Biggest smoker build... = success?

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Dec 28, 2012
Normandy, TN
Hello all,

For those of you that may have been on here for some time, you may remember my last build I documented (probably not, but maybe). See the link for my last smoker build of a 300 gallon tank.

With the above mentioned smoker, I have since started a BBQ catering business and entered one competition last Summer. The catering business is growing rapidly and I am trying to prepare myself for expanding the business for the BBQ season this summer. I plan to chase large events such as company cookouts. Furthermore, my business has been added to a local wedding venue as a food vendor. I will continue to pursue wedding venues as well.

So the most economical design I could think of for making a catering smoker for large events (500+ people) is by using a horse trailer as the shell. That's right, a horse trailer. I have been searching the web for local horse trailers for sale that fit what I want (I would like to build this one and be done building smokers for a while).

See the picture below for what I am going to probably buy tomorrow. It is a 14 foot horse/cattle trailer just waiting to be converted to a BBQ catering machine. I will document the build as it goes. Please feel free to ask questions or comment below. I'm sure there are plenty :)

I am in the planning stages right now. I am trying to find the most cost effective way to put the shelves in the trailer to cook on. I was thinking about using angle iron as rails and using wire shelves from ULINE as the meat racks. That is a pretty expensive option though. ~$300-$500 for the angle iron and another $800-$1000 for the shelves. That is way over budget.
Im in.  Cant wait to see this one finished.  
Any suggestions for the shelves? I was thinking I will have a shelf starting at the floor all the way to the top spaced out by 1-2 ft. The shelves will be on both sides the from the front to within 3 ft of the back. The last 3 ft will be the firebox/wood grill. 

I need suggestions on how to build the shelves in a way that won't cost an arm and a leg. The trailer is 14' L X 6' W X 6' H. 
I'm not sure how that would work... I can imagine the concept, but how would each shelf be hung on the chains? Please elaborate.
Expanded metal needs a frame or it will collapse... The shelf in the pic can be purchased as a NSF product...
Why aren't you planning on using the entire shelf system in the smoker.. Easily removed to wash etc....
That's what I mean the expanded metal and angle iron is expensive. And I am planning to put shelves in the entire smoker, bit I ain't yet decided on what to use. I'm going for cheap and durable. What do you mean by NSF?
I think I finally decided what I will use for meat racks. I am going to use pallet rack decking. Sturdy, semi light, already built, and best of all CHEAP!
$4 each? That's a steal! I've got them in my smoker. I had to narrow mine down to fit, so some bracing was needed. I ground the paint off the top surface, and pitched them in a bonfire to "clean" them up, and have no complaints. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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