Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Smokers and Ovens made of Brick and Stone
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BigPete
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Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 17th, 2020, 6:42 am

Hi Folks,

Before I start learning a new tool I hoped for some of your valuable experience.

I want to design & build an outdoor kitchen that has a Churrasco, grill, smoker, pizza oven etc. What are your suggestions of tools to use.

I did AutoCAD years ago at college but thought it might be a bit overkill for what I need right now. (and cant remember most of it)

Any suggestions?

Thanks!



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by Dirtytires » June 17th, 2020, 10:43 am

I’m old school....graph paper and a ruler are at the start of all my projects.



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by Big T » June 17th, 2020, 8:33 pm

:yth: I just search the internet for ideas and go from there.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by Dirtytires » June 18th, 2020, 11:53 am

Thanks Big T...I figured I’d get a laugh when I mentioned graph paper. Those CAD programs are cool but I never learned and don’t know anyone to teach me. Did take a drafting class years ago tho so pretty good with drawing out the concept.



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 22nd, 2020, 3:43 am

Ah yes, I'd scribbled a few scale diagrams but keep changing my mind/refining the design to fix issues etc - hence thinking CAD may be easier than having to keep re-drawing :D

Thanks Guys



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by Dirtytires » June 22nd, 2020, 11:28 am

It’s a smoker. A quick sketch with dimensions is close enough. A full scale drawing is great but really not necessarily for this, in my opinion. Important part is making sure the calculations are in order.



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by Big T » June 22nd, 2020, 5:49 pm

:yth:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 23rd, 2020, 10:20 am

I'm trying to make it a smoker (reverse flow) & grill - but all built in. Just a quick scribble so far. It turns out it could quite look like a Yoder...
bbq3.png
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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by towtruck » June 23rd, 2020, 11:11 am

BigPete wrote:
June 23rd, 2020, 10:20 am
I'm trying to make it a smoker (reverse flow) & grill - but all built in. Just a quick scribble so far. It turns out it could quite look like a Yoder...

bbq3.png
Where will the "grill fire" be located in that design? I built a bbq with a lid that can be used as a smoker but the fire is directly under the grill grates. You mentioned Yoder and my bbq is a loose copy of a Yoder 2'x4' model. I made mine to fit my trailer and made a few changes to make it work for me.
Mine works like a Santa maria grill with a lid, but in reverse...the fire is adjustable in height not the cooking surface.

If you plan on bbq'ing with the fire/ coals sitting on the reverse flow plate for the smoker that may run you into trouble managing the heat. Been there done that myself. I'm just spitballing as I am not sure where the heat will come from your design.



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 23rd, 2020, 11:59 am

It's hard to describe but I was planning the bottom box being lined with fire brick and moving coals around to control the heat (the door on the RHS is for burning logs and letting the embers fall down into the firebrick lined box. Doors at the front to allow fire control.

Half way up the firebrick lined box I was planning on having pegs that I could set baffles on for the reverse flow smoker aspects. When using as a grill I can simply move spare bricks Infront of the firebox opening on the LHS and remove the baffles.

I'd also though about some steel gate valves to help control heat into the grill smoker chamber and at the stack back into the planned vertical smoker (not drawn)

Also not drawn is a vertical smoker above the firebox, also potentially controlled with gate valves.

Hopefully that makes sense? #:-s
Last edited by BigPete on June 23rd, 2020, 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 23rd, 2020, 12:01 pm

Btw The box on the lower LHS is the smoker firebox with opening into main grill chamber.



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by towtruck » June 23rd, 2020, 12:50 pm

BigPete wrote:
June 23rd, 2020, 11:59 am
It's hard to describe but I was planning the bottom box being lined with fire brick and moving coals around to control the heat (the door on the RHS is for burning logs and letting the embers fall down into the firebrick lined box. Doors at the front to allow fire control.

Half way up the firebrick lined box I was planning on having pegs that I could set baffles on for the reverse flow smoker aspects. When using as a grill I can simply move spare bricks Infront of the firebox opening on the LHS and remove the baffles.

