70# propane tank vertical smoker build

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Dirtytires
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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Dirtytires » October 19th, 2020, 10:29 am

I like the press to adjust the doors, we typically always see a chain and bottle jack. Definitely like the press as it’s is a bunch safer and more controllable.

I can definitely see more people doing this in the future....thanks for sharing.



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » October 20th, 2020, 6:10 am

Dirtytires wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 10:29 am
I like the press to adjust the doors, we typically always see a chain and bottle jack. Definitely like the press as it’s is a bunch safer and more controllable.

I can definitely see more people doing this in the future....thanks for sharing.
Yeah definitely safer. I don't know what I would do without a press. You can do a lot of neat stuff with them. Form things, bend things, force things into submission 😂



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Dirtytires » October 20th, 2020, 5:54 pm

I just purchased one. On my list for a long time but finally had a bushing that I couldn’t beat out with a hammer so broke down and got one. Don’t know how I managed without it already.



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 10th, 2021, 10:34 pm

Well its been a bit since I made some updates.
Crazy cold weather and being busy in the shop put the smoker on the back burner.

But today I got the latches installed, the grates installed and started working on the fire box.
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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by dacolson » April 10th, 2021, 11:11 pm

Gotta be close to cook time!

:LG:


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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 11th, 2021, 8:44 am

Hopefully I'll be looking next weekend. Should finish the fire box today as well as the intake damper. Should be able to to do it first burn this week and get her painted by the weekend.



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 11th, 2021, 11:17 pm

Finished the fire basket, intake damper, and mounted temp gauges. I didn't install the water pan rack but it's been raining for days and I was ancy to try it out so I fired her for her first burn !

All I can say is I'm extremely happy with the outcome of this already.

I had covid last week so I was forced to use some briquets instead of lump coal. I used 1 can in the middle to start and filled the basket 1/3 full (over all about 1/2 full). Once the center was nice and hot I pulled the starter can and latched her up.
Here is what I logged starting out with damper 100% open
Started logging temp after 15 minutes with door closed up
7 p.m 285 degrees
7:30 p.n 360 degrees - closed damper to 50%
8 p.m 315
9 p.m 290
10 p.m 290
11 p.m 290

So I've done 4 hours and counting on half a basket without touching a thing. Temp is higher than I'd normally run also and with briquets. Outside temp is only 55 too so I shouldn't have an issue doing some 5 lb butts. And I I shouldn't have an issue firing a little fire up to smoke a meatloaf really fast after work either.

I was hoping the heat would help release some if the smell left in there from the propane and also the paint in the outside becuase it's a real pain to remove.

I am glad I installed 2 different temp probes becindont think the top one is functioning.
Top probe never went above 200 while the bottom probe is where I'm getting my temp readings. The temperature can't be off by a 100° in less than foot of this tiny smoker.
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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 12th, 2021, 5:24 am

Quick update. At midnight just before bed the temp had dropped to 270. So 5 hours it pretty good for a set and forget cook time

This morning temp was still around 80 and upon check there were a few straggler coals in the basket still slowly burning up.

I plans to give it a solid degreasing and cleaning inside this week and finish grinding the old paint off and get her hit with black. Also need to zap in the water pan rack. Other than that were going to be cooking this weekend for sure!



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by dacolson » April 12th, 2021, 7:30 am

First burn! That's my favorite. Glad it's running for you. Do you have a damper on your stack or just an intake damper? Controlling airflow on this pit will be your biggest help in keeping your temps where you want. I've been running a big green egg for years and between the intake and the stack dampers, I can get it set to 225 and hold for 18 hours+ easy on a half basket of lump. I have both top and bottom dampers shut to about 1/4". Frank gets the same here on his UDS builds. You should be able to get similar results on your pit I bet. Double check all your door seals as well.


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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 12th, 2021, 8:26 am

I did a lot of work tweaking and filling to get the doors to seal perfectly. The latches help as the draw the door in tightly.

No exhaust damper just intake. In the next burn I'm going to burn lump coal since I'm released from quarantine now. I've always had better luck with lump coal.



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by dacolson » April 12th, 2021, 8:47 am

Agreed. Less ash, burns longer.


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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 19th, 2021, 6:45 am

We had our first cook! But before I go there we ground the paint off and painted her. 60 grit flap wheel after loosening the paint with oven cleaner. Cleaned up with acetone, hit it with self etching primer and then rust-oleum 2000 degree paint. Paint job turned out pretty sharp for not spending much time on it.
I also scrubbed the inside with oven cleaner and a wire brush. Rinsed everything out really well and did 2 hour bake for the paint at about 350 with the door cracked.
Sunday we got our first cook and the food was delicious but boy did I learn a lesson. Plan for the plateau! It lasted for over 3 hours first at 148 then 155, then 162. I finally pulled it and wrapped it after I was running out of fuel after 8 hours of cooking. Put it in the oven and had another 1.5 hours where I pulled it at 185 becuase it was 1 a.m!
Couple places I went wrong was started the grill late because I had a busy morning. Meat didn't go on until 3 but I had a 3.6 lb but so I was lying to myself about it going fairly quick. Secondly this was my first time cooking with a sufficient water pan. My old water pan would run out and I just quit using it. From what I've learned the plateau will last way longer with sufficient humidity in the smoker. Also I learn d that I need to size up my vents a tad. With a water pan my smoker would only hold 200. It held it rock solid but I was able to very slightly crack the door and it held 230 like rock for 8 hours. I added wood chunks twice and the flare up quickly tamed down and the wood good blue smoke within 10 minutes. The last problem was even after addinga new temp.privle I found both were off, one reads high and another low. I bought a weber igrill and this is how I confirmed actual temp. At this point I've bought $30 of incorrect temp probes but between the two I can figure it close.



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 19th, 2021, 6:47 am

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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 19th, 2021, 6:57 am

I forgot to mention my water pan is sitting where the bottom rack is supposed to be. I found that aluminum pot at goodwill and it was the perfect size to sit in the perfect spot. I was only going to use the bottom rack for meatloaf so now I'll probably just run it without a water pan if I do meatloaf. Worked out pretty good.



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Dirtytires » April 19th, 2021, 10:11 am

You can significantly decrease your cook time if you tightly wrap (I use butcher paper) as soon as you hit the stall. But yea, not starting till 3pm will result in a late cook either way....



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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Rule Hard » April 19th, 2021, 10:34 am

Dirtytires wrote:
April 19th, 2021, 10:11 am
You can significantly decrease your cook time if you tightly wrap (I use butcher paper) as soon as you hit the stall. But yea, not starting till 3pm will result in a late cook either way....
Yeah I was thinking more like 8 p.m it was just me and the wife becuase the kids off for vacation so I wasn't worried. But that's the longest stall I've ever had in the smallest meat I've cooked.
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Re: 70# propane tank vertical smoker build

Post by Dargo » April 27th, 2021, 6:18 am

I have a WSM. I could not get good temp control with the water pan. I had the same problem as you trying to keep the temp at 250. I now forego the water and put aluminum foil over the water pan. Try this before you re work the vent sizes.

A friend of mine got the WSM also and what he told me is you cannot put to much water in it. So it becomes a game of trying to keep a smaller amount of water. I was filling to the brim so I would not have to fill it during the cook. I guess this makes sense since you will not get the water over 212 degrees.


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