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5Oaks Smoker Build - Page 2

post #21 of 49
Thread Starter 

Ready for a test smoke!!

Still have to finish the racks and drip pan, but she's ready to fire up, and check for leaks....


Nice smoke coming out the top, had some left over charcoal from my last bbq, bag had been sitting outside, so it was a lil damp, took a while to get burning good, but figured it would work for a test burn.

Thermometer in the door was showing 180-185', seemed a little low, so I dropped a meat probe in through one of the top vents, and it was holding 203-205' up there for a steady 2 hrs. Not sure why the big difference in temps.

Maybe a bad thermometer, will put an oven thermometer in on a rack next time I heat it up.


Had plenty of air coming in through the bottom, and it seemed to have plenty of flow coming out the top, think I'm going to build a charcoal basket, so that the coals aren't down in a pan like they are now, maybe that will help with the burn.


So I guess tomorrow/saturday I get to finish making racks, and seal it up. Still want to make a set of folding shelves for the sides.


Then we will be doing nothing but smoking until I get my PID in the mail, so I can add the controls and change it over to electric.

post #22 of 49
Looks good..... icon14.gif
post #23 of 49

Your smoke shack looks great! I have had plans to build something similar but first I have to take care of the wife's projects...


Along the lines of your temp difference issue. Did you test the therm in door before installing it? Have you tested your meat probe?  Every new therm or probe I get I test in boiling water (212°) and in ice water (32°)to see how accurate they are. If there is a discrepancy I log that difference down so I know how much to add or subtract. If it's only a few degrees I don't worry about it. 5° or more I start keeping track.


Most of the therms that I have tested that can be mounted have been off as much as 25°-30°! Almost all stock therms that come on smokers suck! Some therms can be adjusted others cannot.


Another consideration is if your probe was higher it very well may be that much different too. I know in my vertical gas smoker I have a 10°-15° degree variation from top to bottom.

post #24 of 49
Thread Starter 

The CC is a little over 4ft tall, the wall therm is in the middle, so the probe I put would have been at least 20" higher, since the vents aren't completely at the top, I'm guessing its a little of both as far as the wall therm not being 100% accurate, and the normal heat rising effect in the vertical smoker.


I have a few seams to seal up on the inside, hopefully I'll get my racks finished tonight, and we'll be smoking a Turkey tomorrow!!

post #25 of 49
Thread Starter 

Bird, taters and corn all in, was going to hang the bird, but maybe next time.
post #26 of 49
Thread Starter 

Bird is out!! And resting....


Corn and Potatoes did really well, they were in the whole time, corn was on a wire rack over a pan half full of water, so it didn't dry out!!


Overall a huge success, still have a few small adjustments to make, and seams to seal, but I think its close enough that I can go ahead and put the sealer on the outside tomorrow after it cools down.


I am torn now though, after seeing how well it performed with my charcoal basket, I'm not so sure I want to do the electric conversion... will have to think about it, will post some pictures soon, next smoke

will probably be ribs, if they go well, it will probably remain a charcoal smoker.....

post #27 of 49
Thread Starter 

Looking Good!


Nice color and juicy!!

I was a bit skittish, we let it cook to 170' to be sure on the first smoke on the new build and first bird I've smoked.

Took right at 6 hrs from cold smoker to slicing.

Smoker held 230-250 most of the day, I am happy with it, I did let it run up to 300 at the half way point, but slowed it down. So it will get up there if I need it to.

Now for a couple days to eat this turkey hehe oh and maybe a nap....
post #28 of 49
Thread Starter 

We used Pop's brine recipe and it soaked overnight in the spare fridge in the barn, wish I had longer to brine it, but we got a good 12 hrs on it anyway.


I just had some SPOG on it to start, and at 140' I brushed it down with SPOG+Brown Sugar.


Oh we did add 2 lemons cut in half and one lime quartered to the brine. And when I put it in the smoker, in the drip pan, I put about a qt of the brine, and most of the lemon/limes, I put a few pieces

of lemon and lime inside the bird as well.

post #29 of 49

Looking good so far!!!!

post #30 of 49
Thread Starter 

Ok, so today, I caulked in some of the seams that I noticed were leaking smoke during the turkey smoke.


I also, put another piece of durock on the inside of the FB, where I noticed the wood taking a bit too much heat.


I replaced the FB door, with one that has a piece of durock on the inside, since the door took a lot of heat, probably from when I overfilled the charcoal basket at the halfway point.


I also made a 6" tall square box from an aluminum street sign we had to help contain the flames if there are any to the center of the charcoal basket.


