Backwoods clone

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Original poster
Oct 19, 2014
[UPDATE] This started out as a thread asking for a size check on a planned backwoods clone. Since my original thread was long and boring and didn't really start any meaningful discussion, I'm removing that body of text and replacing it with this update.

I ended up abandoning the original plan, and after a while went back and started a small build (around a G2 Chubby) which is currently still in progress (see pictures a few posts below).

I did two modifications to the backwoods design which I hope will work out well: a) I'll be using a full size hotel pan for water, and I open space in the front where the water pan can slide in and out. This way I can check on water or add more water by only having to open the firebox door and not have too much heat/smoke leave the cooking chamber, and b) Instead of a separate heat deflector that slides below the water pan, the bottom of the cooking chamber itself will act as heat deflector. I'll make sure the water pan sits a little bit elevated from the bottom of the cooking chamber by placing it on a couple of steel tubes an inch max in height.[/UPDATE]
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Related question, would it be bad or good to use stainless steel for the inner wall of the smoker and the fixed water pan? Does one season stainless steel the same way as black regular steel?
Oh well, I think this is not going to happen any time soon after all as I've been quoted way above my budget to have a local shop do it, and I have nowhere near the knowhow or skills required to put something like this together. Therefore, this project is on hold for the time being, and I'm gonna be looking for probably buying a ready propane smoker to begin with.

Apologies if the above has been a waste of space/time on this forum :[
We built one similar several years ago, lot of work, but really turned out nice and works great'

Ok I ended up not abandoning this project after all :D I did downsize however.

I also ended up modifying the design a bit (hope it works) so that the bottom door covers both the firebox and water pan. I figured this way I can check on water without opening the cooking chamber door. I plan on using a 4 inch deep full size hotel pan for the water.

Also, the whole cook chamber is sealed from the firebox at the bottom, so the bottom of the cook chamber is acting as heat deflector. The water pan will sit about half an inch above the bottom of the cooking chamber.

My main concern now is sealing the space between the inner surface of the bottom door and the front facing edge of the bottom of the cook chamber. Shouldn't be impossible I hope :D

The cooking chamber is 40cm wide by 60 cm deep, and when fully assembled will be 58 cm in height from base that sits above the coals to the top.
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I started out with the "core" of the smoker, being the cooking chamber sitting on a base that also receives the charcoal drawer and ash tray. I used 3mm hot rolled sheet metal. I think it'll be good enough. Heavy as hell! I didn't do this myself, I had a local shop do it.

View from the bottom. On the sides, we placed thin sheet metal that had pattern holes in it which seem to have been punched by a machine, creating a rough texture that we hope would help in holding the insulation in place. We still welded long screws on the sides to hold insulation in addition to this.

Ceramic fiber insulation on. The place I bought it from said it was one inch thick but it actually was more like 1 and a half inch thick so we ended up using only one layer ad we only budgeted room for 2 inch and it's not advisable to press the insulation.

Fired it up real good today. I'm still waiting on my thermometer to arrive but I figure I got the temperature up real good coz the whole unit got hot and now at 2 am in the morning, after 10 hours, it's still very hot :D

I'll leave it till the morning and clean it tomorrow. Unfortunately I'm still waiting to receive the thermometer I ordered online, along with the nomex door seals, so won't be ready to cook with it for a few more days. Might give it another seasoning burn with wood after spraying it with oil.

I tried the smoker yesterday for the first time. Did a 9lb brisket and some beef short ribs. I posted about them here: 
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