Scored some 22" pipe for RF Build

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
Climax Springs, Mo
Hi everyone! I have been doing a ton of reading on all the RF build here on SMF. I scored 2 pieces of 22" pipe about 77" long I really wanted at least 84" because I want double doors. Hope to start my build shortly after the new year with May 1st being a target date for completion. I own a welding shop so this will be a big help. Since I have 2 tanks I plan to weld them together to make my CC 96". Is there any reason why I should not go 96" with just a 22" CC?

Dockman, morning....   When making an RF smoker, unrestricted flow under the RF plate is critical for the smoker to heat properly....   Too much friction from the "walls", will severely affect the heating capability of the smoker....   A long narrow smoker will demand an RF plate that takes up half the smoker...  No room for food........  10" off the bottom, 4" to the cooking grate, 6" for food....  not a good design...

I say no to the long 22" D smoker...  Save the pipe and make patio smokers...... 

Thanks Dave! Got a call this morning from one of the propane companies I called yesterday. They have a shipment of about 40 used 250 gallon tanks coming in. The price was real cheap so I told him to let me know when they show up and I may buy 10 - 20 of them. The 250 is a way bigger smoker then I need but a 24" (120 gallon) tank seems real hard to find.
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Length matters.....   The RF plate height and the CC/FB opening are based on the volume of the CC.....  The more volume in the CC, the more volume is needed under the RF plate and the bigger the FB/CC opening needs to be.....  Thus the cooking area above the RF plate is reduced....  also, heat loss is greater the longer the CC....

As the diameter of the CC increases, there is more "room" under the RF plate without sacrificing cooking grate space.. 

A 500 gallon cooker, 8' long and 36" diameter, has ample room for everything..

Short and fat allows for ample cooking room and reduces heat loss from surface area....

Check out Ribwizzards builds..... he's up to 37 or something like that....  all shapes and sizes.....   pretty impressive...

24" in diameter, about 5' to 6' in length is just about a perfect size for a smoker.  Agreed with Dave, the longer you go, the larger the diameter you'll need, especially for a RF pit.  You could make some killer smaller RF's with the 22" or several great charcoal grills!
Ok I see now! Could I convert my current patio smoker 16" x 31" CC with FB 16" x 17" into a RF? CC/FB are both round. What is the longest a 24" could be made?
Dockman, good evening, having a welding shop is a big plus. You probably have access and availability to a lot of thing a backyard builder doesn't.  Here is another thought without disagreeing or stepping on anyone's toes. To get the extra head room needed here is what we did. we split our pipe and added 6" plate and made it oblong. You can see in my avatar. Since you have propane tanks coming, you have a lot more options. We have a guy here in Tyler who makes some great pits, (commercial builder) from propane tanks, everything from 250 gal (best seller) to 500 and 1000 gal. even seen his smokers on BBQ Pit-Masters. Back to oblong, I needed the head room and wanted a different look. Adding 6 , 8 or 10 inches shouldn't be a problem for you. Just my thoughts

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