New Bell Fab Custom Offset - tons of pics!!

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by bman62526, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    I've done two cooks on her now! I am very, very pleased. I'll try not to get too long winded here, as this is more about letting you see her than it is me describing her. I guess you can judge the value and performance, once I start posting some que view again!

    First off, her name is "The Mistress". My wife actually came up with that. I had another name in mind, but hell - how could I argue with my wife on THAT name?!? God love a spouse with tolerance and a good sense of humor.

    This is a Bell Fabrications custom offset, or Bell Fab; Craig Bell of Tulsa, ok is the owner/builder. She is 1/4" steel plate with super-heavy-duty expanded metal grates/ She's a 24" pipe, 36" long plus SFB. The SFB is a 20" pipe - and that is 5/16" thick steel plate. She weighs in at 550 lbs...

    The first pic is for perspective...that there is the biggest cooler I own. (40 quart Coleman)

    A little closer up...quick story: someone told me if I sprayed the outside of the SFB only, I wouldn't lose the paint. After a 7 hour burn for the seasoning...holding 400° for about an hour of that time...I'd say it works! Course, it makes it look kinda crappy - but I'm going to clean her tomorrow night

    One more from here:

    Closer look at cooking chamber:

    SFB w/ nice warming plate. Notice the intake looks a little small for a rig this's not, trust me - more on that later.

    Inside the fire box: CHECK OUT the fuel grate. Super thick metal grid, about 2" thick bars that make it up. Burning wood only, that will out live me...


    Good look at the two grates. Top grate is 12" x 36", bottom grate is 24 x 36"

    More to come, next post!
  2. ajky

    ajky StickBurners

    Nice looking smoker.
  3. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good show thanks now lets see what comes out of that nice rig.[​IMG]
  4. Looks like a good smoker for the money.
  5. enterprise

    enterprise Fire Starter

    Nice looking smoker, newbie question for you but what is the foil tray on the inside?
  6. jamesb

    jamesb Smoking Fanatic

    Nice pit! Congrats...
  7. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Oh that's just the water pan...I fill it with water to keep moisture inside the pit. There are definitely arguments on both sides of this. Some folks say that it does nothing for the meat, some think it helps create moist meat, better than without the pan. Others will argue that all it does is helps to maintain temps better because the water absorbs the heat and helps stabalize/recover temps better after you have to open up the cooking chamber...

    Personally, my mind isn't made up yet. I do know that if I put that water pan on the grate over by the firebox side, two cups of water will have evaporated in about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. That would lead me to believe that it helps. I mean, that moisture is going somewhere, right? Then again, I would bet that the difference is small. I mainly was just experimenting, but I think I've got the techniques down well enough now that it doesn't matter if the water pan is there or not. For instance, I used to always foil my ribs, using the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 methods. Now I can get very tender ribs without foiling, so I don't do it any more.
  8. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Do find that the items on the grate closest to the SFB burn faster than those farther away from where the smoke comes in?

    I have a vertical smoker with 6 shelves.  The halves of the bottom 3 grates closest to the FB always burn faster then any other part of any of the 6 shelves.
  9. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Awesome smoker, Bman. I've had mine about a year and a half and I love it. I wish that Craig could get some more exposure so more folks would use his product. It is absolutely first class. Do you have a convection plate in the CC? Mine likes to run about 250-275* and I have adjusted all of my recipes to this heat and they come out great. It also holds heat extremely well and doesn't take forever to come up to heat.

    All in all, the Bell is a great smoker. Keep me in the loop with your experience with it. Thanks and good smokin', Joe. :grilling_smilie:
  10. david86

    david86 Newbie

    I am very interested in one of these. Let me know how she cooks!
  11. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    As I said above, I've had mine for about a year and a half. It is very well built and the fabrication is first class. The CC is 1/4" and the FB is 5/16". My CC is 24"x48". It has 2 cooking grates in the CC and a grate in the FB for searing, steaks and burgers. As far as cooking is concerned, It likes to run between 250 and 275*. I can cool it down with the air intake if I want a slower cook or I can push it a little bit for a crispy chicken skin. I have a smaller air intake at the end of the FB that helps to push the heat and smoke into the CC. I also had Craig make me a Horizon type convection plate to help with better heat distribution across the grates. Instead of leaving the convection plate loose, he welded it in place. I will probably grind these welds loose, so I can take the convection plate out for better cleaning. That was a miscommunication on my part.

    The smoker heats very good, holds heat great and recovers very quick. I use oak to cook with and flavor chunks for smoke. With the oak and the way that I burn it, I have never had anything but TBS. I am a real believer in pre-heating my splits. There is a warming plate on top of the FB and I can put 4-6 splits up there to pre-heat. By pre-heating, the new split will ignite almost immediately. It doesn't smolder at all. This avoids any drastic temp drop and keeps harsh smoke from billowing through the meat.

    Contact Craig Bell at: [email protected]. He is a great guy to work with will give you everything you want at a really reasonable price.
    Good luck with your smoker, Joe
  12. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I love this smoker.  It looks like a great investment.  This thing should last you forever.  I also love the 2 grate plates in the CC.  I am looking ofr a lot of surface space.  I mostly will cook beef jerky.  the jerky takes up a lot of space.  It sounds like Craig will customize it anyway possible so I could possibly get a third (removable shelf, right?  On the flip side, could you get a small whole pig on the bottom shelf?  

    Did you have  it shipped to you or are you close enough to the fabricator to pick it up?  If you had to ship it, could you tell me from where to where and how much shipping cost?


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