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Build a gravity fed smoker

nnolannn

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
36
13
Joined Jul 22, 2020
I'm going to build a gravity fed smoker. Seems like one the size of Stumps baby smoker would be about the right size. I've seen plans for sale for $80 but seems like those funds would be better used on supplies to build it. First thing will be build the frame with square tubing 1.5 or 2". then build a Shute 8 X 8 that tapers wider. Thicker metal for the hot box. I think the opening for smoke to enter the cook box will be the size of a dollar bill. build up the Shute and install in the frame before skinning with sheet metal or plate metal. a computer fan with a PID like the master built or a pipe shut off valve like many have . I guess im just asking for any thoughts or ideas.
 

nnolannn

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
36
13
Joined Jul 22, 2020
This project started out as a refrigerator smoker. As progress went forward the fridg was tossed because of corrosion (too many holes). lots of mistakes along the way. some of the metal ive picked up free over the years and used on this smoker. Im hoping to get temps low enough to smoke sausage 120-180f , brisket and shoulders at 225-275
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
1,036
399
Joined Apr 25, 2015
What you need to do is get an old refrigerator handle and mount it on that massive door! You'll get quite a few laughs then when you say, "Well it started as a refrigerator build."
Seriously, nice work and in record time. Love your workshop; and I'm partic jealous of your bathroom!
 

nnolannn

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
36
13
Joined Jul 22, 2020
What you need to do is get an old refrigerator handle and mount it on that massive door! You'll get quite a few laughs then when you say, "Well it started as a refrigerator build."
Seriously, nice work and in record time. Love your workshop; and I'm partic jealous of your bathroom!
Thank You! Did just that! That door weighs 110 lbs. The latch snaps and pulls tight with no effort. I was going to use the same latches that was used on the small doors but the old refrigerator door works great. I wish I knew why everyone uses a ball valve for the firebox vent. I just used a typical smoker exhaust pipe vent style.
 

nnolannn

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
36
13
Joined Jul 22, 2020
Used it the first time last week using just the vent to cook chicken. I've never used a gravity fed so everything I learned was through trial and error. with the 2" vent full open without the blower it went past 430 before I blocked the air 3/4 closed. mostly maintained 275 but still needed attention. I then put the chicken in. It went well but I knew I wanted a blower controller.

This last weekend I built a blocking plate to stick in one of the grate slides using 1" sq. tubing and sheet metal both sides with 1" ceramic insulation in between. Used this to reduce the smoking chamber size and save on charcoal. It worked well.
added a Thermoworks blower controller. worked well to maintained 275 with no effort. I did find out the hard way there has to be a restriction. when the temp reached 530 I realized even though the blower didn't blow the air can still go through the fan and feed the coals. I cut a slot in the sq. tube and made a gate valve to close 3/4 or more. that worked. I then put in the beef ribs and pork pic. the cook with the blocking plate and blower was then easy and efficient with charcoal.
 

onemanlan

Newbie
14
6
Joined Jun 13, 2021
Wow, what a freaking unit! Thanks for sharing all the pics. I wish to have your fab skills (and work space) some day! I'm a huge fan of Insulated Vertical Smokers. Would be happy to give that big green beast a home!
 

nnolannn

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
36
13
Joined Jul 22, 2020
Thank You. I've been really enjoying the smoker. I'm new to gravity fed, but so far so good. The electric element was necessary for sausage and sticks because the lowest temp I can get with the charcoal is 220F.
 

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