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Moveable divider for an offset smoker

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have an Oklahoma Joe smoker and have done most of the common mods, gaskets, clamps on the smoke chamber door and fire box, charcoal basket, internal elbow on stack, and I even have a pit controller. My dilemma is that most of the time I don't need 30" of grill area to do a pork butt or some ribs for my wife and I and it takes a lot of fuel to heat that big cook chamber. So I had an idea to make a divider that I could move to create a chamber as big as needed for the cook. I did a search but didn't find anything on this topic. I thought I would try it out by making a round disc cut to fit the inside diameter of the smoke chamber with a center hole, from 3/4" plywood and wrapping it with aluminum foil. I have three grill grates so I could move the divider to have 1/3, 2/3, or remove it all together if I need the entire chamber. If it works I'll make one from 3/16" steel plate. Any reason this won't work? Ideas?

Edited by Skooter - 2/29/16 at 6:36pm
post #2 of 9

I think you may want to be able to seal off beneath the divider in the section you are gonna cook in. So the cooking section should be from the flue to the divider left to right. Seal off from the fire box to the divider right to left. You have created a chimney / expandable smoker box area.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I cut the center hole in the divider and cut some duct for the two divider positions tonight. I set the divider to create the one third size chamber. I lit a small batch of charcoal in the firebox and the temp in the cook chamber rose considerably faster than it has in the past and the thermometer on the opposite side was about 75 degrees lower. I plan to wrap the plywood in foil for a test cook later in the week. We'll see how it goes.

Edited by Skooter - 2/29/16 at 6:30pm
post #4 of 9

I see now ....


I like what you have done....


 I would increase the flue pipe diameter then reduce close to chimney just to kill resistance, but I see now.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm really hoping it works, I'll let you know how it works out.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well I smoked two racks of Baby Backs with my divider set to use two thirds of the chamber and it worked great! Actually they were the best ribs I've done yet. Another benefit, I think, is due to the exhaust exiting at the grill height keeps the meat in the smoke better. It definitely used less fuel, and you can easily lay your hand on top of the smoker on the non-cooking side of the divider and leave it there, not so on the cook side.

post #7 of 9

Nice, Skooter!  That's thinking outside the (smoker) box!  A very creative idea that's so simple, it makes me wonder why someone hadn't already thought of it!  Maybe you should patent that idea!  I could see lots of backyard cooks w/ offset pits liking this idea a lot.  Heck, you maybe could take the same concept and figure out a way to apply it to vertical smokers as well, making practically any kind of smoker adjustable as needed.  Seems like it would make any cooker more efficient and easier to control...for both temp control and smoke production.  Would be attractive because of the amount of fuel that could conceivably be saved.  


Points for creativity!  



post #8 of 9

Hey Scooter.  I think you came up with a really good idea.  And the fact that it actually works just makes it even better.  Nice job.





post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm looking forward to trying it in the one third position with Pork butt next weekend.
Edited by Skooter - 3/7/16 at 9:03am
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