So first off, I apologize for posting a random post like this. I'm just a little lost about what exactly I "need". First off, I am a scrounger when it comes to smokers. I have 2 and got rid of one, all of which I either "saved" from the dump or inherited. I never paid a dime for any of them.
I have made very good smoked trout and pork butts on my main vertical colman smoker grill. It was intended to use propane but the old warn out propane parts weren't compatible with the new style tanks so I scrapped that and burn charcoal in it. It has no baffles so I put tin foil in the vent holes to manage my draft. Most times I run it completely closed down. The smoker actually runs very good. It's un-insulated and I have still kept pork at 200* F when it's 30* F out.
The other of the two I have is a Little Cheif. This one I have done cold smoked trout on but it doesn't hold temp very well and never gets very warm. My intention was to build an insulated cover for this and use it to smoke fish and other cooler temp items. But after reading on here.. I'm thinking of scrapping that idea and building something that I can use for everything.
I want to build something I can fit an entire ham or turkey inside of and that I can hold anywhere from 110 - 225*F and do so for up to 3 days. I'm throwing the idea around of doing an offset design but I really like the inline setup I have now. I just don't know what will give me the most consistent temp over the entire smoker for the entire smoke.
My idea was to build a box big enough to hold the largest item I want to smoke, and then design a fire box big enough to fuel it. I'm thinking of either using charcoal or electric. The other issue is wanting to be able to smoke things during the winter (-20*F). I was thinking of just building the box out of OSB or plywood and then lining the inside with stainless sheeting. Then on the outside using foam board and steel siding or ply wood over that.
Another parameter in my build is that I want to make something that is somewhat portable. So I don't want it too heavy or made of permanent materials.
I already have plywood and foamboad on hand. I'm interested where folks are getting stainless sheeting for a decent price (if their is a thing.)
What are the benefits of doing an offset design versus an inline?
Any ideas are appreciated.