Just bought an SnP

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by falmund, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Any immediate, cannot miss, never avoid or the bbq god's will hate you mods? I don't have a lot of time at the moment to go too crazy. Just wondering any thoughts?
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Congrats falmund.
    You chose a great smoker. There are a few tricks to pulling off a beautiful smoke.
    I'm sure before long Rivet will be along to help you out, he has helped me immensely with my sNp.
    I have yet to do any "real" mods to mine but the few simple things I have done have done wonders for my smokes.
    I'll gather up a list of things as best I can if Rivet doesn't get a chance to reply to your message.
    Good luck with the new smoker, you're gonna love it.
  3. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congratulations falmund! Welcome to the world of the SnP. If you haven't already figured it out, those wheels are gonna drive you insane. Go to the hardware store get a couple lawnmower wheels, stainless bolts, washers and nuts and replace them. You will soon enough anyway [​IMG]

    The wheels I replaced my stockers with are currently $8.99 ea at Ace. They were $4.99 when I got them. Don't understand near doubling the price in two years, but then again who knows.......

    The next immediate thing that comes to mind is a chimney extension, I'll dig around for some pics and measurements and get back to you if you want.

    Happy smoking!
  5. bbrock

    bbrock Meat Mopper

    Yeah there are a a lot of people That you will be able to find helpful info out from in here about your smoker.. From what I have seen and have been told Rivet is the guy you need to talk to about SnP smoker..He has helped me out a lot on some of the mods. Am in the process of doing some of them now..And the best thing is everybody on this site will help you or if they can not they will send you to some one who can. Great people here...
  6. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi falmund,

    here's a couple pics of my wheel replacements.

    Hope this points you in the right direction to avoid the "gnashing of teeth" frustration! [​IMG]
  7. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    listen to rivet about the wheels - you have probably already found out about them, but just in case you didn't find out - pay attention!

    ok - here are three more that will be very inexpensive and help out a lot.

    go to the hardware store and get some dryer vent tape. they make stuff for wood burning stove pipe, but it is awfully expensive. dryer vent tape should be less expensive and will work just as well. use it to seal off the gigantic holes at each end of the smoke chamber - the ones that must have been cut out to accomodate a rotisserie? if you ever need to use them, just rip the tape off and put more on when you're done using them. tape both inside and outside.

    the second is just as easy and will maximize a lot of your SnP's potential. go to a muffler shop. take the base of your chimney (the part that the chimney fits on top of) with you. tell the muffler man that you want a piece of new exhaust pipe cut to nine and a half inches long, then ask him to cut a 45-degree angle into one end. this will make the "long" part nine and a half inches long and the "short" part 7 and a half inches long. ask him to swage (or swedge) the exhaust pipe into the bottom of the base of the chimney (not the chimney itself). what you will end up with is a pipe that sticks down into your smoking chamber to stop flush with the grates. the 45-degree angle must be rotated so that when you close the grate, the bottom is flush with the grate. here are a couple of pix, shamelessly borrowed from rivet:

    if you look closely, you can also see the dryer vent tape closing off the rotisserrie holes.

    by some weird design eccentricity, the chimney pipe of the SnP is between 2.5 and three inches wide. this means that you will need to use either a 2.5 inch or 4 inch exhaust pipe. three inch would probably be better because it would allow a bit more draw, but the diameter of the chimney ultimately determines the dray, and it is not quite ththree inches, so if you have to use 2.5 for whatever reason, it shouldn't be a problem that i am aware of. if i am wrong about this, anyone is free to correct me.

    the good news is that this tialpipe business will cost you between four and six dollars, most likely! :)

    thirdly, a good mod to do is to build a charcoal basket; i will let rivet give you the specifics on that, but until you get a fire basket, you can substitute by opening up your firebox, moving the bottom grates to the top (setting them on the top grate) and building your fires on the top grate instead of the bottom grate. this will allow you to have plenty of room for your fire to breathe and will not let ash choke it out too bad, as there will be plenty of clearance. the point of moving the bottom grate to the top and setting the grate on top of the top grate is so that smaller pieces of charcoal (either form lump charcoal or as the briquettes burn down) will not fall through the grate so quickly.

    finally, think about some designs for a baffle, or manifold. i'll let rivet go into this as he is the master of this particular mod.

    good luck and enjoy!
  8. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new smoker! We want Qview of the first cook!
  9. Put the beast together tonight...sticking stok on the wheels...at least for a few days, I don't think I will be moving it much. I don't know the purpose of the chimney extension, and am very curious. Since you both mention it, I will blindly follow, but I am curious. As far as the charcoal basket...my brother is a quite accomplished amatuer welder, so I will send him pics and pray that he finishes in time to bring it to the house warming. Otherwise I will go with the perpendicular grates on top. That is genius enough as it is. I have to manage enough pulled pork for 50 by the end of June, so I will be smoking the crap out of this thing. I will post pics, though I know I woefully behind in that category from previous posts. Darn the crappy camera phone.
  10. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

  11. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    falmund -

    the purpose of the chimney extension is to help keep the heat, airflow and smoke at grate level. if you look at the SnP as it is out of the box, these three essentials come out of the firebox and go straight up in a diagonal line to the opposite corner. food near the firebox is drenched in all three and food at the opposite end gets nothing. the only decent area you will be able to cook is the middle grate (happy medium), and that's a waste when you paid for three grates. the chimney extension keeps that from happening as it lowers the draw on these three essentials and forces them across horizontally rather than diagonally. with the chimney exhaust, you will have to remove the upper warming rack, or at least cut and/or bend the few ribs of the rack that interfere with the chimney extension - but this is no big deal and your sacrifice will be rewarded.

