opinions needed

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2011
I am going to build a smoke shack/house with an external fire box.  I have the basic plan in mind.   One question I have is about the height.

For draft purposes you can make a smoke stack with a damper any height you want.  Is there any pros or cons regarding the actual height of the building itself.  Not counting the room for meat in the inside of the smokehouse itself. 

If you diffuse the smoke as it enters the smokehouse to all sides and front to back is there a limit to the width and depth that prevents adequate smoke or circulation of smoke inside the smoke house? 
Or is this a simple matter of maintaining the size ratio between the fire box and the smoke house?
  I'm gonna watch this thread, gonna try to do a smoke house in the corner of what I have planned for the Q-bana the Son Promised me for doing the meat for his wedding in April.

  Er? Maybe look in WIKI ?
Are you trying to generate heat to cook the meat or just cold smoke to flavor the meat?  With an offset firebox I assume you are trying to cool the smoke before it enters the chamber and the size of the smoke house in relation to the size of the firebox is not as important.  In mine the smoke enters from the rear corner and makes a couple of spins around the chamber before exiting the dampers.  I am not looking for a lot of smoke just the taste of the smoke.  If I ever want to get the temps higher I can add a camp stove or electric stove to the chamber, but I have a Lang reverse flow stickburner for that purpose. 
Mine is set up with an automatic diffuser by means of drip pans between the hanging meat and smoke source; this was the way the Koch smokehouses were built at my dad's store.  He had the top chamber to hang meat from, up to 3 rows of metal smoke sticks deep and two rows high.  You could hang 325lbs. of slab bacon, two rows deep and two rows high, or 36 hams, 3 rows deep of 6 per row times 2 rows high.  The lower chamber door was the oblong iron coal pan that could slide out on angle iron, over a gas straight tube burner that was thermostatically controlled; set the temp and refill the pan every 30-45 minutes.  Dad used crushed corn cobs that were easily prevalent, as farmers shelled their corn and left the cob.  Dad would pay farmers to truck the shelled cobs to the grist mill to get them ground and bought them cheap in 100 lb. bags we'd store down cellar, usually putting in 60 bags at a time in the crib. Above the burner and coal pan was three drip pans that lifted out, one one each side with another in the middle slightly above; the grease dripping off the upper center pan into the two lower pans, each about 1" deep.  Us boys had to clean off the drip pans in between smokes, dumping the grease into a garbage can, along with the aluminum foil we'd cover each with, rinse them off, then cover with fresh aluminum foil and put back in the smoke house for the next smoke.  This series of drip pans created a diffusion effect so the smoke drafted upwards evenly, swirling around the meat evenly and then exiting the smokestack.  The meat got smoked evenly and the grease was caught effectively, never dripping into the coal pan, and likewise eliminating flareups.  The bone rendering company picked up the used grease/foil every week.

My smokehouse design accommodated this concept, albeit a crude imitation, but effective and created enough diffusion to permit good draft of the smoke to evenly smoke the contents and catch the grease too.  
Hello Pops,

I read through your build.  Good info there.  In designing what I am doing, I just got curious about the possibility of a maximum width and depth that would prevent thorough smoke density before I would need to contemplate some type of multiple smoke entrances into the smoke house.... not really something that I would actually put into practice, just a curiosity question more than anything else...

Like I replied to Pops... I just had this question pop into my head while designing what I am going to do.... too bad I am getting ready to move so my build will be delayed, but with luck I get it done before Memorial Day.

My shack will not be big enough to concern myself with this issue, just we just dream of bigger and better and this question came up.  lol
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