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Old 06-13-2009, 11:45 PM   #11
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A 6" diameter aluminum heat duct knuckle, mounted for the chimney. It was painted with black high temp BBQ paint and once positioned correctly, the angle was secured using a whole bunch of sheet metal screws.



Thermometer and handle mounted. The handle was borrowed from an old gas BBQ destined for the dump and the thermometer was a $6 hardware store piece. It does the job, but the range is way too large for BBQ. I would prefer a dial between 75 and 300 so I had better detail in the range of 200-250 that I typically use. This one covers 50-700 so you have to squint a little.



Chimney mounted. The chimney is all aluminum heating duct that's been painted, even the cap is from the hardware store's heating aisle. I had some question over whether it would hold up vs stove pipe but it does a fantastic job and I've never had any issues, plus it's cheap. I also had concern but wind so I probably over secured it, but it has survived windstorms that have knocked over the closed porch umbrella with the 100 pound concrete base so I'm confident now.

The chimney stands an additional 3+ feet over the smoker and the length serves to draw the smoke and create better airflow from what I've read. Either way it looks pretty cool and spreads the smell around the neighborhood.



I lined the bottom with red clay brick. This keeps the coals from resting on the steel, insulates and holds the heat, and provides weight and stability to the tall smoker. I used 17 bricks and they were regular red clay, it's not worth the extra money for "fire bricks" in this application.



The coal grate. This was just a crappy aluminum grate out of an old fridge, I ended up putting this one up top to hold the water pans and using a rock grate from a dead gas BBQ for the coals. This keeps the wood up off the brick so that there is airflow and room for the ash.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:55 PM   #12
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A load of cherry wood smoldering in the fire barrel. I use hardwood exclusively as the fuel for the smoker. Lump charcoal works nicely to get the fire going. Right now I have a face cord of cherry that's dry and another of maple that split and drying. I also have a few bins of apple rounds which are nice for building up the fire too.

Before using the smoker to cook, I did a long hot burn to remove any potential coating inside the barrel. The top barrel hit 550 during this burn and the bottom one was hot enough to fade the paint on top.



Smoke wafting out of the chimney. It's about ready when the smoke is almost clear.



A side table rescued from another doomed gas grill. Something to set the thermometer or beer on while cooking. You can also see the barrel locks that I used to firmly secure the door and keep as much smoke as possible from leaking.



Furnace cement used to seal the flues.



Stove rope used to form a seal when the door is closed. I still have problems with the furnace cement holding the stove rope on, the weather tends to wear it out with time.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:03 AM   #13
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Here you can see the second grate beneath the cooking grate with the water pans. This helps keep the heat indirect for any meat over the vents, and also adds moisture.



Here is the smoker today, nearly one year after its completion. As you can see a thick coat of grease has built up from many cooks, and there are spots of rust that have to be touched up from time to time. Overall it's held up very well through the wet winter and is back in summer service. The inside is pitch black from many cooks worth of smoke and grease.

Some pics across the seasons:








Meat pictures to follow!!!
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:03 AM   #14
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You are my hero. If i can ever accomplish anything remotely like this then I have succeeded in life.

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Old 06-14-2009, 12:09 AM   #15
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Two racks of pork spare ribs, a couple half chickens, and some beef short ribs:



Flanken makes a nice snack while you're waiting for the rest of the meat to smoke:



Added some Munich malt for a smoked beer:



Ribs and chicken after 10 hours:



The ribs fell off the bone, they were impossible to even cut. Never mind the Beast...

img_2437.jpg   img_2444.jpg   img_2460.jpg   img_2589.jpg  
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:10 AM   #16
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Outstanding!!

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Old 06-14-2009, 12:11 AM   #17
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Looks pretty cool. I am really wanting to get a smoker - just need to move out of this apartment first!

Can you cold smoke with this just getting flavor and not actually cooking the meat? If so I might have to build one, if I can find barrels.

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Old 06-14-2009, 12:14 AM   #18
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A beef brisket and two pork shoulders go on:




Coming right along...



Cutting the brisket:



Pulled pork, corn muffins, and BBQ sauce:

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Old 06-14-2009, 12:18 AM   #19
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2 14 lb fresh Thanksgiving turkeys, brined and cured for 4 days and then smoked for 6 hours:



The little bacon wrapped guys are dates. A coworker turned me on to this, it's really fantastic.

img_4002.jpg   img_4003.jpg  
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:21 AM   #20
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Here's a batch of homemade andouille. The sausage making session is a whole other picture set, but the recipe is taken from the book "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. This book may have changed my life.



sausagefest-060.jpg   sausagefest-062.jpg  
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