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Just Joined and Building a 500 gal 10ft 3ft smoker need help!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am new to the foum and i got my hands on a 500 gal propane tank all ready mounted on a trailer.  I am need your advise what to do and not to do.  I have been told to fill it up with soapy water before cutting into it so it pushes the rest of the propane out.

So 1. What do i do before i start to cut into it?


      2.  Pros / cons reverse flow?


      3. Pros / cons direct flow ?


       4. what do yall recommended for that size tank i mainly going to be doing ribs chicken Boston butts and occasional hog.


      5.  what size fire box and size stacks and how many stacks 1,2 or 3.


thanks again for all ur help looking forward to learning lots!!

post #2 of 7

Propane worries me almost as much as ammonium nitrate tanks. My buddy has one of those and I think we may purge it with argon before we take to cutting it. Not sure quite yet. I'm still looking for the shop with a giant ass water jet and employees that love BBQ. I doubt that will happen tho.


10 feet long, any thought of 2 chambers and 2 fireboxes?



BTW welcome to the site, try to hit the roll call section and fill us in on where ya are from and all, there may be someone close by to help ya out.

post #3 of 7

I cant answer all your questions but I can address the tank.


Pilling it with water and detergent does exactly what you sugested, pushes the excess propane out of the tank.


I have  a500 gallon tank that I pulled all the plugs out of. Flipped it upside down for about 2 months. You cant even smell propane in it and I will still do the water soap thing.


You could use argon as previously sugested, or more cost worthy co2 from the exaust of whatever internal combustion engine you choose. The issue I have with this is it is my understanding that the inert gas is not heavier than the propane and therfore only replaces the oxygen and stops combustion due to lack of o2. I do not know that to be accurate but if it is then the propane is still there,,,,, so what happens if a sudden influx of o2 occurs? Boom? No chance of that with water, if it is full the propane is pushed out.


I like reverse flow because I do, I cant argue the pros vs cons but I like reverse flow.


As far as fire box, here is a good link http://webpages.charter.net/tomchism/BBQ%20CALC%20Forms/BBQ%20Smoker%20Calculators.htm 


I didnt make that site but I appriciate whoever did. handy.

Good luck keep us posted.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tom and Rio for your help the guy I got the tank from had the valves off for about 7-8 months but sitting on a trailer and I did the water thing I am going to do one more time to make sure before I am missing some fingers. Tom if you could explain more on your idea of the two chambers i would like to hear about it! My plan is to do a single large firebox with one large single door and two rows top and bottom of racks for meat the bottom one being a single sold tray for hogs to pull right off and place whole and have people pick on the hog. Also I would like to do is a warming bow above the firebox possibly. Now I have had the thought of the double fire box like you mentioned tom would like to hear pros cons on that.?.? Now if I did do a big fire box with reverse flow how would that turn out with large flow large flu drawing the heat across. Thanks again for your responses
post #5 of 7

Welcome to the SMF. glad to know that you're getting some replies to your questions. I moved your thread to roll call, this will give everyone a chance to welcome you. It's all good my friend.

post #6 of 7

I can't say that I have ever cooked on a two chamber rig but it sounds like a efficient idea. I used to cook our comps on a single rig. Now we cook on 3 smokers at different times. I'm sure there would be some convection heat transfer but I wouldn't think it to be that bad. Cutting the space in half may infringe on the hog space? Also its gonna make you have twice as many parts, doors, hinges, handles, shelves, ect.


For the reverse flow to work well you want to get close to or slightly larger then the calculator shows for your given sizes. High volume draft can be dampened but it takes some learning and I for one am not there yet.

post #7 of 7

Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

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