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Propane smoker build question


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
You certainly can, but you're going to need to make sure your smoker if fire proof .

What are you planning on for your build? Wood, steel, vertical, horizontal? How big?

pete mazz

Smoke Blower
Joined Oct 15, 2011
I've used these burners and in my vertical they put out too much heat or blow out if too low. I ran screws into the entire inner ring of holes and then also had to run them into every other hole in the outer one. That got me to where I could maintain smoking temps and have a flame that wouldn't get blown out by wind or just closing the door.
Joined Nov 7, 2016
Hey folks, sorry for the missing info.

I plan to build out of wood like this one http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/86302/my-insulated-plywood-propane-smoker

I've seen you folks using this burner too http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/86302/my-insulated-plywood-propane-smoker

So if my current burner is too big I could get the above one.

If I'm using the burner posted above, is it safe to use in a wooden smoker like in the link above? I'm new to this and currently doing research and looking at a ton of builds, but not really any of them mention safety when using a propane burner in a wooden box.

So that's my plan, to copy the smoker above and most likely get the burner posted above. I'm essentially figuring out the heat source and building it around that.



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 12, 2010
Check out what this member had to do to get the burner to work properly..... 

Sounds like Pete Mazz had to do something similar....   Sorry Pete, haven't seen your burner to add it to my "very important sh!t" file...  I looked through your photos and it ain't there...   Please post a picture.......


ALSO, it's important to install a "flame out" protector.....  below is a warning for those that do not install such a device....

Man killed when meat smoker explodes

Colleen Kottke, The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter 4:49 p.m. EST December 15, 2014

(Photo: The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter)

TOWN of LAMARTINE, Wis. — A Wisconsin man using a homemade meat smoker to cook turkeys and chickens died when the smoker exploded, police said.

Richard L. Zabel, 55, was found dead Saturday afternoon inside a machine shed.

"The North Fond du Lac Ambulance and Lamartine first responders were called to the scene for the initial report that someone had fallen," said Lt. Cameron McGee of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office. "When investigators arrived on scene, they discovered that a 55-year-old man was dead inside the building."

Zabel, a town of Lamartine man, did not live at the building's location, but lived nearby.

"Evidence indicates that the flame on the LP burner went out and as a result the gas continued to accumulate inside the smoker," McGee said. "And when (Zabel) went to relight the burner, the spark from the lighter caused the gas to explode."

McGee said the force of the explosion caused the heavy duty door of the smoker to blow open, striking Zabel in the head, killing him instantly.

"When something explodes, it's going to blow open at the weakest point which was the door, which was triple-latched," McGee said.

McGee said the smoker was larger and better constructed than most store-bought models.

"It was about 4-feet tall and about 3-feet wide and built really solid, including the door. Someone really put a lot of thought into building this thing," McGee said. "We were told that they had been using it for the past three years without any problems."

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.
Joined Nov 7, 2016
Hmmm, thank you so much for that post. Maybe I'm back to using fire and wood as the heat source. Dang,,that is unfortunate. Thanks for the heads-up, that's why I came here



Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
I have friends that use a burner like yours in their smokehouse. Their smokehouse is 3'x3'x8'. The lower three feet of the smoker is made from concrete masonry units. The upper portion is made from wood. They have the burner hard plumbed to the outside of the smokehouse. They also have a falme out protector on the gas line.

The one that you show in the link above in my opinion would not be safe. It's too small for that size of burner. And it would need a good fireproof base.
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