Want to build a smoker - Is this good to start out with?

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by ctfortner, May 7, 2012.

  1. ctfortner

    ctfortner Newbie

    Hey all, new here.  I am not new to cooking, but new to building a smoker for sure. I wanted to check with yall and see if this would be good to start out with.  It is not the traditional propane style, but I know it can be used in a different way with trays and such.

    Anyway, just wanted yalls opinion on this oil tank and trailer for sale for $300 as a place to start.  I have not bought it yet, deciding if I should.

    Steel oil tank is approximately 4' Wide x 2 1/2' Deep x 4' Tall.  The trailer seems pretty heavy duty and I believe was once used for hauling heavy generators around for a light company or something like that.  

    I realize it is "depends on what you want" type of thing, however I have never built or owned one before, so I really have no preference at this point as long as it works good and will handle what I want to cook.  It will be used more for family events, pool parties and the occasional small BBQ events.  Dont plan on whole hogs, just ribs, chicken, butts, that kind of stuff.  I would like a smoker with an offset firebox to burn wood.




    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ctfortner- With the shape of your box, your best bet would be to go with the cabinet style smoker. You could go just about any direction you want depending on what you want to use as your fuel source. You could add a side fire box and use wood/charcoal; build a upper and lower section in the box and go with propane much like the GOSM propane smokers or you could turn it into a Stump clone.

    With the shelf space you have with that thing it would be a great whole hog cooker.
  3. ctfortner

    ctfortner Newbie

    Thanks for the response.  I have not bought this yet, I am trying to decide if I should.  

    I should have mentioned my preference is an offset firebox so I can burn wood.  I have seen some of the cabinet style smokers with trays and do like them.  I just havent found a lot of pictures of them, especially with side fireboxes.  I am sure they exist I just am searching for the wrong thing.  I was just curious (having never built one) would this be harder, easier, or about the same, to give a first try, vs. a propane tank.  There is so much info out there and plans on building tank smokers I think I could design those fairly easily, where as this one there isnt a ton of info or build specs so I would kind of be wingin it I think.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  4. I will try to get you a pic of mine soon, I have built dozens of smokeres over the years and will not ever built one out of a propane tank again. With the cabinet shape you have there, you will end up with way more surface area for racks than you will ever get out of a tank, it will be easier to fabrication.And if you install the firebox underneath the tank, will distribute the heat way more evenly.
  5. ctfortner

    ctfortner Newbie

    Cool.  That is what I am struggling with, where/how would I mount the firebox.  Thats why I was thinking backwoods after hearing from others and poking around.  Not sure if it should be a single door, double door?  Door open side to side, raise up, that kind of stuff.
  6. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    If I ever come across such a thing as you did, that is what my next build will be.  Take a look at Jacks Old South (Myron Mixon) cookers.  They utilize a slide out charcoal / wood tray in the bottom with a water pan directly above and vents on either side of the pan to allow heat and smoke to get into the cook chamber.  You could pull that kind of build off with the box you have there.  Insulate that puppy with some 2" and thin sheet metal outside and you could save a ton on fuel.  Good luck with your build.

  7. ctfortner

    ctfortner Newbie

    I saw those the other day, very nice.  Although not a ton of pics on their site get ideas from.  Still debating, but really thinking I should buy it.

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