Finished the upper set of grates, added some pieces to tie the smoker to the trailer better, gasketed the warmer door, and some other odds and ends.
Can't forget this vital little accessory:
Happy to see it completed, or at least cooking now. Been following your build all along the way. I've gotten some ideas, techniques from your posts.
Have fun playing around now, while making some great Q!
DoodleQ, I am thuroughly impressed with the smoker. I am looking at doing a smoker almost the same, wasn't thinking of insulating it though. I have a couple questions that could really help me if you wouldnt mind.
1. Do you feel that insulating the fb and wb helped out enough to justify the extra cost. Was there a noticable fuel saving because of insulation?
2 When you smoke in the cc and wb do you close off the cc chimney and exhaust through the wb only? If so does it effect your cook (amount of smoke on meat in cc do to exhaust being at grate level) or temp fluxuations. And is smoke presence/penetration even throughout both chambers while utilizing both?
3. what are the temps and variation in different modes. i.e. smoke in cc only not in wb, smoke in both cc and wb. smoke in wb only closed cc.
Appologize for all the questions just don't want to waste my time and money having to fix things that don't work the way I'm looking for. Thank you
Thanks for the compliment...it was fun to build, and it's been nice to cook on. I'll try to answer best I can...
1 - I can't really give you a comparison before/after as far as fuel, as I've not cooked on anything but this (in relation to its' size...but if you look at the wood box up front, that's about 12-14 hours worth. I'm usually cooking 10-12 hours, and I've never exhausted that much wood. I add a coffee can of charcoal when I'm first lighting it to help establish and ash bed, but that's it. I burned more fuel in the double drum unit I had, so I'd guess it must be related (plus I'm not losing heat with the thinner metal).
2 - I have let low priority stuff (jalepenos, cabbage) "smoke" in the warmer, but I haven't cooked directly in there. By the time I'm opening it up, I've likely foiled anything with a great deal of mass (pork shoulder or brisket), so smoke isn't an issue. Anything that's still taking smoke would be ribs or chicken based on a shorter total cook time and trying to finish close. They have less need of deeper smoke anyway. I do have to bump up feeding the fire a bit when both are fully operational to keep the cc chamber up, but not that much. I also have the opening directly from the fb to the warmer, which can allow a small bit of ash up...again, not an issue since for the most part stuff in there is foiled. Probably not enough to really worry about anyway.
3 - After everything's warmed up, and vented over (there's a bit of touch to this, so I'm sure I could change it), if I run 250 or so on the external thermos, I'll be running 150-175 on the externals on the warmer. I haven't run a direct comparison on internals, as the warmer is less critical.
Hope that helps. If I had to change anything...well, I wouldn't change much, except to perhaps leave a little more length on the cc pipe. It's just slightly tight loading ribs if I'm really trying to load it up.