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new smokehouse build

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!
Ive built a 48x48x72 tall cedar smokehouse (will get some pictures when I get home)
And I'm wondering about the intake size of my fire box and the exhaust size of the smokehouse.
Here's what I'm doing for a firebox
I'm building a 24in tall 24in diameter stainless firebox which will have a 2in jacket all the way around it.
I'm gonna run a 6in stainless pipe from the firebox to the smokehouse and instead of stopping the pipe right at the wall I'm gonna run it to the other side and cap it off. The reason I'm thinking of doing this is I will drill 1in holes on opposite sides of the pipe probably 6 on each side for the hope that it will heat more evenly. Kinda work like a propane grill burner.
The smokehouse is on a concrete slab and I have three courses of block that the smokehouse will sit on.
I have no chimney yet but I'm not sure I need one with all the gaps in the cedar I have. Nothing huge but could be some up to 1/8in
My biggest question is how much airflow I need on the intake of the firebox?
I'm gonna take stainless bar grating and raise it 6in off the floor in the firebox so I can get plenty of air under the fire.
I will be putting in I'm guessing 4 two inch ports with dampers on the sides under what will hold my wood but I'm not sure.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by Joshua Brede - 12/18/15 at 2:07pm
post #2 of 58
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post #3 of 58
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post #4 of 58
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Originally Posted by Joshua Brede View Post

thought I should add some pics of my fire box
post #5 of 58
Joshua, morning..... Fine looking smokehouse.... I'd use the house as-is... no exhaust ports.... the gaps in the siding should provide perfect exhaust and even temps and smoke throughout....
Are you planning using charcoal and splits for heat and smoke ?? sounds good to me... Even a chunk or two, periodically for flavor wood is good... I like the idea of block foundation... you can raise the house, if need be, just by adding another course or three...
post #6 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thank you.
I'm putting the final touches on the firebox today and hopefully have it done and assembled on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. I'm really glad you answered because I was thinking of cutting a bunch of cedar strips down so I can seal the house up better and add a chimney. I will be using charcoal and wood for heat and smoke. In the past for other smokers I've built I've actually just used ash for the heat and thrown Apple,hickory, or mesquite on for smoke. Ash burns pretty clean and isn't overpowering at all. I will just do some testing on how this thing reacts and figure it out from there. Absolute worse case scenario I can throw a turkey fryer in there if I can't get it working right. But I will die trying first. Haha. And the block yes very easy to add another course if I need to. How long do you think I should run it before doing sausage in it? Got about 500lbs to do between Christmas and New Years so I need to get this thing working right quick. Thanks again for the input.
post #7 of 58
Ash wood may be the best choice as some briquettes emit a flavor that doesn't compliment the meats... especially stuff that has a delicate flavor... IF you are looking for the true flavor of what you are cooking...

After the boards shrink you "might" have to batten a few joints but, from the looks of the smoker, it "should" be just perfect...

It might take quite a long burn to dry out the blocks.... and a lot of smoke to seal up the new wood... I've watched a few BBQ shows from the South and the Pitmasters say, the pits keep improving over time... they can taste the difference in the meat on a new pit vs. a 5 yr old pit...

Of course you will have to smoke some grub before the entire inside of the smoker turns black.. when it gets there, you are home free... Just don't burn it down...
I had a block smoker... 4x4x10.... burned up 300 pounds of salmon... ever since that fiasco, I have NEVER put brown sugar, as a glaze on fish.... You would be surprised how fast brown sugar, butter and fish oil burns... and how hot it gets.... The block smoker survived....
post #8 of 58
Thread Starter 
Wow that's unfortunate about the fish. Glad the smoker survived. I'm gonna start it out pretty low until I get the hang of controlling the temp.
Good to know also because I was thinking of throwing a few butts in there after Ive had it going for 6 hours just to play with it a bit. And I almost always use brown sugar in my rubs.
post #9 of 58
That's a dyn-oh-MITE smoker, Joshua! That fire box is really heavy duty.

You mentioned using 4" dampers to control the fire. I wonder if you need them based on things I've read about controlling air intake in the UDS. I think most just use 1" ball valves. A couple or 3 of those might give you enough air flow and great control, I would think. Also, you mentioned 1" holes in your smoke inlet pipe. I assume that means that your firebox will reside outside the smokehouse. Are you sure that the 1" holes are not too large? I don't know how long you plan to make the smoke pipe, but I envision a pipe entering the side or back and extending toward the opposite side somewhere near the floor and about midway the dimension split. I would be concerned about not having enough draft force to push smoke all the way to the end with 1" sized holes in the pipe. You can always ream them out, but making them too large at the start might be an issue.

Just my 2¢ and probably not worth it!

Please . . . the qview coming as your project progresses. I especially want to see that quarter ton of sausage all cured. sausage.gif
post #10 of 58
Thread Starter 
I will defenitely do that. And what I ended up doing for the air control is making four 2in ports out the sides of the firebox on the bottom and made my own dampers for them which seal up almost solid. And you are right the firebox will be 4ft away from the house and entering near the bottom. What I decided to do for holes on it is I drilled 8 holes on each side but started with 1/2in holes and will play with it from there. 18 of those holes actually only has the area of one 2in circle. Kinda hard to believe but that's the calculation for it. It's gonna be fun getting it together and working out the bugs. Hopefully I don't have to many because I've done a lot of research trying to get it close. I'm hoping Wednesday or Thursday having it together and will post some more pictures of it then.
post #11 of 58
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post #12 of 58
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intake dampers
post #13 of 58
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post #14 of 58
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Originally Posted by Joshua Brede View Post

post #15 of 58
Thread Starter 
That's my wood holder.
Went 4 inches from the bottom so I should have plenty of airflow under the wood if needed.
I figured some more pictures would be nice.
post #16 of 58
Really nice smoke house man! I'd hinge that lid so you don't have to lift it and put a firebox rope sealer around it.
post #17 of 58
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking I might do a swing away lid but that will probably come later because I need to get this thing smoking first. It's got a lot of work ahead of it
post #18 of 58
Thumbs UpThumbs Up
post #19 of 58
Thread Starter 
finally got this bad boy cleaned up
post #20 of 58
Thread Starter 
firebox exhaust
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