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Old 05-18-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default Question about smoker metal thickness

How thick should the metal be when making a smoker from scratch?
Thanks
J

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Old 05-18-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
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The thicker it is, the longer it takes to heat up and cool down. What kind of heating element are you using? Electric, Charcoal, Propane? Stuff doesn't have to be too thick, just look at the cheapies made by Brinkkman and Little Chief, they aren't very thick at all. They are also stamped aluminum...

If you are going the wood/charcoal route, then the pieces of metal touching the coals need to be a bit thicker but not much.

Have you thought of the ceramic do it yourself ones?

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Old 05-18-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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Whats your take on this brinkman smoker

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Old 05-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #4
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It needs some modifications to make it work good. The actual lid over hangs the pit opening. You need something around that lid lip to trap the smoke inside, otherwise it wisps out the side. You'll also want to make a diverter like i did, and some tuning plates. I personally wouldn't purchase it. It's a little too thin of metal.

The thicker the metal, the better off you'll be. Yes, it takes longer to get it up to temp, but it also recovers temp much quicker. And once you get it up to temp, it will require a bit less fuel to maintain that temp as well. My little brinkman (10 years old) is made of thicker material than the one you have in that link. My buddy just picked one of those up last summer. It works, don't get me wrong, but it takes alot of tending to.

I'd check out the local craigslist, or build one of those UDS's everyone raves about. I don't know anyone personally that has one, but they are known to serve up some great 'que.

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Old 05-19-2011, 02:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbay76 View Post
Whats your take on this brinkman smoker
there are lots of brands to choose from... go to a store and pick one out that you like and go from there. learning from doing is way more fun
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:58 PM   #6
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i had one of these for the backyard and I had alot of problems with it. Never got a briscuit off it I liked. To small of a chamber. I didnt like how to smoke went through it. I sold it on CL since.

You asked from scratch, are you building one? 1/4" is a good thickness if you are building yourself. Alot of it will depend on the material you can get, but 1/4" is ok if you are gonna make one a little bigger than this. You could go 3/8" but that gets hvy. I had a 3/8" one time and it was my best briscuit cooker ever. Its the one in my profile pic.

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Old 05-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
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The thicker the better. (within reason)

More mass = better thermal stability. Fewer and smaller temp swings.



You absolutely, positively, do not want to use aluminum.

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Old 05-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #8
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The general rule of thumb for the better smokers is make the fire box 1/2" steel and the smoke chamber 1/4". Dave Klose and Jaime Geer, two of the best pit makers in the world use that philosophy.

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Old 05-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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The general rule of thumb for the better smokers is make the fire box 1/2" steel and the smoke chamber 1/4". Dave Klose and Jaime Geer, two of the best pit makers in the world use that philosophy.
If someone is the market for a brinkman I'm guessing they aren't in the market for 500 dollars in steel alone.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:34 AM   #10
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Whats your take on this brinkman smoker
It is not the best choice. Without some heafty modification it will be tuff for you to control the temperature. Your better choice would be a 18.5" Weber Smokey Mountain. With the WSM you can turn out good Que the day you get it.
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