Dual purpose smoker and BBQ - is this possible

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Original poster
Nov 28, 2021
Right... here goes - this may well be top in the list of 'stupid questions' or idiotic ideas but I'm hoping someone might be able to offer words of wisdom, even if the outcome is, "Don't try that, just don't do it...!"

I want / need to build a new BBQ (I'm in the UK, so apologies for any misdemeanours in terms or spelling...) and had originally been thinking of an Argentine-style Asado or Parrilla but have recently been using my home BBQ (with lid) for some very simple smoking. As always, using something for other than its' core purpose has compromises and my mind has turned towards a smoker build.

We don't have space for both a large-scale BBQ build AND a smoker build, particularly as I'm unlikely to be using both options at the same time so I'd wondered about the potential to create something that works equally well (or very nearly as well..) for both options.

My thought process is to have a decent sized reverse flow smoke chamber with off-set fire box.

Within the smoke box, I would have a 'false floor' of heat retaining tiles - we get these from storage heaters which absorb heat overnight and then release slowly during the day... dense thermal tiles about 8" x 9" and an inch thick

The firebox feed into the bottom of the smoke chamber, running beneath the false floor of thermal tiles and I would lift out the tiles at the far end from the fire box to allow the smoke and heat to rise up into the main cook / smoke chamber, passing over the meat(s) and out of the chimney. So far, so good...

My hope is that I could then use the same set-up as a charcoal BBQ - not using the fire box but reinstalling the tiles to the end of the cook chamber and then using the tiled surface as the base for the charcoal with the grills above being used as a cooking surface.

I'm about to sketch something up, but would appreciate thoughts...

It strikes me as being a really simple (OK... with a lot of fabrication work...) option but there must be a really good reason why no-one else has done something like this!

I had the same idea when I built my smoker (link in my signature line)... I left my reverse flow plates loose for removal .. I thinking to then just throw a piece of expanded metal in for charcoal just to grill... I've not tried to grill with it yet... My main concern is how close the bottom grate will be to the hot coals... If memory serves me correct the RF plate is about 5" below the grate ...

I would also suggest a tank with a bigger diameter ...
I know that Lang offers a charcoal tray to set in on top the reverse flow plate. I’d think that would be a simple option in a build? That said I’m dense as a board on building things :)
I know that Lang offers a charcoal tray to set in on top the reverse flow plate. I’d think that would be a simple option in a build? That said I’m dense as a board on building things :)
But definitely not dense when it comes to using them. Some are experts at building stuff, some are experts at using what someone else built, and maybe even improving on what the builder intended it to do.
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If your not set on building one, A Weber 26" Kettle can handle both jobs.

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