General Question: When to replace the firebox on a smoker?

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Original poster
Jan 2, 2024
Hi all,

I have a question for you veteran smokers out there. I've got a couple of trailer smokers (I rent them out as a side business) and I'm wondering what are the signs that a firebox needs to be replaced. The metal is starting to warp on one of them and the bottoms of both are flaking, but there are no holes. What do you all recommend? I appreciate any insights. Thanks!

Holes are the only way I would start replacing, a brand new box might warp or flake but with thick steel no problems, clean and hit outside with high heat and drive on
If they are 1/4" plate steel, they should last a lifetime if properly cared for and primarily that's removing all the ash as soon as possible. I have a custom offset made of 1/4" steel as well as a Oklahoma Joe made of maybe 1/8". I've had the Ok Joe for 5 years and use it frequently, it shows no signs of needing the firebox replaced. I'd expect the custom to last me forever and then some. But as Mike said, when they get holes, then look at replacing, but that should be a LONG time based on what I've seen with my 2...
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