Mini Patio RF Build

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I let the fire burn and smoulder into the night, It took care most of the stubborn black paint on the out side of the cook chamber, it looks like a few minutes with the wire wheel and it will be ready for some paint.
Great Job, I am drawing up my small, portable smoker. I am going to use a few of your ideas!!!Any new pics??
^ Thanks, make sure to post up your build once you start

Sorry no new pictures, i haven't had too much extra time lately to work on it, but it is almost done, i was waiting to post up the finished product. I finished up most of welding and fab last week (1 small finishing touch left), the RF plate and drain is burned in, i added supports in the cook chamber to hold the cooking grates, made a frame out of some 1"x1/8 flat bar to support a work shelf on the opposite side of the fire box.

All that is left is to cut the wood for the shelf, then some final clean up before taking it apart for paint.
Defiantly in the homestretch now!

Got one little fab project left to do, that i am going to be able to knock out this afternoon.

Then all that’s left is a good cleaning, seasoning and paint


Here is my last little fabrication project....what’s a smoker without a bottle opener...or a bottle opener without a smoker?!


I shouldn’t own a plasma cutter, I have too much fun with it and get distracted...stuff like this happens.


Here’s a view of the cooking grate don’t think I’ve posted it before.


Next up cleaning and seasoning.

What would everyone recommend for cleaning? I was thinking a good scrub out the inside with dish soap followed by the pressure washer followed by a nice hot burn to dry it out before seasoning. Or scrub out the inside with something stronger followed by dish soap?

And as for seasoning what’s the best to use? Crisco, oil, bacon drippings any secrete seasoning formulas?
I lied...decided to do a bit more fabrication....was cleaning off some more of the old paint tonight and decided I didn’t like the flapper I was going to use as the rain cap on the stack.  I figured if I made everything I can't cap it off with something I bought.

Here is the 2.5” tractor exhaust flapper....didn’t like to looks of it, didn’t fit in with the rest of the smoker.


I just cut out a simple plate the same idea as the air inlet damper on the fire box, and sacrificed another chipping hammer handle for the handle.


I decided to weld the nut to the plate so with a few spins it will sit about an inch above the top of the chimney.  This should allow me to keep the rain out on rainy days and still allow for enough air flow.


The weather is looking good for this weekend...There is a good chance ill be doing my first smoke.
Alright, finally dragged it out of the garage today to clean and season the inside. I gave the inside a good wash gave it a good coating on oil then put a chimney of lump in the fire basket with the air inlet wide open. After about 1/2 hour it was around 150 degrees, so i let it go came back an hour or so later and it only at 200 and i couldn't get it to go much higher. Doesn't look like I’ll be doing my first smoke this weekend, got some trouble shooting to do.

The good news it held steady for 4 hours or so.
Put it under the knife tonight to try to correct the temperature problem, with some suggests from a few board members I am pretty sure my design for the RF plate created a bottle neck where the angle grease troughs meet the drain tube. I cut open the bottom of the cook chamber under the RF plate and at that spot the section was only about 5 or 6 sq inches where the Fire box to cook opening was about 10 (based on the pit calculator).


To correct this I opened up a 6” wide strip from the fire box to the end of the cook chamber under the RF plate. I built up the perimeter with some 1” flat and plated the bottom. At the same time I opened up the fire box opening. Now at the old bottle neck I have approx. 12 sq” for the smoke to flow through.  Just in case I also made the area at the end of the RF plate larger to eliminate any other potential bottle necks.


I also put a bead of high temp silicone around the door to create a better seal. With any luck both these modifications will allow me to get some better temp’s.  If we get some good weather this weekend I will do another Test burn.  I can’t wait to get it cleaned up and painted then start putting it to good use. 

Did another test burn...still can't get the temps up, Air inlet wide open full charcoal basket only got up to 150 this time, i cracked open the fire box door an inch or so and shot up to around 220.....
Did a few more test burns and modifications.

First i tried adding about a foot to the exhaust as suggested by DaveOmak in my trouble shooting thread, seemed to help with flow it got the temps up to 230 with the air inlet wide open. I then cracked open the fire box door and it got up to 240. 

Next i put it under the knife again and added a channel to the bottom of the fire box to allow for more air flow. The next test burn got up to 270 with out adding more fuel but it took about an hour and a half to get there.


At this point its functional, But I am still not 100% satisfied with the I'm thinking about going for broke and relocating the firebox under the cook chamber. Get the radiant heat working on my side to make it more efficient instead of heating up the air above the firebox.


When i started i was thinking it was going to be a simple 2-3 week project, 4 months later it still hasn't seen a piece of meat! Oh well i don't have much more them my time and some welding wire + gas into it. Now I'm just worried what i will work on when this one is done. Might have to make another!
Had some time today to do a little more work.

One last ditch modification that I hope will help with efficiency. I cut off the fire box and moved it in so it sits tighter to the cook chamber. I also opened up the firebox to cook chamber opening by doing this. I am hoping this will allow me to get better temps faster and reduce fuel usage and improve air flow.  You can see in the pictures above how the firebox hung off the side. I think this was another oversight in my design, the small firebox hanging way off the side didn’t allow for enough heat to flow. (sorry for the bad pictures, i'll get some better ones when its out of the garage tomorrow)



I am going to clean it up in the morning tomorrow and do another test burn, if all goes well it will get another seasoning and I have a small 3-4lb piece of organic brisket that will be going on in the afternoon.

Also, got my Maverick ET-73 in this mail this week so i am ready to go.....FINALLY
Here we go test burn #8? My goal was to hit 300 we go after 40 minutes


Started with a full chimney of lump then topped off the fire basket with unlit lump. Temperature rose fast this time compared to my other test burns and was still climbing when it hit 310


Even heat side to side too.


I closed off the air inlet and going to let it cool down, then give it a good cleaning and another seasoning. Then do my first smoke this afternoon!
Sweet deal.....It looks like the temps are well under control now. 

It looks kinda cool with the tunnel under the cook chamber.
^ yah i like the tunnel too, makes it a little more beefy...

First smoke in in progress right now

3.5 lb brisket, just hit 140, smoker staying steady at 240 (as per jeff's e-course) is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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