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New guy with an old stick burner in Tomball, Tx

FNG1985

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jul 18, 2018
Evening gents. I'm new to this forum but have been using a stick burner the old man bought out in Beaumont, Tx back in the 80's. The name of this smoker is "Dragon Smoker Cooker". The CC is about 40.5" long with a diameter of 16". The FB is the same diameter but 20" long. The intake on the FB door is like a butterfly dampener but the vent opening doesn't start until about 3" from the center of where the dampener is mounted on the door.

After fighting with this pit over the last few months I have a better idea of how to get decent food out, but this thing is insane. It only has one temp gauge near the exhaust outlet and reads about 50-75° higher than at the grate level. I understand why. After plugging in my dimensions of my stack, CC, FB and throat, I believe the throat is too big as well as the FB. In addition the inlet on the fire box door doesn't let enough oxygen in to keep a steady fire.

So, I decided I wanted to buy a new smoker of high quality and know the brand etc. I've done my research for a few weeks now. Well, plans change as always. I've got my first kiddo on the way and dropping $2100 on a new smoker probably isn't an intelligent choice at the moment. This made me think about modifying my current setup to get me through for about a year before I do make the big purchase. Does anyone know someone or live in Houston that would be willing to help make a few smoker modifications? I'm not expecting free services, however I don't think dumping a bunch of money into an old out of date smoker would be a wise decision either.

TIA,
Christian
 

motocrash

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,905
1,700
Joined Aug 25, 2017
Welcome to the forum Christian.Unfortunately I'm in Va so can't help you with your fab/mod requests,however I think you could modify it to work well and be happy with it saving plenty of $$ down the road.If possible post a few pics so we know what it looks like.
 

FNG1985

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jul 18, 2018
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Hey Crash, thanks for the warm welcome. Ha ha, dad sense of humor I have already. Here are the pictures of this old pit. When I was given this smoker it was rusted, pitting, the wheels were locked up, and the list goes on. Now she has a new temp probe, wire wheeled and painted etc. I think two of the biggest things I can do is install a new door that seals properly without a gap at the bottom/better intake and put in a whopper of a FB to CC dampener. Maybe extend the smoke stack as it is 20” long at 3.5” OD and do something with the CC door as it seems like it’s warped on the stack side a bit. Any and all pearls of wisdom, assistance, or pointing me in a good direction is appreciated. The steel is 1/4” thick, almost forgot.
 

motocrash

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,905
1,700
Joined Aug 25, 2017
Sealing the smoker should be the first on your list.Many products are available though this can be done cheaply with high temp RTV (I use Permatex Ultra Copper) and Saran wrap.Clean the mating surface of the lid/door VERY well,bare metal if possible,stretch Saran tight on the body and tape down so tape is out of the way.Apply a good continuous bead of the RTV on the door surface,close and let it squish and sit for a day or 2 until set.Open door and trim excess squish from the perimeter of the door with a razor knife.
Your exhaust seems to be pretty high in the CC allowing all the heat to flow right through.Not good,you want it to be ~1" above the CC grate.A simple/quick fix for that would be one of these.

These 2 things will make a big difference in holding heat/temp.As for your FB to CC opening it sounds like you are on the right track by looking at the calculator.A simple/cheap/quick fix for this a dollar store cookie sheet cut to restrict the throat as needed.Your intake appears to be of adequate size for the smoker,measure and compare to what the calculator says...
 

FNG1985

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jul 18, 2018
Great minds think alike Crash. The cheap cookie sheet fix is exactly what I had in mind for taming the fire exposure from FB to CC. I’ve got the CC sealed pretty well with some gasket material already, it’s just not perfect. Now that I know I’ll be keeping this booger around a bit longer I plan on putting a little more cash and engineering into getting it up to more acceptable conditions/flow. That elbow looks like a dryer vent piece, correct?
 

BlenderWizard

Newbie
1
0
Joined Dec 26, 2020
Evening gents. I'm new to this forum but have been using a stick burner the old man bought out in Beaumont, Tx back in the 80's. The name of this smoker is "Dragon Smoker Cooker". The CC is about 40.5" long with a diameter of 16". The FB is the same diameter but 20" long. The intake on the FB door is like a butterfly dampener but the vent opening doesn't start until about 3" from the center of where the dampener is mounted on the door.

After fighting with this pit over the last few months I have a better idea of how to get decent food out, but this thing is insane. It only has one temp gauge near the exhaust outlet and reads about 50-75° higher than at the grate level. I understand why. After plugging in my dimensions of my stack, CC, FB and throat, I believe the throat is too big as well as the FB. In addition the inlet on the fire box door doesn't let enough oxygen in to keep a steady fire.

So, I decided I wanted to buy a new smoker of high quality and know the brand etc. I've done my research for a few weeks now. Well, plans change as always. I've got my first kiddo on the way and dropping $2100 on a new smoker probably isn't an intelligent choice at the moment. This made me think about modifying my current setup to get me through for about a year before I do make the big purchase. Does anyone know someone or live in Houston that would be willing to help make a few smoker modifications? I'm not expecting free services, however I don't think dumping a bunch of money into an old out of date smoker would be a wise decision either.

TIA,
Christian
Me too!
 

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Blizzo

Newbie
13
4
Joined Dec 6, 2020
that looks like a great pit and i certainly wouldnt be replacing it! its the exact same dimensions as the one im building at the moment, only difference is my FB is 18" long.
for what its worth i am making my FB-CC opeing around 33 square inches based off information from this site. I have also been reccomended to use a 4" stack that goes around 16" above the top of the cook chamber.

I will be using a manifolded grate level stack the same as Franklin / workhorse pits / many others use, this will help make it fore efficient by dragging the heat down. I have been told you want at least a 4" stack to get enough draw to drag the heat down.
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hzgone

Newbie
1
0
Joined Jun 22, 2008
I know this is an old thread but I have the exact same smoker. How did the mods work out?
 

Coach Pete

Newbie
1
0
Joined Jan 5, 2021
I have this beast of a smoker from the same company, and holding temp steady has been a nightmare. I just picked this guy up, and a few times I tried smoking from it was very difficult to hold the temp. Anyone out there have seen or worked with this smoker?
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