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First time reverse air flow build. 55gal drum

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
this is my first post on here and wanted to say hello to everyone.

I'm building my first RAF smoker and wanted something i could move around easier than my previous trailer smoker. I haven't been able to find alot of information on the internet on doing a RaF like im trying. Was going to see if anyone had any recommendations or ideas on anything i could do to improve mine.
Firebox is 17"x17"x17". (Roughly 1/3 the volume of my barrel) and 1/8" thick metal.
I have 1/4" thick by 6" diameter pipe (free) connecting the box to the barrel.
Inside the barrel i have a 1/8" thick metal baffel/water pan that extends from the left and stops about 6" before the right barrel wall. Its is rought 7" off the bottom of the barrel. For my smoke stack i used a 3" pipe that i was able to come across for free also. With that setup my grates should be between 5 or 6" off the baffel plate. Enough room? Ive added a few pics from my build below.





post #2 of 15

Based on everything I've read and using the formulas for my own build, I'm curious. Wouldn't your FB get way too hot without transferring enough heat into the cook chamber?

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Im hoping with the 6" firebox pipe and the 3" stack it will draw enough. (Hope, fingers crossed). I also have vents on my firebox door to assist with air flow. My understanding was the firebox should be 1/3 the total volume of the barrel? Is that accurate? Im hoping to get my frame and door built this weekend and then i can see how the heat will do.
post #4 of 15
The 6" FB pipe and the 3" exhaust aren't big enough from what I can tell... An 8" FB to CC pipe would be close (6" is 1/2 of an 8" pipe) and about a 30-36" exh. stack 3" I.D. might work.... A 4" X 24" would be better... Dave
post #5 of 15
Listen to Dave, he knows his stuff. So do a lot of others in here. Take it from a rookie builder like me, run and re run calculations before you do anything and you'll be fine.
post #6 of 15

/\ /\ /\ Yes, what he said...

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
image.jpg 1288k .jpg file I got everything finished on my smoker this weekend beside the stack vent and vent cover on firebox. I ended up leaving the 6" pipe and 3" stack since it was welded already. With vents wide open, a fairly small fire and around 30 degree temps it was staying around 350 degrees. I wanted to see how easy it would be to choke the fire down so i place a piece of metal over the stack and sure enough the temp started dropping. yahoo.gif image.jpg 1434k .jpg file
post #8 of 15
I have seen on some other threads questions about the "ugly drums" being too thin walled to be really viable in a RF setup. How well does yours hold heat? Do you have to chuck tons and tons of wood into it to keep it up to temp or is it alright? Local ice cream distributor sells 55 gal drums for $5 so I would love to use them but I'm worried about maintaining temps. Looks good though man.
post #9 of 15

Nice job. Look forward to seeing how this works out for you after some cooks. I have access to some nice barrels once in a while and I love the build as much as the cooking.

post #10 of 15

There is a Hispanic place in town that cooks chickens every weekend on split barrel grills, they have been running constantly for the last several years and I think they only replaced one of them. The grease seems to preserve them pretty well. If you have good wood access, they should not burn too much more wood, build an insulated firebox and keep the air moving.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. So far i have done a brisket, 4 slabs of ribs and around 20 pounds of pork shoulder on it. The heat will maintain a steady temp of around 225 to 240 which works great for me. I did go ahead and add a digiq2 temp control to the firebox so i can ramp up the heat very quick if i need to. The barrel seems to hold heat farely well. I did ribs for super bowl and it was around 30 degrees outside and ribs were done in my normal time (around 4 hours). Here is a pick of the whole brisket i did on it. It was a small 9 pounder.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Also, i use a mixture of cherry wood and lump charcole. I went through roughly 6 or 7 15" pieces of cherry during my pork shoulder smoke. It does just as good as my last smoker but it was a 300 gallon 1/4" steel tank also.
post #13 of 15

How about some pics of the finished smoker. Good looking food there.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
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post #15 of 15

excellent job. Looks great

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