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Vertical Smoker Build - Need Some Guidance

robotfist

Newbie
3
3
Joined Jun 15, 2021
Hi there. I have a 4' tall piece of pipe in my backyard that is 20" in diameter and made of 5/16" carbon steel (see pic). It's begging me to turn it into a smoker. I was originally going to build an offset smoker with it, but space is limited at my home, and I've determined that a vertical will fit much better on my patio. There are plenty of DIY instructions for building offsets, but very few when it comes to building verticals. I have some questions and I was wondering if anyone in this forum might be able to help me with them.

First off, due to space limitations, I won't be putting a fire box on the outside of this smoker. It'll need to go in the bottom, like a UDS. How should I separate the firebox from the smoke chamber? My plan is to cut two different doors, one for the smoke chamber and one for the firebox, and then create a divider between the two chambers. And maybe place a water tray on it? So should I maybe weld in a circular steel plate as a divider, leaving gaps on the sides for the smoke to pass through? Or maybe use a perforated, steel circle as the divider? Any suggestions would be helpful. I can't find a lot of info out there about installing fire boxes into a vertical smoker.

Second, how big of a smokestack should go on the top? The store-bought vertical cabinets seem to have no chimneys on them, but all the DYI verticals I see (usually made from propane cylinders) have smokestacks. I was originally going to attach a smokestack that is 4" in diameter and 16" tall on the top, just to get the smoke up and away from eye level. But there was no rhyme or reason to those dimensions, I just picked them out of thin air. Any thoughts on this?

And lastly, if my pipe is 4' tall, how much of that should I allocate to the smoke chamber, and how much to the firebox?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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kilo charlie

Master of the Pit
1,335
1,188
Joined Sep 25, 2017
Below are photos of my various vertical smokers to help give you some ideas.

IMG_20180726_114724403_HDR.jpg

Above is my Pit Boss Copperhead 5 (when it was brand new) The square box at the bottom is a cover for the burn pot and above that is the water pan followed by the racks.

IMG_20180728_193230971.jpg


This is the adjustable chimney/rain cap. It's threaded to open or close the air flow.

IMG_20160808_092753868_HDR.jpg

Above is the propane smoker. It's got two doors with the smaller one to access the wood boxes.

I was using this as a cold smoker with the A Maze N tube laying in the water pan. There is an overlap of metal angled down to force the drippings into the water pan.

The foil pan on top is blocking it but you can see the top edge of the static chimney that is non adjustable.

IMG_20170826_185716044_HDR.jpg

This is a smaller propane smoker that had a combination water and wood pan... I modified it by adding a small hotel pan as the water pan and kept the other tray for wood chips and pellets.
I also lined the inside with some mirror polished stainless steel to double the wall thickness. Lava Lock seal for the door.

You can see there is no chimney on this one and just a sliding vent to supposedly control the temps.

Hopefully this will spur some design ideas for your build!
 

kilo charlie

Master of the Pit
1,335
1,188
Joined Sep 25, 2017
If you have a plate between the fire box and the cooking chamber.. the fire will heat that plate and that will help radiate the heat more evenly vs just having a hot spot of heat shooting straight up.

I hope that make some sort of sense haha
 

JLeonard

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
3,009
2,111
Joined Apr 17, 2020
I would suggest looking at UDS builds and How the WSM's are set up and kinda base your build off if those. Looking forward to seeing your progress on this,
Jim
 

robotfist

Newbie
3
3
Joined Jun 15, 2021
If you have a plate between the fire box and the cooking chamber.. the fire will heat that plate and that will help radiate the heat more evenly vs just having a hot spot of heat shooting straight up.
I hope that make some sort of sense haha
Yep, totally. Makes perfect sense. And I imagine it would also help keep heat from escaping the smoke chamber when I open the firebox to refuel.
 
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