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Brick house

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all I was thinking of building a brick smoker in my back yard and just had a few questions . Is there any type of brick I have to use and what about Mortar ? I wanted to do a smoker and BBQ all in one if I could
post #2 of 7
I'd you haven't already take A look at Wes' excellent build thread. Most of your questions are probably answered there.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link. I was just wondering are bricks smokers better ? Do they hold better heat?
post #4 of 7

I'm a mason, with 27 years experience, and have ordered the parts to build an electric smoker. I have yet to decide on a design, but thought I would chime in on with brick advice. Im sure many will tell you that you would want fire brick as the inner wall, this is not necessary. All brick can handle the low temperatures that smokers operate at. There is nothing wrong with fire brick as a liner (they look very nice), but they do cost more and do not really benefit you aside from aesthetics and perhaps a bit of pride. The properties you want are clean, non porous, and low water absorption. I think i will use clay paver brick, which are completely solid, non porous, and nice to lay. I think the fact that they have no holes or frogs will lend them nicely to some decorative work, as they can be cut into any shape. It will be important to have an air space between the inner and outer walls, to prevent cracking of the outer walls. Also, fire clay is optional. I will probably just use type S mortar throughout. I have built several forges, and type S seems to perform as well as the brick made for them. Forges operate at much higher temps than smokers, well over 1000 degrees. The things that damage masonry are water, quick temperature changes, and corrosive combustion gasses. Also, steel embedded in masonry has a detrimental effect, as it has a different expansion rate than the masonry when heated. I would try to minimize the embedment of the steel to lengthen the service life of the masonry. Bolts typically work nicely, as opposed to full embedment of angle iron (door frames and such). The bolts can be put through the frame in slightly larger holes, allowing some movement without damage. I think I will photodocument my progress and post it when I can. currently, my PID is en route from mainland China, so I will probably start the masonry next weekend. I'm considering adding a gas grill to the project. My project includes the PID, a 40 amp 240v relay and heatsink, and 2x 8 inch stove elements. I'm open to criticism or suggestions on the hardware. also, I'm looking for a nice affordable light for inside the smoker...I'm often relegated to smoking after work and through the night.

post #5 of 7
post #6 of 7
A masonry smoker will hold heat better, but also takes longer to get to temp. Also, above I neglected to say that a fire brick firebox is a good idea, I was stuck on my plans, which will not make much fire. Fire brick will live longer in temps exceeding several hundred degrees.
post #7 of 7

Kfactor,  in the summer it takes mine about 30 min. to come up to temp.  In the severe cold of the winter say 10F  it has taken as long as an hour or more to hold temp.  But once there, your good to go.


Thanks DS for posting my thread.   Love my brick smoker.   There is a learning curve to smoking with fire, but you get a flavor that can't be matched.

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