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Just building my first smoker

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi all am new to smoking and am building my first smoker and I was just wondering do u guys put a drip tray in your smokes with a drain at the bottom with a valve to drain after your done smoking or do u just let it go in your smoker and all post some pics and tell me what u think
post #2 of 18

Ive used drip trays with drains and also just used full size baking sheet pans fir drip trays as well. My current build will be somewhat of a reverse flow , but Im still going to use two of these sheet pans instead of letting it all go in the smoker.  I do not like to use  water in my smoker, and unless you do, the drain really does no good.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

i tryed to upload a pic but it wont let me all is it does says one moment and does not load

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
I no ppl build the smokers round but is it all right if I built my smoker square?
post #5 of 18

Yes it's ok to build it square. My smoker is square.


Big Lew BBQ

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I just tried my home built smoker this weekend it works good but I have a few questions .once I get it go do I keep adding wood / should I use a carcol basket I just need some pointers and I find my ribs had a lot of smoke flavor I no thats what it does but I think it was to much if u get what I mean but any help would be great thanks
post #7 of 18
What kind of home made smoker is it?

Heat source?
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I made a side fire box it's a wood burning I would up load pics but it won't work
post #9 of 18

Kfactor, evening...   Some folks use a fireplace grate for their SFB smokers....   When adding wood, pre heat the wood in a corner of the firebox or on the cooking grate....  helps keep the "ugly white smoke" down a bit....   Dave

post #10 of 18

Heres some pointers: Everyone feel free to add to the list.

  • Keep experimenting and dont get fustrated, Almost any kind of smoker can turn out good food if you take the time to learn it.
  • Use cheap cuts of meat until you learn your smoker
  • Small hot fires are better than large smoldering fires
  • Adding wood should be done a little at a time, on a constant basis. Restoking a fire that went cold will always result in bitter white smoke. Better to keep firebox door open if that happens until white smoke disperses
  • make sure your exhaust vents are always larger than your intake
  • dont put your ribs on until the smoker is heated up and fire is burning clean.
  • dont use lighter fluid inside your firebox.
  • Dont fall for the low temp smoking theory. Ribs are best smoked around 275 to 300,
post #11 of 18

Kfactor first off, lets figure out why you can't upload photos.

Pictures are a great tool.


Yes you keep adding wood

Yes yo can use a charcoal basket.


From reading your post#6 if I understand it correctly, you have no problems with your smoker other than your ribs were too smoky, is this correct?

I will address this issue for now.


Fire Management, this is something that you will learn over time.


Let's see if I can help you with this.


A fire basket is a great way to control a small hot fire.

You want to make sure you are adding small splits of wood before your coals (from wood) diminish, by adding smaller splits more frequently as opposed to larger splits less often, you will have a hot controlled fire that produces minimal smoke.


I say splits because splits will go through the combustion stage quicker than logs (round wood) of the same diameter, and the hotter the fire the quicker the wood will get to the combustion stage of wood


The emission of smoke – As the wood heats up and passes the boiling point of water, it starts to smoke. The smoke is the visible result of the solid wood decomposing as it vaporizes into a cloud of combustible gases and tars. If the temperature is high enough and oxygen is present, the smoke will burn. When it does, it produces the bright flames that are characteristic of wood combustion. If the smoke doesn't burn in the firebox, it exits the appliance into the flue pipe and chimney. Here it either condenses – forming creosote deposits – or is expelled as air pollution. Unburned smoke also represents a less efficient appliance because smoke contains much of the wood's total energy. Advanced combustion systems are designed to burn the smoke before it leaves the stove, which is one reason they are more efficient than older models.


Make sure the wood is seasoned.


Ventilation is a key factor as well, that is why I want to see some pics before I start shooting in the dark.




Please provide some specific details on your last smoke.


This is the basket I use and it has helped me out tremendously.


post #12 of 18

Right on SQWIB, if your meat is too smoky, you got that dreaded white smoke.  Once you learn to manage your fire, you'll be on the right track.  I'm not even gonna throw in my .02 since SQWIB done beat me to it and answered it so eloquently.  1 suggestion is to run your exhaust (the stack) wide open and start backing it down as you learn your pit, wide open will really get the air moving through the smoker and also keep your temps down.  As long as you got enough air coming in (intakes) and enough going out (exhaust), you'll get the thin, blue smoke or as some like to call it, Ninja smoke.  Ok, I guess I did add my own .02 after all, but thats what we're here for.  Good luck.

Edited by bruno994 - 9/10/12 at 12:55pm
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

well it worked there is my smoker i just made and i have tried it once . yea they were way to smokie i was not to sure how to do it since this is my first smoker. my first thing that  was ribs i tried did not turn out to good i smoked them for about 4 to 5 hours but could keep my heat at a solid temp and i had way to much smoke thanks for all the tips and stuff i will try them. it just looks so good i wish my stuff would turn out good.

post #15 of 18

K, morning.....  Depending on wood choice, at times I had to limit the smoke to1-2 hours and finish with no smoke.....   This smoking thing is a somewhat long learning process.....   when you finally get it, it is worth it....  Nice job on the smoker.....  It's great that you can control the heat well... Dave

post #16 of 18

Here's some reading for you...http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/search.php?search=stickburning+101


Have fun and...

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Edited by Kfactor - 4/20/13 at 5:30pm
post #18 of 18

Looks like you did a hell of a job on that smoker. Looks awesome to me

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