Smoker needs modifications

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Landover50
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Smoker needs modifications

Post by Landover50 » July 6th, 2018, 9:34 am

First of all, an introduction. 15 years ago in the small Utah town where I was going to school, there were no true BBQ restaurants and I was spending my summers in the Midwest eating good BBQ. So I took measures into my own hands and through a lot of good websites learned how. My first smoker was propane and I've used gas ever since..... Until recently a friend gave me a smoker he had made. This will be the first stick burner I have owned.

As you can see, it's built like a tank. First pic is a side shot, second is back and third is front. I'm not sure how effective the design will work but I couldn't pass up free. As you can see, FB is in the bottom and a giant water pan separates the FB and the CC. The "throat", if you can call it that, is two 2.5" pipes that exit the FB and enter the CC through the back. But as you can see, he's also vented that straight up the back. They are the two stacks on the outside when looking at the back. From front to back it measures about 36" and is 24" wide. FB measures 36Lx24Wx16H and CC 36Lx24Wx24H. I built one fire in it to see how it worked and these are my observations based off my experiment and the calculator from this site.

1. Intake way too small. There are two small intakes on the front and back but if I shut the FB door it chokes out the fire almost instantly.

2. Throat is way too small. With two 2.5" pipes, total area is around 10 sq in. The calculator suggests 110 sq in.

3. The two exhaust pipes coming from the FB need to be blocked off so I don't lose heat/smoke.

I'm not a welder and don't have much experience/tools for working with metal so I'll have to have someone help me with the mods. I have some ideas of what I could do but wanted to get a little insight from all the good folks on here to see what could be done.

Another note: coming out the back, between the two stacks is a pipe with a cap on it that is used to drain out the water pan.

Any help/suggestions on how to make this smoker better is appreciated. I understand it probably isn't the best design but it is what it is and I'd like to make it work. Thanks in advance.
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ajfoxy
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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by ajfoxy » July 6th, 2018, 7:16 pm

Welcome. I'm sure the fellers will have a lot of helpful suggestions in due course.
So what's it not doing that you expect it to do? Just to make potential remedial plans a tad more streamlined.


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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Big T » July 6th, 2018, 9:30 pm

This set up looks more like a steamer than a smoker but it can be modified so that's a plus, not to mention that it was free. The pit calculator is for an offset and doesn't work for a vertical so you can't build it to those specs. I know everyone has there own likes and dislikes so opinions will vary but this is mine. I personally don't care for water cookers because I don't feel that all of the extra moisture in the CC is needed not to mention the temperature swings that water boiling off can cause. If this was my pit I would do the following 1) open up the intakes to allow the fire to breathe 2) close off the stacks and the feeder tubes from the FB to the CC. 3) add another piece of 1/4'' plate in the bottom of the pan to act as a heat sink. 4) cut a 1''wide opening in both sides of the pan about 1/2'' off of where it joins the wall and 35'' long stopping 1/2'' from front and rear. You'll need to weld a piece of plate on an angle just below the bottom rack(drip ledge), above the throat to direct grease into the pan and keep it out of the FB. . I'll try to post a picture to clear up what I mean. If you want to keep the water pan you could skip adding the plate in the bottom of the pan, cut the throats down the upper edge of the pan and use some flat bar to make a wall so that the water can't run into the FB and install the drip ledge above the throats as mentioned above. Regardless of which way you go just remember that you will have to learn fire management because it isn't going to require a big fire to run this pit. I'm sure some of the other guys will come along and have some different ideas so I wouldn't start cutting just yet.


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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Big T » July 6th, 2018, 9:33 pm

Image. The red lines would be the throats running from front to rear and the green lines are the drip ledges to direct grease into the water pan.


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Landover50
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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Landover50 » July 8th, 2018, 8:47 pm

Big T wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 9:33 pm
Image. The red lines would be the throats running from front to rear and the green lines are the drip ledges to direct grease into the water pan.


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Thanks for the ideas. I hadn't thought of that before. That would turn it into a uds design of sorts.

My thought was to put additional, but larger, pipes from the FB to the CC in a similar fashion to what is already there but without the exhaust like the current ones. Your suggestion would be easier to execute.



