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My First Build - How many threads start this way?

thepitbullnet

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So except for painting, I finished my first build, quite obviously it is an offset box, reverse flow. I did my first smoke today, and had a little trouble getting it up to temp, but was amazed by the results. The 'tank' I started with was 16.5 x 60. My father-in-law had it hanging around for 15 years or so. I picked it up and started researching. That is how I found this great board. Although I don't have a specific name to thank, I want to thank you all for the information that I used in my build.



The smoke box is 42" and the fire box is 18" long. I was using a combination of briquettes and mesquite lump. I threw in a single piece of oak to generate some additional smoke. I did have to keep more fuel in than I thought I would need to in order to get the temp to a little over 200, but 200 or so turned out to be about right.



I was suprised that I had to keep the air inlet wide open to get to temp. I was using a fairly inexpensive thermometer from the local orange big box construction store.



I did a brisket and some baby-back ribs. I had the brisket on for about 8 hours, and then finished it in a 250 oven for another two hours or so to get the internal temp to 200 degrees. It was right around 180, and I was tired of tending the fire.

The bb ribs were on for about 4-5 hours and were almost a little over smoked and almost bitter, which seems to be typical of mesquite?



So after I finished the brisket in the oven, cheating according to some, when I started to slice it, I thought the brisket all fat, that is how it felt when it sliced it at least. Upon further review, it was just the perfect texture. Holy crap I was thrilled, it sliced like butter. I had the wife cut a slice or two, just to prove how tender it was. Once we tasted it, the flavor measured up to the tenderness of the brisket as well. The smoke ring was nice, especially for a first smoke.



While it was going, I threw some eggs in, made some 'smoked' hard boiled eggs. Quite tasty. I found that after 30 minutes or so, they were soft-boiled, but after another hour, they were just about perfect. Great with a salad, to add that smokey flavor to what I would otherwise call rabbit food.
 

SmokinAl

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Nice build! The brisket looks good, great smoke ring!
 

smokingohiobutcher

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I like the build!  Did a good job!   It looks to me like you need to lift your fire grate up a couple of inches to get some more air under the fire.

Oh...and by the way.......That Briskit Looks Awesome!!!!!

Great Lookin Meat!

SOB
 

thepitbullnet

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Joined Mar 5, 2011
Thanks, I appreciate the compliment.
You are totally right, I need to build a framework to hold my grate, and raise it up a few inches. I was jonesing to fire this thing up, so I guessed at the height and just put a piece of expanded steel in. It clogged up and put my air vent right at fire level. My plan is to just use angle or square tube to make a frame, a little higher up. I think will be able to just tap on the frame to drop the ash through mid-smoke.. I saw a few builds that used a dump panel under the firebox. I considered that, but didn't know how mush ash I would get over the course of a full smoke.
I am still not sure it is necessary, any thoughts?
 

fourashleys

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Good looking build!! I agree that moving your fire grate up should solve your temp issue. The brisket looks wonderful!!
 

tom37

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Looking good, on both parts. The brisket would have fallen to pieces if you had sliced it the other way. Nothin wrong with that tho.

I have almost the same rig sitting in the driveway. I have zero problems with temps but I am set up just a tiny bit different then yours.





I have only used this with the coal basket with a chunk or two or splits on top of the coals vs a fire built right on the grate.

 

thepitbullnet

Newbie
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Joined Mar 5, 2011
Tom, our rigs look remarkable similar, if I had seen yours first, I certainly would need to give you credit!

I will be taking 'inspiration' from (read, copying!) your grate structure.

Do you load your basket all at once, or add charcoal over time? Do you think if you threw the same amount of briquettes thrown on the grate would burn differently than in the box? (I need to figure out if I should build a box next or if the raised grate will put me where I should be)
 

mballi3011

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Everything looks great to me and there has been alot of threads that start out with my first build but we sure like them. It looks like you did a fine job and the craftsmenship looks awesome too. Oh yea the Brisket looks pretty darn good if I might say so.
 

tom37

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Raising the grate will make a world of difference all by itself.

I decided to use the coal basket after using a UDS and being amazed at how well they work. The principal is the same using one in the RF, but mine last about 2 hours or a little more. My pipe wall is 3/8", thats alot of mass, so I just pull the basket out with a pair of welding gloves and dump more charcoal right in on top of whats mostly burned up. I think the wall thickness helps hold the temps while I reload. I think I will try using an old modified shovel to add small amounts of coals to the basket during a cook next time. Also adding a split to the basket helps it last longer too. 

If mine wasn't so dang heavy it would be perfect. 

LMAO, its out in front of the garage. If it was ever stolen, I think it would be worth it since who ever picks it up will most likely leave there ba!!s right there in the driveway. I'm gonna guess its a good solid 600 lbs at least. It took three of us to roll it up the ramp of my mowing trailer and we almost lost it.

Since you hadn't seen the build I am posting a pic of the wheels I made for it. I picked up a 1 foot piece of 20" pipe and cut it into 2" strips then welded in the spokes.

 

raptor700

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Great Job on your build, That brisket looks freakin' awesome!

Keep the Qveiw coming 
 

Bearcarver

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Rig looks great!

Brisket looks perfect!

It could be the picture, but it looks like you sliced it with the grain.

I like slicing cross grain, and maybe at a vertical angle too, for wider slices.

Bear
 

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