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Will small work? Does size Matter?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Many, many posts of people building smokers from 250 gallon tanks.  That's great,  I would love to be at an event with hundreds of pounds of ribs.  Seriously, that would be the best.


But, if I am home alone for a few days, and while doing nothing all day but watching college football games I would like to cook up a half rake or a few pieces of chicken for the evening games.  Start it up and then during the commercials tend it a bit, then back to beers and football.


How would a small smoker workout.  Would a smoker from a 30 pound tank work, they are 23 inches long and 12 in diameter.  Pair it with a small fire box for charcoal and small wood chunks.  I have a house on a steep lot, in the back the deck is 10 foot off the ground.  Already have a gas grill for steaks etc.  In this location I don't really have the place for a smoker which takes up 100 square feet.   


What's the verdict.  Someone tell me how small I can build.

post #2 of 6
There are smokers here that have been built out of scuba tanks. As long as you run the calculations and size everything right just about anything can work. Look at Ribwizards small builds he has several really nice smokers that are small.
post #3 of 6
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

So, I get the idea.  As long as I can maintain fire no reason a smaller unit would not work just fine.  And charcoal will slow burn a long time.


I got a new grill last year and still have the old one.  It's actually just the right size about 3 sq/t of cooking surface.  The Top which goes up and over from the back to the front handle is sheet steel.  The lid actually seals well.  If I take out the burner guts, there are already supports in place for a steel plate for the smoke to flow under.  The sides and bottom however are aluminum.  On the top the steel presses into a channel in the aluminum sides.  I could cut a hole in the top and weld a steel stack in place but cutting a hole in the bottom on the side which is cast aluminum is a different issue.  I guess I could cut in a hole and then bolt on a large pipe flange screw that on to a pipe and weld that to  a steel fire box then bolt the flange to the aluminum.  So many possibilities.  Nothing like building things out of free junk which will make great food.


Thanks for getting my thinking on track.

Edited by lhedrick - 11/8/15 at 10:39am
post #5 of 6

My 33 gallon compressor tank build seems to be just the right size for a backyard smoker.  I could probably do 5-6 racks of ribs (laying flat) or two briskets, 3-4 butts.  For me, I am almost never cooking for more than 3 so it work sperfectly.

post #6 of 6

Here is a recent mini patio sized smoker that worked out well for the guy who built it.

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