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home made smoker

 
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krazylegs
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Joined: 18 Feb 2005
Posts: 410
Location: northern california

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27 05 4:40 am    Post subject: home made smoker Reply with quote

Hey fellas, I have an idea to build a smoke "house' I wanted to run this buy you guys to get some feed back pros and cons and whatever else you want to throw into the mix.

First off the "house' would be made out of plywood "old school" with measurements being 4*4*4 feet tall, and for a firebox I was going to use a 35 gallon drum on its side that would be fitted into a frame with legs. I would cut the hole out of one of the ends and insert a log holder to keep the wood off the bottom. I was then going to get a double insulated pipe and plum that into the house with 2 pipes total at each end to better distribute the heat.

for the inside I was going to divide it into three sections having hooks on the top 1/2 and for the other top half I wanted racks about 6" apart. and for the bottom half I was going to have racks that were about 1.5 feet apart. I was also thinking about lining the inside with that heavy duty aluminum foil insulation that is used on the space shuttle. It is supposed to reflect back 98% of the heat. and at the bottom I was going to have a water resoivoir and grease catcher that would fit the whole bottom of the smoker.



What do you think I need suggestions!!! would this work. If it wouldnt, that is fine but if you guys would point me in the right direction I would be greatful. I would like to have it completed before football season started.
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Tony
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Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 3482
Location: Rehoboth Beach ,Delaware

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27 05 7:01 am    Post subject: home made smoker Reply with quote

Hey....Of course it'll Work!
And of course over time you will refine it,tweek it and re-build it! so......DO IT!

Only one question right now...Why so Damned
BIG?
Good luck and get back quick!

Best Regards,
Tony
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mds2
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Joined: 10 Mar 2005
Posts: 1366
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27 05 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this sounds like a great idea and should end up being fairly cheap. It might not hurt to wrap the inside and outside of the smoker in your high tech nasa foil. The only thing I would be concerned with would be heat loss because of the plywood, but you could get around that just by wrapping it in household insulation.
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
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Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Help me out here. Is the 35 gallon drum on the inside of the 4x4x4 house? If so, you will need a fresh air inlet. A drum on the inside would draw oxygen depleted air and eventually go out. I also would worry about the heat from the drum radiating too much heat for such a confined space. If your design looked something like this:


Then I think you would have a lot of luck getting it to work right. One exception, I would use fire board or concrete hardy board where the metal fire box meets the house.
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krazylegs
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Joined: 18 Feb 2005
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Location: northern california

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 2:35 am    Post subject: smokehouse Reply with quote

First off thanks for the feedback, just what I needed. Question 1 what size would you boys make yours, I though a 4*4*4 would be suffient. The quarter drum would be on the outside of the house about 9in. away from the backside going the length of the house or close to it. I was going to use double insulated pipe 6" *6" to allow the smoke and heat to circulate through. I was going to measure 9" from each end and tack the pipes to that mark. Good idea Alien about the hardy board.

AlienBBQ- how did you get that blueprint draft??? If it was from the web, I could do one and show you guys exactly what I am talking about. Keep the feed back coming, I can tell that I am going to need it. Thanks for all the possitive feedback also.
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JimH
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Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 1978
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4X4X4, where's the door? How do you get to the items at the back of the smoker? I ask because the house I bought 4years ago has a shed in the back for outdoor stuff, it's 5 feet tall and a pain to get in and out of for me at 5'9". How about 4 feet wideX 4 feet long X 8 feet tall (you could do 6 feet but then you have to cut a whole sheet)? At 4 feet tall you'd be on your knees trying to reach back into a 4 foot deep smokehouse. You could also make it just 2 feet deep (if you were thinking like I do about economizing on plywood) then at 4 feet tall it would be easier to work with and you'd still have a lot of room to smoke meat. My pit is 20 inches and I can fit two briskets side-by-side so 24 inches would work just as well.
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krazylegs
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Joined: 18 Feb 2005
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Location: northern california

