WBS build issue - loose stave pieces in the lid

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by skorpyon, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. skorpyon

    skorpyon Newbie

    Hi all,

    I recently made a smoker out of a retired wine barrel, and it works great.  I've had a couple of successful smokes (pork butt and beef brisket), and I'm very happy with it.

    However, I noticed that the staves in the lid section are starting to loosen.  It's pretty dry in there at the moment - I've left it open to air out over the last few days.  So right now I'm boiling some water in there to moisten the wood.

    If anyone else has encountered this, I would love to know your thoughts on causes and cures.


  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Seems like I read someone's post about Wine barrels , but that was a while ago.

    Maybe someone nwith one (or had one ) will chime in.

    I've always thought it give a good flavor , but never go my hands on one.

    Later . . .
  3. dandl93

    dandl93 Smoking Fanatic

    It does not say where you live or if the barrel is Oak? I would say it probally is Oak and it can not take low humidity.You will need to use a water pan on your cooks and keep some water on the outside off and on when not smoking and being stored.

  4. skorpyon

    skorpyon Newbie

    Mea culpa.  It's oak (French, I think), and I'm in Dallas, TX.

    Thanks for confirming my "dry wood" theory.  I'll let the humidity soak in and see what that does.
  5. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Can you explain how you made the smoekr?  If you have any links to instructions as to how to make a wine barrle smoker, I would appreciate them.  I would love to make a smoker and I bet the wine barrle smokers look awesome.  Please post a picture of your smoker if you can.

    Hope you get your answer.
  6. Pictures    

  7. skorpyon

    skorpyon Newbie

    It was fairly straight-forward. I decapitated the barrel with a hand-held jigsaw pictured in the link, I used a hinge and a couple of chains to attach the lid, I used two sets of 3" angle brackets around the inside of the barrel to hold the racks, and for a heat source I ended up using a Brinkmann electric converter with another set of 3" angle brackets serving as legs.  I put some lava rocks around the element as a heat sink, and I use a Harbor Freight router motor speed control to control the temperature.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  8. No Pictures
  9. skorpyon

    skorpyon Newbie

    Here's the starting barrel:

    Using this jig-saw:

    I removed the top:

    Hinged the top and added chains to limit the movement (you can see the top rack on the angle brackets - there's another rack 14" farther down)

    Finally, I added a copper tube chimney to bring air into the bottom of the smoker.  Here's a completed picture.

    Unfortunately, I left the heater on for a few days with the pan dry, so I fear that I've ruined the barrel.  The staves are all charred and loose now.  I may be able to save it by tapping the hoops and fastening the staves to each other, but I may just get another barrel and do it over - it doesn't feel stable any more.  [​IMG]

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