The X-Fire Grill

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Smoking Guru
Original poster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 27, 2015
Introducing the "X-Fire Grill"

This is the new grill/smoker design that my son and I have developed to build for his civil learning class. It is designed to allow several types of "fire" grilling/smoking, hence the name aka X-Fire Grill. Each X-Fire Cooking Stage is described below. Each X-Fire Stage is designed to develop a specific flavor profile and finish to make the taste buds smile.

The skin will be out of 3/16" with the inside lined with fire brick. The fire pan will be 2.5" brick and the sides, top, & doors will be 1-1/4" brick.

X-Fire Stage 1 is set up for Argentine grill cooking with SS V-grates and drip pan for a clean grilled flavor (minimal flame up). The cooking surface will be adjustable as needed to fit the bill! It is designed to burn with doors closed for use with a smaller fire and bad weather.

X-Fire Stage 2 is set up to be like a Santa Maria Grill with open flame and flame up for a more smokey flavor. The adjustable height cooking surface will allow for controlling heat and flame up. It is designed to burn with doors closed for use with a smaller fire and bad weather.

X-Fire Stage 3 is the "smoker" set up. A set deflector pans are added with the the choice of either the V-Grate or Open Grate. Note for smoking set up the fire can burn right on the floor or on an elevated coal grate (Both of the previous stages can use the elevated grate as well). Further note: Since vertical stick smokers usually get over heated, the firebrick is designed to tame the heat as well as add retained heat through the cooking process. (IE the V-Grate will also serve as a softening of heat effect). X-Fire Stage 3a is if a reverse sear is desired, then when smoking is complete and a sear is desired, the deflectors are pulled and the grate is lowered to the desired searing temp above the coals.

X-Fire Stage 4 & 4a allows for indirect burning with either cooking surface grate. This will allow for the classic weber style cooking with convection circulation.
X-Fire Stage 4a

X-Fire Stage 5 is not shown but there will be cross bars across the top for hanging chickens, turkeys, and other such desired cooking/smoking items. These can be roasted or smoked as desired with the deflector pan, V-Grate, or Open....

X-Fire Stage 6 will be the use of a set of tuning plates instead of the full deflectors, allowing for the ultimate balance in heat and smoke.

The whole premise of the design is to have a full function grill that crosses over the vast open fire/wood/coal styles. The design has been based on studying countless Argentine & Santa Maria grills (including restaurant installations) as well as reverse flow and vertical smokers. I have also been "testing and collecting" data from my last build (link below) on how the vertical cooking works as well as the heat flow.

Once it is built, I am also going to experiment with a floating fire brick floor in place of the deflector plate (1/2 fire brick 1/2 open for HOT fire) to see if I can get 550 to 650 degree....IE pizza temp. I will need to see proof in the pudding before I call that X-Fire Stage 7. However, I have been able to get my VCC 600 deg pretty easily on the Copper Pot, so I do believe it will be achievable.....

So stay tuned this should be a fairly fast build as it needs to be complete by May and not interfere with turkey season.
Last edited:
How do you/son like SketchUp? Positives negatives? I've been thinking of trying it.

motocrash, SketchUp is pretty cool and for being free it is WAY cool! My son plays a game called space engineers and it is very similar....yea go figure a game, so he picked up on it pretty dang quick. The negative is the free version isn't a engineering drawing tool. Its difficult to get exact sizes (I'm talking minor though). This is coming from some one that has access to full blown AutoCAD & MicroStation and I use to teach 3D modeling for large infrastructure projects and have lectured on it for visualisation and digital controlled construction........just a side note I developed the 3D model for the very first 3D digital controlled infrastructure project (56 lane miles of interstate for $24M) in Idaho 22 years ago....

The positive is you can get concepts figured out before you go to the shop! I have spent quite a bit of time truthing out the framing of the grill above. Figuring out a way to "suspend" fire bricks on the top while allowing flex was a head scratcher for a bit. So, I believe it will save countless hours fabricating! Just perspective but IMO, the X-Fire Grill will be way easier to fabricate than the Copper Pot. The only real challenge will be the Wt. but we will be building up from the casters so no heavy lifting other than the 3 sheets of 3/16, those are kinda heavy.
Thanks tag0401! Next week will be building materials list time with the following week getting materials....
  • Like
Reactions: tag0401
Just a view of the framing for the bricks in the top.
Following this for sure! Love the overall concept! That sucker is going to be heavy. Any idea of the finished weight?

weedeater, I sure hope it cooks or I'm going to a little in the dumps but hey whats life for if we don't take a chance every once and a while. I haven't done a detailed calculation but roughly 1600 lbs. It will be on 4000 lb casters
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
Oh the thought of cooking like this is what helped kept the rotisserie feelings at bay.....all I can say is HOLY CRAP I WANT TO DO THIS!!!!
Another example of the 3D perspective to check clearances and ideas. The removable V-Grate drip pan holder is from the Copper Pot side burner drip pan, it works really well and I think this will be better than like the hanging ones like in the pic above, ie see the c-clamp holding it on. don't want that.....
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
Today we were able to pick up the fire bricks from the brick supply place. 150 splits and 30 full.

These have a little heft to them (800lbs+/-)!!! It sure would be nice to have a fork lift....oh wait that’s called the BOY :emoji_laughing:

We also order casters today. Actually, ended up getting 6” rated at 1250lbs each so we have 5k rating....

It’s getting real NOW!!!
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
Yes Sir!

This week will be finishing out the full material list so we can pick it up all at once! It was designed to frame up quick, very similar to the copper pot VCC, just a bigger scale.

Seeing the thermal mass in person also makes me feel better about the design therory in the vertical smoking mode and retained heat....
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
All that thermal mass does make for some rock solid temps once it gets up to temp. The down side is it could take a lot of fire to get to that point. Insulation helps but every pound has to get to temp. I suspect it will work great for long cooks but not as sure on a shorter cook? Going to be an interesting one to watch.

Weedeater, the theory on short cooks is for coal or fire cooking just like the restaurant wood fired grills. We added the doors for long cooks. It is going to be a learning experience for sure.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
After reading you previous build I would not perceive to have your background in design. My question is for my education only. Is there a reason you chose not to do a double wall design with mineral wool insulation in it? Just asking.
Looking forward to watching this one for sure is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.