Hey there everybody,
I'm new to smoking but I've been grilling for years. I'm a student of the "Santa Maria Style" bbqs. I've been raised on burning Oak and grilling tri-tip. I've recently tried my hand at ribs and pork shoulders. I'll admit I've grilled the ribs and put the shoulder in a slow cooker. Let the hazing begin. Anyways I've finally decided to build a horizontal reverse flow smoker.
I am an agriculture teacher. I teach welding and construction classes. So I discussed this new endeavor with my fellow colleagues and we came up with a simple plan for the smoker. 55 gallon drum for the cooking chamber. a 12 x 12 x 18 fire box. The fire box will be mounted so that it will be below the cooking chamber by about 2/3rds. Does that make sense? We discussed putting a perforated piece of metal just above the opening from the fire box on the bottom of the cooking chamber. It will stop short by about 6 inches. I researched this and I think it is called the baffle??? Help me out here. One rack of expanded metal in the center of the cooking chamber with another half rack/shelf mounted about 6-8 inches above that. The smoke exhaust will be mounted above the fire box.
My hope is to one: build my own smoker that will bring years of enjoyment to my family and Two: be able to smoke pork shoulder and pork ribs. I have 4 young kids and they love BBQ!! I am redneck and we grill every chance we can get. I've wanted a smoker for years but couldn't bring myself to buy one.
Well this is why I joined this forum. I'm looking for advice and insight. Any advice is welcome. I'll post pics as we get started.