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Just an concept, need thoughts...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have been doing a lot of reading on here on all different kinds of smokers and how each one works. The light bulb keep lighting up as I am planning the build of trailer rig. While reading in the propane smoker section I came across a topic about the real function of the water pan. Several folks mentioned it was really for dissipating the heat. Some also mentioned using sand in there so you don't have to keep refilling with water. So I got to thinking about my 275 gallon tank and how I could put something in there to help maintain go heat and dissipate it evenly. I was looking at reverse flow, but that seemed to be the easy approach, and I like to experiment when building. I work in engineering, so I tend to get all kinds of out of the box ideas. So to be different, I am starting to think about the sand idea. Bunch of ideas came to mind, but this one is what I ended up with.

Basically I will build two or three pans about 3" deep. Each pan will have a piece of 3/4" to 1" pipe spread out about every 5-7 sq inches that are as tall as the pan. I would spread out a layer of sand in each pan and whatever depth seems to work best (between 1" and 2.5"). Then with another thin sheet of steel or whatever with the same hole pattern as the pipes, would fit in each pan covering the sand from all the drippings and also hold in the sand during travel. Does this make sense?????

Has this been tried before and would it work any different then just having a 1/4" plate down there?
post #2 of 7
Looks to me like what you are talking about is perforated tuning plates where the end closest to the fire box have smaller/fewer holes and as they plates get to the cooler end the plates have larger/more holes.

I can see where in you plan the sand would act as a heat sink and would help your smoker in returning to proper temp quicker.

But I could be wrong~icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
In the smaller holes close to fire you are referring to my sketch, I didn't intend it that way. But, that makes sense. I created that sketch in paint brush quickly, so scale was thrown out at the start.
post #4 of 7
Instead of using sand, what about firebrick?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
ya, thats a good thought. Then I wouldn't need to worry about covering it as much and would be easier on clean up. Probably wouldn't need the tubes in the plate as well. I could just make some expanded metal baskets and line them loosely with the brick. That would save a ton of work and welding.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Has anyone just put down some expanded metal on the bottom and layered it with lava rock. I figured the smoke would travel thru that pretty good and still maintain good heat recovery.
post #7 of 7
i could be wrong about this but, if you want a heat sink wouldn't steel or something conductive work better? i have seen a couple of threads on here about using sand but i would think that would function more as an insulator than a heat sink. it would seem to be more like a ceramic plate in a radiant charbroiler to me.
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