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The X-Fire Grill

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by civilsmoker, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    OK here is the engineer answer....

    If the intent was for an efficient smoker, an insulated vertical smoker would be the ticket! Since heat likes to go up they are very efficient at using the heat. However, because they are so efficient they don’t need larger fires and depending on the design they need a “heat tamer” i.e. a pan of water or deflector plate to calm the intensity of the heat down to the low temp desired. This is also why they are pretty much a coal-based smoker.

    A reverse flow smoker by design is not very efficient because it directs the heat/smoke in ways it doesn’t want to go. However, what this does is create a radiant convection oven that when properly design/constructed provides for very consistent low to mid-range cooking with coals and a wood fire.

    Now to the X-Fire Grill design. The fire bricks are there for heat control. They act as a heat tamer because they absorb the heat and thereby tame the fire. Once hot, they radiate the heat back and at this point they help regulate the heat and can even increase the intensity because they are adding back the radiated heat. Now Weedeater is exactly right that the bricks will take considerable time to heat up, i.e. most brick smokers take an hour plus to get up to a consistent smoking temp but once hot they release the retained heat and help stable the oven temp. This is also why most brick smokers are vertical and not horizontal because they need the design efficiency to operate efficiently. Most individuals don’t want to wait 2 hours plus for their smoker to heat up.

    So, the design theory of this build is to use the absorption quality of the brick to allow for a wood fire to be used for heat and smoke. Again, smoking is a secondary function of the grill, but I believe it will function very well at convection and indirect heat/smoke cooking when the doors are closed, and a small fire is burning. I also believe I will be able to reach higher temps (roasting temps) in the range of 375 to 425 and maybe even higher with a big fire. I currently have 4 smokers (each with their own function), so I wanted to try something unique. Worse case I will have a nice Argentine grill and I’m perfectly OK with that (Commercial ones that are brick lined go for 7K to 10K or higher). So, if I can roast a chicken or turkey or fast roast some ribs in addition to the grilling I will be ecstatic! I might get kicked off the forum for saying this but not all cooking has to be done low and slow....:emoji_astonished:
  2. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for tuning in pineywoods! Me and my son are pretty excited, hoping to pick up steel on Friday....fingers crossed work doesn't get in the way.
  3. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Here are a couple of examples of commercial installations. My guess is these are both north of 20k

    A slide in model.

    A built in model.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  4. HalfSmoked

    HalfSmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Civilsmoker sorry I'm late somehow missed this but surely looks like a great project and was planned out well.

  5. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Warren, no apologies needed, thanks for viewing. We have high hopes for the results!
  6. Good luck to you and son on the build.
  7. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Hawging It!
  8. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Casters and weld plates (yes we went the easy route) arrived.
    They are retro and nice and beefy!

    Didn’t have time to make it to the steel shop this week :emoji_angry: so next week, but we started on the materials list. The big elements are.......

    3-3/16x4x8 sheet
    7-20’ sticks of angle (1.5x.125)
    1.5-20’ sticks of 1.25x.125 strap
    2-20’ sticks of .5x.125 strap
    1-20’ stick of angle (.5x.125)
    4-weld on hinges (big ones!)

    This should get the bulk of the box and doors done!
  9. motocrash

    motocrash Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice casters.2 zerks each!
  10. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Yea, there is a third in the top swivel as well. 1250lbs rating with a full width roller bearing!

    Needed the real deal for this one!
  11. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    It sure doesn’t look like much in the back of the truck...
    But it’s got all the right stuff to make something special :emoji_sunglasses:
  12. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    The fabrication has started! Laid out the fire brick to verify actual size vs theoretical.

    Had the boy running practice lines till he could run a bead then had him weld up the bottom frame.

    Next up is welding the caster plates to the bottom frame and then cutting the sheets for the grill skin.
    Diggerg and fivetricks like this.
  13. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Diggerg & fivetricks thanks for the likes!
  14. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Got the “meat cart” all ready for the skin!
    Having a staycation for spring break so progress should happen rapidly over the next week.
  15. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    The boy and I spent yesturday afternoon with the low rpm saw ripping the 3/16 sheet. Figured we ripped about 64 ft worth.

    Here they are with tabs welded on to help the shelf placement.

    Getting them lined up to tilt them into place!

    Now all squared & tacked up! Will be working on the front piece after lunch.
    The boy is like we need to roast a whole pig in this thing!
    fivetricks likes this.
  16. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Just a perspective view next to the copper pot!
    Diggerg, motocrash and fivetricks like this.
  17. motocrash

    motocrash Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  18. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Motocrash, that some funny stuff....

    You know I put t-Rex ribs and T-Rex tips on my wife’s Costco shopping list. It’s a new item from tar pit farms!
  19. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the likes five tricks!
  20. civilsmoker

    civilsmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Got the front vent plate cut and tacked in!

    Next up is to finish welding up the inside fire box seam and then start setting bricks a row at a time.