First RF build. 6x3 main cooking chamber with a 38x30 planned rotisserie.
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That's been my concern. According to calculations it's about 48% undersized. Does the same calculation hold true if the firebox is mounted parallel with the cooking chamber? I'm still new to this so i'll take all the suggestions i can get. I'm just looking forward to having fun building this beast!
The size of the firebox has a lot to do with how much airflow you will get. The larger the box the larger the amount of hot air you will be able to get through the system. Configuration will have little affect. Rule of thumb says the firebox needs to be 1/3 the volume of the cook chamber. I would say you could get away with a little less, but half would likely lead to airflow problems.
Thanks, I've had my heart set on the R/F anyway so I'll stay the course on the layout. Now i just need to figure out if i want to invest in plate or a bigger compressor tank. I guess 1/4" is standard on the plate? My other concern is with the thickness of the main cooking chamber. Would it be worth insulating the tank since it's kind of big. Should I be worried about heat loss with such a big tank? Besides personal preference is there an advantage to a square fire box as opposed to rolled steel or a compressor tank type set up? Trying to figure out the best course of action.
Edited by Trembling-pig2 - 10/18/11 at 12:58pm
Any amount of insulation or work to reduce heat loss is worth it. That being said, it is FAR easier to double wall a square / rectangle firebox and insulate it than try to roll thin gauge steel around the outside of a tank. 1/4 inch is pretty standard. We use 3/8" rolled steel for our cook chambers and offer insulated fireboxes with 1/4 plate, which really increases the efficiency of the smoker a bunch. It also has a second benefit of increasing safety. Properly insulated the outside of the firebox will be half the temp of an un insulated box. No matter what you do, a smoker this size is going to eat some wood to get up to temp. Fortunately once the RF smokers are up to temp they are pretty efficient since they have good thermal mass.