New member, new to me smoker

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Original poster
Feb 4, 2017
Hello everyone, looking forward to everyone's insight! I recently acquired a barrel smoker from a friend and I had a couple questions. I'm gonna try to post pictures from my phone so hopefully they show in the thread
I have been using various vertical smokers for the past few years, nothing fancy, a master built pro from Home Depot and a couple hand me downs from friends. This smoker is made by a company called Daves custom BBQ out of the Tampa area (one of the dials has his logo and info on it). I was just wondering if anyone has heard of these?
Also if the pics show up, the firebox seems close to the right rear wheel, is that something I should be concerned with? The past owner was just putting charcoal on one side underneath the grates, he told me if I use the fire box to remove the tire first... there's no steel plate between the box and the wheel,kind of slacking on the design but no biggie.
Any and all opinions are appreciated
I've never seen a setup like that before.

I'm no builder, but it certainly seems like a poorly designed smoker, if you have to remove a wheel to use it.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along to give you a better answer.

That doesn't seem right at all.  What custom builder would weld those hinges on a smoker that has their name on it?

If it were me I think I'd seal that off and put me a fire box on the back-end like it should be.  What's there looks more like a fire tray and I can't even imagine trying to control that thing. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.