulder on one end... somewhat happy while I mess with the others...?? I run two pits all the time when I cook now... it feels like twice the work to manage both of them.... ha. I just wanted to consolidate... it might be fine to just have one.... ill think about that.. thanks!

I love the idea of the top load firebox @towtruck, I see what I can do to modify it...

Im going to start this build in a few hours.... Ill keep you all posted!



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Dirtytires » April 19th, 2019, 8:47 pm

I realize everyone has a different cooking method but I really don’t do anything different for ribs and chicken except that the door only opens twice....once to put on, once to pull. I don’t mess with mops and my pit is even enough in temp that I don’t need to rotate meat much.

Tho I agree that top loaders are easier to drop in a new log, remember that heat rises and you will burn your fingers much quicker if you need to ‘poke the fire’ any.

We are looking forward to watching your build.



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 22nd, 2019, 2:48 pm

Holy smokes... its been a long weekend... murphy hit me friday night, just as I was unloading all the material after work... No power in the garage.... spent till 3am trying to figure out the problem, finally tracked it down to a loose common wire in the panel.... so strange... fortunately it got hot enough that it melted the wire jacket a bit, I was able to see which one it was.... man that really slowed me down....lost all friday night... so here is was I was able to get done on saturday...sunday was easter...so not much happened other than a few photos..... tonight is going to be a long night! Ill post more pics of the progress tomorrow am...
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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Big T » April 22nd, 2019, 6:23 pm

:LG: :LG:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Smurf » April 22nd, 2019, 8:27 pm

Wow!! Looking real nice!!



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Chromeski » April 22nd, 2019, 8:46 pm

Looks great, the racecar in the driveway looks like a fun toy as well



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Dirtytires » April 23rd, 2019, 9:06 am

We got shape! Nice progress.

Don’t feel bad, I changed out my hot water tank 3 times in the same weekend once because I thought it crapped out then the second was defective. When I got the third one in (yea, I’m that slow) I finally started looking beyond the heater. Finally traced to a loose wire on the panel.



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 23rd, 2019, 5:06 pm

Ok! another long night...but got some good stuff done.. lots of little details.. but here ya go.... as promised.... not great pics.. I dont have alot of space in the garage for good angles hahah to much crap in there...

I struggled with making the cooking grate pull out... I could not find drawer slides without plastic in them... no all metal drawer slides..??? what are people using? its not just angle iron with the grate sliding directly on that.. but that sucks...if you dont push it perfectly straight, it gets hung up...??

any better solution that im missing?
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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by ajfoxy » April 23rd, 2019, 7:08 pm

Looking good. And yep, grate edge sliding on angle. Works for me and probably thousands (millions perhaps) of other builders. :D

But perhaps google what industrial / professional kitchen / high heat ovens use for sliders.You could probably makes something with stainless rollers etc. But once they get a coat of grease/fat/gunk they might not function quite so freely.


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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Dirtytires » April 23rd, 2019, 8:04 pm

The key to getting a grate to slide on angle iron is to get you frame perfectly square and The rails perfectly parallel so there is nothing to rub and catch on. I also let a little fat sit on my rails to lubricant it and have never had an issue pushing my racks in, even one handed. Your grate needs to be sturdy as well...if it bends, it will bind. I used 1 x1 x.125 angle for mine.



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Big T » April 23rd, 2019, 8:27 pm

:yth: a lite coat of cooking oil and it'll slide just fine.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 26th, 2019, 1:07 pm

Slow progress for the last 2 days, but I managed to get a few things done.... @Dirtytires mentioned the temp swing between the top rack and the bottom rack.... so that got me thinking.... if I could make the top rack adjustable... i could load the food, get the racks as close together as reasonable.... then that would help minimize the temp difference between the two racks... so I gave it a shot.. tried to make it super user friendly... just one pin in the back, and a spring loaded pin in the side (spring loaded pin ordered, has yet to arrive) it actually works really well!

Question.... are most people putting a baffle or door between the FB and CC to help regulate heat? or is that not really a thing.... I have seen a few smokers with that... seems like it would help alot.. but I see way more without....... any thoughts on this??

thanks so much!!!!!
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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by ajfoxy » April 26th, 2019, 3:58 pm

That should work OK. Although putting the slide in at another height whilst the unit is working and hot might be an interesting exercise. Some builders merely add extra sliders between so that they could choose where they wanted the rack. Your solution is a tad more "up-market" so go for it.


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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by john_az » April 26th, 2019, 5:49 pm

Hey @ajfoxy, I figured I would just set up the racks based on what I was cooking that day.... before I started the fires.... cuz your right... that wouldn't be fun while they are hot... but honestly, I moved them up and down a few times as a test... it was actually easier than I thought... heck I might be able to do it when they were hot it was a meat emergency! hahah

any thoughts on a baffle... pros/cons?



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by mp4 » April 27th, 2019, 5:58 am

That looks awesome!



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Re: Is this a bad shape for an offset?

Post by Dirtytires » April 28th, 2019, 11:48 am

I put a damper between my firebox and cc. My thought was I could shut off my cc and fire up justmy warmer box. To be honest, I don’t use it much. Once in a while I’ll shut to keep smoke out of my face while pulling meat off the racks.



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