Well.... I have been smoking meat for a couple years using a no name small wood fired smoker. I had trouble locking in the temperature where I wanted it. Generally it was too hot. I looked in to getting a gas fired unit but could not find one that would do all that I wanted for what I wanted to spend. From there I thought that I would build and design one on my own. Everything went as expected with the exception of the burner. I got a little advise from the veterans on here and bought another burner and all is good now.... you would think
When ever I used to cook on the BBQ I always made sure I made more then we could eat so there were leftovers for my lunch or at least a snack later. Since this build I cannot keep meat in the house. In the last two weeks I have smoked a pork loin for pulled pork.... gone, smoked a pork but for pulled pork... gone, done 10 lbs of back ribs twice..... gone, loads of chicken drum sticks and ABT's all gone. Where does this all stop?
The ribs I have made in this machine have been hands down the best I have ever tasted, pulled pork to die for and the ABT's from yesterday... well I made 50 and could not even get a picture of them they were gone so fast. I have had so many compliments on the smoked meat since making this monster I cannot believe it. I am just wondering how much I have to cook so I can have a little lunch for work these days?
Here are a few pictures of my build from start to finish. It is made from 1 x 1 .100 wall tubing and 16 gauge hot rolled plate. All the walls are totally seal welded so nothing can get in to the insulated area Should not blow away, fall apart or get worn out anytime soon. The finished product weighs about 250 lbs
smoker with initial burner installed. As you see it here, the box is 48" x 23 x 24. The actual usable area is 41" x 23 x 21. This gives me 11.46 cu ft inside
another view with first burner installed. Unfortunately this was a mistake. The venturi needs to be outside the box for proper air mixture. I bought a 2 piece burner and used a 12 inch 3/4" npt nipple to join them. It works great. I can get temps to 150 F very easy and I have had it at 350 F with more to go on that end I am sure
slide in shelves installed. I have provisions for 7 racks for future use
installing the insulation. 1" industrial insulation
more insulation with the chimney installed
all insulated and door now operational. I had set the water pan inside. I bought a sst serving tray for this purpose as it fits very nice. I also bought 2 more half this size but 3 times as deep. When I want to wrap the meat I use these and cover them with tin foil. The wrap around lip seals great and it saves on tin foil big time. They are easy to clean and make a nice serving dish after as well
Wheels on and door latches installed. regulator and sst braided gas line can be seen on the back right
All painted up, push handle installed, water tray inside and 4 shelves I made from 316 sst bar. Maverick ET-7 thermometer also installed in top right. Door seal also in place
closer view of inside with original chip pan in bottom with adjustable height and before 2 piece removable floor was installed
yesterdays back ribs going in... new burner installed in bottom as well as floor. You can also see the ignighter on the right side of the burner. Great option to have and it worked fine. The top rack of ribs is loaded with minced garlic. Both racks have my secret dry rub I put on the night before
my new proto-type chip box. I made one quick to try. It is a steel box with hinged lid and no holes. There is no seals involved and basically the smoke just leaks out all over it. The chips only smoke and do not burn due to the lack of oxygen. I loaded it with mesquite and hickory this time. This little box full will last about almost 2 hours with great smoke if the wood is soaked for a few hours first
The ribs coming out of the smoke to be wrapped. This is after 3 hours total. I also hit them with apple juice every 45 minutes
Here are the ribs, sauced up and just out of the foil... ready to cook at a low heat for a little on the BBQ
Here are the 24 chicken legs going in just after the ribs came out. The legs on the right have a little of my special seasoning loaded on
Here is the dirty bird after the smoke
Just keeping warm in the smoker waiting for the corn to be done, readying the salads and beating the crowd back that wants a taste
All in all it has been a fun project and I have already gotten more use out of this smoker in the last few weeks than I ever thought I would. I am looking forward to trying a few other meats in time... I have two very nice prime rib roasts I want to pop in there soon !
The only thing I am disappointed on so far on this build is the thermometer in picture number 8. It is supposed to work as a base unit and a remote unit for up to 100 feet apart. So far it keeps losing the signal in time only 20 feet apart and I end up going back to the smoker to check the temperature which is not what I bought a wireless unit for. If anyone has good experience with a similar type unit please let me know because I think this one is going back. The manufacturer has already replaced it once ( they were outstanding about this I might add ) but I still do not have what I paid for in the end .... a dependable wireless thermometer. Oh and yes, I did replace the batteries !
Anyway, that's my story... no left overs.... worst idea ever