Hey everyone, I thought I would share what I am doing here. Since in my neck of the woods we do things a bit different, this is sort of a hybrid design between a grill and a smoker. Santa Maria style tri tip is often referred to as the 4th type of BBQ, though growing it up, it was the only thing I really knew.
Since Santa Maria style tri-tip is cooked using direct and then indirect heat, I opted to do a custom build using a 500 liter propane tank. I figured for the capacity of the restaurant we are setting up, 10 square feet of cooking area ought to be enough as I should be able to cook ahead on tri-tip and hold it like you do brisket or any other bbq item--it certainly is not cook-to-order food.
To get things started we went to pick up the tank and discovered it was still full of propane. That in mind, we headed to pick up a different tank of the same size, since my father in law happened to have several laying around. We got this tank, opened up the valves, then unscrewed anything we could, filled it with water and emptied it. As is standard practice, we ran truck exhaust into the tank for 30 minutes or so so that we could cut into it with a little less fear of ignition.
A family friend with welding experience is handling the cuts and the welding, I am basically just the designer and gopher on the job. He cut in and it didnt pop.
Next step was getting doors and drawers cut out. The drawers are where we will place the wood/charcoal. I have been happy to find Red Oak here (called Encino in Spanish) and that is the wood traditionally used in Santa Maria, though I may play with Pecan and mesquite since they are readily available down here.
Based on what I read here, we decided to put hinges on before finishing the cuts so that things would line up nicely later. I am glad we did that.
Once the doors and drawers were cut, a hole for exhaust was added and a frame was built out of rectangular structural tubing (2x3 and 1/4" thick I believe). I want this thing to last.
As you can see in the picture above, we put hard shop wheels on this thing that are supposed to be able to take 100kg each. We also added the exhaust pipe and door handles made from 1/4" plate and a drilled out shovel handle.
I will have to go take some pictures of the grills and the shelving we have added, and will add more as we finish up the air intakes.