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How does this smoker work?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi everybody,

 

Still planning my build and looking for ideas and inspiration here and there, I found this picture. Not a lot of comment came with it because it's from a company selling smoked products, not smoke houses. 

 

I don't understand how this smoke house work. Especially, the extraction looks to be between the burner and the smoker. And no extraction visible on the smoker itself. I'm a bit puzzled. Maybe it's a simple and common design but i's new to me. Maybe it's used for fine tuning the amount of smoke going to the smoker? Could someone explain this principle? Is it a good system?

 

regards

 

Corbion

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by corbion View Post

Hi everybody,

I don't understand how this smoke house work. Especially, the extraction looks to be between the burner and the smoker. And no extraction visible on the smoker itself. I'm a bit puzzled. Maybe it's a simple and common design but i's new to me. Maybe it's used for fine tuning the amount of smoke going to the smoker? Could someone explain this principle? Is it a good system?

regards

Corbion



The stack between the heat source and the smoke house is to let out heat and smoke..... it is a control point....

Since there is no "valve" to turn down the fire, there needs to be a control stack that performs the function of a valve...... On a smokehouse of that design, the best style of exhaust is cracks between the boards and/or under the eaves.... Stacks tend to draw the heat and smoke to a given zone that is not always a desirable thing.... condensate can drip on food... and the smoke/heat may not be uniform in the smokehouse....
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Dave,

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
Stacks tend to draw the heat and smoke to a given zone that is not always a desirable thing.... 

 

... and thanks for the explanations.

 

I'd like to add a couple of newbie questions about this. Instead of the control stack that we can see on this picture, is there a way to install a valve in this kind of build? And if so, is it possible to do it on the horizontal part of the pipe? 

 

In the smoke house itself, if you have a wooden stack + some kind of opening under the eaves, is there still a risk of undesired path for the smoke flow and possible condensation? Or would you advise against any stack at all on the roof? 

 

best regards,

 

Corbion

post #4 of 15
Board and batten with no exhaust, were the typical smokehouses of years ago... lots of very small air leaks....
Many folks have used stacks, and end up putting in a catch pan for dripping creosote.... avoid the problem and put in side wall venting that is screened.... probably a 1/2" wide strip exhaust area.... you don't need much.... or floor vents, like used inside a home for the heating ducting works well also..... they should have closure flaps to adjust the air flow....
Fire sources were usually a firebox with no door..... fire was built in the box and natural draft, of the smokehouse, drew in smoke and some heat.... a board was used to partially block the firebox opening and allow more heat to travel to the smokehouse... a long underground smoke channel was used also, to absorb the heat.....
As a side note..... It is difficult at best to control the heat in a smokehouse using a fire.... usually smokehouse fired by wood fires were HUGE to accommodate the extra heat....
The design in the picture shows how to overcome all that heat.....
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi again, Dave,

 

I get it and will follow that way: no stack in the smoker but floor vents with closure flaps. 

 

Coming back to the burner and the control stack: I still don't understand something. How can you adjust the heat with that stack on the pipe close to the burner? Is there some valve at the bottom or rather an adjustable aperture at the top? 

 

Or, to put it differently (lol), how would you design that part of the smoke house to get some control on the heating? 

 

thanks for sharing this excellent know-how with us!

 

best regards,

 

Corbion

post #6 of 15
The stack between the fire and the smoker.... is tall enough that when you open the duct damper, heat goes up and less heat goes to the smoke house... even wide open, with the chimney effect, smoke will go to the smokehouse.... ALSO, with it wide open, more air will be pulled through the entrance to the fire pit to cool the smoke..... that type smoke CAN NOT have a closed door with adjustable air inlet..... It needs a full open front on the firebox.... smoke and heat can go 3 ways..... out the front of the FB.... in the smoke stack toward the smoke house and either up the stack or into the smokehouse or a combination of all three.... Very simple effective and controllable design..... designed for LOOOOOOOONG smokes..... cold smoking bacon, hams, fish, sausage....... Mainly preserving type smoking...... you would be hard pressed to smoke a pork butt for dinner in that type smoker......
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Mainly preserving type smoking...... you would be hard pressed to smoke a pork butt for dinner in that type smoker......

