Size of fire box

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 28, 2014
Texas Dallas
Good afternoon SMF!
Name is Dustin. I've been reading the posts for a while trying to learn all I can. Thank you all for the amount of effort you put in here.

I'm in the planning stages of building my first smoker. I'm working on the dimensions for the fire box. Can it be too big? My cooking chamber (CC), 16" diameter 25" long, is small because I don't want to use a lot of wood. And I only want to cook one brisket and chicken at a time. But I want to have a large fire box because we have two other smokers with large boxes. I don't want multiple stacks of wood for different sizes.

So what would happen if my fire box is too large?
Bump... Dustin, could you post the dimensions of the firebox that you want to use?. Put up all the dimensions and most likely another member will be along shortly. I only have experience with making a firebox too small
Dustin, evening.... Build the FB as big as you need..... All the numbers for a good smoker are based on the size of the CC....

CC cubic inches X

.333 = FB or larger
.017 = stack volume cu. in. (recommended 30-40 inches in height)
.001 = FB air inlet
.004 = FB / CC opening and area under the RF plate

for figuring the FB/CC opening

Last edited:
Hi Dave
I’m still working on my small smoker.  My life has been really busy the last few months.  I’ve been collecting material for my build.  My most exciting piece are the wheels.  I’m using my great grandfathers old horse drawn cultivator.  When I pulled it out of our pasture the wheels still rolled very smoothly.  I took the caps off and it still had the grease packed in there.  The engineering from 100 years ago still amazes me.  

I’m looking at doing a round fire box now.  I can get it cheaper than building a square FB.   

Cooking Chamber Round  16 Diameter  26  L    5,225 volume
Fire Box round    16 D  12  L    2,412 volume  (Too small????)
Chimney  round  3 D  17 in L
FB intake round 2 D  have three put in.  two at the bottom underneath the fire grate.  One at the top for faster air flow if needed.  
Opening FB to CC  need 19in>2   Still working this part out.  Half moon vs rectangle.  

Have a great day guys. 

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