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Building a trailer smoker BUT....

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by 2bears, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. 2bears

    2bears Smoke Blower

    I am torn between to styles, I have this 120 gallon LP tank and was thinking I was going to lay her down and have a fire box on the lower end and a door accross the top.

    But am also thinking about having her stand upright to have a more consistant heat.

    This tank is 48" tall and has a girth of 94" (just under 8 feet around) so she is stubby a little but has a good girth to allow a large enough cooking area.

    If I lay her down I will have 2 cooking grates, if I stand her up I will have at least 4 cooking grates. But I don't know the square inches of either but I think either way it will be enough to do what ever I want to cook.

    So what are the pro's and con's of standing her up with a fire box attached lower bottom side vs laying her down?

    My only thought is more even cook temps.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. 2bears

    2bears Smoke Blower

  3. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    I would lay it down and make an RF myself. You should have plenty of room for two racks. That's a nice tank size.
  4. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Take this with a grain of salt, myself, I would make one giant azz ugly drum kinda smoker. Hydraulics on the lid, and a door with a great seal that would allow changing the grate to be a very quick process.

    LMAO can't resist this one.

    Put some funny legs on it and make it a rocket ship smoker.

    Do you already have the second tank for a RF and the other misc steel it takes?
  5. 2bears

    2bears Smoke Blower

    Not yet but I have 2 stainless cooking grates 4'x4' that will work for either way I make it.

    I am close to having the trailer ( friends lund boat decided to travel by itself on the interstate) axle and frame.

    Looking for 1/4" steel plate to make the fire box out of or a tank of some sort.

    Any ideas as to what size of tank for a side fire box? Ive looked at 100lb LP tanks but they seem too small for the box.

    I was thinking if I used 1/4" steel plate I would make the box 24"x24" ish or since it is a wide tank I might need to make one to fit the whole width of the tank??  Any suggestions for size either way (tank or square)?
  6. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A square FB makes for a really good surface to keep stuff warm on. They are easy to double wall. They are easier to make the air vents in. But much more work involved and alot more welding to do.

    Round is probably less money if you can find a tank that will suit your size needs. If you found a 30 ish inch tank you could use firebrick to insulate it, since it is round once the bricks are stacked in place there gonna stay.

    1/4" is going pretty high these days unless you find a deal at the salvage.

    I would think that 24 x 24 inside dim would be great. Insulate it and you are at almost 26 inchs.

    Just a few pros and cons, but I always go with the route which has the best value as far as what I need to purchase. My current builds are using round FB since I got the pipe for free, all I had to come up with was the end plates.
  7. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    You may have heard this already.  The firebox volume should be at least 1/3 the cooker volume.  With that being said I think that refers to the reverse flow design.  If you made it a stand up cooker then I would worry a little about the heat coming into the cooker.  But with a shield plate that could be resolved.

    I have access to a tank just like this so please keep us up to date w/ the build.  I may start one just like it soon.

    good luck!
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If it were me I would design it similar to an UDS but cut the doors in 3 sections in the front, top 2 for accessing the smoke chamber and the bottom for accessing the coals and water pan.