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Old 03-28-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
mattmuir
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Default Building a smoker.

Hello all. I am building a smoker from an expansion tank with a box I will weld for the offset fire box. I have not seen how big the hole from the fire box to the grill/ smoker should be. I dont want the hole to be too large if that means too much heat or to small for too little. Is there an average? I can make it any size. The box will be 12x18n and the grill is round 38x20.

Thanks,Matt

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Old 03-29-2011, 12:14 AM   #2
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It doesnt really need to be that big. Maybe like a 1/4 the size of the firebox. I would put a damper on the opening so the flame isnt going up the side of the pit. The damper will help the meat closest to the firebox from getting flame and also push the heat accross the bottom of the pit first.

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Old 03-29-2011, 01:29 AM   #3
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Great, thanks for the info.

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Old 03-29-2011, 04:11 AM   #4
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If you would like to get the expert opinion of a great bunch of guys, some of whom build smokers for a living, or have been doing it for years as a hobby, I would highly recommend thesmokering.com. I come to HBT for beer advice, and go to the smoke ring for BBQ advice. Not that there aren't good bbq folks here to, but those guys are Q fanatics!

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Old 03-29-2011, 01:51 PM   #5
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I have built a couple and modified alot. See pic for my latest. Small compact and fits in the garage. A SWMBO must. Can you spot the beer opener on my pit?!

yes the dampner/deflector is a must. I am a fan of just using a flat plate so it is nothing to hard to weld up. This just keep the flame from kissing the meat closest to the box. I have seen some guys run plates all through the bottom so it retains heat better like an oven then the smoke comes out the other side still inside the main chamber and gets in the meat for flavor. You can make these removable so that you can do either or. Its almost like staking grates, but solid plate.

I added a pic showing the baffle concept. You can make the plates small or one long continous depending on what you are trying to do. I dont have one of these setup yet but would like one because it gives you one more thing to adapt or change when smoking.

aad2j8.jpg   offset_baffle.jpg  
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:59 PM   #6
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Wow thanks for the pic! I can almost taste the ribs now.

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:20 PM   #7
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most of them are done and stop at the diagonal slant. that is the deflector/dampner. Going straight across is optional.

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Old 03-30-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxBigHops View Post
If you would like to get the expert opinion of a great bunch of guys, some of whom build smokers for a living, or have been doing it for years as a hobby, I would highly recommend thesmokering.com. I come to HBT for beer advice, and go to the smoke ring for BBQ advice. Not that there aren't good bbq folks here to, but those guys are Q fanatics!
I would second this. They have a spreadsheet in one of their stickies that will figure out how large our firebox needs to be, as well as what size opening you'll need to your smoke chamber.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #9
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So, when smoking food, you don't bother using wet wood chips at all? What is mean by using lump? Man I wish I had a smoker, but I'm quite positive I'd get kicked out of my apartment complex. I'll move out soon enough and want to get all this info down in advance. Is there a book or someway to see the action going down to better understand what I am reading?
Thanks
J

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Old 04-22-2011, 12:40 PM   #10
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Lump is Lump charcoal. As opposed to Briquettes. It burns a little hotter than briquettes, and doesn't ash as much. Personally, I prefer using it myself. Some like briquettes though.

In terms of the wood, don't get it wet. It burns better and cleaner. Check with your apt complex. I had a smoker at my apt complex.

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