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Found a burner for smokehouse - Page 2

post #21 of 84
Thread Starter 
I've looked in several places for aluminum flashing and all I can find is galvanized. I'm setting the burner on 4 1' square pavers, then standing up 4 more ringing it for fire prevention instead. There's still enough space between them for air to get thru also.
post #22 of 84
Thread Starter 

Day 4

Went to north Fort Worth this morning and wife and I picked up a 24' Enterprise moving truck and brought it back to Camp Bowie to help my oldest son move his business from there to a new office complex in downtown Fort Worth! Just gorgeous office space and all new in an old building; he did things like chip out big sections of the plastered wall to expose the original brick in random patterns, has two oak front doors and at one time the building was a meat market, still had a cooler door in it! He is CEO of his own IT company in several states, but loves to help me make sausages and smoke turkeys!
Tried the caulking to seal the doors with and it didn't work, so temporarily I got spring bronze weatherstripping to do the job; I won't know until tomorrow if it does the job once I fire it up, if not I'll have to order gasket material. Needless to stay I won't fire it up until tomorrow. Here's some pics - sealed the roof on, a full lengh shot and a pic of the dowel rods;

One concern I've just had is using wooden dowels to balance drip pans of of that close to the burner and pan; should I put foil over them or possibly use metal pipes instead?

full length view:

Got the stockinette and ham hooks today, so I should be set to go for ignition tomorrow.. (well, not to ignite the whole thing, just some wood chu.. you know what I mean, lol!)
post #23 of 84
Looks like your doing a great job!!! I think I'd try to go with metal rods or maybe even some metal square tubing to set the tray on if its gonna be close and over the burner. Maybe try to find a welding shop or something and have them cut some pieces of 3/4 or 1" square tubing to length for you. I'll be looking forward to seeing the smokehouse in action
post #24 of 84
Thread Starter 

Day 5 - Final Judjement Day! (lol!)

Well, it's do or die today, last day of vacation and I'm itching to get some smoking done!
I took your advice Pineywoods and went to Home Depot and got ½" square tubing, 3 of them, 36" long. Had to cut 1 inch off to make them fit, but they look like they're the ticket!
Installed the hose, put a cover over the install hole, put down the cinder blocks and stood three up (if fire gets out to the corners I've got a serious problem going on! This keeps heat away from the 3 sides, then the front has the vent which is pulling air in, keeping that cool), hooked up the burner, attached the hose to the tank and.. and.. couldn't get the dang tank handle to turn, even tried a pair of pliers (and yes, I was turning it the right way, too, lol!). So.. off to Walmart to exchange it... grrrrr! Wanna do fire!
Got the new tank, re-tefloned the threads, screwed it on and tightened, turned on the gas and BOOM! I got flame! Nice blue flame! The way this burner works is that it has 3 burners. 1st is the center ring, 2nd is the left half of the outer ring, 3rd is the right half of the outer ring!
Tossed some chunks in the pan and prepared my turkey and chicken into the stockinette and set in the drip pans and off we go, into smoke land! Got it up to 222°, been adjusting and adding wood (had too much to start, caught on fire and flamed up, but no problem with metal rods! Let it calm down too much to about 88°, now rising back up with all three burners going again - it will take me a bit to get accustomed to all the settings and how to fine tune it! Some pics:

I'll post pics of internal temps once it cooks a couple hours and when it's done!
post #25 of 84
Thread Starter 
About 2 hrs into the first smoke and temps are (at bird level) about 255° with all three burners going. I turned down the left side burner about half way and it dropped to 240°. Internals on both birds are at 107° after about 2 hours. Color is a little light, but I've not been real fast to add more wood, regulating the smoke to a thin blue consistency. Bottom front vent is open ¼ way and upper back vent is open ½ way, draft seems to be consistent. Another hour to an hour and a half and we should be at 165° or so hopefully!
Burner is 35,000 btu and for the spacious size of the smoker (3' x 3' x 6') it's doing just fine!
The spring bronze weatherstripping is doing a sufficient job; there's a few puffs of smoke emanating from the front upper door but not enough to hinder the smoking operation.
post #26 of 84
Thanks Pops, enjoyed every bit of the tutorial. Anyone else think this deserves to be a sticky??
post #27 of 84
Thread Starter 
Which came first, the chicken or the turkey? The chicken, it's smaller! Chicken is done! Here it is out of the smoker, still in the net:

Then, stockinette removed:

side view:

Cut Up (and nibbled on.. OMG it was juicy!) Classic pink from the curing!

I'll add pics of the turkey, presently at 155°, when done.
post #28 of 84
Looks like its working great a good build and some good food PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #29 of 84
Thread Starter 
Turkey got finished last night about 11, cut it up and put away (after nibbling a bit, lol!) but had to get to bed... work in the morning! But, I will declare that this vacation has been a success!
The turkey was done in similar fashion to the chicken; juicy and well-colored; the dog was satiated with two backbones and wingtips from the two birds! The stockinette did it's job well in providing conformity to the finished product and holding the wings in tight to the body so they didn't get fried up (in the vertical they got almost petrified a/c an inch from the wall of the smoker, even when tying them). The skin was a golden brown color, no where's near as dark as before, and was no where's near as rubbery either. The internal temps on both, even though a big difference in size, ran almost indentically up to about the last hour of the smoke, the chicken edging out the turkey because of it's smaller mass only then. Here's a pictorial comparision:

Last night's turkey:

Previous turkey done on vertical:

Both were done to the same internal temp. but the smoke house bird had much more even and palatable color; compare it to:

from my dad's smokehouses, which were full - sized versions of mine. This result was definitely a more 'professional' appearing product!

