I have been asked a few times about catering with a whole hog cooker. Since spending a decent chunk of change on XL Egg, Vault, & trailer the last few months I dont really want to drop a boat load on a new cooker. Was thinking about building one. Was going to build a similar replica to Pitmaker Magnum sniper but put the firebox underneath directly in the center. I would insulate cook area with 2" and firebox with 3". Use the whole bottom of cooker as water reservoir if needed and put a 3" high metal fence around firebox opening to keep water from going inside the firebox. I was thinking inside dimensions to hold a 250 lb hog. For the baflle plate directly above the firebox I was thinking making a removable piece that sits directly in the middle that has 2" of insulation inside so the middle wouldnt have a hot spot. Smoke and heat would move to the sides where the last 16" or so on each side had no baffle plate and put smoke stack dead center. This way heat enters cook chamber then moves both left and right then flows back towards the middle across the grates and exits out the top. Didnt know if this would give me pretty even cook temps. Was hoping with firebox in center you can use minion method with charcoal and get 12 hours or so out of it. Even thought about going as much as making a gravity feed shoot on the back. Any ideas would be great.
Thinking about Insulated Whole Hog Cooker
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Yeah I might base the design off of a backwoods. On the hog cookers though is there a false wall on the sides or just the back. Thinking about making it in just the back and doing stacks on side like the vault or do stacks out the back like backwoods. Wondering how much space between the racks there should be. Planning on two racks so I can do two hogs if needed. May do 12 in or 15 in. If 15 in I plan on doing cook chamber 58 wide, 32 deep, 30 tall. with a 4 in water pan that is not included on those dimensions. This would give me roughly a 3 wide firebox which should hold 50lbs charcoal. I will do 2" insulation on cook chamber and 4" on firebox. Where the heat comes from firebox into false wall was going to put a piece of angle iron above the opening about a foot so it directs heat sideways that way it doesnt go straight up and create a hot spot coming over center of false wall. Wondering how much burn time at 250* would 50lbs of charcoal give me on this type of cooker if I ran a guru.
Vault is great. Loaded it up with charcoal and ran it for 8 hours or so and still had 2/3 charcoal left in the pan.
I know the backwoods say 6-10 hours but that has to be with water. No water you should at least get 10 hours out of that much charcoal I would think. I would always cook head off and feet off. I am thinking my design will hold 50 lbs of coals. 2 full lit chimneys dumped on front row of pan and let the guru go to work is what I am planning on. Only thing I dont know yet is whether to make it two doors like Myron's 60" or one door that flips up on shocks. Also cant decide on hinges. the hinges where the fulcrum is close to the door and smoker body seem to compress the gasket too much and strains the door as it closes. Basically the gasket starts compressing before door is halfway closed. Was thinking of doing hinges where hinge point is higher and the gasket doesnt touch until door is almost closed all the way. Sorry its hard to describe