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Featured Smoker Build from old boiler

Whisky Creek

Newbie
2
2
Joined Dec 3, 2019
I rescued a 50 year old boiler vessel from the clutches of nature recently. It measures 4 ft in diameter and is about 6 1/2 feet long. Have started a smoker build project with it. It is 1/4 " side walls with thicker top and bottom riveted onto it. So far, I have just cut the front access door out with my plasma cutter. I figure I can install 6 removable racks (48 inches in diameter) with 8 inches of space between them. I would like to be able to do hot and cold smoking with this unit. I already have an old homebuilt barrel woodstove to set up some distance away and plumb the cold smoke into the unit, via flexible aluminum pipe (that should work???) and I am just deciding on the hot smoke part of the design.

I am leaning towards propane heat, to be able to control the temperature more easily. Then a wood chip box over that and a heat deflector / diffuser on top of that all. Then a pot of water on top of the heat deflector / diffuser. I was going to make the heat deflector in a way that it also serves as a drip tray to make cleanup easier. I live in northern Canada so need to be able to use store bought wood chips for smoke, as we only have spruce, pine and alder up here.

I have ZERO experience with smokers and smoker builds, aside from eating alot of it at "D.B.'s Rustic Iron BBQ" in Terlingua, Texas each winter during holidays! haha

So, any and all advice will be greatly appreciated and considered. Such as, how long of a stack should I put on the smoker and what diameter? Should it be centered in the middle of the unit? Propane burner options?

Thanks!

CLINT
 

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Robert H

Fire Starter
50
21
Joined Nov 29, 2017
Not 100% sure about exhaust but I think double or 2.5 times what you have coming in.
More knowledgeable folks than me will confirm or deny.
Thats gonna be one badass unit when done.
 

kmmamm

Smoke Blower
109
35
Joined Apr 30, 2016
What kind of condition is the boiler plate in? I have passed on some that were heavily scaled and/or severely rusted to the point they were not worth the time and effort of cleaning and trying to salvage . Are you planning to make this a vertical unit or laying it on its side and going horizontal? Given you are that far north, an insulation wrap would probably be something to consider. LPG is a good option, however, crunch the numbers, you may well need multiple burners to achieve your target temps. Be careful welding old plate, sometimes the metal is brittle and will fracture near the welds.
good luck
 

Whisky Creek

Newbie
2
2
Joined Dec 3, 2019
What kind of condition is the boiler plate in? I have passed on some that were heavily scaled and/or severely rusted to the point they were not worth the time and effort of cleaning and trying to salvage . Are you planning to make this a vertical unit or laying it on its side and going horizontal? Given you are that far north, an insulation wrap would probably be something to consider. LPG is a good option, however, crunch the numbers, you may well need multiple burners to achieve your target temps. Be careful welding old plate, sometimes the metal is brittle and will fracture near the welds.
good luck

The condition is good.

It is being used vertically. Yeah, might need the insulation if I use it in the winter.

I'm hoping to make a tubular ring burner to have the heat uniformly around the whole bottom. Maybe a 30 inch diameter ring of fire??
 

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