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WANTED: information on adding supplemental heat to a smoker

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

hi all- looking for detailed information on adding supplemental heat, rotisserie and grill option. I am starting a 275 gallon oil tank reverse flow smoker. I have the doors installed and before I add the partial floor I would like to see how others have added an additional heat source other than the fire box. I am using the calculator to determine the appropriate fire box size. I really could use info on what to use either propane or electric and the btu size and how and where to install. I know that smoking is only effective for 4-6 hours so would like to finish the cooking process with an additional heat source or to help maintain the desired temp during the smoking process. If anyone has plans or know where to find it would be greatly appreciated. Has anyone made their smoker to have the capability to grill with added propane and how to add a rotisserie.


Oh one more question -how large an opening should the reverse smoker floor pan be?


thanks ahead of time and I will post pictures as the build progresses.

post #2 of 30

I'd just go with a propane rod, 1.25" for that size

post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 

Is there enough oxygen in the smoker to enable the proper burn?  If there would it be better to have the burn pipe below the plate or above?

post #4 of 30
Originally Posted by jcweis1 View Post

Is there enough oxygen in the smoker to enable the proper burn?  If there would it be better to have the burn pipe below the plate or above?

If the oxygen is depleted....... and the flame goes out....... RUN...... that would be one HUGE propane bomb....
post #5 of 30
I run mine under the plate to protect the burner. Oxygen? That's the tricky part. With no fire, I get enough from my firebox vents. I did learn not to run it with a full fire going, ...the fire sucks up the oxygen before it gets to the burner and will blow back on me. I only run it to pre heat or dry out the smoker after cleaning. If I want to keep food warm or switch over, I have to let the fire burn down first. A solution would be to add a couple of ball valves to the bottom of the tank to let fresh air in under the burner, but have not bothered to install them.

I think above the plate would present more of a problem supplying fresh air to the flames.
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply ribwizard, I thought there might be an O2 issue with the fire burning. It is easy enough to make a home made pipe burner that I may add it. It can be used as you described.. drying and finishing the cooking process after the smoking time is compete.

post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 

Anyone have any ideas on a home made rotessere? bad spelling I know

post #8 of 30

cheaper just to buy a set up and utilize it. You can get a whole kit for about 30 bucks, then run multiple front to back to keep each one light enough to handle.

post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 

I found a rotisserie motor - Wondermotor  High Torque gearmotor 12V dc 5 rpm for $170 plus shipping. This will support up to 100# of meat. Will need a flexible spider shaft coupling which McMaster has for around $7.00. Will need to make the rod and add pillow block bearings and the pcs that  slide over the rod that holds the meat. I believe that this may be the best way to go but still researching. May need to get an AC to DC convertor to run off the 110 current. What is nice is that you can use it where there is no 110 available as necessary.

post #10 of 30

I'm a strong guy, but trying to wrestle a split with 100lbs of meat on it does not sound like much fun.  Are you trying to turn a whole hog on there?

post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 

The rotisserie motor drive is advertised as having the capablility to handle 100lb. I would not want to handle 100 lb either, but would like to do 2 -3 pork shoulders at the same time - that will be hard enough. I figure that spanning the 60" tank I would rather have the extra capacity.

post #12 of 30

That's why I suggest running multiple ones, front to back. Unless your wanting to do a big pig or steer, it makes it easier.

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

That is a good idea, I will have to plan how to drive three rotisserie front to back from one motor drive. I also like your set up with the removable rotating shevling. Stll exploring all options and helps to see what others have done with success.

post #14 of 30

I wouldnt run them on one drive motor, you want to be able to turn each one on and off by them self.  For less than $125.00 you could have four of them running front to back, they come with motor, mounts, split, counterweight, etc. .....Just fab a frame out of angle, weld the supplied mounts to the frame, install four weld boses in the back of the cooking chamber with pipe plugs for when your not using the splits, and hang your four motors on the back side of the smoker.

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

Ribwizard - how do you use your rotisserie when the shelves are removed? Do you replace the shelves with rods or just use the main cener rod?

post #16 of 30

my shelf's are supported by a frame work of 3/4 angle at both ends, just pull out the rack and set it to the side.  Now that 275 gallon oil tank is kind of a tall narrow tank I would think, I think the set up would work good for you if you just want to do butts and chickens/turkeys.  You probably have enough room to keep a rack in there either above or below the turning meat. Below would be better, then you could just pull your split and let the meat drop onto the grate. It does tend to fall apart at that point, nothing you can do about that.

post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 

When you want to do a pork shoulder for example on your set up - do you have the meat on the shelf or do you run a rod through it so it rotates? Is there really an advantage either way?


Pick your brain on this idea -  Do you think it would be beneficial to weld in a solid ceiling  to the top of the 275 tank to reduce the wasted area above the door?

post #18 of 30

If I am doing one pork butt, I may put it on a rotisserie, ...if I feel like it.   I does take more attention than just turning the meat by hand, you have to spend more time tieing the meat and balancing it, then checking to make sure its not starting to fall off of the split.   Most of the time I just put it on a rack and turn it at specific intervals, like a Turkey, I'll do the first three hours breast down then flip it every hour until done.  Pork butts I usually like to butterfly out sort of to get more smoked area/ grey area ratio, and faster cook time.  Ribs, don't flip them at all,    But its very hard to beat a rotisserie chicken, they rock!

post #19 of 30

What would be cool would be to build the smoker where the whole cooking chamber turns like a concrete mixer does,

post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 

I am starting to lean toward what you have done with the shelves. What do you think of adding the roof idea - think it would help?


I am going to start the fire box this weekend - do you think it should be on the end f the tank or in the back in the middle with opening on each end of the floor plate? Or does this ruin the reverse flow concept?

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