So I have been looking for something like this for years near me, in Canada. Not very common up here but i found it in a farmers field a few blocks from my house. I want to add a rib rack, but dont want to jump in before i get some advice how to do it right. Ideally i would like to get 2 cases (36 racks) of back ribs in it. That might be pushing it though. So, any advice or direction wouldbe appreciated. Tim
Need some help with this old workhorse
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To put it delicately, the exhaust is unconventional.
You have three small diameter pipes. Two exiting at the top of the CC and one exiting at the bottom of the CC.
Maybe it will flow OK, who knows? Give it a try. If it needs to breathe better you can always slice them off and put in a normal stack.
If you add the rib box, those exhausts will be replaced anyway, no matter which end you put the box on.
As for the rib box, am not sure what you are wanting to do. You can put it at the far end, but it may not get hot enough.
If you put it over the firebox, you will need to convert it to reverse flow.
Either way, you will want to have the exhaust go out the top of the added box with an opening between the CC and the box in order to cook in the box with smoke.
Take a look at other builds with rib boxes to get an idea what you are up against. Be advised that there is a difference between a rib box for added cooking area, and warming boxes that are not intended to get up to cooking temps.
Also take measurements of the cook chamber and fire box and plug them into one of the pit ratio calculators to see where you might have to make adjustments.
I hope this helps.
From that picture, I would assume that the box at the front is the rib cooking box and the warming box is on the back based on where the stacks are located.
Hard to tell from that pic. That cooker has too much going on to draw any lessons from.
To convert to reverse flow, all you have to do is install a solid reverse flow plate, and put the exhaust stack at the firebox end of the cook chamber.
Perhaps a couple of pictures will help clarify things.
If you want both a rib cooking box and a warming box, you should make it a conventional (not RF) offset smoker with tuning plates instead of an RF plate.
The exhaust will be out the top of the rib cooking box:
If you go with RF, you will have a rib cooking box over the fire box and no warming box.
The exhaust will be out of the top of the rib cooking box.
With either option you can put a damper to close off the rib cooking box, but to do that you would need to add an additional exhaust on the existing cook chamber right next to the rib cooking box.
These are not the only options, but if you want the largest rib cooking box, these are the best ways I know of to do that. You can have both a rib cooking box and a warming box on an RF by placing them side by side, or stacking one atop the other. There is no real good option for a warming box at the far end of an RF cooker.
I hope that makes things clearer.