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500 gallon tank build

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am new here, been lurking for a while though. I am building a smoker from a 500 gallon propane tank and have a question. I am putting the firebox on one end of it and my dad thinks I should run a pipe thru the tank to distribute the heat. I say that it wont be indirect cooking that way and to let the heat flow thru the tank out the stack naturally. What do the pros say?
post #2 of 6
If I understand you correctly, running a pipe to the end would keep you from getting smoke to the cooking grate. Our smaller cooker is made out of a similar-sized tank. It's hotter on the fire box end, but still has pretty even cooking temps over most of the grate.

Making a reverse flow, downdraft type, or just using baffles or tuning plates should take care of any issues you would have. Search the forum for reverse flow smokers. There are plenty of threads on theory and design.

Here's a link to a guy that manufactures downdraft style smokers:

He also makes some smaller patio units.

Here are some pics:
Firebox outlet

Smokestack inlet

The inlet is extended below the grate several inches.

Consider creating a "double wall" between your firebox and the cooking grate to keep that end from being "hotter" a small air gap would help. When I build my next one, I'm considering making a water tank between the fire box and the cooking grate. It would prevent a hot spot and also help keep some moisture in the cooking chamber.

Post some pics as the build moves along.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I will try to post some pics later. The pipe he is talking about is capped on the end but has progressivley bigger holes from the fire end. This is how the one they have at work is but it is more of a hamburger cooker than a smoker. It looks like your stack goes almost to the bottom of the tank. What is the reason for this? The wall will be two 1/4 inch plates.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
The begining

on the trailer

door is cut

Here it is so far

I am workijg on the fire box now, hope to stick it on soon.
post #5 of 6

You sure that s a 500gallon? looks like 250 or so to me...

post #6 of 6

As you look way more handy at metal work than I am, I would suggest reverse flow. If you can land some 1/4" plate and some angle, I don't think it would be difficult for you to build it into your design. You will be happy with the results. I'll try and find some other threads with pix of guys that have done it and post some links or you can search. Temps are better and the smoke flow is awesome. PS I had to buy mine! I suck at welding!

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