Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

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matthewkhoury96
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Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by matthewkhoury96 » May 29th, 2013, 8:27 pm

Hey guys, this is my first post on this site so please forgive me if I missed an explanation of this or am posting this in the wrong spot or anything of that nature. Nonetheless, I will jump right into the problem. I built a smoker out of 1/4" steel in a welding class over the past couple of months. The goal was to build a decent sized smoker that runs on natural gas, not propane or just wood, so I ordered a natural gas log lighter from this website:

http://www.tejassmokers.com/options.htm - you can scroll down and find it if it helps.

So, I just finished building, painting, and putting the final touches on the smoker. I got the gas line hooked up and lit the burner. Everything seemed to be working fine, so I shut the door to let it heat up for the first time and season the smoker. I came back about five minutes later, opened the door, and the flame was completely off. I messed with the venturi intake and the ball valve for the natural gas for about 3 hours and every time I closed the door the flame went out within a couple minutes. However, for some odd reason, the burner seems to run perfectly fine when the door of the smoker is open? The next day, I called the guys at tejassmokers and asked them for some advice. The guy on the phone told me to sit under the smoker and look up into the air holes and told him what I saw. Here is what I saw: the flames slowly became bluer until there was absolutely no orange left, the flames on the ends then went out and then the flames kept going out, moving towards the middle, until the whole thing was out. The guy wasn't much help and told me just to keep trying to cover up the air holes and mess with the venturi. I then spent another 2 hours doing that with no luck. However, the more I covered up the air holes and the more I closed the venture, the longer the burner stayed lit; but it still went out within 5-10 minutes.

Anybody have any idea what is going on with the burner? Any suggestions, advice, or recommendations would help.

Here are some pictures of my exact setup. The smoker is 2.5' x 2.5' x 3' tall. There are three 1" diameter air holes right below the burner and a 2-3" hole at the top to let the smoke out. Once again, new to this website, just spent like an hour trying to upload a picture and it never worked... Here is a dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rjpwfio9ikhktth/L-vyZt92KN

I can upload more pictures pretty easily, so just ask if you need a specific angle or something.



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Post by Frank_Cox » May 29th, 2013, 9:20 pm

first of all that set up is very very dangerous..... Abort Mission.....
next, Thank you for posting this thread, I may still be able to keep you from blowing up.

never, never install a burner in a smoker without any form of flame safety! you are very lucky the burner was not re-igniting! what is happening when you shut the door is the burner is being starved for secondary air and the fuel mixture is getting so rich it will not ignite. USUALLY when one opens the door in this circumstance the firebox gets a big drink of air and the logs will have a burning ember or something hot enough to ignite the fuel (natural gas in your case) and then cablooey!!!
I recommend you uninstall the burner immediately and use a charcoal chimney to start your fire like I do in the video called how to build a fire in a reverse flow smoker.
here is a link to the video.....
http://www.smokerbuilder.com/build-a-fi ... nk-method/

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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by matthewkhoury96 » May 29th, 2013, 9:36 pm

Thanks for the advice, luckily I never actually put any wood in the smoker. I just turned the burner on with nothing in the shelves to heat it up for the first time. I also forgot to mention, I was planning on putting a tray for wood on the bottom shelf and then a tray for water on the one right above it. So, you think I should just uninstall the burner all together?

I know you say it is dangerous, but the whole reason I built the smoker was so it could run off of a natural gas burner. I want to be able to cook the meat with smoke for about the first two hours, then have the burner keep the smoker at around 250 degrees to continue cooking the meat like if it was in an oven. This will prevent the meat from having too much smokey flavor, and it would theoretically allow me to leave the smoker unmonitored. I would not have to constantly go back to it to make sure the wood is still on fire and it is at the right temperature. I could just put everything in, turn the burner on, close the door, and let it sit for hours by itself, similar to the large smokers in a professional restaurant. Hopefully you understand my goal and reasoning for this smoker. Is there any way to actually get the smoker to work this way?

Here are the websites I used to come up with my plan:

http://www.bbq-smoker-guide.com/propane-smoker.html
http://www.smokerbuilder.com/forums/vie ... f=17&t=259

Maybe if you take a look at those you can get a better idea of what I want to do with the smoker.

Also, as of right now, I don't have any welding equipment, so making any major changes may be close to impossible...

Thanks for all your help.



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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by The Czar » May 29th, 2013, 10:17 pm

H-o-l-y C-r-a-p.....

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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by Clover Ridge Smokers » May 29th, 2013, 10:35 pm

I have to agree with Frank. You need to abort the idea of using gas. Having past experience in the gas industry, you are trying to build a ticking time bomb. I know this is not what you want to hear but you need to think about safety.


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Post by Frank_Cox » May 29th, 2013, 11:24 pm

it is UNSAFE to use any gas burner in an enclosed space without a flame safety. that being said the burners used in the commercial pits you are talking about use a burner with an electronic ignition system with an integral flame safety control. this burner costs around $1000.00. it is available for both propane and natural gas.

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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by matthewkhoury96 » May 30th, 2013, 8:50 am

Thanks again guys, but I am still a bit confused on the danger factor. I am basically trying to replicate this smoker but use natural gas instead of propane:

http://www.smokerbuilder.com/forums/vie ... f=80&t=259

Is there any extra safety precautions in this guys smoker that I missed when I was designing mine? Is this one just as dangerous as mine? If I figured out how to prevent the burner from constantly turning off would that fix the dangerous factor? Also, you guys probably know this, but I thought I would just mention that my venturi is outside of the smoker, just the actual pipe is inside the box.

If you guys are still sure that I need to get rid of the burner, would you mind posting a link to a professional natural gas burner with an electronic ignition system and flame safety control? Would this be difficult to install?

Another possible option that still might be really dangerous would be trying to switch to an electric burner? Any thoughts on safety and difficulty?




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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by Frank_Cox » May 30th, 2013, 3:12 pm

The burner in the link is just as dangerous as the one in your smoker. It has no flame safety. The cheap gas smokers at box stores are safer because they are low btu,low pressure burners and they are designed with the appropriate amount of combustion air and ventilationfor both primary air and secondary air for tee burner. You would be better off going electric. I sell the burner kit you are asking for but you need an experienced gas professional to install it. I don't advertise it because of the risk. I have published a thread on how to add flame safety like a Thermocouple in the gas section of the site but I can't link to it from my phone. If to have multiple burners you will need a crossover burner as well



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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by The Czar » May 30th, 2013, 4:11 pm

:exp: :exp: :exp: :exp: :exp: :exp: :exp: :exp:


If you can't fix it by sheer force or cursing......then it can't be fixed.....


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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by Clover Ridge Smokers » May 30th, 2013, 6:16 pm

Nice DC!!!


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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by The Czar » May 30th, 2013, 8:44 pm

Sorry as I read this thread it's all I can invision...

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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by Clover Ridge Smokers » May 30th, 2013, 9:01 pm

I was thinking the same thing as I read it but didn't think about animating my thoughts. That's why you are the Czar.


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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by Frank_Cox » May 30th, 2013, 11:46 pm

matthewkhoury96, I responded to your pm just now


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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by matthewkhoury96 » June 2nd, 2013, 12:00 pm

Frank, I sent a response to your pm if you haven't seen it yet



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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by Smokeone » June 2nd, 2013, 6:18 pm

Just FYI, Frank is on the road. Might take him a bit to get the pm.


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Re: Burner keeps going out in the smoker I built?

Post by The Czar » June 3rd, 2013, 7:01 am

He got your PM but this weekend was crazy...and Monday isn't any better....so give him a day or two to read it... :beer:


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