Commitment or keep it casual?

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jewq

Newbie
Original poster
May 4, 2024
5
7
I had this built from plans in Mother Earth News. I was looking for something multifunctional and this actually resembled the old brick smoker that sat in my Memphis childhood home's backyard. Trying to smoke meat in the same chamber as the fire was more of a smolder to control the heat so I modified a charcoal vertical smoker I found on Craigslist -- removed legs, cut holes in bottom and top, added heat baffle above bottom hole -- and it fit right on top of the firebox. It works out pretty well but it takes a lot of tending to keep the temps somewhat steady 225-250. I do use a custom tailored rockwool jacket that likely helps some but it really doesn't fit all that well and is downright ugly, says my spouse. So 2 questions:
1. Should I permanently join them together, pushing the chamber back and connecting it to the existing stack? Or keep it more of a casual, temporary relationship?
2. I read that someone here recommended a welding blanket for insulation. Maybe more effective and stylish than what I made? Might help convince spouse to agree to a permanent attachment.

Presently I just keep the firebox opening totally exposed, no door, controlling the temp with fuel and the dampers in the main stack and the one on the small smoker chimney. I could have a machine shop create a door that I'm thinking could be hinged on the top and opened from the bottom adjustable to the how much oxygen I want to give the fire. Appreciate any advice.
smoker-1-jpg.jpg

smoker-2-jpg.jpg
 
I'm a fan of your MacGver ability. I'm sure a fire door on the box will help to maintain temp/air flow. Do you grill more over hot fires or use the smoke box more? That would determine forever status.
 
Even if he did grill over open fire ha can just leave the FB door open...

So my opinion would be to put a door on it so you can control the heat going into the smoker above with the intake vents (on the door) not your exhaust vent... Do not secure smoker permanently so it can be removed to do open fire grilling...

As for the heat getting into the smoker... Not sure which way I would do that... Maybe drilling a bunch of 1/2-3/4 inch holes in the bottom of the smoker... This way it acts as a difuser... IDK ...
 
I'm a fan of your MacGver ability. I'm sure a fire door on the box will help to maintain temp/air flow. Do you grill more over hot fires or use the smoke box more? That would determine forever status.
Thanks! If I do push it back and attach the smoker to the stack, it would still give me adequate room to grill.
 
Even if he did grill over open fire ha can just leave the FB door open...

So my opinion would be to put a door on it so you can control the heat going into the smoker above with the intake vents (on the door) not your exhaust vent... Do not secure smoker permanently so it can be removed to do open fire grilling...

As for the heat getting into the smoker... Not sure which way I would do that... Maybe drilling a bunch of 1/2-3/4 inch holes in the bottom of the smoker... This way it acts as a difuser... IDK ...
Thanks Keith. I should still have enough room to grill even with the box pushed back so that it can be attached to the stack. The height of the firebox is enough to set a grate about halfway up from the bottom. I've been using the smoker as shown in the pic so I had already cut a hole in the bottom for the heat and smoke. I'm hoping to find or make something that will provide insulation for the smoker (a smoking jacket!) that will help stabilize the temps. But adding a firebox door might be enough.
 
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