My insulated plywood/propane smoker

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by marksmith, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. marksmith

    marksmith Newbie

    Howdy all. I built my obsession a few months back. Figured a couple pictures would enlighten anyone who would want to build one of their own.

    What we have is a 16" x 22" x 48" inside dimension smoker. I used fir plywood that is interior rated. The shelf racks are 1x2. The actual racks are cookie cooling racks located at the local store. They are 16x10 so 2 go in each cooking area. They are very cheap and very easy to come by. I used 6x8 HVAC louvers for the upper vents. In the picture I dont have lower vents, just the hole directly below the burner. This was OK for cold smoking (full smoke @ 90 degrees) but didn't allow me to get high enough for poultry and ribs (220-250) I wound up using a 6-8 louver in the lower door and setting the burner flush with the bottom of the unit as seen in the following pictures. The burner is a 10K btu camp burner that screws into the little green propane cylinders. Ideally I would use a 12K... but the 10K gets the job done nicely.

    Sandwiched in the walls is 1.5" foam insulation on top, sides and the door. I haven't found a need to insulate the bottom of the smoker yet, but will if needed.

    After smoking with it for a couple months I have changed it from the above to this:

    As you can see I added hardibacker concrete board to the bottom. The burner is mounted flush with the bottom of the smoker... and its painted. The roof has a piece of aluminum to shed water.

    Hope you all enjoy the pictures. If you have any questions, just ask.

    terrobonz likes this.
  2. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like it, nice work !!!
    Look forward to seeing posts of future smokes.
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sweet rig. Reminds me of the one I built. What did you use for the seal around your door/smoker? I need to put some type of seal in mine so the heat/smoke doesn't leak out the door so much. I didn't seem to get as much smoke as I wanted in my meat on my first go around. My theory is that a lot of it was leaking out the door. But it may be that I didn't have enough smoke going to. I guess time will tell.
  4. marksmith

    marksmith Newbie

    Its a double D weather seal from Lowe's. Its a solid rubber type that is hollow in the middle (picture to D layed on its back side by side) The package said not for high heat... only good to 350 degrees. I figure the outside edge of that door is LUCKY to see 300 degrees max temps (if it sees more than that I have more to worry about than high temp door seal)

    I am going to add another seal around the bottom door to keep more control over my draft.

  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Man oh Man you have done a really good job on the smoker and the craftsmanship is fantastic too. [​IMG]On the build and the turkey and the fattie. I would just like to see some of the finished product tou.
  6. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Very nice! [​IMG]
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am definitely interested in your build, am considering doing one for myself. Where did you get the sheets of foam for the insulation?
    Also, how hard would it be to hook the burner to a thermostat?
  8. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Job, It looks Great...[​IMG]
  9. striper

    striper Meat Mopper

    Good Job Mark[​IMG]I'm looking forward to seeing it up close and personal after I get back in the area.

  10. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    nice build[​IMG].
    glad to see ya put that concrete backer board in by the burner, after seeing that burnt spot at the bottom i was concerned on the safty aspect of this.
    keep us posted on what comes out of it please.[​IMG]
    also you might drop your pic. size down a notch, makes easier viewing.
  11. vince

    vince StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    Very nice set up, Good work
  12. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Great looking smoker. Looks like you're gonna be cranking out alot of eats.[​IMG]
  13. nwbhoss

    nwbhoss Smoking Fanatic

    Oh he has been!!! and I have yet to get to try any of the Pepperoni he has made [​IMG].....
    Considering I called him over to my place right after my turkey was done and tossed him a leg you would think he would return the favor [​IMG]
  14. marksmith

    marksmith Newbie

    Hey HOSS,

    Why dont you swing by my place and I'll throw you a stick or 3. Seems your lovely wife stopped and said hello... and got a sample of pepperoni!

  15. nwbhoss

    nwbhoss Smoking Fanatic

    I can do that!!!! [​IMG]
  16. That is a beautiful rig defenitally makes it onto my to do list for the year. How does it preform in the cold weather? Does your top and bottom vents open and cose or just full open.
  17. bb53chevpro

    bb53chevpro Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great. Looking forward to seeing more smokes from it.
  18. marksmith

    marksmith Newbie

    All vents open and close.

    I leave at least one vent on the top full open all the time. I learned the hard way what creosote tastes like (yuck!) The one I open on the top is always on the downwind side of the smoker.

    The bottom vent is fully functional. With the vent fully closed I get enough draft throught the louver and around the lower door to promote draft. I have smoked @ 225* with temps hovering at 20*. I had to preheat for 30 minutes with all vents closed to get enough heat to be able to maintain that though. I open the top vent and throw a pan of chips on the fire... she holds 225 like a dream. If I pushed it and played with throttling the top vent down without causing it to be stagnant I should be able to get to 240 or so with it hanging at 20*.

    Now... get the outside temp to 30-35 and I have control from 90 to 260 with nice thin smoke.

    The other top vent I use when 'cold' smoking. It lets me smoke @ 90 due to LOTS of draft.

    If I built this unit over again I would search high and low for a 12K BTU burner. I tried a 15K BTU but found it too big for my likings. The 10K burner in it was just an el cheapo camp stove that I had laying around.

    The other thing I would do is use two smaller vents on the bottom (one front one back) to help even out the heat. Right now I have dead even heat with exception of 3-4" from the back wall. It runs consistently 18-20* higher then the rest of the rack space. A vent in the rear and in the front would help even this out. My drip/water pan might also be at fault here... I have some more playing with it to figure this out fully.

    Thanks for the compliments. If anyone has any questions I am more than willing to answer as best as I can.

  19. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Its great building something that works and looks good at the same time..

    [​IMG][​IMG]Congrats on a great build. Looking forward to more views of you and your smoker in action.
  20. bottomline

    bottomline Smoke Blower

    Great work on your smoker!!

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