    another thing i forgot to tell you that will help a lot is re-position the adjustable drip/charcoal pan underneath the grates. lift up the "west" end of the pan so that it is at the highest position and leave the east end (under the chimney) at the lowest position or one up from the lowest position. this also helps even out the three essentials (air, heat and smoke) a little bit and serves to help protect food at the westernmost grate (the one right off the firebox) from scorching. this adjustment of the charcoal/drip pan works as a makeshift baffle/manifold until you can have your brother make one.

    for plans on the manifold and for the charcoal basket, follow rivet's lead. his charcoal basket design is ingenious and will maximize the potential of the firebox. he will be along soon to give you some pointers on this and also on the manifold.

    the whole idea behind these modifications is to "tune the pit" or help even out temperatures and smoke across the smoking chamber so that you have one nice, long cooking area instead of a fewe good places and some hot spots and some cold spots. these mods will achieve that and you will eventually have only a few degrees difference between the west end and the east end.

    any other questions - just ask!
  12. Thanks TW, that makes a lot of sense. That's why I love you guys (gender neutral)! It's great to not only get ideas, but the reasoning behind them. I have enjoyed my education thus far. It has been enormously gratifying getting that satisfied sound when my wife takes the first bite, but it's also awesome to understand how it all works.

    Got the curing process going now. Might throw a fattie on it to try it out tonight, but probably going to wait until Saturday and throw on the pork shoulder.
  13. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've had the stock wheels on mine for over a year now with no problems. But then mine never leaves the pavement . . . kind of like most of the 4x4 trucks in this town.[​IMG]

    Have fun with the mods that you do do. It's kind of fun to put your own "stamp" on your smoker.

  14. Ok, here's my next question. I have been using a vertical Brinkman. I have always used a single well filled chimney starter full of lump. I would get it going nice and red, toss it in the charcoal pan with a few good sized unburned chunks of lump and a couple chunks of wood. This would be good for a couple-3 hours. Now, when I was curing the SnP, I had put the "charcoal" grate on top of the "grilling"grate to have a perpendicular grating high in the firebox. I used the same technique for building a fire that have always used, but it burned out MUCH faster. It also looked like a sad little pile of charcoal. Should I be using two loads in SnP or am I doin something wrong. This is going to be a moot point soon, as I am hooking up with a friend who has an enormous supply of hickory sticks.

    BTW, Rivet, you are a font of knowledge, thanks for all your help. You too, TW
  15. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the world of SnP! You have essentially gone from a VW Beetle to a solid-lifter, 427 Cobra....if you follow the automotive analogy. The Beetle was gentle, easy and got you where you wanted to go with no offense and not much effort. The Cobra is a beast to drive, hell at idle , you have to have the leg muscle of an athlete to push the clutch etcetera....

    The SnP is a BIG unit. Like a bigger car with a bigger engine, even at idle it will consume a lot more fuel. So yes, you have to start out with more charcoal, and run with much more charcoal to maintain the same temperatures, than you have ever been accustomed to. Of course you can smoke PILES more food at one time than you could ever imagine in your other one.

    One chimney of hot coals is nothing in an un-modified SnP and the "draw" the units are famous for (and so good for, too) is actually a disadvantage until you modify it. This is because you will consume much more fuel than necessary over the course of a smoke trying to maintain temperature. A lot of heat and smoke just go up the chimney, literally.

    TasunkaWitko earlier posted a lot of good tips to minimize this effect from a unit straight out of the box.

    Once you tune your rig to how you like it, you will be surprised how much less fuel you will use once it's up to temp. Remember, you have a large volume of air in that smoking chamber you need to heat up, and maintain hot, compared to your other vertical.

    On the plus side, you can cook for 50 with no problem! It's big, it's fun and it is a sound smoker that will grow along with you, as you gain skills and want to experiment with things (5 turkeys at once comes to mind).

    Don't feel shy about askin questions around here, we all love to help. There are enough SnP owners in here that you could get a year's worth of advice, easily! All good, too.

    May the TBS follow you around!
  16. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    falmund - my good friend rivet speaks the truth - straight out of the box, the SnP is quite a dragon, but the few easy mods (or even the improvised mods) will help quite a bit. the chimney pipe extension down into the smoking chamber has dramatically reduced the charcoal consumption - also, i switched again from briqs to lump and that helps quite a bit as in general lum burns hotter longer and with more efficiency. unfortunately it seems that my area is out of lump again but we're going to great falls this week and i will try to get some more.

    don't ever be shy about asking questions. i myself am still learning but i ahve picked up a few things. rivet as you have seen is a true guru on the subject and Fire it Up has a lot of good things learned in jsut a short period of time many others such as dave and mikey and too many others to list. it is amazing how much great info you can get here and nearly all of it can be used and adapted to your situation. it won't be long until you are also giving advice! one thing i do recommend but haven't yet is that you download the BBQFAQ. it is a word document written right about 1999. it is very long but dang near every pag is stuffed with valuable information to get a person going and also help them grow when it comes to BBQ. you can download a SAFE zip file of this document at this link below:


    if you're not comfortable with link send me a PM and i can email it to you. i can promise that you will keep it on your desktop and refer to it often.

    good luck!

  17. All right, putting her out on the maiden voyage today. Got a couple of bags of royal oak and a bag o' hickory chunks. Got a shoulder, a loin roast and a fatty ready to go. Just got the firebox going with the minion method, temps are comin up nicely. I will post the results on the pork page. Rigging a temp chimney extension with some dryer vent, figured it was better than nothing.
  18. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good to go! Keep us posted and don't forget the pics [​IMG]
  19. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good luck and keep us posted!

    you probably already know this, but keep in mind that your goal is not billowing thick white smoke - keep just some thin blue almost invisible smoke and you will love the heck out of it!

    let us know how it goes, recipes, methods and of course pix!

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