I coated the crap out of the outside with some all weather clear poly, put some handles on the sides for helping to move it around.


I THINK we are ready for the ribs come Sunday, I will probably add a shelf or two before then, for holding sauces etc, maybe some pegs for holding utensils.


And I will have to add a small basket for holding the cork plugs, as nice an idea as it was, I smashed 2 of them, one cut in two, they kept getting caught every time I opened or closed the

doors. Would have worked great if they were a bit higher from the doors.

post #31 of 49
Looks great and I bet a lot of folks are inspired. Great job!
post #32 of 49
Turned out great!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
post #33 of 49
Thread Starter 

Setback #2... well, I got a bit over anxious.. I have been using that grill wok for a charcoal basket, and it worked well, but Fathers Day Morning we were loading up 8 Racks of Ribs, and we had made an aluminum box to sit on top of the basket, in theory it was supposed to help keep the flame centered... in actuality it made the wok work like a charcoal starter chimney.... didn't realize it until I had went into the house and my temp went off, I assumed I had got my probe in too far on the meat, which I had, and it was a good thing, because the cabinet was almost up to 400'.


Long story short, We SAVED THE RIBS!!!


I have some Minor Cabinet Repairs to make, and will have to Rebuild my Upper Doors, Not too big of a deal, and we have some 'Character Stains' on the outer cabinet..... nothing that can't be fixed.


I think the worst part is I have to listen to my Dad for a while until I get it fixed.... he has always said "It'll burn down once you put a fire in it.." lol, I had a fire alright, instead of a smoldering coals... oh well, lesson learned, and I have plenty of scrap wood around to repair it with, so just out some time.


Oh btw, at 400' the cabinet had enough pressure that popped the corks out of the upper vents.... still haven't found them all....

post #34 of 49
Well that's too bad. Glad to hear that everything is repairable. And the ribs survived.
I don't think I would have expected that to happen either. I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say about this.
post #35 of 49
Glad to hear you did not have a bon fire. I get razzed a lot over mine. They were taking bets on when it would burn down. I dont run mine with charcoal, I use a propane burner. When I first started out it hit 350+ a few times too many, but it is still going.

Great job on your build. It should serve you well for a long time.
post #36 of 49


post #37 of 49
Thread Starter 

Finally got around to digging into the smoker, to figure out what all had to be fixed.


Found out the true cause of the flareup, we had made an aluminum box for the charcoal basket, which may not have been a bad idea, will probably cut it in half though after thinking about it, and watch it like a hawk next time, but in my rush to get things going for Fathers day, I neglected to do a test burn of the charcoal basket/box we had made the box out of an old no hitchhiking street sign we found in the junk pile, and the outside of it was coated in the reflective paint, which caught fire.... lesson learned.


On the bright side, I've got it all stripped of the damaged wood, except for a few edges that will be cut out. I'll have to re-line the inside panels, and build a new face for the front for my doors to be attached to. Was able to salvage the doors, but my opening will only be around 20" now, so not sure if I'm gonna just build new doors or go with the smaller opening, it should be plenty big enough.


Also, gonna look into those nice metal shelving system from Lowes that Tomich used in his build. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/164891/tomich-build


Should be back to smoking next weekend.


Oh, have to get a new temp gauge I think, the one I had in the door reads 0 now, where it was reading air temp of around 70-80 before.


Overall it could have been a lot worse.

post #38 of 49

:Looks-Great: to me.

post #39 of 49
Thread Starter 

Well after getting over just being sick to my stomach when I looked at it, I have got started on the repairs.


Got the cooking chamber re-insulated and re-lined.

Got the bad parts all cut out of the door frames.

Trimmed down my doors some, and got them squared back up, still have to go buy a new Thermometer, the old one is toast, then I can button up the doors.

Working on rebuilding the Door Frames on the front and sealing it all back up.


If all goes well, and I can find the nice Thermometer I had in the store again, I should be back up and smoking this weekend.


I have been using the lil Brinkmann we have affectionately nicknamed 'Jr.' since we now have this bigger smoker we are calling it 'Sr.' hehe, to go along with the Big Chief smoker we have.


Once this one is done, I will be doing the element mod to the Big Chief so that I can use it as more of a smoker than I've been able to in the past.


My wife says the smokers are like fishing rods, I've got several now, and they all have their own purpose lol.

post #40 of 49
 My wife says the smokers are like fishing rods, I've got several now, and they all have their own purpose lol.

You sir have a smart well understanding wife.............:biggrin: :beercheer:


Glad everything is on the road to recovery.

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