First build

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by jagra, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Hi all.  I'm new to this group and looking for some advice on a smoker I'm starting to build. I have a propane tank (36" diameter and 12'4" long) that I am converting.  I'm looking to do an internal FB.  I came across this group because I found Smokin-aces design in a search and it is just about what I wanted to do.  This is because I couldn't figure how to make a reverse flow work, but he seems to have accomplished the same thing, which I was hoping that design would.  From what I have read, the design is similar to the Jambo design.  I'm wondering if adding a RP under the cooking grate would help.  I'm hoping is would because I would like also use the RP for a grease collector/liquid reservior.  Also, I am wondering about designing the FB so i can do dutch ovens at the same time.

    I've thought about a downdraft firebox, but haven't found much information on it, in conjuction with being used on a smoker.  Thoughts?
  2. So after some talking with Smokin-aces, I have a first draft of my smoker.  I would love some feedback and if someone could check my numbers.  Not sure if I need the fire grate or if I need it that high.  Smokin said he took his out and just build the fire on the bottom.  Also, would it make a difference if I put my bigger air inlet in under the chamber door or should I leave it on the side?

  3. Also, I would advise against putting another air inlet beneath the door. Your design looks almost identical to mine and the one damper on the side is more than plenty. To cook at 200*F in the CC, I have to leave the damper almost completely closed. You could put another air inlet beneath the door, but I would bet $1 that you won't use it, considering you will probably never even open the one on the side more than halfway.

    I am assuming you got your numbers from the smoker build calculator? If you did, you will do great.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  4. I like the two cooking grates in your design. The higher one will have a hotter temperature (since in this design the heat comes across high) which will allow you to put quicker cooks up there while leaving the slow cooks low. Brisket and Ribs should do well on the higher rack. 

    I wish a thousand times I would have put in the higher rack on mine when I was building it. There have been so many times that I could have used the extra space!
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jagra, morning.... Are you wanting 2 separate fireboxes under the smoker... If so, those stacks will need to be about 15" diameter each... The FB's will need to be about 100 gallon each.... and I don't understand the location of the exhaust stack... that will cause for stale smoke throughout most of the Cook Chamber.... Not exactly sure of what you are trying to design.... but then I'm pretty slow at times....

    I'm familiar with smoking-aces smokers and I don't see the similarity.....

  6. Dave,

    I think you might be confusing the circles underneath as FB's.  The two circles under the main drawing are side views of the FB and the plate separating the FB and the CC.  The FB is part of the main tank on the left side.  I apologize for the drawing being a little cluttered with measurement markings.    The smoke and heat would move from the left through the 9' gap at the top to the right side of the tank.  There is only one exhaust stack 6" in diameter and 66" from top to bottom, with about 36" above the CC.  I hope this clarifies it a little.
  7. Smokin-aces,

    I do have a second air inlet to the FB up high, in line with the gap to the CC.  Would that be of benefit?  I'm not sure I have the gap opening the right size, going from the FB to the CC.  I'm also think about putting "shelves"  in the domes at either end.  This would possibly be for preheating wood or for setting dutch ovens on.

    Of course, once I get this all to the way I want, I still have to wait till I find a trailer.
  8. Yeah I definitely knew I wanted two levels of cooking shelves.  I'm hoping, once this is built, that I might be able to do some cooking for big groups and the extra shelves play into that desire.  Trying to have a very versatile cooker.
  9. Another thing that I wish I would've done that you may want to consider is building a flat surface across the top of the smoker tank on the outside the entire length of the smoker. If you are wanting to cook for large crowds, sometimes food gets done too early and you need to keep it warm until it's time to serve. The heat radiating from the smoker will keep the food warm while it sits on this flat surface. I've needed this several times and I wish I had it.

    As far as the air inlet up high, I have no idea if it is beneficial or not. I have heard of guys doing this and they say it helps move the heat across pretty good, but I have never tried it. If it were me, I would build the smoker without this air inlet and add it if you have trouble getting the CC up to temp. But with this design, I have never had that problem. The less holes you have in the smoker, the less chance for losing heat.

    The opening of the wall from the FB to the CC; I would error on the gap being too big rather than too small. With experience from my smoker that is designed like this, I have found that all you really need is for the wall to keep the flame off the food. If the gap is "too big" you will just have to build a smaller fire to get to the temperature you want in the CC, which means using less wood and running more efficiently. I am actually considering cutting some of the wall in my smoker out to allow more heat to move across. 

    Oh and one more thing, keep your eyes peeled for a jon boat trailer. They are perfect size for this type of smoker build. That's what I used and I was able to build running boards the length of the smoker and turn the back into a storage box. The running boards act as a counter, and so do the doors of the storage box when they are opened. They are usually pretty cheap (I got mine for $140). Considering your tank is much thicker metal than mine, you might have to reinforce the frame of the trailer if you do infact go with a jon boat trailer, but I would think it wouldn't need very much reinforcing at all.   
  10. That's a good thought and idea with the wall between the FB and CC.  I hadn't even thought that far ahead.  Thanks

    My brother has been looking for trailers (building this together) and he has found some boat trailers he thought would work.  Not sure, because of the length of our tank, what we can build and where, for a wood box.

    I hadn't considered an exterior shelf on the top of the smoker.   I am looking to add rotating shelves in the front, to put things on as I loading or unloading the food.  I'll have to give that top shelf some thought.
  11. The box I built on the back of my trailer was originally intended for putting my wood in. Turns out I use it for all my supplies and still haul the wood in the back of the truck. I carry my splitting maul, axe, wood tongs, grill grate, kinlin and sticks, lighter fluid, sanitizing wipes, and all the other stuff you don't normally think about needing in the trailer box. All the smoking wood goes in the truck bed. 

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