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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Rodcrafter » July 9th, 2018, 5:57 am

I have a similar setup in my vertical cabinet. I have an gap between the walls and the rack guides, I use it as the “throat”. I thought about it quite a bit and decided not to put the drip edge on it as it looked like it would cause turbulence in the air flow. I don’t know if it would have for sure, but I never get grease in the fire box because the food isn’t over those openings. I use the “water pan” as a baffle plate/drip pan. I have to say this setup works amazing. Mine is a stick burner but I don’t allow the full thrust of the fire inside. My FB is insulated on top between 2 steel plates. Only a 6”x6” opening is allowed in the rest is directed into other CC(s). To make a vertical stick burner I have found I must allow the fire to burn freely and allow what I don’t need to exit.


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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Landover50 » July 9th, 2018, 8:17 am

Any chance you have a picture of your setup? I think I understand what you're saying but a picture would be helpful. I'm just trying to get as many ideas as possible before I start into it.

Based off of yours and big t's suggestions I think I'm going to add a plate about 1/2" below the water/drip pan that spans the entire top of the FB. I'll drill multiple holes on the outside edge to allow smoke/heat to pass through. I'll cut slots on the upper edge of the water pan the length of the smoker like big t suggested. How wide of a slot do you think I'll need? I was contemplating the drip edge as well. I can avoid dripping into the FB by keeping food away from the outside. I can always add it later if I need to. It sounds like you have other CCs to divert heat into but I don't have that. It seems like I'll have to keep the fire pretty small since it will be going straight up into my CC.

Thanks for the help. Any other suggestions or caution you can throw my way will be appreciated.



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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by pr0wlunwoof » July 9th, 2018, 6:06 pm

What about putting a fire box on the side where the pipes are and turn it into a reverse flow offset. That would turn your water pan into a baffle plate. Weld a pipe to water pan through bottom for drainage. Thats what I would do. You should then be able to use the calculators to get some good numbers on firebox openings etc.

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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Rodcrafter » July 10th, 2018, 10:29 am

Landover50 wrote:Any chance you have a picture of your setup? I think I understand what you're saying but a picture would be helpful. I'm just trying to get as many ideas as possible before I start into it.

Based off of yours and big t's suggestions I think I'm going to add a plate about 1/2" below the water/drip pan that spans the entire top of the FB. I'll drill multiple holes on the outside edge to allow smoke/heat to pass through. I'll cut slots on the upper edge of the water pan the length of the smoker like big t suggested. How wide of a slot do you think I'll need? I was contemplating the drip edge as well. I can avoid dripping into the FB by keeping food away from the outside. I can always add it later if I need to. It sounds like you have other CCs to divert heat into but I don't have that. It seems like I'll have to keep the fire pretty small since it will be going straight up into my CC.

Thanks for the help. Any other suggestions or caution you can throw my way will be appreciated.

Image

Image

Image


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Current Smokers: Backyard RF Offset and Hybrid RF Offset trailer rig with Cowboy cooker and fish fryer, always room for more........

Landover50
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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Landover50 » July 16th, 2018, 12:50 pm

Thanks for the pics and advice.

I think I'm going to move forward and cut the slots down the sides of the current water pan and see what difference that makes.

Big T, you mentioned putting a plate on the bottom of the water pan as a heat sink. What about welding some channel to the sides of the FB so I could slide in a plate that would sit about 1/2" below the water pan. I would cut holes on the outside edges of the plates to allow heat and smoke to make it up through the holes I cut in the water pan. Thoughts?

And sorry for the newb questions, but how would you go about modifying the current intakes? As you can see, right now they are the pie type intakes. Currently there is about a 5" hole cut out in the front and rear for the intakes. How big of an intake will I need?

Thanks for all the help.



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Re: Smoker needs modifications

Post by Big T » July 16th, 2018, 5:04 pm

A plate under the water pan will work also, just make sure that you aren't making the FB a lot smaller. As for the intakes, I would remove the pinwheels and make a square or rectangular opening through the door and install a slide plate over the opening to control air flow. I would make them as large as possible within reason, I would think that 20-25 sq inches on the front and rear would be way more than you need but it would give you the option to close one of them off if the wind starts blowing directly into the intake.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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