I'd also though about some steel gate valves to help control heat into the grill smoker chamber and at the stack back into the planned vertical smoker (not drawn)

Also not drawn is a vertical smoker above the firebox, also potentially controlled with gate valves.

Hopefully that makes sense? #:-s
Couple observations from my experiences.......moving coals around cause lots of ash to float around and onto the food unless it's a wide open style grill. Having lots of plates and bricks to move around to make it work become a hassle when hot and when ash gets behind them.

Folks here will recommend a separate grill from the smoker as combining the two never produce a great smoker and great grill at the same time.


Two separate units is the best way to go. Both run independently. Making a combo will have lot's of complicated parts.

edit...if I were to only have one I would make a bbq with adjustable fire grate or cooking grates and have a really good air tight lid and make my fire on one side and put the food on the other to smoke with. Have thee exhaust in the lid opposite the fire end. That way you can open the lid and use it as a grill and close it all up and use it as a decent smoker....I use this one I built that way for shorter smokes as mine is not sealed well enough for long smokes in my opinion......https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... =17&t=7213



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 23rd, 2020, 12:56 pm

Yea I see what you are saying, I think the depth of the box may help with ash. I'd sort of stolen a friend's design but enclosed in a box and where I'd gotten the design. You burn the logs on the RHS then take the embers across (Brazil), if you don't want to run charcoal at the bottom
IMG-20200611-WA0011.jpg
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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by towtruck » June 23rd, 2020, 1:05 pm

BigPete wrote:
June 23rd, 2020, 12:56 pm
Yea I see what you are saying, I think the depth of the box may help with ash. I'd sort of stolen a friend's design but enclosed in a box and where I'd gotten the design. You burn the logs on the RHS then take the embers across (Brazil), if you don't want to run charcoal at the bottom

IMG-20200611-WA0011.jpg
That is a cool design .......but look at how much coals are there. That is a lot of wood or charcoal being burned at once. There is enough coals there to run a smoker for 12 hours or more.....and with charcoal that's $30 worth of coals to cook dinner.

Those coals don't happen in a short time in that amount.

edit...as much as I cook on mine I try and maximize my fuel usage. I don't fire up my big smoker until I have food to fill it and I try and cook all I can with as little fuel I can on my bbq. Once I'm done on the bbq I spread the remaining coals out and close it all down and save my unburned coals for next time.....I'm cheap! Now, on the other hand I would love an outdoor set up like that....but I would have that, a smoker, a rotisserie, a pizza oven, and a flat top....it would be huge!



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 23rd, 2020, 1:39 pm

Yep completely, that was really why I was trying to combine two into one. I'd thought the fire brick would have help keep the heat rather than just steel.

But yes your 100% right they are heavy on fuel, especially the churrascos (also not drawn) because the pit is so deep beneath the skewers. I guess it's also a culture thing and it's the way they're always done it. When I'm in Brazil I'd use an 8kg bag of charcoal per cook when using the skewers.

Btw that friends setup is indoors 😂 I'd love to know how they ensure the draught to stop it smoking out the house!



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by towtruck » June 23rd, 2020, 2:00 pm

I can see nothing better than hanging around with friends over that big open fire and cooking all afternoon. Outdoor cooking space is made for that kind of thing. You are just going to have to decide what you want to do. Low and slow has one staring at a smokestack and watching a temp probe. BBQ'ing can be anything from what you posted to many many other styles.

About the only combo I could see working is a very carefully planned out vertical smoker (built to specs)with a fire box that could double as a charcoal maker for your coal dragging grill. It would take a lot of engineering to make it work. A separate vent would be needed on the fire box to vent off the high heat when making coals for the bbq. Even then it would be easier to just make two firebox's, one for the smoker and one for the open fire.



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Re: Brick Smoker / Builder Design Tools

Post by BigPete » June 24th, 2020, 3:12 am

Thanks man, I appreciate all the ideas. (I'm based in the UK and dont have as much space to work with as you guys over the pond!)

Let me get a v2 sketched up and i'll post it back to see what you think, I like a challenge :)



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