one cooking grate or two in a horizontal tank 19.75" ID?

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Aug 28, 2022
Kirkland, Washington
This is what I did on my last build where I was working with a 24" OD air tank. I had barely enough room for 2 levels of cooking grates:


This build is smaller. It's only 19 3/4" diameter inside (80 gallon tank). I just don't see how I can make two levels of cooking grates work in there. I'm trying to decide whether to use one level, and if so, should I place it midway up the tank (where it's widest) or a bit below where I can have toom for bigger food (turkeys? goat leg?).

Basically, I am leaning towards the opinion that to do 2 levels of cooking grate, you have to have at least a 24" diameter tank.

Please share your wisdom, thank you!

I am just finishing up a build with my smoker and I am trying to decide on that very same thing. Mine is also out of a tank that is just under 20" ID. I am trying to determine if there is enough room to make it worth it. I originally had plans to make a small "rib rack" at the top and the main grate at midway but after looking at how much room their will be, it doesn't seem worth it. I worry that if I give myself enough room for the top rack, I will hinder my bottom rack.
I may build a rack that I can just slide in if I want to cook a lot of ribs on. That's the only reason I can think of, as of now, that I would need the 2nd rack. That or maybe a side of smoked mac n cheese or something.
…and there’s me pondering a small second top food grate in my 35gal 15” diameter build. After reading this I’m definitely sticking to just the one main grill!
In the end I put one pair of grates where the tank was widest, and another pair about 3" below that. The lower pair of cooking grates can hold racks of ribs or it can hold drip pans or the like.
S seattlepitboss , I just cut a 20" tank for a reverse flow smoker with a warming box. I plan to cut the door so that the bottom rack is at or even a bit below center and use two racks so we'll be able to compare them when I get that far. I'll put an angle iron lip on the inside of the lower edge of the door so condensation stays in the cook chamber and not running down the outside of the smoker.

20230413_174310.jpg is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads