HELP! Anyone know what to do with a built-in meat smoker in chimney?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by reyesuela, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. reyesuela

    reyesuela Newbie

    Our house has a built-in meat smoker at the bottom of the chimney stack. I have no idea how to make this work! Basically, in the basement by the sauna are two doors that look a lot like ash-trap doors. I think you're supposed to build a fire in the one below and smoke food in the one above--there's a kind of grill in there already. You can adjust the airflow by turning a dial-like air intake on the front of the lower one.

    Has anyone seen/used these?
     
  2. graybeard

    graybeard Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    A picture would be nice.

    beard
     
  3. txbbqman

    txbbqman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like a sweet set up, I would love to see a pic
     
  4. reyesuela

    reyesuela Newbie

    The attachment feature of the boards isn't working, and my facebook acct is down for mait., but I'll try soon!
     
  5. reyesuela

    reyesuela Newbie

    Yeah, if it doesn't smoke up my house instead! [​IMG]
     
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    You can use photobucket as a picture hosting site. Resize pics to 640 x 480 and use the "IMG Code" to post the pics here. Photbucket has free accounts. It sounds very interesting I'm sure many of us would like to see pics.
     
  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I see you got them up. By the way welcome to SMF. That thing is very cool with some checking to make sure everything is still usable and some work that would be very cool to use
     
  8. reyesuela

    reyesuela Newbie

    I don't even know where to start! I'm not sure whether to light the fire at the top or in the bottom, even--or whether the bottom is just for collecting ash.

    Thanks for the welcome! I've never smoked meat before, and throw in this strange contraption, and I'm double-lost!
     
  9. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    It looks like a smoker. I would try and build a fire in the bottom, and measure the temp at grate level in the upper and see what it reads. Then it is all working. Give it a go!!
     
  10. the iceman

    the iceman Smoking Fanatic

    You may want to have it looked at. It looks like from one of those pictures that some of the fire bricks have come loose & fallen out. You would want to make sure it is safe to put a fire to it.
     
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    BEFORE STARTING ANY FIRE IN IT. Clean it out and use a flashlight to make sure that it hasn't been sealed off somewhere in the chimney. Check the firebricks the best you can to make sure they are in decent shape. Then you should have an idea of what you really have.
     
  12. reyesuela

    reyesuela Newbie

    I'm not sure where those firebicks are even from--it's in the bottom one, which might be the ash cleanout or might be where I'm supposed to light the fire! The might have fallen from anywhere.

    It needs a good cleaning with a wire brush, too, and an oiling...
     
  13. reyesuela

    reyesuela Newbie

    I know it hasn't been sealed off. (I've had work done, and all the flues that connect to anything are functional.) No idea about the rest--just looked at it today!
     
  14. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    If it were working properly I believe the fire would be built in the bottom and the meat or whatever our smoking would go on racks at the second level
     
  15. txbbqman

    txbbqman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I agree with what the others are telling you. If you have a chimney, then surely there would be a company in your area ( possibly a chimney sweep )
    that can come look at it and inspect it.

    I have seen similar set ups outside before, I have never seen one inside a house, pretty interesting if it works.

    My only concern would be how close the "cooking grate" is to the fire area.
    Normally....as in a UDS this is not an issue, but you will be dealing with much more draft and therefore the possibility of larger flames. It is definitely going to take some getting used to and some trial and error ( hopefully more trial than error ).......just my 2 cents

    Anyway, good luck and keep us posted
     
  16. mgwerks

    mgwerks Smoking Fanatic

    TxBBQman beat me to it. It may sound simple, but the best of all worlds would be to have it inspected by a licensed chimney sweep. If you can't find one, ask around local fire departments, they are often the best source of leads. Having been a firefighter, I can tell you that it doesn't take much of an issue with a chimney lining to cause a fire in your home. It really isn't worth the risk.

    That being said, having an indoor smoker would be über-cool, and so it might be well worth the expense of having someone come and check it out for your peace of mind.
     
  17. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

  18. smokin' dick

    smokin' dick Smoking Fanatic

    The house I grew up in, and my mother still lives in, has something similar next to one of the fire places. We never used it for any fire as the condition was poor. The bottom was where the fire would be and the cooking would happen in the top section. In the case of my mothers it was built as an oven with a brick floor. There is no direct fire from the bottom to the top so grilling was not possible. A fire would be built in the bottom section and the brick in the top section would get hot. In goes the bread or whatever. The shape of the top portion is like a beehive, and i believe that it was referred to as a beehive oven. How old is your house? My mom's was built about 1830. I ask this because maybe yours was built as an oven and over time the floor of the oven has collapsed into the fire pit, hence those loose bricks. Get a light inside and post some more pics of the interior. I am intrigued.
     

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