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Not SO Mini Smokehouse Build w/Pics - Page 3

post #41 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the suggestions... I am actually looking at all 3 options...... What I use will depend on the product I am smoking.....to get the flavor of oak we are used to I will do the chunks in the pan for hot smokes.....if I want to add another flavor I will layer with an AMNPS double lit............when the budget allows I will get a second one........and for cold smokes only the AMNPS


I will say I was very surprised at the difference in oak flavors from what we have growing here locally and the oak pellets......the pellets are much milder....I would never pick up on the mild flavors of apple and cherry when I used them together......
post #42 of 59

Awesome, can't wait to see your first cook! Send some to Mn, I'm always hungry!

post #43 of 59
Thread Starter 
Sorry I thought I had posted the link to the first smoke. We are still having fun with it. It is defiantly a conversation piece around here.........

Here we go.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/138395/inaugural-smokehouse-smoke-w-pics
post #44 of 59
Thread Starter 

Just a bit of updated info. 

 

Found out that the burner needs a low pressure regulator. I replaced it with one from Tractor Supply that is adjustable from 1 - 60 PSI. Works great. Wish i had figured it out before the temps ran so high for so long. You can see towards the bottom some areas that actually char-ed a bit. But that means I get make another one and improve on it sooner, but I have a lot more time with this one until that is needed....

 

I have too much air flow. I have had to completely block one vent and cover most of the other. 

 

I am using a small cast iron pan on the burner with the wood chunks to generate the smoke. Works great!!

post #45 of 59

Just caught back up on this. The smokehouse turned out great! You guys did a fine job with the build & now you have something you can both be proud of & some good memories you will never forget  biggrin.gif  Well played - well played indeed  2thumbs.gif

post #46 of 59

Did you treat the plywood on the inside with anything. You may have posted it, but I missed it.

post #47 of 59
Thread Starter 
No. I did not want to risk any chemical contamination and I thought oil would increase the possibility of fire.

I will try to get a picture of the inside after a year and almost half of use, it is very well seasoned.

Eventually when it needs to be replaced I want to redesign the shelves. I use 3 cake cooling racks per shelf from Walmart, really needs to be a single shelf. They also do not slide out, they are wider then the door, and that is annoying. The air vents are way to big and a breeze will cause temp issues, I just block them.

But it does a great job, I can set the needle valve and it will hold rock steady at any temp I set it for.
post #48 of 59


Thanks, getting ready to build a smokehouse.

post #49 of 59
Thread Starter 
If there is anything I can do to help let me know.

If you feel more comfortable just PM me and ask away.
post #50 of 59

I like the color scheme too...looks very nice.

post #51 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thank you.

Cassie loves purple so she had to have it somewhere. It is a very big conversation piece around here.
post #52 of 59
Howdy looks great!! What type of metal is your flashing/exhaust?
post #53 of 59
Thread Starter 
Aluminum. I used what is for the vent ducts on houses.
post #54 of 59

The wood racks will stop seeping, mine did by the time we had the 2nd smoke, I draped a little foil over them to keep it off of the meat while it was coming out.

 

You might look into lining your heat chamber where the burner is with some duroc cement board, it works well in protecting the plywood. Or even tiling the area, I have seen a few like that.

 

I kept my temps around 250, I did have a burnout, but that was because I was trying to center my heat and put that aluminum box around my charcoal, forgot to burn off the paint first. Was in a hurry, getting in a hurry can be an issue lol. Learn from my mistake.

 

Almost done with my repairs, been busy at work, so haven't been able to do a lot with it.

 

I like the rack system, but you will find that even at 200 degrees the wood glue won't hold up long, screws are definitely the way to go, its not as 'pretty' but I cut some thin strips of wood and used a brad nailer to cover them up, can't notice them, and it looks like some extra trim.

 

Your heat shield may be a bit much with that burner, I dunno, I ended up just sitting two disposable aluminum pans across my lower rack to catch the drippings, got them at the dollar store, also got some of the little wire racks they sell there to place under them for some extra support. Remember with the wood, you really don't want any item retaining a huge amount of heat, it will eventually give you what I had with the burnout. While the cook chamber might not be more than 300 degrees I would bet that piece of solid metal above the burner is a lot hotter.

 

I definitely defer to the guys with more experience, just passing on a few things I learned with my build.

post #55 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5OaksSmoker View Post

The wood racks will stop seeping, mine did by the time we had the 2nd smoke, I draped a little foil over them to keep it off of the meat while it was coming out.

Yea they dripped for a bit. Just depends on how much sap is in the wood. But it was after a few cooks.

You might look into lining your heat chamber where the burner is with some duroc cement board, it works well in protecting the plywood. Or even tiling the area, I have seen a few like that.

When I was doing the research before the build I was told not to use duroc due to the fibers in it may be not food safe when heated. So I lined the bottom and sides with heat treated tiles. I was actually a bit quick on the draw and did a burn out without the tiles and chared the bottom under the burner a bit when I put the skillet on top.


I like the rack system, but you will find that even at 200 degrees the wood glue won't hold up long, screws are definitely the way to go, its not as 'pretty' but I cut some thin strips of wood and used a brad nailer to cover them up, can't notice them, and it looks like some extra trim.

I did use a small pice of scrap under the ends of each bracket and then screwed them from the outside, not sure if all of the pictures made it. I used a little wood putty to cover the scrww heads.

Your heat shield may be a bit much with that burner, I dunno, I ended up just sitting two disposable aluminum pans across my lower rack to catch the drippings, got them at the dollar store, also got some of the little wire racks they sell there to place under them for some extra support. Remember with the wood, you really don't want any item retaining a huge amount of heat, it will eventually give you what I had with the burnout. While the cook chamber might not be more than 300 degrees I would bet that piece of solid metal above the burner is a lot hotter.

