What's up meat smokers! This is such a gem of a website, I can't believe I never came across it before, but then again, I still have to pop my meat smoking cherry as I have never done it in a legitimate smoker yet. Here's how I got into this:
Converted oil heat to gas about 2 years ago, removed 275 gallon tank and put it in my back yard, wife tried to sell it with no luck, so my mind started churning as I had a small taste of what this can turn into by smoking about 100+ lbs of Chourico with my father in law in his back yard. We used an old porch swing frame and installed some bars going across so the chourico could be hung. Had a long slender fire all across the bottom and covered it with a canvas tarp. Worked pretty darned well for what it was, but the only problem was that because the heat was not really "indirect" the sausages that were on the bottom got a bit to much heat, but man they were still delicious!
So far I have thoroughly cleaned the tank, set an enormous raging fire in there after I cut the door out (went through a gigantic pile of brush and the flames were all they way up to the top and out of the tank), then pressure washed the inside, and immediately lit another super hot fire in there as well. Totally cleaned out now, smells like normal wood fire in there, no signs of oil residue anywhere. Have the door hinged up with handle, thermometer and one smokestack. Going to get two more for the other two fittings on top of the tank so my flow is good.
I have an old wood stove that I am going to put outside the tank that will have it's exhaust going in near the bottom for good flow of smoke and so i can control the fire really well. Excited to fire her up for her maiden voyage, but still have a lot of work to do.
Need to buy or fabricate grates somehow and wanted to put some rods across the top for smoking chourico. Have a buddy who's brother can weld, so I am bent on buying supplies and sending him the materials and measurements, or trying to buy existing grill racks online somwhere and making them fit. I want to have a long rack that goes the length of the tank a bit below halfway mark, and rods above that horizontally for sausage.
Any suggestions on what to do for the rack? what is my cheapest/best option at this point?
Great forum with tons of excellent information here!
P.S. tank I'm working on is in my avatar