Here it is in the stockinette and cut up:

Stockinette bags are well worth the small investment; I got a package of 100 plus 12 ham hooks from Butcher Packer for about $37. You put the product in the bag and hold it up so it stretches tight around it, then cut it off about 4" from the product. You can tie it two ways: either horizontally (pull the stockinette from each side to tie) or vertically (from the top to bottom). How you tie it depends on how it will hang in the smoker. Horizontally it will hang width-wise, the broad side facing you; vertically it will hang edge-wise, the side (or in this case, wing side) facing you, as shown by the turkey (width) and the chicken (edge):

We had to tie all the hams vertically so you could fit more hams into the smokehouse; 6 per stick, 2 rows of 3 sticks, total of 36 hams smoking at one time. Once you pull the stockinette you tie in a square knot then put a ham hook on. All our hams were pumped and put down into brine in 36 ham batches, two 55 gal barrels of 18 apiece, then pulled into a large rolling vat and sacked and tied, then hung in the smokehouse, smoked for 10 hours at 165°, held overnight at 135° then cooked 8 hours the next day at 155° until the internal temp reached a minimum of 145° in each ham, each one being thermed separately. You could pull a few hams after the smoke for 'uncooked' ham designation if 130° was achieved and sold as such clearly marked; some people liked to bake their hams themselves vs. buying the fully cooked version. Today I doubt if you could find any uncooked hams anywhere.

This will be my last post on the build as it is now a working smokehouse and the build and testing is done.
For my situation, this works as expected as I live in Texas. I had the burner pretty much full boar at a few points to see what my temp would get, highest I got it was about 275°, more than adequate for 50° external temp. Now, if you live in Minnesota you would need to modify your build for a much colder climate for winter smoking; smaller inside dimensions to reduce the amount of space necessary to heat, plus probably a bigger burner, insulated, more fire protection, etc. I designed this with my climate in mind (and in the summer won't need more than probably the center ring to bring up to temp when it's 110° outside!.. or maybe a bic lighter.. lol!). I do have a needle valve ordered that should be here any day and it would eliminate reaching in adjusting the cocks on the stove; you just open what you want and increase or decrease temps with the needle valve. I'd hoped it would have arrived for the maiden smoke, but kind of glad it didn't, showed what fiddling I'd have to do without it.
I ran the drip pans dry but no reason why you couldn't add some water or sand to them; will have to experiment in future smokes. I probably could have used just two, didn't want to chance getting grease into the frypan off the bat, start a grease fire and burn up the smoker! The bars as far as I can see held up well too.
Thank you all for looking in on my build and putting up with my meanderings; I'm clearly trying to duplicate my dad's methodologies as it was commercially successful for 40 years even on a small home-town grocer scale. But, as people moved away and would order hams and bacons, have friends over for dinner, we'd built up a mail-order business rivaling the in-store business that reached anywhere in the US. It could have grown easily but unfortunately the impetus to grow died with him; he never let us boys assume any control over growth. But, with all your help I'm now able to bring back that wonderful product to share with my family and hopefully for generations to come. Next stop.... full-fledged Fassett's Ham for Easter! And, of course, I'll take you painstakingly step by step on that journey also! lol! Thanks again for putting up with me! And thank you Pineywoods and everyone else for your compliments, so very much appreciated!
post #30 of 84
Great lookin turkeys pops!
post #31 of 84
Great thread enjoyed every bit of it.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #32 of 84
Wow Pops, Great build you did there, top notch work. And the birds look delicious.
post #33 of 84
Great job good way to spend a vacation. Keep us posted on how it going. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #34 of 84
Yep Thats the way to do it! I did 4 turkeys and 1 ham for Christmas in mine. Talk about nerves? Good way to do um by hanging them. Since ur curing them, you might want to consider a slower longer smoke. You really get the penetration that way. I usally do mine for about 12 hours, bringing the internal temp ever so slowly. By the way I have the exact same burner that you have. I leave my valves open, and adjust the regulator. Two of my valves froze open (with heat) , and can't close them. Better froze open than closed.
post #35 of 84
Even with the pavers, some aluminum flashing would be a good idea.
Comes in rolls, usually up to 18" width and they have it in pretty much every hardware store I've seen.

As far as sealing the door and other spots, pure silicone sealant is good up to 350 or 400 degrees.
The plywood will be toast long before it gets that hot (especially the outside of the plywood where you're using it)
post #36 of 84
Right On !!!!!!!!
post #37 of 84
Thread Starter 
That's what I was wondering about; while it was going the valves seemed to get stickier trying to turn them... I received and installed the needle valve and I can get good control with that now, so I'll leave those wide open from now on. I'm getting a little bigger and yellower flame from the left side than the right side, any adjustment to cure that?
post #38 of 84
Thread Starter 
I just found an Ace Hardware on Trail Lake and I'll check them out for the flashing and I'll see what I can do with the sealant too! Thanks for the tips!
post #39 of 84
You could line inside the lower part of your smoker walls with concrete backer board.

Oh, BTW... Nice build and nice cook. You and all the others before you have really inspired me to build my own smokehouse.
post #40 of 84
Yea with your instruction manual it tells you how to adjust the flame for each valve. there is a 3/8 to 7/16 inch bolt under each valve. By turning this in and out can somewhat adjust the air to gas mix (somewhat). It is a real rough setting, and you probally need to do this when the burner is warm, as the air/gas mix changes when burner gets up to temp.
Also when you first start the burner, keep your gas setting low, or you will get alot of yellow. Slowly raise your gas flow and all should be ok.
Try adjusting your air flow and it takes a little time to get the feel of it.
Hope this helps
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