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 4:19 am    Post subject: smokehouse Reply with quote

Well I wanted the racks to pull out like a drawer in a cabinet so having a 4 ft. deep house would be great for those big cookouts. and as far as it being only 4ft. high, Im short, so that feature is a custom. The one thing that I dont have down would be a door. my questions would be, Should I make 3 seperate doors for each seperate cooking space ( top right side rib hooks top left side racks that pull out, and the bottom half large racks for the big cuts of meat.) Or, should I have a door like a garage door when you lift up the whole front is exposed, or, two doors that swing out. Any other options? let me know and keep the smoke Idea signals coming!!
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drew it up in about 15 min.
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JimH
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: smokehouse Reply with quote

krazylegs wrote:
top right side rib hooks top left side racks that pull out, and the bottom half large racks for the big cuts of meat


That sounds like a good idea, wish my smoker had two doors instead of one. I have a book on barn designs that also includes icehouses and smokehouses designed in the 1800's. That's what came to mind when I saw your post and it's one of the things I'd like to do when I get a house with some land (and few deed restrictions). Looks like you're on the right track!
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mds2
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking about your smoker a little last night and I dont think using plywood is a very good idea. The main reason is because it contains glue. Even though the plywood wont get hot enough to burn you could still get some toxic residue in your meat from the glue in the plywood.
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Alien BBQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 05 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eventually, the wood in your building will oxidize and come apart or burn (this may take years). Smokehouses from the 1800’s had the same problems. Using technology today, I would recommend the concrete board for the entire box. If you want to cover the outside with wood then I would use plank wood. Keep in mind that the constant expansion and contraction of the wood in the building will pop every nail out of the wood. Another variation would be to buy one of those cheap metal sheds for about $200. I believe they would be more versatile and getting them to seal would just be a matter of high temp sealant. Make sure it’s a shallow one, because once you open the doors, you will be hit by a ton of carbon monoxide. With this design I would probably put the drum inside the building with a fresh air vent to the outside and a chimney w/ damper to the roof.


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krazylegs
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Joined: 18 Feb 2005
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Location: northern california

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29 05 4:34 am    Post subject: smoker Reply with quote

Well after the feedback, I have decided to use Hardy board throughout the smoker. any advise on what type of door system I should have? and the construction of the rack and how they could pull put? I did a rough draft of the smoker, but Im having a terrible time posting it, does anyone know how to post saved pictures on to this message forum.
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allsmokenofire
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Joined: 26 Apr 2005
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Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29 05 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your pics have to be saved online somewhere in order to post. You can do this on AOL or Yahoo with an account or any number of free "photo album" sites. I use www.photobucket.com...its free.
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Mike
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JimH
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Joined: 09 Feb 2005
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Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29 05 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to use Hardi board and need to cut said board, buy the circular saw blade made for it. It's worth every penny.
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Alien BBQ
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Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29 05 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Save image on your computer as a JPEG. Transfer you image to your photo hosting server. What? No photo host? I use photobucket.com because it is free. Upload your photos to photobucket and it will generate the [IMG] code for you. Copy the code to your post and wa-la it is posted.
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krazylegs
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Joined: 18 Feb 2005
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Location: northern california

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02 05 2:17 am    Post subject: smoker Reply with quote

Okay guys, there has been a change in plans, the house will be divided only twice the top half and bottom half. The top half will have a rotisery with a gear reduced motor with baskets that hold the grub. The bottom will have two large racks that will serve for split chickens and whatever else including a big pot of beans that could catch some of the drippings. What do y'all think will it work.
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BBQ Billy



Joined: 06 Aug 2005
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06 05 12:44 pm    Post subject: Smokehouse ideas Reply with quote

Storey Country Wisdom has a short publication with basic ideas which may be of intrest. The publication sells for $3.95 on Amazon and you can view part of the publication from Amazon's site.

Build a Smokehouse : Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-81

BBQ Billy
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