Is bigger always better?

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by pettybilt, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. pettybilt

    pettybilt Newbie

    Good afternoon, just a average guy who likes smoking meat yet looking for something a little better than my charbroil offset. It has served me well for a few years. However rather than making mods to it, i figured i could build one. 

    At the scrap yard the other day i noticed new air compressor tanks in the yard. Turns out they are all new scratch and dent models. $40 for 60gal and $45 for 80gal. So i picked up a 40,60,and 80. gal. The guy gave me the 40gal . One will be used to replace my 25 year old compressor tank. The others will become a reverse flow smoker.   

    My question is about idea size for a backyard reverse flow build. At first i was thinking use the 80 gal, however i'm just cooking for family and friends and not sure if i need one that big. Butts, chicken, turkeys, and maybe a half a hog. 

    Will the 60 gal one will be easier to maintain heat, and use less fuel, in my case charcoal and wood?

    It going to be stationary.  

    I plan on getting started on this sometime this week, as my wife's birthday is in may, and we have a few people coming over. 

    Thanks for the help , Doug
  2. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    I have an older char broil with SFB and it's only 15"x35" CC....I'm going with a 250 gal PP tank that will have 30"x60" whole pigs that won't be wider then 30" laying flat, plus I'm also installing a rotisserie for doing them on the spit....the char broil I have I barely get 4 full slabs of ribs in it, lil bit short for some of the BBQ's I yeah for me going big will be fine, i'll have a build thread when it starts....
  3. What are the lengths and dia. of the two tanks?
  4. pettybilt

    pettybilt Newbie

    24x48 and 20x48
  5. It's a hard call, 20 x 48 is a very nice back yard smoker. But it's not going to take much more to go with the 24".
  6. txsean

    txsean Smoke Blower

    Like RW said, its not going to take much more if anything to build the 24" over the 20", so the way I see it... why not? 20" does make for a nice backyard cooker, but I could still justify firing up a 24" for a small cook. I went with the 24" because I wanted the extra depth in my cooking surface. I just built my cooking racks today actually and it feels like 24 x 48 (mine is actually 54, racks are 42" wide) is going to be a very comfortable size. Most of my cooking will be just for the family, but occasionally will see work for extended family and entertaining. Real estate goes quick around the holidays!
  7. It's funny, building a 120 right now that's 24" dia.

    One minute I look at it and it looks small, the next minute it looks big.

    It's hard not having two different size cookers to work with.
  8. pettybilt

    pettybilt Newbie

    Thanks guys, the more research I do I find the 80 seems to be more popular.
    I'm going start the building this week.
    I'll keep yall posted
    I'm sure I'll be looking for some pointers

    Thanks, Doug
  9. Ive been thinking about buying a legnth of pipe and cranking out another batch of small patio smokers, having a hard time myself deciding on 20" or 24" dia. Im leaning towards the 20"thinking it would be better for a cart, and 24" being better for a trailer
  10. txsean

    txsean Smoke Blower

    When I was waiting for the guys to cut my pipe, I was standing next to some 30" and 36" pipe. When they brought my 24" around, all I could think was "that's it!?" But then I start comparing measurements to my old 20"x30" and my build now seems massive. The real test of size will be when she's loaded up. One thing I like about the 24" is being wide enough to accommodate ribs width wise, freeing up some room. 20" does make a comfortable size for a small patio cooker though.
  11. The other thing I was thinking, when you go to 24" , you start thinking about counterweight for the door, at 20", its still easy to open.

    Does anyone know the dia of Lang's 36 and 48 smokers?
  12. txsean

    txsean Smoke Blower

    True I am a little worried and intimidated by my 42" long, 3/8" thick door lol. Going to be interesting to see how bad that really is. I wasn't planning or really wanting counter weights, but...
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  13. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Don't be intimidated by counter weights. They are not that hard to do. You want a smoker that your happy with.
  14. txsean

    txsean Smoke Blower

    No, I'm intimidated by the weight of the door lol. The counter weights I wasn't wanting or planning on doing but looking like I might need too. That's one area where you need function over appearance. I will just have to see how heavy the door is once I get hinges installed.
  15. pettybilt

    pettybilt Newbie

    Hey guys, I'm doing the calculations on my fire box. I have a enough fire brick left over from an out door fire pit. Does it make sense to line the firebox with them?
    Well at least everything but the top as I myself using it as a stove.
    Just curious, that way I can allow room for the brick.
  16. I wouldn't mess with the firebrick,
  17. pettybilt

    pettybilt Newbie

    As far as the door goes, is a 90 degree door standard?
    I'm not finding much on actual dimension.

  18. txsean

    txsean Smoke Blower

    Door cuts are really personal preference. 12-ish to 3-ish is pretty standard. Give or take an inch or two based on design. I think up to about 24" diameter a top cut at the 12 works. Some bring the bottom cut an inch or two past (lower than) the 3 o'clock position. That way you can have your lower cooking rack right at the center to maximize space.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  19. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    I came over 6 inch. from top. Gives me a nice place to sit wood to warm and still be able to open CC door. Dropped bottom of door 1 inch below center.

    Correction: this is on a 250 LP tank, I looked at the wrong post and thought that was what we were talking about.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  20. I like it just slightly higher that three, that way less grease drips down the front of the cooker. and as far as the top,you need to set it at the final height it will be mounted and stand in front of the cooker and imagine where your line of sight would intersect the CC if you where staring at the back of the CC right at nine. Then just go slightly higher.

    using this method to go by, its easy to realize that a cooker mounted very low will need a much larger door than a cooker mounted high. So you cant go by what works on another build, each door needs to be cut to fit the build height.

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