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Need smoke box idea

dctaz37

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I bought a homemade smoker a few years back. It is about 6' x 3' x 3'. The smoke comes from a cut out propane tank that is open and I burn a fire in it. I have a forest of black cherry and maple so I cut 3-3" x 2-3" pieces to burn and I soak them is water 12 hours before. This works okay but I can't control the heat or temp. Is there some sort of DYI or premade smoke box that will work for my smoker? Ideas please.
 

forktender

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Shut the air intake down and your temps will drop, open them up, and they will get hot. You have to find that sweet spot between too hot and too cold, play with the air intakes until you find it. Why are you soaking your wood?
 

pigbark

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yea, dont soak your wood.. you lose temp and it dont help you create a good smoke..
 

smokerjim

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i'm no pro but I would say if your wood is burning up with no smoke it's burning to hot, so like the others say play with the air intake, if you don't have an intake you might have to play with the exhaust vent, just close it or open it a little at time and give the fire a chance to settle in before adjusting more, probably some of the smoke your seeing coming out is probably steam coming off the wood. just my 2 cents.
 

civilsmoker

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Just a couple of thoughts.....
1- Its OK to have clean burning wood with almost zero smoke. You actually just want a thin blue line (TBL) of smoke. White smoke will impart a bitter flavor to what is being smoked. Here is a picture of what the TBL looks like on my reverse flow and vertical hybrid box........
CopperPotTBL.jpg

......the camera can't pick up any smoke but if you look in the sun you can see a thin blue line!
x-fire-burningTBL.jpg


2- For a vertical box smoker, are you using a heat sink/defuser of any kind. Typically, folks use a water pan or metal tuning plates to "calm" the heat. A SS Pan of water will reduce the heat and make it more even. Next time put a 3 - 4 inch deep pan on the bottom shelf with just a few inches clear around it. You will be happy!

3- This is just me but I leave the stack open fully and just adjust the intake. Try a few more coals and smaller pieces of wood or chunks on the coals. Experiment with the amount of coals and just one or two wood chunks to every 30 min or just to keep the temp where you want it. If you want all wood. vs charcoal and wood. Start with a few pieces and let them burn down to coals with the door open then close it up and add the one to two pieces as with the charcoal.
 

civilsmoker

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Oh PS, also get a good digital thermometer and use that for temp vs the gauge on the side....Most the dial gauges don't work very well.
 

pigbark

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Joined Sep 25, 2013
I'll grab a picture. I soak the wood because otherwise it burns with very little smoke.
Hey, nice wooden smoker .. you can try to put some wood chips in a small pan and cover it with aluminum foil as tight as you can get it.. poke a few holes in it for smoke to escape.. just put it above the fire.. i did that for years. it actually works pretty good..

In your pictures, i do not see a air intake.. you may get some air in from the door jam if it has a gap in it.. problem is, with the gap being so much higher than the fire, its not feeding the fire very well.. plus your fire is inside a solid walled vessel, cant breath very well..

your best bet is to add a firebox "small wood stove?" outside the wood smoker and simply run a exhaust pipe from it to feed the smoker.. honestly, building a fire inside a wooden box is risky, Grease fire... you can pick up wood stoves on facebook, craigslist and even some small ones online "tent stoves" pretty cheap...
 

dctaz37

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Joined Sep 29, 2019
Do you have a link or an example of a wood box? I think that would help instead of trying to figure out the venting. The food turns out good but I never get a certain temperature to figure when the foot is ready or the smoked items are smoked enough.
 

civilsmoker

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https://coloradocylinderstoves.com/

https://www.campchef.com/camp-stoves-26/wood-stoves.html

These are what Pigbark was talking about.

My vertical box smoker is 3/16 steel plate lined with fire brick so having a fire inside is not a problem.....as it is made for it.

Most timber smoker boxes I've seen have an external fire box as Pigbark noted. These cylinder stoves work very very well. I have burned LOTS of wood (even dry cow paddy :-)) through one for the wall tent.

FYI - The stoves in the above links are premium stoves!
 

dctaz37

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Those look like fairly large stoves. How would I plumb them into my smoker? Would it not have to be plumbed in low? Any picture examples?
 

civilsmoker

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There are some smaller stoves and you don’t have to fill them up with a big fire. If I filled up my fire box on my smoker it would send the smoker to near 600 deg....small fire = low heat....an over crowded fire box is not good it will create bad smoke!

Your choice on how to plumb but just cut the legs on the cylinder stove so it it’s low then put a 90 into a flange on the wood box and bingo. There should be many examples in the forum builds if you spend a little time looking.
 

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