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Pellet Pro hopper Offset Build

12
22
Joined Jan 6, 2020
So...........today I started my first build! I've been planing a build for a while now, or at least contemplating all the various builds that can be found on here. This weekend I found an older Smoke Daddy Pellet Pro Hopper (non-PID controller) and couldn't pass on the deal. I've had an old New Braunfels offset smoker standing by as a restoration project/donor for a build, I believe it's a Black Diamond or a Hondo. The long term goal is to fully restore the NB to stick smoking glory and build out a pellet smoker from an old fridge or possibly some other vessel. But for now I'm trying to use what I have and build a pellet smoker/grill akin to the GMG's and the like.

Today was full of cleaning, grinding, cutting, fitting, modifying, more cutting, and finally a test fire.
I mounted the auger/burn pot part of the unit inside the smoke chamber, as low to the bottom of the barrel as I could. This may be where I run into problems.

So far I don't have a drip tray or heat diffuser so that's on the list for fabrication or purchase next. However, this is where I'm a little stuck. The stock grill grates, in the correct orientation, practically sit on top of the auger housing/burn pot. If I rotate the grates 90deg they sit maybe an inch or so above the burn pot but that's still not a lot of room to play with heat diffusers and drip trays.

Observations:
1) I'll definitely be picking up the PID upgrade kit from Smoke Daddy. The smoke chamber on my NB is 36" long and boy was that temp swinging. I also need to adjust where I have positioned the controllers thermo probe as I'm sure my poor placement didn't help the temp any.
2) I'll need to play around with making new grates that will sit higher and allow room for a drip tray and/or diffuser.

Questions:
1) Anyone try and drop a pellet hopper into an offset and experience the same space issues with grill grates and the burn pot? Recommendations?
2) Should I bother with a full size drip tray/broiler tray/diffuser or just go with the Smoke Daddy OEM diffuser?

Here are Just the starter photos, I'll post more tomorrow when there is better lighting.
IMG_20200118_124519.jpg
IMG_20200118_124528.jpg
 
12
22
Joined Jan 6, 2020
Took a few more photos this morning. Got the tape out and it looks like with the grates rotated there is about 1.5 inches between the top of the burn pot and the grates. Doing this also creates a gap of a little over 3.5 inches in the cooking surface.......probably not a huge deal, but new grates are on the list.

IMG_20200120_101439.jpg
IMG_20200120_101405.jpg
IMG_20200120_101243.jpg
IMG_20200120_101239.jpg
IMG_20200120_101218.jpg


I should be able to add to the smokestack, sooner rather than later, to bring it down closer to the cooking surface. There will be a full takedown and clean before burn in and first smoke so I can take photos of the cutting and very slight modifying if folks want.

I'll continue to scour the forums, seeking advice and direction from all the great posts here. I'm thinking that this will be a short lived project as I just don't have that much room in the smoker to play with and because I want to restore the NB I don't want to do too much cutting and modifying......Maybe I'm overvaluing the NB but I do think it would be nice to have a stick burner to play with when I want to fully invest to that time to smoke something. I'm going to keep my eye on Craigslist for a new vessel for the pellet grill/smoker build or maybe just go full fridge build......we will see!
 

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