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First reverse flow 500 gallon smoker build!

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 

Hey, well I decided to build a smoker. Picked up a 500 gallon tank and a 100 gallon tank from the local co-op, which gave them to me for free. The 100 gallon will be used on top of the fire box as a smaller smoker/food warmer. Heres what I have so far!

The start

using a gas saw to cut door in and bottom off


hinges welded on and temporary handle




put lower door trim/heat blocker on to keep door from falling in


The door alone weighs about 200 pounds, so tyring to figure out what kind of counter weights are needed. Next is to get it mounted on the trailer and mock up the fire box.

Edited by Ryan87 - 3/7/12 at 9:37am
post #2 of 69

This looks like it's going to be a good one to follow!


Nice job so far!

post #3 of 69

WOW, it is gonna be HUGE!!!! Nice start on it though!  Should be a beauty when completed.

post #4 of 69
Thread Starter 

Thanks! havent decided on the door handle style and the counter weights yet, does anybody have any good suggestions for counter weights?

post #5 of 69
Thread Starter 

Well just picked up the metal for the firebox, I went with 3/8 steel, basically the dimensions are 45" wide x 30" high x 30" wide for a grand total of 40,500 cubic inches, the recommended cubic inches is 38,500, so i figured a little bit bigger wont hurt anything. I went with 3/8 because it gets pretty cold here in good old South Dakota during the winters. The only question I have is about the placement of the diffuser plate for the reverse flow. Im thinking if i place the plate about 4 inches lower than the door, that would be ok? The shelves will be removable and im trying to decide if i want 2 or 3 shelves. Im interested to hear everyones feed back, I've been trolling other members builds and they are all pretty awesome, and there are some great ideas out there!

post #6 of 69

pepsi.gif110.gif as it progresses 

post #7 of 69

I`m  in on this one !!!!

post #8 of 69
I'm in
post #9 of 69

Can't wait to see this one finished, but have a question.   Did you do anything to the tank before you started cutting?  I've heard a lot of stories about residual contaminants causing a big BOOM!  hopmad.gif

post #10 of 69

Wow that will be quite the smoker! 

post #11 of 69


post #12 of 69

Not sure about correct placement on the RF plate, but mine is about four inches below the door and my racks are made from one inch angle so it puts


it about five inches from the cooking surface.  I love the way it cooks if you get a good hot fire going you can get some bbg temps and some sizzle when you


throw on some meat.  biggrin.gif .



post #13 of 69

Same here, four inches and one inch measured at the firebox end. My plate drops 1/4" per foot across the length of the smoker. Looks awesome! Nice shop too!

post #14 of 69

Yep, I have almost 6 inches from bottom rack to RF plate.   Hind site being 20/20 I would have went with the 500 gallon tank also.  Good choice there.  On the firebox I did dual plate three sides.  I spaced the left top and right sides with 1inch square tubing.  It really holds temps well.  I have 3/8ths steel for the firebox also.


good luck and I am in.. I can't wait to see this build progress.  Also, you will love the Q this thing will make.

post #15 of 69
Thread Starter 

I actually just filled it with water and some generic dish soap in the 500, and just water in the 100, filled it all the way up and then let the water continue to run out for a minute or so just to make sure all the air, propane, etc had been pushed out of the tank. I let it sit over night and drained it the next day and began cutting with no problems!

post #16 of 69
Thread Starter 

I think i will do about 4 inches below the door as well! I will be putting in dual shelves so im thinking if the bottom one is about 6 inches above the diversion plate and the top is about 6-8 inches above that, that should work? Thanks for all the compliments also, getting it on the stand today and fire box mocked up, so hope to have pictures tonight or tomorrow!

post #17 of 69

Nice pictures... Great looking start……I have had some reservations about making the first cuts on mine...Thanks for the information I think that is what I will try too.....

post #18 of 69
That is a sweet setup
post #19 of 69
Thread Starter 

Alright, Well I made a few changes! First off I was going to do the typical reverse flow with the fire box at one end of the smoker but realized that the trailer didnt really allow it to sit the long way soooo, I've decided to change it up and put the fire box in the back of it and allow the heat to travel both directions in the tank and then come out a single exhaust in the middle of the tank, which I have seen a few people do as well and it seems like it will cook a little bit better? We will see!! The second change I made is with the frame for the smoker to sit on and then be welded into place on the trailer. As you can see in the photos, I originally made the frame a little taller than it is now and had to cut it back down and reweld it. The original design put it a little bit higher in the air and just didnt make it feel right, and I really dont want a step or small platform to stand on just to get the door open! I also mocked up the fire box to kind of see what its going to look like and try and find that perfect spot for it! Cutting out the holes tonight from the fire box into the tank!










post #20 of 69
Thread Starter 

This is pretty much what it will look like once it is all finished! Smaller 100 gallon tank to use as a food warmer or you can use it to cook out of if you have a smaller meal and dont want to fire up the big girl!



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