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Brick smoker - Compete how to - Page 2

post #21 of 224
Dang Tim The Toolman Taylor. Awsome built. " grunt grunt"
post #22 of 224

Wes, morning....  Well, do you see yourself building a covered area to enjoy your beautiful creation year around ???   Screened in to keep the skeeters out ??  Lighting, TV to watch the Panthers on Sunday while the ribs are in the smoker...  I'm afraid I would not be able to stop the building looking at that beautiful fireplace and smoker....  


post #23 of 224
Thread Starter 

Thank you Dave for those kind words.  I plan a deck area from the back door to  the relaxing area.   I haven't planned any kind of cover though.  Great idea.   Funds are tight right now.   The brick I had.  A friend gave me some 1800's brick to finish it up with.  I was pleased with the way it turned out.  I just hope it smokes like I think it will.   Its not perfect by any means.


  Skeeters ain't to bad here.  


  I want to fire this smoker so bad I can't stand it.   I finished acid washing it this morning.  Set my rebar in the fireplace for the mantle.   As soon as it dries out it will be ready for sealer.  This project was suppose to run a couple years.  Once I got started there was no stopping.   I started it in March.   We have our family reunion at labor day at my brothers.  I'm hoping he will have all the shelves done and ready to go. 


  Smoking Jeffs butterfly chicken now.  Its taking a little longer then his did.  Hope its as good as it looks.  

Edited by Wes W - 8/26/12 at 8:42am
post #24 of 224
Great job, Wes!

Thanks for sharing the build with us!
post #25 of 224
Thread Starter 

Got my doors for my smoker this week-end to finish my smoker.  I fired it up today.   It came up to temp fairly quickly.   Temp was good and even all the way up....until I put 2 pork butts in.  I was only using one shelf so it was as important as it will be if I ever load it to capacity.  


  I started with a full chimney of charcoal and added wood or ashes from fireplace as needed.  By feeding it with wood ( split about 1- 11/2in. ) you pretty much had to stay with it.  If you let it get to far down you come close to losing your fire.  By feeding it charcoal (about 10 lumps at a time) you could get away for about an hour.  I ended up using about 10 lumps of charcoal and a couple sticks of wood.  It would hold for about 1 1/2 hours.   If the temp starts getting away from you, just open the firebox door to cool it down.  If temp gets low on you just open both firebox vents and it will recover in about 2 min.   Recovery from opening a door was about the same.


  My question was answered.  My firebox vents were enough to keep it going.    If I were doing it again, I would have a vent made or find something that is a little tighter.  The ash dump vents work good but  don't seal when closed.  You can put your hand over them when closed and still feel the air being sucked into them.   I may take them apart and see if I can put something between the outside and inside piece to seal it when closed.  They are far enough away from the heat that nothing would catch fire.  


  Doors sealed well.  My brother built them with zero clearance so no problems there.    I used a 13x13 flue.  No problems with drawing air up the stack. 


  Smoked 2 8lb.  pork butts.   10 1/2 hours I had a temp of 205.  I covered them at 160 and uncovered them when I guessed an hour to go.   I was shooting for 200 degrees. Water pan in the bottom .   Took 10 1/2 hrs.   Needless to say they were totally awesome.  I let it rest for 2 hours.  When I set it on the cutting board it just fell apart. 


  Now I have a couple questions for ya'll.     I cleaned my shelves by spraying them with water and put them back in to dry.  Once cooled I sprayed them with veg. oil.  Question.   At what point do I need to clean the inside of the smoker?   You can't spray it when its hot or you'll pop the brick like popcorn.   Any ideas?  Also.  When you put mass on the shelves whats the best way to get temp  even all the way up?


  My honest opinion of my build.  It works great.  Rain doesn't effect the temp.  (Rained  today).   Only problem was the fact that the firebox vents wouldn't seal tight.  I'm pretty sure I can take care of that.



Finished product








Its time...



Time to eat.  Bone fell out when I set it down.  





  21in. deep

  19in. wide.


Firebox is 21 deep

20 in. wide.



If your interested in  a brick smoker, be glad to help anyway I can.

post #26 of 224

If your interested in  a brick smoker, be glad to help anyway I can.


Wes, morning.... You offered help.... Is money and/or labor included in that help ??  LOL  


the smoker is a beautiful work of art and it's functional to boot.....  perfect.....  As far as coating the brick goes..  I don't know what would work....  What works in a pizza oven ???    

post #27 of 224

Beautiful work Wes......icon14.gif



post #28 of 224

I love the oinker on the door. Looks-Great.gif

post #29 of 224
Howdy, Wes!

Glad you got the first cook behind you. May you have many more with ever increasing success and satisfaction.

You did a beautiful job on the smoker and your talents were shown in the results.

As for cleaning, on the racks, I'd use mineral oil instead of vegetable oil. Veg oil can go rancid. People who make cutting boards use mineral oil instead of any nut or vegetable oil. I don't know if this is an issue with cooking racks/grates. If you clean them and return them to a hot smoker, it probably doesn't. Maybe Chef Jimmy J or jarjar chef will set me straight on this.

