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Smoker overhaul

smokewatcher

Meat Mopper
267
18
Joined Aug 31, 2006
Well I found the camera and finally finished my smoker mods. I'm actually kinda proud of it....can't wait to try it out! It is a Char-Griller firebox bought at Frys for $50. It has a pull-out ash drawer and cast-iron grates for grilling directly over the coals. I tilted the thermometer so that 225 degrees is straight up, showing me how close to my target temperature I am with just a glance. The inside has a baffle made from plain steel to (hopefully) eliminate the hotspot right above the fire hole, and a 12" concrete step for thermal mass that also helps counter the weight of the box from tipping the whole thing over. I now have room for 3 more food racks, and my water pan still fits (if I decide to use it). I plan to fire it up today for the first time to burn-off the oil finish on the inside of the new parts, and to get an idea of how well it maintains the temps.

pics are now online... http://photos.yahoo.com/lord_thomas_of_dawnshire

Have a good weekend Y'all.
 

domn8_ion

Smoking Fanatic
548
11
Joined Apr 5, 2007
Good job on the pix. SO... you turned a vertical to an offset. The mods look like they should work. Did you do that for more space? Where are the thermometers, top, bottom, middle? I may have just not seen them. Let us know how it does on heat control after its smoking.
 

smokewatcher

Meat Mopper
267
18
Joined Aug 31, 2006
Thanx. I did it mostly for better temperature control and more room....plus I can't seem to stop "modding" things. :)

The single thermometer is midway up the food chamber. I fired it up empty yesterday for the first time. A full chimney of charcoal bricks got it up to cooking temp quickly. It got as high as 275 at the most, even with the inlet fully open. I'll need to experiment more and with wood/coal combinations. I did notice while I have better temperature control, it uses more fuel then before...but that is expected by design I guess.
 

msmith

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,227
13
Joined Nov 22, 2006
I like those mods you made Smoke Watcher are you going to use wood or a mix of wood and charcoil? Let us know how the temps hold up. I have an upright with side fire box on one side of the general also. My thermometer is on the door also and I checked it with boiling water and it was dead on but when im cooking in running 20*hotter on the grill than door temp.
 

domn8_ion

Smoking Fanatic
548
11
Joined Apr 5, 2007
I was just wondering. I've read that offsets will use more fuel than a vertical. As for modding things, I'm im the same boat. I like to take things and make them "mine". I'd paint flames and pinstripes on my smokers if I could fine high heat paint in the colors I like.
 

chris_harper

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,546
11
Joined Nov 21, 2006
i have that same firebox on my smoker. take out the charcoal rack and chunk it. it will bend up after one nice size log goes on it. (for just charcoal it works ok though.) i use a lava rock rack out of an old LP grill for my charcoal/wood rack in mine. get some high heat paint, as the paint will burn off the top. keep an eye on the damper bolt and nut. it likes to tighten too much and loosen too much on ya. overall, i like it. not big enough though, in my opinion.
 

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