Looking for input on problems with wine/oak barrel smokers. I myself have built a smoker from a wine barrel, it was an easy fun project and I have had a few successful and a few unsuccessful smokes since then. I'm wondering if anybody else has built them and what problems have you encountered.
For me the biggest problem I had was that after a few smokes the oak barrel staves started to shrink and spearate a little. I have screws in every stave and every barrel hoop but the separation is mainly where the lid closes. Because of the gaps I was losing temperature and smoke. To rectify this loss I lined the smoker with aluminum foil with great success.
Smoking with a wine barrel is very challenging at maintaining temperatures so constant monitoring is required, not that I mind baby sitting the smoker with a cold one on hand.