 

Little by little, I begin to understand what this is all about. Thanks for such clear explanations again, Dave. I think I get it for the heat control for cold smoking with that smoke house. 

 

Two points I still have to make clear though... 

 

1) Apart that you won't be able to smoke a pork butt for dinner with this design, is it still convenient for hot smoking if you're not in such a hurry? I hope I won't be limited in the type of smoking I'll be able to do with my smoke house.

 

2) Could you explain why the firebox front has to be open all the time? I try to compare this smoke house with the one built by Atcnick, with the "Vogelzang" door and I can't tell why you can't do the same here. 

 

regards,

 

Corbion

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by corbion View Post



2) Could you explain why the firebox front has to be open all the time? I try to compare this smoke house with the one built by Atcnick, with the "Vogelzang" door and I can't tell why you can't do the same here. 


That was the design..... no door.... when the smokehouse was built.... folks didn't add more stuff.... why add a door when it ain't needed.... why make it air tight when good air flow makes for good flavored food...

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 
why make it air tight when good air flow makes for good flavored food...

 

That makes sense...

 

I think I'm more or less ready to begin the build now... 

 

Corbion

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Dave,

 

Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

The stack between the fire and the smoker.... is tall enough that when you open the duct damper, heat goes up and less heat goes to the smoke house... 

 

Still doing some drawings before beginning, just to be sure where I'm heading... and I have a question: would it work if I'd place the stack on the top rear of the firebox instead on between the firebox and the smoker like in the picture above?

 

regards,

 

corbion

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by corbion View Post

Still doing some drawings before beginning, just to be sure where I'm heading... and I have a question: would it work if I'd place the stack on the top rear of the firebox instead on between the firebox and the smoker like in the picture above?

regards,

corbion

Don't know the answer to your question....

My thoughts on the theory..... split the smoke stream so, hot air rising can have a place to go, and cooler air being lower, can enter the smokehouse... with a system like mentioned, a free air supply is needed for the cool air part of the "system".....
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Dave,

 

Oops, not sure I understood what you meant, here. Is your thought related to the picture design or the solution I proposed?

 

corbion

post #13 of 15
That was a "general" comment on how the system works... On top of the FB should work to remove the "hot" air.... as long as the smoke conducting tube, to the smokehouse, had "free air" allowed to enter it and still draw "cool" smoke...

Sounds a little confusing don't it..... Looking at cold smokers built ages ago, it is difficult at best to run a cold smoker using a fire... splitting the heat/air stream is how they accomplished that feat.... Larger smokehouses use a small pile of sawdust that smolder to create smoke without heat....

The simplest solution is........

Todd Johnson solved that problem when he designed and built his vast array of "Cold Smoke Generators".... a really great tool for folks that want to cold smoke....

http://www.amazenproducts.com/Default.asp
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

On top of the FB should work to remove the "hot" air.... as long as the smoke conducting tube, to the smokehouse, had "free air" allowed to enter it and still draw "cool" smoke...

 

Yes. And that's probably why they ended putting the stack in between the firebox and the smoker instead.

 

What I find interesting with this nice design is that it should be possible to do either hot and cold smoking after finding the right controls. Maybe with these three "main" setups:

 

a) firebox front open and "in-between" stack closed --> hot smoking

b) firebox front open and "in-between" stack open --> hot smoking and possibly cold smoking

c) firebox front closed with a-maze-n device and "in-between" stack closed (with a fan somewhere if needed) --> cold smoking 

 

Tell me if it's completely flawed :)

 

regards,

 

corbion

post #15 of 15
Sounds right to me..... best of all worlds.... Hot, warm and cold smoke....

The hot smoke stack should be adjustable, with a choke plate, to adjust the heat/smoke escaping from it...
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