I ran a couple pices of metal rebar to set the metal plate on. The plate has about a 3" gap all the way around it to allow for air flow. When doing large cooks I will also place 2 disposable pan on it to catch the drippings. The only issue I have had the wood getting too hot was when we first started using it and we had the wrong amount of air and the wrong regulator. I finally was able to get the correct specs on the burner and the pressure it needed. With it burning too hot and not ablento fine tune it and too much air the wood chunks would ignite and the temps would shoot way up to almost 400. We now have that fixed and have not seen any changes to the fire box area. But I do like the idwa of the duroc for the next one we build. This one may get donated to our church. Depending on the size of the butts, I can cook 25-30 in one shot. They are looking for a large cooker that is also flexible.

I definitely defer to the guys with more experience, just passing on a few things I learned with my build.

We have been using this smokehouse for about 1.5 years now and have run over 1500 lbs of meat through it. I am still learning from what others post about theirs. I have been looking at yours and am very intersted in how yours works with charcoal/wood. I am going to do some research the duroc because I am looking at some old food trams we have at work that are metal and the duroc to do a first layer before doing an outer skin of plywood would be a nice option.

So now for some pictures of the inside......

This is what the cook chamber looks like. The wood has dried out and has a very nice seasoned look. When the smokehouse get a little warm from the sun you can smell the smoke seasoning. You can see the racks I use. They work, but are a bit annoying due to not being able to slide out. Great for small batches thoe...


You can see at the top edge of the cook chamber door some of the slight damage from the early high heat cooks. Other than the overall seasoning the door has not changed as in damage.


You can see on the firebox door and the under side of the 2x4 fornthe top edge of the firebox where the most damage was done due to high heats in the beginning. Again not any noticeable change now the temperature controls have been addressed.





This is an overall shot of the firebox. You can see there is still a lot of areas with very little coloring from smoke or heat.




Overall I am very happy with my first one. We will definitely be keeping one at all times.
post #56 of 59

Awesome house, Like the colors. Good to see a colorfull house other than plain wood. You should be proud of your house and 2 thumbs up to your co builder being involved.

post #57 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by masonman1345 View Post

Awesome house, Like the colors. Good to see a colorfull house other than plain wood. You should be proud of your house and 2 thumbs up to your co builder being involved.

Thank you. We have gotten a lot of use out of it. She is very proud of it. She tells everyone her dad will cook them pulled pork in the smoker she built.
post #58 of 59
What an awesome looking smokehouse!! Well done. I have a few questions.

1: Do you ever smoke on more than one shelf at a time, and if you do, is there much of a temperature difference between shelves?

2: Can you set your temperature at 230 degrees or so, maybe less?

3: Can you cold smoke cheese in it with the AMNPS inside and not have the temp go above 80?

4: Not that we get really cold weather here, but how is the insulation situation? Will it hold temp when it's cold out, or would there be a way to insulate it?

Again , it looks fantastic, and I hope you are really enjoying it.
post #59 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by id2nv2nj2ca View Post

What an awesome looking smokehouse!! Well done. I have a few questions.

1: Do you ever smoke on more than one shelf at a time, and if you do, is there much of a temperature difference between shelves?

2: Can you set your temperature at 230 degrees or so, maybe less?

3: Can you cold smoke cheese in it with the AMNPS inside and not have the temp go above 80?

4: Not that we get really cold weather here, but how is the insulation situation? Will it hold temp when it's cold out, or would there be a way to insulate it?

Again , it looks fantastic, and I hope you are really enjoying it.

Thank you.

 

1:  Yes. Many times I have. I do not see much if any difference in temps. The very bottom will get a little hotter, so I use the middle 3 mostly and put drip pans on the bottom shelf.

 

2:  The lowest I have had it during the summer is 125* and the highest is 375* (This was before I had my remote thermometer. Minor heart attack when I found it that high) I usually maintain hot cooks at 250-275.

 

3: Yes you could cold smoke with the AMNPS, but I would use a tube instead. The maze does a great job in smaller smokers, this one has more volume than most refrigerators, so the tube will work better.

 

4: I have not had much issue with holding temps, if it runs cold I turn up the gas. I do not use the outer ring of the burner, so i have a lot of wiggle room for cold temps. I made it with 3/4" plywood and once i get to temp, it holds very well. With the steel plate as a defuser it recovers quickly. I am sure you could do a double wall for insulation or even just double up the plywood.

 

 

I have been running this for about 2 years now. I have found a few things I would do differently when I make my next one.

 

  • I would make the shelves out of a single sheet of expanded metal. The 3 cake racks are nice, but gets annoying.
  • I would have it so the shelves would slide out. Loading gets annoying when doing small things like ribs. Reaching to the back when stuff is dripping from above during the cook can get a bit messy.I do like the small racks for things like cheese, I can pre-load and just place into the smoker.
  • The bottom are where the burner is I would redesign. It looks like the heat is catching where the 2x4 is mounted to hold the heat plate. I would line it so it is a smooth transition with either aluminum sheet or steel plate. There are some out there that have used a cement board like durarock (spelling????). My concern with that is. What is in it and what happens when it gets hot? what gasses do they emit and so on.....
  • The air vents on the bottom are way to big. I have actually blocked them off and things are easy to run now. The wind was causing major temp issues. I would just put a couple 6" pie vents on either side.

 

I really like my smoker and am very happy with it. But I am the type of person that I will evaluate anything i make and see what I can do better. I love being able to cook 150 pounds of pork butt in a single shot.

 

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask anything.

 

Jeramy

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