Chance of rain on the 4th - need advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dburne, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Hey gang,

    Ok so still being somewhat new to smoking, I need some advice. I did my first smoke this past Saturday, a rack of spare ribs that turned out great. For the 4th, we are having my daughter and her family over, going to smoke 3 racks of spare ribs and some sausage.

    Now that we are getting closer, I have been watching the forecast for Thursday. I am keeping fingers crossed, but right now they are saying about 50% chance of scattered showers throughout the day.

    So how do you experienced smokers, handle it when it rains during your smoke? How will rain water going down the chimney stack effect the cooking area? I have a horizontal Oklahoma Joe smoker. I am hoping it will not rain during the 6 hours or so of smoking, but want to be prepared in case.

    Thanks for any tips,

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you have no way to get the smoker under a covered patio/deck or roof overhang on the down-wind side of a large structure, then a portable/quick-set canopy may be your best option. If it does rain and the wind comes up, you may need to move the smoker a few feet towards the down-wind side to keep it dry, but as long as the canopy can handle the wind gusts, it's do-able. A make-shift shelter can be made if you have the materials laying around in your shed/garage. Speaking of garages, they offer a great shelter from the weather if you set the set-up your rig just far enough inside the door to keep it dry and leave the overhead door open.

  3. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the tips Eric, I really appreciate it!

    Sounds like a portable canopy may be the best option for me. I have an Oklahoma Joe Longhorn smoker, and that thing weighs like 235 lbs. I do have a garage, but getting that thing from up on the deck to the garage, would be a challenge in itself.

    Now they are showing 30% chance of isolated showers for the 4th, my odds are getting better. Think I will hold off doing anything until tomorrow or Wed in case it changes more for the better. Heck we were supposed to have rain here yesterday evening and last night, and did not get a drop.

    Thanks again,
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here in the Pacific Northwest if we let rain and wind and snow stop us, we'd never get to do anything outdoors. The quick covers work great. If you have a Harbor Freight near you they have some of the better prices, especially when on sale. The covers also make the operation on a hot sunny day more bearable!!!
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  5. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks dirtsailor!

    I just remembered, we have a nice patio umbrella out by the pool, I will have to open it up and see if it might be sufficient enough for what I will need... I think it opens pretty large.
  6. I've smoked in both rain and snow.  As long as the chimney has a guard on top (you can make one with heavy Aluminum foil - think of a tri-corner hat where the smoke comes out the corners), so the rain/snow/whatever does not get in the body.

    I would leave it out in the weather and just carry a large golf-style umbrella when I went out to mop/baste to keep the rain off me and the inside of the smoker.
  7. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks, that sounds like it may be the best solution for me, especially now that is only looking like 30% chance of isolated showers. Of course that can change over the next couple of days.

    Now for me, I can not even fold a blanket decent, so the thought of me trying to make a chimney guard out of aluminum foil, I cannot seem to wrap my mind around - undoubtedly though, I am sure my wife could, she is very good at folding things LOL. I do keep Reynolds Heavy Duty aluminum foil in the pantry.
  8. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Normally, I don't get much water unless it rains pretty heavily. But, you gotta be safe. If you got a hardware store, Low*es or H*D close by, they might have a rain cap to fit your vent. Also, check to see if they have some tarp clips or tie downs. They are normally pretty cheap, and most of us have tarps lying around. Using a couple of those clips and a few pieces of 2" X 2" posts, PVC pipe, or even re-bar, you can make a covering in a hurry. When the rain moves off you can remove the tarp clips in a flash. You can also use the tarps as a wind break if needed. They have saved me many a time when cooking for chili cook offs, scout camp, nosy neighbors, etc.Good luck!!!.
  9. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    I just got home from running some errands, and one of my stops was Lowe's to pick up some air filters. Never occurred to me to look for something like a rain cap there dangit! I am off this week so I am sure I will be out that way again.

    Thanks Frosty,
  10. What I did as a temporary fix, the first time I smoked anything, I placed two patio chairs, one either side of the smoker, about a 8 inches to a foot from the smoker.  I then draped a tarp over the smoker, resting it on the top of the backs of the chairs.  This was about a 8 by 12 tarp.  Kept smoker dry, it is electric, and could be lifted if anything needed to be done to the smoker.  Worked well.  I have since moved smoker, have not completed this yet, but my BBQ sits with it back against my shed and about 5 feet from the wall of the shed are two upright 4 X 4s with a shed long 2 X 6 nailed on top.  So I have about twelve 6 foot fence boards over top, nailed to 2 X 6 and overhang of shed roof.  I need to get several more fence boards and add to this structure to further protect my smoker.

    In this picture, I will be placing my smoker on the Patio stone to the right of the ones the BBQ sits on. Fits on that stone good, just needs more cover, rain tight, not quite, but I can easily throw a tarp over the roof.
  11. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the feedback Palladini.

    Looks like you certainly came up with a good solution for yourself. Mine is on my deck, so I am a little limited on what options I can do.

    Right now, I am crossing my arms and legs and chanting - no rain - no rain - no rain...  :)

    I think at this time, my best bet would be to try and fabricate something to go over the stack out of heavy duty aluminum foil, and not worry with the rest. If it does rain some, I don't think it will be for very long, and I might just get lucky and get the whole smoke in - sure hope so.
  12. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Oh man, the forecast is changing but it the wrong direction.

    Now it is showing 60% chance of thunderstorms, Thursday and Thursday night.

    Not sure what to do, I have already bought all the spare ribs... maybe tomorrow, it will have changed for the better ( keeping fingers crossed)
  13. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    I have an idea. Stop being a pansy and make those damn ribs regardless of the weather!

  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I smoke year round, rain, snow, sleet, dark, light, hot,cold. My bbq season is 365 days a year! Ribs only take 6 hours so get out there and get er done!
  15. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic


    I smoked two chickens, 4 slabs of ribs, and a brisket for a big Christmas party this MICHIGAN.
  16. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Lol, sounds like I don't need to sweat it so much!

    Thanks guys!
  17. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Just a golf umbrella strapped to a patio chair with nylon wire good. , tho.

  18. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the pic Hambone!

    I have a horizontal offset smoker, and do have a large patio umbrella, figure I can just set that puppy toward the smokestack end to keep the water from going down the stack, hopefully that will be enough.
  19. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    Go to a hardware store and get an outdoor vent cover for it. They come in all sizes. Should be able to find one to fit whatever size the stack is.
  20. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    They look something like this. All manufacturers are a little different. Should be under $15.


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