Looking For Ideas on smoker/cooker build! Brainstorm Time!

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 26, 2009
Ok - so a church member has offered to give me this old propane tank.  I've wanted to try my hand at building a smoker, though this is quite a bit different from my "visions"...LOL

Anyway - My dad, who is a retired metal building engineer (so he has some planning/drawing/creative ideas) said he is "in", so I'm looking for some ideas.

I don't know the dimensions - I just saw it from a distance a few days ago.  I think it is either 150 or 200 gallons.

Anyway - my welding "skills" - lets just say I will need to do quite a bit of practicing before doing any real work on such a project!

So - my original thoughts on building a smoker from propane tanks was a more traditional cook box + fire box either side-by-side, or firebox under design.  But with this???

Door designs?  Cooking surface?  Firebox internal or external?  chimney placement/design?

Or should I come up with some kind of gas-operation version?

Man- I am absolutely WIDE OPEN to suggestions, though $ supply is rather low.

And yes, I'm pretty aware of the dangers and precautions involved in working on a gas tank.  I don't plan on jus hacking into it!!! LOL

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
Well.  Hello.  The answer to all your questions is simple; YES.  Get the tank.  Develop a plan.  Post picts and your plan.  Receive suggestions.  Ask WHY should I do it your way over my way?  Our folks won't be offended; they have good reason to say do it this way, they will be happy to explain their experiences.  Pre-plan; over and over again BEFORE you make a cut.  Make decisions about how you want to use this smoker.  Should it be mobile or stationary?  Smokers this size are usually heated by wood, do you have access to that amount of dried wood?  Store bought lump wood charcoal is an option as is propane.  How often are you going to use this smoker?  If you don't have access to wood, there is a cost involved to lump wood and propane; BUT if it is used once a year the cost of propane may be worth not having to babysit this thing to hold temp.  You can also buy wood if it is just a once a year thing.  My point being plan, plan, plan BEFORE you cut.  Post picts and drawings on here and get EVERY suggestion you can.  Challenge the ones you may think are strange.  When building smokers many of us have found some odd results which we didn't expect.  Also when you read "this is how I did it", ask if they would change anything and how long they have been using the smoker.  Your Dad is going to be a goldmine!  Sure he MAY never have designed a smoker but when folks start making suggestions he will pick up on the idea quickly.  WOW, you are one lucky man in that area.  Many folks who start builds have no welding,fabricating, metal working experience.  As I read between the lines, you are not a welder your Dad will put you up head and shoulders in the start up and planning.  That's the best I can offer at this time, but I'll bet your Dad has said many of these things already.  JUst as an afterthought, I was a welder fabricator for almost 20 yrs. in my younger days; built a smoker or two in my time.  Don't know it all by any means, learn everyday.  The intended use of the project and the plan is the most important thing; you can't build it to hold a constant 250 degrees and then after the build also decide "I want it to also go to 400 degrees".  Maybe, maybe not possible.  Good luck.  Sorry for the novel; sometimes I ramble on.  Keep us posted.  Keep Smokin!

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