cold climate brick

Discussion in 'Brick Smokers' started by shaver, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. I'm a mason living in eastern  Ontario where we can get a lot of snow and freezing rain. All these things are very hard on brick as it doesn't like the freeze/thaw cycles which cause spalling (face falling off the brick

    when I wanted a smoker my first thought was a brick one as I have lots of brick left over from jobs. It  work would look beautiful and probably work very well in the summer and fall. I also wonders how long it would take to heat up in the winter.

    Then I realized that after ten or 15 years I'd have to rebuid it unless I had a shelter over it.

    Since I'm 60 years old I decided I might not want to do that at 75 or 80 years old.

    Having said all that if I lived 500 miles south or was 30 I'd love to have one. I'll likely do it anyway just because they are beautiful and free (for me).

    just wanted to warn anyone living in cold snowy areas of the durability.
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks very much for your insight. I would never have thought of that because I am a hot climate guy.It will be a big help for the members in cold climates with thoughts of a brick smoker.
    My late mother was from Orillia Ontario so I grew up with plenty of cold weather stories!
  3. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good morning shaver,

    I live in the NW mountains of North Carolina, US.   In the winter we can get as cold as -15F (-26C)

    I've had my smoker now for about 4 years.   It has held up very well.   I did spray it with a product called "lifeguard"  Its a rubbized product for masonry to seal out water.    I think a smoker would do well in your area. 

    As for warm up time.   In winter here, say 15F (-4C)  it takes my smoker about and hour to get up to a stable temp.   Once up to temp though, its business as usual.   The really nice thing about a brick smoker is if I need to open a door I can without a problem.   5 min. and the  smoker temp is back to normal.    If it gets to hot, just open a door to cool it back where you want it.  
  4. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    So with a finish (lifeguard) as Wes W. said he used. Would that not protect the face that you are worried about? 

    - Is there brick buildings where you live?

    - These are fully insulated and the veneer brick would remain outdoor temperature only.

    - I am curious to where you find the 10-15 year life of these smokers?

    Wes, Do you have anything on this one?

    Thanks to all.  
  5. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think as long as you get the footing below the freeze line you your area it should last a lifetime.   Brick structures have stood the test of time without any kind of protection from the weather.   Even if it does spall it would have no  effect on the cook chamber.  I used late 1800's brick on my smoker and yes a couple of them have spalled  but  to me, just adds beauty. 
  6. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    Yes, it will show use and beauty through spalling of the brick.

    In S.E. Nebraska it can get down to -10* for an average but not long, maybe few weeks through January/ February months for that chance. It usually stays upward to 10*-20* for 30-60 days in our last few years..(global warming ?) lol. we have been having very mild temps. here but it can be erratic but nothing arctic.

    I will be using modern veneer brick and half building brick for topping off. So I suppose it will not hold as well as 1800 brick at all?

    How often should a fellow re-coat the brick to help avoid spalling? Or would it even help spalling?

    Thanks to all with the insight! Thumbs Up
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014

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