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Michigan-ready RF build - Page 4

post #61 of 77
Thread Starter 
Got the hinges squared away...had to cut half of the old ones and remove the round bar from the doors, but it went ok. Replaced it all with 7/16" and everything works like a dream.
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:
post #62 of 77
Thread Starter 

Fuel basket and odds and ends...drug it home and have ribs and chicken waiting in the fridge for the innogrial cook!
post #63 of 77
Thread Starter 
50 and rainy for the first cook. Not the best day, but I really couldn't wait to try it out. The size of this rig is way overkill for 3 slabs of ribs and two chickens, but this was just a test run and part of my rib experimentation anyway.

What I learned:
I can run around 225 pretty easy, but I need to have more than two logs going to run hotter. Or, maybe add an upper vent on the door...I left that as a single wall anyway, so that's easy if I need to.
I really need to add a shelf before I cook next.
The drain worked well, but I was amazed at how much fat came out...need to plan better and not wreck the driveway
To run both the warmer and the cook chamber is gonna require a fair bit of wood, and I'm going to need more to get through the summer...or maybe figure out how to use charcoal well.

So, a few things to finish, but all in all I'm happy with it. It maintained temps pretty nicely, and attracted neighbors and strangers despite the rain...lots of rubbernecking from cars going by too! Next time I'll try a longer cook to see how it runs out for brisket. I've got a recipe I like and I've promised to make for a good friend's son's open house, but I've never cooked in scale and want to get at least somewhat of an idea of how to make that happen.
post #64 of 77

DQ, morning.... Great job ....  (clapping sound) ...  Smoker looks great.....    Dave

post #65 of 77
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Dave...still got a bit to do, and I'll be the first to admit the information I found here was certainly a force multiplier!
As much fun as it was to put together, I'm really looking forward to playing with it now (and adding a grill...a corn pot...sigh...)
post #66 of 77
Thread Starter 
I did learn one more thing tonight when I swept out the FB...I'd lifted the wood box with two "rails" of 1.5" angle, so roughly an inch. The space below had completely filled with ash, and it was harder to bring the temp up later in the cook. I attributed that to the weather, but the evidence leads me to believe it was airflow below the fuel. Easy mod...I'll lift it a bit more.
post #67 of 77



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!



post #68 of 77
The rig looks great! Very cool seeing some Q coming from it. Maybe summer will come soon now that your done...
post #69 of 77
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Radioguy and KFC! It's really nice to know it it's a bit more fun to work through some details.

Got part of the floor finished up, made a shelf on the cook chamber,made some spacers up to raise the wood basket 1.5", and added an upper vent to the FB door:

I've got a daughter who's fond of pigs, so I used some scrap parts we had around the shop to work on some custom features:

I'm starting a charcoal grill with the leftover section of pipe next...I'm telling you, this got a bunch more fun now that I know I didn't make a one ton paperweight!
post #70 of 77

Great looking rig DoodleQ... now that pig just needs a snout!

post #71 of 77
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Chuck...ask and you shall receive!
Odds and ends today...started a wood storage box, built a little shelf under the cc to warm/dry "next in line" logs, got the rest of the floor in and made a little deflector for the direct vent from the FB to the warmer. Practice brisket Saturday, along with a couple of chickens designated as leftovers for dinners next week. Stuffed some peppers, too.
Have a great weekend, folks.
post #72 of 77
Thread Starter 
Happy to say the wood box mod worked great...ran the rig from 6am to 7 pm and it ran great throughout. The warmer got over 150 without having to overheat the cook chamber. Brisket went great, sublet a rack to my neighbor for ribs, and threw on some bonus chickens for leftovers. Only a couple of pix:

Still working on odds and ends...sides for the wood storage box (worked out to just over what I needed for 12 hours, at least in this weather). I want to make a travel latch for the doors and some tool hooks, an umbrella receiver, stairs, and then on to the grill. We did name it, to:
post #73 of 77
Thread Starter 
Back at it...found a use for the leftover section of pipe...
post #74 of 77
Thread Starter 
Don't think I'd sent a progress pix lately...notice the sloppy floor...we cooked the snot out of it Memorial Day!
post #75 of 77
Thread Starter 
A couple of add ons...
Replaced the balance of the floor and added a grill I made with my leftover pipe. The side table is reversible so it doesn't take any floor space. I'll fire up the grill when I use the smoker this weekend.

post #76 of 77

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

post #77 of 77
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the 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.

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