Hybrid Insulated Cabinet T-Pit Smoker Build (Long And Mega Pics)

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tx smoker

Legendary Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Apr 14, 2013
9,954
14,551
Lago Vista, Texas
This is my 3rd cabinet smoker build. The one I did a year or so ago has been an amazing cooker but I realized recently that it's just WAY bigger than we need. Spent considerable time thinking through a design that would incorporate the reverse flow aspects of the T-Pit I used to have with the efficiency of the cabinet smoker. I took into account a ton of info I gleaned from civilsmoker civilsmoker and a fantastic conversation I had with SmokinEdge SmokinEdge a while back and incorporated what I learned from them into the design. This turned out to be a massive project but so worth the time....I hope :emoji_laughing:

Start out building the back panel. It is banded with 1" x 1" angle steel to hold the insulation in.
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The top with the chimney centered in the cook chamber.
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The 2 side panels. Notice how the steel is set back from the edges.
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All of the panels clamped together to see if they fit and line up correctly before adding the insulation and the second steel panel on the inside.
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The bottom with the opening between the FB and CC.
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All the panels are insulated with 1" thick high density industrial grade high temp insulation.
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The back and side panels complete.
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The top and bottom. The last 2 pieces of the bottom will need to be precisely cut to fit after everything is put together.
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All components assembled for the CC, the door built and attached, and a stay-cool handle built.
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A small shelf on the right side and the brackets to mount the latches. Thge handle is identical to the one seenred seenred put on his smoker and I did this before seeing his. Pretty cool how much alike we were thinking.
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Top damper built.
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A bar on the left side to hang my remote therm and a sleeved damper to run my temp probes through.
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Build the FB, dampers, and the base.
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All the hardware drilled, tapped, and installed to make sure everything worked.
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Now for the moment of truth. Three 500# rated ratcheting tie down straps attached to the tractor.
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Got it but not before breaking three of the straps in the process. Holy smokes this thing is heavy!!
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After over two solid weeks of fabrication, it's finally prepped and painted. Time for final assembly and out to the patio.
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The heat deflector plate...also 2 steel panels and insulated.
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The cooking grates.
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Out to the patio and fired up for the initial burn-in. Running charcoal and oak.
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After a high temp run for a few hours I dialed the temp down to see how stable the CC temps were. One probe top rack and one bottom rack. I'll take this all day long.
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This one is a totally different concept from any of my other smokers. The intent is to run charcoal and wood for my primary heat source with propane as supplemental heat to dial temps in precisely where I want them. It worked!! After a couple hours at 400* I turned the propane down to almost nothing and the unit ran beautifully for three hours or so with just a small amount of charcoal and one oak split. This is going to be one VERY efficient cooker to say the least and I have the best of all worlds....full flavor from the charcoal and wood plus the benefit of the propane for precise temp control. The propane is also used in the beginning to get the charcoal lit up. Prefabricating all the panels and hoping they fit together for assembly was a quantum leap of faith...but it worked. I had to tweak the side panels about 1/16" for them to line up so the CC door would lay flat but other than that, it went together exactly as planned. I will say though...it took a lot of time laying everything out for perfect overlap on the panels as they were put together. All in all I'm thrilled beyond belief with this thing and plan to fire it up shortly for the inaugural run. Here are a few pics of the firebox with the burner, grate, and charcoal / wood pan.

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This grate has been built and rebuilt several times for different smokers. Not the prettiest thing in the world :emoji_laughing:
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Well that's it....finally. Gotta run and get this thing ready to do a rack of monster beef ribs. Thanks for sticking it out to the end....assuming you made it :emoji_wink: Have a great weekend and happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.

Robert
 
Dang Robert! I love your builds. Believe me, if I had the money and could transport the one you got for sell it'd be on the way to mississippi!

Jim
 
Man that thing is a beast Robert! You must really like to do this. A lot of work there. I can only imagine the feeling of accomplishment when completing a project like this!
 
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Beautiful work!
No welding skills here, but I could use my woodworking skills to make one.
Well, we all know how that would turn out.
 
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Well Robert that is an awesome build! I’m I huge fan of the hybrid concept for sure! Glad I could help in the thought process, even if it was just to add to the addiction! You are going to do some epic cooks with that I’m sure!

This is also inspiring me to fine tune the hybrid design I’ve been working on……. Enjoy the inaugural cook, for some reason that one time event is always and extraordinary experience and you earned this one!
 
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Fantastic piece of work there Robert, the attention to detail and planning are flawless! Any idea how much that baby weighs, looks built to last! RAY
 
Outstanding job! Nice craftsmanship! I am really Impressed! You should of painted it desert brown and stenciled M1 ABRAMS on the side because that thing is a tank!
Cant wait for the dino rib cook pics!
 
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Looks like one hell of a fantastic build Robert. You never give up, I like that. Also happy to have played a small part in the thought process, any time.
I’m anxious to see those Dino’s when they come off this pit. Excellent work Sir.
 
Dang Robert! I love your builds. Believe me, if I had the money and could transport the one you got for sell it'd be on the way to mississippi!
Thanks Jim!! I'd love to see it on your patio, that's for sure. I believe I might have it sold though. My friend Gerald ( snakehead snakehead ) might be looking to take it off my hands.

Robert
 
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Man that thing is a beast Robert! You must really like to do this. A lot of work there
Thank you Brian and yes, I do enjoy building these things. It's a ton of fun seeing it go from an idea to a reality.
I can only imagine the feeling of accomplishment when completing a project like this!
No doubt it feels good to see the temps rising the the TBS starting to roll. today I get to enjoy the first meal from it.

Robert
 
Hey Robert - Great minds...am I right?
Absolutely Red....absolutely :emoji_wink:
Beautiful build Brother...that's some fine work! And you said you completed this build in 2 weeks?? I've been working on my current RF build for a year!
Thank you sir. Yes, it was done in two weeks. I started it on a Tuesday afternoon and painted it on Tuesday 2 weeks later. I'm fortunate that I have a job that only requires a few hours a day and those are very early morning hours. That leaves me all day to play in the garage :emoji_laughing:

Robert
 
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Beautiful work!
No welding skills here, but I could use my woodworking skills to make one.
Well, we all know how that would turn out.
Thank you for the kind words. I didn't have any welding experience till a year ago. I spent my life doing finish carpentry as well as building custom furniture and cabinets. The biggest mental setback I had was finally coming to the realization that when working with steel there's no way to get that same level of precision as when working with wood. I beat myself to death of the first couple projects trying to make them look like a piece of furniture and it's just not happening.

Robert
 
Well Robert that is an awesome build! I’m I huge fan of the hybrid concept for sure!
Thank you sir!! It may not be an X-Fire or Copper Pot but the concept thus far is working beautifully. The proof will be in the pudding a bit later.
Glad I could help in the thought process, even if it was just to add to the addiction!
Well, you helped more than that as you well know. In addition I believe you have been the inspiration for the name. I'm considering calling this the Hy-Fyre. The Hy being for hybrid. Kinda silly but so far it's the best I've come up with.

Robert
 
Fantastic piece of work there Robert, the attention to detail and planning are flawless!
Thank you my friend. I got this one dialed in pretty tight.
Any idea how much that baby weighs
Of course I have no way to put it on a scale but being that it kept wanting to tip the tractor over, I'd guess in the 800 to 900 pound range.

Robert
 
Robert, when you said you were building another smoker, I just knew it was going to be spectacular and you proved me right!! Excellent job, my friend and I can't wait to see some pictures of what it will do...
 
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