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Suggestions for flower pot smoker designs I drew up.

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by cjp87, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. cjp87

    cjp87 Newbie

    Hi all. I'm new to the smoking game (in fact, I've never had a smoker, but been a long time fan of smoked meats), and after looking into buying one for a couple days, I decided it might be worth my time to start a project in designing and building my own smoker. After reading a ton about Ugly Drums and flower pots, I decided that modifying a couple of designs I found to work together might be a successful design. 

    This design is based on this  blog post, along with inspiration for an airflow system from this guy. I originally thought about using terra cotta pots, but I figured that ceramics (since they've already been fired at high temps) would be able to withstand the direct heat of lump charcoal fire without issue. Correct me if I'm wrong on that assumption, of course. 

    Also, the airflow path is kindof dependent on being able to drill holes into the ceramics... is this a feasible endeavor, or will the pot break under the stress? 

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions on this design. I don't really have the spare money to do a hit and miss build, so I'd like to have a pretty surefire design when I buy my supplies. Feel free to correct/suggest alternatives or whatever you may have, I'm brand new at this and all open ears. 

    Thanks for looking!


  2. marty catka

    marty catka Meat Mopper

    Hi and welcome!  Get yourself on over to Roll Call and introduce yourself.

    Looks like a Big Green Egg to me!  I don't know if you can drill into the ceramic after it's been fired, it will probably break.  If you can shape and drill your green clay then have it fired that would probably work. Good luck and keep us informed.
  3. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No problem drilling into ceramics. You'll need to buy a special carbide tipped drill bit though. Any hardware store will have them in stock typically.
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome to SMF there CPJ. It's nice to have new members so can you swing into Roll Call and introduce yourself and we can give you the welcome we like to give to new members. Your smoker idea looks pretty good so build it and don't forget the Q-view (pictures here)
  5. cjp87

    cjp87 Newbie

    Hey all, thanks for the comments and welcomes. I'll be sure to get to that roll call taken care of soon enough. For now, though, I went and started buying supplies for my build! So far I've got the pot and a bowl for a lid (both 15" ceramic from Home Depot), three ceramic pot feet, two 1/2" brass ball valves (for intakes), several steel nipples and caps for exhaust ports and extra intake controls (four holes on the bottom of the pot for intake, three on the bottom of the bowl for exhaust), a ceramic plate for a wood "box", and 1/4" bolts to support the ceramic plate and grill grate when I find a 12" one. 

    Still on the "to buy" list: Two 12" grill grates, a high-temp cement compound for sealing all the holes, a colander (for the charcoal pit), a pit thermometer, and probably some handles for the bowl/lid. But for now, here's a pic of the current parts compilation.  

  6. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic

    welcome and I  LIke it

     do you think the grates from the small Weber smokie joe will fit ?

    I think they were around 14 inches ( the small grills from Home Depot or LOwes Maybe?)

     if your holes arent round after drilling I think electical nuts and washers might help

    or hi temp chimney cemet sealer?
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  7. cjp87

    cjp87 Newbie

    I tried the small Weber, the inside diameter is exactly 13", so if I went with a branded grid, it'd have to be the Big Green Egg replacement, which is $30 minimum! But, I found a few random stainless steel grids on Amazon for cheap ($10 for a 12", $6 for a 9"), so I've got two grids I'll stack up to give me 21" of cooking surface. Those should come in by Saturday, along with a granite colander that I snagged for around $9 on Amazon as well. Gonna check around locally for a pit thermometer first, as I've read the ones on Amazon are a bit overpriced, but I don't want to have to pay half the cost of the thermometer in shipping. 

    As for the cement compound, I've found a local fireplace/firepit store around here that I think will have some of the stuff you're talking about, so I'm going to check them out. At this rate, I should have all my parts by the weekend, then it's just a matter of setting aside the time to put it together!
  8. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    Maybe im wrong but I think you need a bigger exhaust?
  9. cjp87

    cjp87 Newbie

    I guess you can't see it in that original design, but three of those 2" steel nipples will serve as the exhaust, removing the caps as necessary. They're 1/2" diameters on the inside, so I think it should be okay. If not, I can open up the drain holes on the bowl and put in larger ones. 
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  10. cdp4444

    cdp4444 Newbie

    Hello, I just built one of these style smokers. I went with the unfinished terra cotta planter 18" for the base and an 18" flower pot for the lid. There is about a 1" hole in the base and the lid. I rewired a 1000 watt hot plate for my heat source and use an old cast iron platter with the handle cut off for the wood chunks. Standard size replacement grates were used for the cooking surface and a lower/smaller one for the drip pan. I did have to use some alum foil to seal the "joint" between the lid and the base. I will find some fiberglass rope to seal it eventually but heat loss isn't a problem. I can attain temps of about 320 no problem. Already cooked a chicken and a pulled pork butt on it. Very fun. Good luck with your design.