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Little cooker build
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smootz
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Joined: 12 Nov 2011
Posts: 451
Location: Kitts Hill, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30 16 5:35 am    Post subject: Little cooker build Reply with quote

I need another cooker like another hole in my head but gonna do it anyway. It has been a long time since I shared anything here. This 20" x 36" pipe is taunting me. I want a small capacity stick burner to complement my big upright and my UDS. Gonna be a "spare time / available parts" build so probably will take a while. I have a spot on the wife's new patio reserved for it.

Initial ideas (subject to change) are:

Typical offset with tuning plates. (Previous builds have all been RF or Uprights - new ground here)
Square firebox
Insulated shell and firebox for winter use in Ohio and fuel conservation.

Any advise, suggestions, or CONSTRUCTIVE criticism appreciated.

IMG_0045 by jsmootz, on Flickr
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Maniac
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30 16 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like a nice piece of thick wall pipe...should serve you well, great start. is this where you want an auto damper ?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30 16 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back smootz. Smile Looks like a fun project. Very Happy
You may get some ideas from my latest build it is a 24" x 55" .375 wall with tuning plates.
http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=67710
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smootz
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30 16 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been so long I forgot how to do multiple quotes.

Maniac - I would have preferred 1/4 or 5/16 but 3/8 was only thing I could find. Will be my first stick burner that didn't start life as a propane tank. Sorta enjoying the "no stinky - no potential explosion" thing. Wink Auto damper or blower may find it's way onto this. Cooking on the UDS has spoiled me.

KAM - I read through your build. Cool as always! This one will be more the size of the grill on that trailer. Sorta like a heavy duty Oklahoma Joe with enhancements. Your clearance light/steps and license bracket remind me of some of my attempts to make my father's hay trailers bullet proof. He always found a way to tear stuff off. Sad.

This being my first venture into tuning plates will for sure be picking your brain in a few months. This cooker will be as you say "slow and steady".
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30 16 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smootz wrote:
It's been so long I forgot how to do multiple quotes.

Maniac - I would have preferred 1/4 or 5/16 but 3/8 was only thing I could find. Will be my first stick burner that didn't start life as a propane tank. Sorta enjoying the "no stinky - no potential explosion" thing. Wink Auto damper or blower may find it's way onto this. Cooking on the UDS has spoiled me.

KAM - I read through your build. Cool as always! This one will be more the size of the grill on that trailer. Sorta like a heavy duty Oklahoma Joe with enhancements. Your clearance light/steps and license bracket remind me of some of my attempts to make my father's hay trailers bullet proof. He always found a way to tear stuff off. Sad.
I look forward to following it. Very Happy I love my tuning plates. Very Happy


This being my first venture into tuning plates will for sure be picking your brain in a few months. This cooker will be as you say "slow and steady".

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smootz
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01 16 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stuck in the house with small medical issue so sketching a little for the cooker.

Questions:

It has been a while - Is the Feldon chart still the gold standard?

Most, if not all of the "tuning plate" offsets I have researched utilize a deflector above the firebox to cooking chamber opening. Is there any purpose other than gaining distance between pates and grate? It appears that my opening will allow 6" between plates and grate (barely). If I need more height the grate can fudge a little above center. Only planning one grate.

KAM - seeing the blanket on top of your firebox has me thinking about winter blankets for the cooking chamber and firebox for cold weather cooks. Could be easier and smarter than the insulated build I was planning.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01 16 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

smootz wrote:
Stuck in the house with small medical issue so sketching a little for the cooker.

Questions:

It has been a while - Is the Feldon chart still the gold standard?
In my opinion Morgans calculator is the only standard to which I use the others are just copies of it with subtle changes to call their own.

Most, if not all of the "tuning plate" offsets I have researched utilize a deflector above the firebox to cooking chamber opening. Is there any purpose other than gaining distance between pates and grate?
No other purpose than to try and get 6" between the plates and the top of your cooking grate. You can get as close as 4.5" but I always shoot for 6" if possible.

It appears that my opening will allow 6" between plates and grate (barely). If I need more height the grate can fudge a little above center. Only planning one grate.

KAM - seeing the blanket on top of your firebox has me thinking about winter blankets for the cooking chamber and firebox for cold weather cooks. Could be easier and smarter than the insulated build I was planning.

I love the blanket and will soon have a three sided wrap on the firebox.
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smootz
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21 16 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Main cooking chamber is 3/8". Would have liked thinner but it's what I could get.

I have 1/4" and 3/8" plate on hand but only enough to do the firebox in 1/4" and cooking chamber ends in 3/8" OR firebox in 3/8" and ends in 1/4".

