Trailer Mounted Centered Firebox Reverse Flow (thanks real57vetteguy!) - Page 2
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I'm back! My apologies on the long delay since the last post. I had the deadline of my first cook looming large for my in-laws anniversary party and just focused my efforts on construction. No time for the computer. Then when I did get back I had problems, but all seems well now so here goes again.
Construction on the pit is complete, now I am going to get started on the rest of the trailer, so check back in a month or so. But here goes...
Here is the 8 inch opening with damper control from the firebox.
Ok, here is where I failed a bit. I need to get internal photos, I forgot, but I will and they will be up soon.
To give you an idea, I did the RF plates with the 1/4 inch x 2 channel mounted 6 inches above the floor with a 1/2 inch slope to drain. Then the two plates are 1/4 inch steel with end caps 5 inches from each end. The stack is 6 inch I.D pipe with adjustable top cap. It is a very tall stack about 5 foot, as I had to get it above the roof line that will be in front of it. You'll see as the rest of the trailer construction unfolds.
So here is she is in the raw. I rented a sandblaster, and this is what it looked like before I got any paint on it.
Since the smokestack sits up in the middle of the trailer, the typical damper control wasn't going to work. So I manufactured my own 90 degree gearbox to get the handle out into a usable area.
OK so here is where I either make fans or annoy the purists. I believe in working hard so that I can be lazy. When I do my whole pigs I cook them typically for 24 hours, not good for my sleep schedule. So yes I added a propane assist. Here is is being bench tested. Say what you will, but this was by far and away the smartest thing I did on this build (in my opinion).
By the way that hand belongs to my friend Pio, an electrical genius. No way no how was I ever going to get that thing to work, Pio is the man!
A few random pics:
It's a good thing my beautiful wife loves me, but she does think my pig cooker is sexy.
Ok so here's the payday. Yes I still have to pain the burner cover and couple of other punch list items, but the pit is basically done! I have to say I am beyond thrilled. She cooked perfectly, held temp great. The burner makes it effortless, if I am lax in getting another log on, no big deal it takes care of itself. In 24 hours, I used about 2 sticks of wood and I would estimate about 5 lb. of propane. That seems pretty damn efficient to me. All my complaints about rigs that I have used in the past really are gone with this one. Truly a great design, thanks again real57vetteguy.
Pig number 1. Yes I do these a bit different as well. From the inside I remove the spine and the rib cage. Then fill the cavity with pork butts, and stitch him closed with butcher's twine. Low and slow for 24 hours.
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That. is. just. awesome!!
I'm still new to this and have never seen a whole pig being cooked.
Looks like a TON of mass(fat) rendered out of it, I bet the meat just melts in your mouth.
How do you split it up?
Also, I've had rinds and crackling, but is the skin edible when you do it like this?
Thanks Spankerchief. Yes it does render out quite nicely, leaving the meat soft, rich and deep in flavor. I'm not sure I understand your question about splitting it up.
Cooking it like this basically turns the skin to leather, it really isn't edible with this cooking method.
Hello Derek, the propane burner is actually mounted to the side of the firebox. It is manufactured by Wayne Industries, part number P265F. It came from Alabastersupply.com, their part number is 63367, with shipping it was $697. It comes with a blower, built in controller, and electronic ignition. I bought it already prepped for LP and with the 5 inch pipe. The only modification I made to it was to remove the flame spreader welded on to the end of the pipe. It is controlled with a Autonics temperature controller with a built in relay. I purchased that from Instrumart.com it is part number TC3YT-B4R16. The online ad for Instrumart said if you have questions to call their 800 number and speak with one of their engineers. So I did. Wow, very impressive. The controller I was going to use was going to cost more, did not have as many features, had a smaller display and did not have a built in relay. The engineer I spoke with Jeremiah spent about 20 minutes with me working through the project and recommended the Autonics controller, it works great and was $73. It is attached to a Watlow flange style thermal couple with a 2 inch probe, fiberglass leads and stainless steel over braid. This all may seem like a lot, but I have heard too many horror stories about guys adding propane improperly and creating a gigantic bomb. No thank you. This unit is entirely self contained, uses its own air supply and so it is not dependent on how I have the dampers set for the wood in the firebox. It is completely safe, extremely efficient and makes the entire pit effortless to operate. In the end more than worth the hard dollar investment.