Cleaning the smoker should be something like cleaning a fireplace, I would think. Remove ashes and clean the chimney when you think you're getting any kind of dangerous build up. Find yourself a chimney sweep and pick his brain.

Great work!

Thanks for sharing your build and your results!
post #30 of 224
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the kind replies.  I started this project in early March.  I enjoyed doing it, but glad its done.


Dave, your just to darn far away... :-)   Cost wasn't to bad.    I had the brick.  Labor was free.   I've got about $1500.00 in it. 



Smokin, thanks.  The welder that works for my brother did that for me.  He couldn't make it happen with a weld so he used stainless rod and tacked it down.  I may take some thinner and wipe the highlight and let the stainless show so it show up better



Rabbit, love the avi man.  "and when I die, I'll be tarheel dead"    Thanks for the advice.  I'll have it going this week-end.  I'm going to try some ribs.   I plan to get a weed burner hopefully this week to blast the racks with.


I plan to build a deck in the next couple years.  It'll have to wait for now.  


I think I found the answer to my own question here.  I sometimes (well most of the time) get ahead of myself.  I did a search on cleaning smokers.  Nobody seems to clean the walls.  I just don't want to look out the window and  see flames coming out the top.  :-)   Won't hurt it, but meat will be welllll done!  :-)    I'm thinking as long as the grease doesn't run down the walls into the firebox I should be ok.  


I hope this helps someone trying to build a brick smoker.   I guessed at the size of the inside.  It may be a bit small, but it seems to cook very well. Loaded full, I could smoke 8 pork butts.  Not sure if I said anything about it, but I put a half shelf in the very top for baked tators.    Not sure how  to make the smoker temp even all the way up when loaded, but if it was perfect,  I'd have nothing to tinker with... :-)    Thanks everyone for the kind words and honest opinions.   Round these parts we are  "Big on the Pig!"

post #31 of 224
Great job Wes! Looks beautiful! Lots of luck with
post #32 of 224

Wes, thanks for the link.  I love brick grills, and yours is very nice.  I question the amount of butts you list as your max.  It looks like you could do that many on one shelf.  I used to think the butts shouldn't touch, but wiser smokers told me they could and I found out they were right.  I can do (8) 8 pound butts in my large BGE.  I think you have a lot more capacity.  Great job.

post #33 of 224

Nice build Wes, I built mine about a year ago and use it about every weekend, BBQ seems to taste better on something you built...

post #34 of 224
Thread Starter 

Thanks bigfoote.  I figured 2 to a shelf.  Yeah,  I don't let them touch.  My shelves  are 18x22x 4.   I have a half shelf  in the very top for baking potato's.  If I ever see the need to pack it full, its good to know that they can touch.  Thanks.


Thanks Eddie, I'm always trying to think of different things to put in it.  I agree, knowing you built it just somehow makes it taste better. :-)  I'm going to try my hand at smoking some deer meat this week-end.  I've gotten some great advice here. 

Edited by Wes W - 11/17/12 at 5:14am
post #35 of 224

Wes, a beautiful, professional, job!.  I think it will be a great addition with lots of people wanting to vist your place for any occasion.   The pulled pork looked great, and lots more great dishes to come.


Complete kudos!!!



post #36 of 224

Wow. Just wow. That is a fantastic build. How much to come to Massachusetts and build me one??? LOL Would LOVE to have something like that in my backyard. Congrats on your successful build. Outstanding.

post #37 of 224

Just saw this post, fantastic job...

post #38 of 224
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your kind words!  


I think I've finally got this smoker to heating the same all the way up when loaded.  On my bottom shelf, where the water pan sits I had a friend of mine cut me some 3"x 1/4"  strips of metal. I kept closing it up till I got what I wanted.   Now I can keep a pretty good fire and not get everything to hot on the bottom.   I use 16x11 foil roast pans for my water pans.  With it  installed  I have about 2x8 in.  gap on both sides.  I think this is going to work good. 


 hhookk, its really not that hard.  It just takes a lot of time and back work.   As far as laying block or brick.  Plum, Level, lay one over two.  You wouldn't have to build it as tall as mine.  Eddie lynn, a couple post up has a great looking offset wood burner, with grill.  I love the design.  If I had thought of it, I would have probably built mine as a offset.

post #39 of 224
Thread Starter 

Hope everyone had a great New Year!


Here is a shot of the smoker at work.   Once up to temp. it doesn't take much to keep it warm.




My first fatties are ready to come out.   They were totally awesome! 


Just a note here.  The external thermometers look good and give you an idea of what the temp is, but for this smoker they are not what the shelf temp is.  Being brick, I can open  and check the oven thermometer without losing any heat. 



post #40 of 224

Wes, morning.... Each time I view your smokehouse, I'm impressed....   It sure is a beauty....   Now we need pics of the fatty....  



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