Trying to avoid buying additional plate if possible.
Any opinions?
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Maniac
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21 16 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just my 3 cents. keep uniform on the chamber with the 3/8" and 1/4" on the firebox, your going to put the fire blanket on it any how Wink Laughing
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smootz
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21 16 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maniac, You still using the disc burner?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21 16 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Maniac. Keep the chamber uniform with thickness especially if your going with some type of insulation on the firebox.
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Maniac
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22 16 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes sir...I put a swing out setup on my smoker trailer that I love to use when we are waiting for the main coarse to get done. take a peek at her.
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smootz
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 16 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Santa Clause made a decision for my new smoker. I think my little brother put a bug in his ear. I was completely blind sided by a BBQ Guru Digi Q with a Pit Bull blower.

I am starting to get a little excited about the build now.
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smootz
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27 16 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goal for this cooker is small enough to merit firing it up for very small loads. I never intend to do more than two butts, typically would be one butt or one brisket, or a couple racks of ribs. As mentioned earlier I have a large smoker and rarely use it.

Plan "A" is 20" diameter x 36" long but tempted to shorten it down to 30" or even 24". Any appreciable disadvantages as far as heat retention, fluctuations, etc. with the smaller chamber?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27 16 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trying to achieve workable temps across the grates on a shorter chamber is more difficult than a longer chamber.
There was a member on another forum struggling with what to build as far as size because he said pretty much the same thing as you on I will probably never cook more than this.
I told him this:"I have two trailer mounted offsets. Bahama Mama is a 250 gall propane tank 30" diam. x 70" long. She will easily cook a 300 lb. pig or a 12 lb. brisket. I have no problem firing her up for one or the other. Little Mama is a 24" x 55" offset. She will not cook a 300 lb. pig because of the two doors. but she will cook 8 to ten briskets or about 20 pork butts. There again I have no problem firing her up for just one piece of meat.
My point is do not cut yourself short when building allow for some growing room in your cooks."
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smootz
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01 17 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

20 x 36 it is then.

Please check me for error.

If I am reading Feldon correctly,

Cooking Chamber 19.625 i.d. x 36 long 10884.07 ci

Recommended Fire box size 3628.02
16 x 16 x 16 would be 4096.00 or 112% Looks small when sketched to scale.Will require short splits. I don't know if that is good or bad. I would like to make a charcoal basket as an accessory in case I want to cook with lump sometimes.

Firebox air inlet 12.29 sq.in. May increase that a little. Most of the time will use a BBQ Guru.

Firebox to Cooking Chamber 32.77 Do I need to oversize it a little?

Recommended chimney 3" x 28.99 tall or 4" x 16.31 tall. Not sure which would be best. If chimney is recessed down closer to the grate do you count that part in the overall height?

Sorry for all the questions. This is my first small cooker build and I am guessing that ratios are not as forgiving as with the bigger smokers.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01 17 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smootz wrote:
20 x 36 it is then.

Please check me for error.

If I am reading Feldon correctly,

Cooking Chamber 19.625 i.d. x 36 long 10884.07 ci

Recommended Fire box size 3628.02
16 x 16 x 16 would be 4096.00 or 112% Looks small when sketched to scale.Will require short splits. I don't know if that is good or bad. I would like to make a charcoal basket as an accessory in case I want to cook with lump sometimes.
Your numbers look correct.
The coal base to maintain heat in this size cooker will be small to burn clean. Half size splits to large chunks will be your friend.


Firebox air inlet 12.29 sq.in. May increase that a little. Most of the time will use a BBQ Guru.
I always increase the intake for days when you need it.

Firebox to Cooking Chamber 32.77 Do I need to oversize it a little?
Only to make room for a grease bridge.

Recommended chimney 3" x 28.99 tall or 4" x 16.31 tall. Not sure which would be best. If chimney is recessed down closer to the grate do you count that part in the overall height?
Position is not in the equation total length and diameter dictate the volume calculated. Personally I would use the 4" ID or 3" square at 24" tall which would give you 216 Cu. in..

Sorry for all the questions. This is my first small cooker build and I am guessing that ratios are not as forgiving as with the bigger smokers.

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smootz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02 17 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks KAM. I appreciate being able to tap into your experience. Saves me a lot of experimentation and rework.
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smootz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02 17 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a cooker this small is there really much gain by bring the chimney inlet down closer to the grate? My guess is that the whole chamber is going to be full of smoke anyway and the dead area in the top of the cooking chamber could lead to condensation. I have no practical experience to back up this hypotheses.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02 17 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are very welcome. Very Happy
The only reason to lower the exhaust in a cooker is if it leaks like a sieve and your smoke is escaping around the door. In my thirty plus years of cooking and building I have never needed to have an exhaust low to the grate to achieve smoke at the grates. some cookers like Jambo's need this because their draft is forced up then down.
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