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recycled smoker

harpguy74

Newbie
9
10
Joined Nov 16, 2010
hi guys i posted the other day in reverse flow my mistake so i wuill re introduce myself. my name is dean and i live in quebec canada.  i am in the middle of building a small sfb smoker. it is my first build and i have never actually seen a smoker up close s i am going completely from what i read on line. i am a mechanic by trade and am building the smoker from all recycled material. the firebox is a old bbq propane tank, the smoker is a old compressor tank" 44 around and about 3 feet long" the smoker hingesare from a honda civic tailgate the firebox hinges are from a civik hood. the chimney is a p/t cryiser exhaust. asnd so on. my main question is how big should the hole be between the firebox and the  smoker? and how important is the length of the chimney?
 

tom37

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
1,649
21
Joined Sep 24, 2009
Hey there Dean, glad you found us and decided to hang out.

Congrats for taking on the task of building a smoker with never even seeing one before. Here is a link for the pit calculator, just fill in the blanks in the appreciate section either for round tank or square. Tell it the numbers and it will tell you the minimum sizes for the entrance holes and the stack length and dia, Since you already have the stack you would want to enter the dia of your stack and it will tell you how tall it needs to be.

Here is the link.

http://webpages.charter.net/tomchism/BBQ CALC Forms/BBQ Smoker Calculators.htm

Check it out and pls shout out if you have troubles getting it to work.
 

mballi3011

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
14,478
55
Joined Mar 12, 2009


First off Welcome Dean to SMF. You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Welcome To Your New Addiction
 

harpguy74

Newbie
9
10
Joined Nov 16, 2010
so this is the mostly finished product.i just have the gasket and thermometer to instal. my question is before i start experimenting i would like a ruff idea of how much wood/charcoal it taked to get a smoker of this size up to heat?
 

kcbluesnbbq

Meat Mopper
252
10
Joined Aug 7, 2010
With my fire box, which is just a little bigger, I start with 5 to 7 pounds of good lump charcoal. Takes 45 minutes to an hour to get up to temp.

Many smokers here use the minion method. Just enter it in the search box and you will find it.

Just before mine comes up to temp, I add some wood splits and let them start smoldering down.

Good luck and let us know how it works.
 

harpguy74

Newbie
9
10
Joined Nov 16, 2010
i tried the smoker this weekend for the first time, without meat just to practice if you will. it was windy as hell and - 10 " 8 ish degrees u.s" i started with 1 chimney of lump charcoal didnt get any heat att all so i added another chimney full and still didnt get any heat att all . if i opend the air and the door to the firebox a bit it would glow red but if i glosed it up it would die down fast. am i doing something really wrong or is it just the harsh winds and cold working against me?
 

sqwib

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,964
1,028
Joined Sep 25, 2007
Hard to tell from the pics dean but I'll give it a shot.

Sounds like the fuel is being chocked...not enough air.

Do you have a fire grate wit sufficient air space below the coals.

Do you have air intake, below the grate

Your firebox to smoke chamber seems a bit small as well as the diameter of your stack, however seems the stack may be high enough.

Have you consulted the pit calculator, its in my Sig.
 

fourashleys

Smoking Fanatic
412
10
Joined Jun 28, 2010
Sounds alot like the wind choking the fire out, I agree with sqwib. If you have the air space and intake below the grate you can try like I had to this week. Try turning your rig into the wind so it's not getting broadsided. It's not a plne but funny enough it took care of the problem for me and my rig came right up to temp as normal. Just an easy fix to try. Keep us informed.
 

harpguy74

Newbie
9
10
Joined Nov 16, 2010
so i took the smoker back to the shop and intaled a 2" hole with a valve directly under the fire box. then yesterday i put i and a half chimneys of lump charcoal in it and shut the door with the valve open all the way. i also put a blanket on top of the smoke chamber. after a short time it was up to 250 and stayed there for about 1.5 hours before it started to drop att all. i didnt close anything up becouse when i did it would start to drop. but i got it ti a cooknig temp so next weekend will be my first atempt at using it.
 

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