In work on my new smoker

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norman brown

Original poster
Nov 12, 2012
birm8ngham Al.
Hey Guys, I'm in the process of building the first of several smoker / grill combos. Thus one is an experiment because when I started I only had 8 hours of welding experience that I reciever 20yrs, so bare with me.

Pictured below is what I've done so far. Steel used is new 10 gauge plate, dimensions are 36W x 30H x 18D. It will be charcoal, wood with propane assist. The lower plate is 3/16 mild steel for the defuser plate. I intend to cut 2"w x 10" slots on the left and right side of the defuser plate with sliding plates to help regulate heat , havent decided if I will do the same width wise in the back of the smoker. My thinking for the slots is to help circulate heat when cooking a full load as well as help reduce heat loss on the sides and back if needed in cold weather. Haven't decided if I will insulate it because I already have enough 3/16 plate to build a 24wX24X72H Vertical.

The center of the defuser plate will be cut for a stainless water pan, below the water pan will be the charcoal/wood basket made form #9 expanded metal with a 1/8 plate running across the middle to keep ash out of the black pipe burner that I am making following instructions from a link I found in another thread on this forum. Below that an ash pan. The upper chamber and lower will have its own set of doors..

I do have one question though, the cook chamber above the defuser plate is 21 inches. How far above the defuser plate should I place my first rack?
Your adding diffuser plates and water pans to try to control heat in an I closed box. Been there and struggled with this design for a while. Better off building two separate boxes, leave a open air gap between them,...say two inches or so, then plumb the smoke and heat to the top box with pipe or channel runners up both sides and the back. Inside the runners put you butterfly valves to regulate the heat so you can direct it to the lower or upper racks. Keep your exhaust to the sides so it doesn't drip moisture down onto your meat.

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