First Build - 11 Gallon Mini Pig Cooker

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by civilsmoker, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Fire Starter

    This is my new baby, my custom mini pig cooker. 

    11 gallon cook chamber, 3/16 plate fire chamber, 1/4 steel rod weave fire box basket, and a 30 inch 1/4 inch removable stack (fits perfect in the back of the truck). The cooking chamber has 2 levels of removable stainless steel grates and this baby can really cook. It will hold 225 - 250 on lump with wood chunks for smoke for 3 to 4 hours pretty much untouched and it will sear steaks at 450 with lump and wood. I made it specifically for camping because I wanted to have good cooked meat out in the woods.

    I'm just shocked on how well it works.  I have a Memphis Grill Advantage that is pretty jealous now......Already have materials and plans for build #2.  I will get build pics for it though.... 

    Q View during test burn for air/smoke flow with fresh cut beef ribs

    The final "build" pic

    Perfect for the weekend camping trip - can get lots of wings on the 2 grates or 3 racks of ribs

    Grass Feed Black Angus Ribeye's  ......Just perfection on the dinner table.......
  2. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    I like it. [​IMG]  

    It would be a nice hunt camp rig for me!
  3. joe ny

    joe ny Fire Starter

    Damn that thing is awesome.  Best of luck and look forward to seeing #2.

  4. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Fire Starter

    Thanks!  It has been many years since I have been able to spend time in the "shop".  My wife recently bought me a welder so I had to find a good use for it.

    I started this mini as a practice to get my welding and fabrication skills warmed up again. I have to say back when I spent time in the shop, we didn't have low RPM metal circular saws, self darkening weld glass, or emery tab grinding discs and all I can say is WOW. These make things just way more simple for the DIYer at the home garage.

    A little teaser for build number two for the patio....I have a 16' diameter 30 gallon air tank as well as 18' diameter air tank that I got from the scrap yard. So I am planning on putting the 16 inside of the 18 with ceramic insulation between the 2.  I also got a sheet of 5/16th inch sheet for the reverse plate and fire box.....Well that is enough for now.... I hope to be starting that one soon and will post my design ideas up for discussion once I get ready.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  5. Hello I'm looking at wanting to build something very close to this can you send me some pics of firebox and how you did the vents
  6. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Fire Starter

    Here are some pics of the fire box and vents.  Sorry it is a little dirty from camping over the 4th but hopefully they show you what you are looking for.

    FYI: I increased the fire box 1.5 times, doubled the firebox opening area, doubled area under the reverse flow plate, 2.5 times the area from below the reverse flow plate to the cooking camber, tripled the air intake area, and tripled that stack area as well from the "calculated" values. As pointed out by many, the smaller smokers have higher surface area friction to volume ratios so they need a little more "breathing" room to get good air flow.

    I added the additional intake area to the front of the fire box to get a little better flow, which took me from double to a little more than triple the area.  It just seemed a little restricted during my test burns.  Same for the stack and why I made it removable....also so I could get a good draft but still fit it in my truck.

    Another note: the weave wire basket really heats up and is an added heat mass to equaling out the temps with outside weather affects.  I used it cause if found it cheap at the scrap yard but I am going to us it on my next build as well.

    Front of the fire box door

    Inside the firebox with weave basket, there is an angle flange on the top side to direct heat away from the door gap (the pic looks out of square....but its not, stupid phone.....)

    Additional vent - more area and from another area on the fire

    Working just right for......

    Dinner for the 4th, beef ribs and chicken legs (at 275 deg), with corn on the cob, water melon, and cherries.....just perfection for a perfect day! 
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Awesome smoker....
  8. Absolutely magnificent... What you use this for camping and such is exactly what I want to build
  9. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Fire Starter

    Thanks for the complements.  Really everything needed to build a nice smoker is contained in this forum.  The calculations and recommendations that many have made are spot on.  Hats off to everyone that has shared their ideas and knowledge!

    Just fyi, I used some old Weber grates and they held in by 1/4' rod.  The bottom is 2 pieces so they fit in the top is just one piece.  

    The other thing I noticed is that the temperature is most even in the cook chamber when there is a good draft going.  If the coals get low then a temp differential across the chamber shows up.  This has led me to conclude that even for a smaller smoker a longer stack regardless of volume is one of the most critical parts of the design.  That draft allows you to really control the flow of the "heat" into the chamber.  To me this is even more important if you are going to be using it in less than ideal weather conditions like camping.  I also like the thicker walled stack cause it will heat up and stay "hot" aiding in the flow and reduce the chance for creosote.

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