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Building 1st smoker

8
2
Joined May 23, 2020
Hey guys new to forum and smoker building. I built a vertical smoker not knowing anything about smokers. I know not the smartest thing to do but i really had no idea that there was all kinds of calculations to building one so im sure ive messed up. 1st off my fire box is only slightly smaller than the cook chamber. 2nd im worried my stack is to small in diameter. I did my first run of charcoal only the other evening. It wasnt much just about 2 coals wide and 2 high on one side of firebox. I did it that way because i plan on snaking the coal around hoping for a longer burn if needed. It went up to 175 and stayed with no issue at all. I went and bought some ceramic firebricks and put them in the cook chamber and firebox for heat retention and was wondering would that work to take up some space in firebox to make it smaller?. My cook chamber is 20in high from bottom to top, 24in wide and 18in deep. The fire box is16in high, 18in wide and wide deep. Its a weird design i know but its made out of thick steel and of course is ridiculously heavy. I no longer have access to a welder as the guy i know has moved. Trying to figure out how to make a bigger exhaust. Any helpful opinions or advice welcomed. Thank you
 

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lancep

Master of the Pit
1,407
347
Joined Apr 6, 2016
Gotcha! If you haven’t done so yet, check out the build forum. A lot of good information in there from folks a whole lot smarter than me. However, I’m not sure if stack size is as big an issue if you’re running charcoal. What’s the color of your smoke?
 

bill1

Meat Mopper
192
34
Joined Apr 25, 2015
It all looks good to me from construction to the finished meat. I doubt you'll need the firebricks; with all that heat below you might as well use as much of it to help cook your meat. The bottom of the grill portion does look like a good place for water pan though, although many briskets cooks prefer dry. It would also be a good juice/fat catcher for a pork butt, etc.
To my eye, your smoke stack size looks good compared to your air inlets on your firebox; make either much bigger and you may have trouble keeping the temperature down. I'd lay out my fire from front to back. Start with the front door open a bit and the rear closed off. As the fire works to the back, close the front door and open the back. Should keeps temps under control and with less fire-tending. If you have a wall plug handy, a an electric ring element might be easier to start the coals with than a chimney, but that's just my preference.
 
8
2
Joined May 23, 2020
Thank you for your input. Ive got 100 diff things i want to do to it. I was so worried it would not work correct after 6 months of putting it together in my spare time. Honestly after today im very happy with my 1st smoker build! Last night i figured i was going to burn the hell out of it or something lol. Today was not only the first day for my smoker but the 1st time ive cooked on a true smoker. Always used a grill with a few chips on and im def not turning back now. Alot of great info and people on here, hopefully i can put them to use
 

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