Looking for comments on masonry smoker concept

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jan 31, 2022
New Mexico
I'm thinking about abandoning my spot on a wait-list for an offset and building a masonry smoker instead. Thinking about a pseudo reverse flow concept, except in a vertical cook chamber. Images attached are front view and cross section. Scale is approximate and I've not planned for any specific materials yet.

I think the vertical baffle should work. Masonry heaters push smoke down through channels regularly, and they are supposed to be very efecient. I think stale smoke would be pushed out because it would sink as it cooled before being sucked out exhaust. I would plan to build allot of adjustability into the baffle and exhaust design to even out temperatures.
1) Thoughts on the vertical reverse flow concept?
2) With a masonry cooker, how long will they stay warm if well sealed? Can you just close them up at 200 F and let meat rest for 12 hours with out doing below 140 F?
3) I know of the offset calculators, but the thermodynamics are way different with brick. Any rules of thumb for masonry smokers?



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I like the concept just want to make sure you get your draft and flow correct on it. daveomak daveomak may be able to give you some insite on it.
I’m curious what dave will comment but off the cuff I think it will flow better without the baffles, they will cause conflicting turbulence, with out the baffles if you have a good chimney it would draw all the air through the unit smoother.

how long it takes to heat up and how long it will stay hot has lots of variables, ie will you use splits or full hard fire brick, then the type and how much insulation behind the hard brick, then how hot a fire for how long before you let it retain heat cook.

oh if you have a good flow of air then it will heat up quicker than you think if you have an active fire but you won’t get the full retained heat stabilization for about 90 min to 2 hours into the cook....however if you open it up with a good fire initially then bring it down that time could be reduced....again this is all an assumption.

Now if you build it like a Pizza oven ish... ie use splits with 2 inches of ceramic insulation wire meshed on then a insulating cover coat (3-4 inches) and then a hard cover, it will work really well!

oh and a little wider and less tall would also help so the flow

ps edit I would have the stack at the 1/3 level vs the bottom level and have a plenum type opening across width of the smoker side for the stack To rise from.
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