Brick grill and smoker build!

Smokers and Ovens made of Brick and Stone
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Cole Leffert
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Re: Brick grill and smoker build!

Post by Cole Leffert » June 30th, 2020, 8:04 am

I have started collecting materials for the smoker doors, exhaust and other items. I tried looking up info on fb size, cc size and exhaust size and height for a vertical smoker. It seems most info is on a horizontal offset smoker. So before I get to crazy far into this build, I wold like to get some of this ironed out in my head. My smoker internal dimensions for every thing including fb, water pan tray and cc will be 24" wide, 30" deep and about 6 feet tall. So my biggest questions are how tall should i make the firebox, what size of an intake and what size and height of an exhaust, also does location of exhaust matter?
If it matters I am trying to make this smoker as flexible as possible. I would like to do some cold smoking, hot smoking and I would also like to be able to get it up to 500F to do pizza in it.
Thanks!



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Dirtytires
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Re: Brick grill and smoker build!

Post by Dirtytires » June 30th, 2020, 11:59 am

You first need to figure out how big the cook chamber is going to be as every other dimension will then follow.

I understand you want versatility, we all do. However, wanting a smoker to double as a 500 degree pizza oven might be a little optimistic. A smoker is typically used best for a smoker. If you want an “everything” unit than I might suggest a wood grill. You could always toss a pizza stone on it and cool it off to smoke on occasion.

Bottom line is a smoker, a grill and a pizza oven are all specific units. Hard to make one pit do it all.



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Cole Leffert
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Re: Brick grill and smoker build!

Post by Cole Leffert » June 30th, 2020, 1:03 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 11:59 am
You first need to figure out how big the cook chamber is going to be as every other dimension will then follow.

I understand you want versatility, we all do. However, wanting a smoker to double as a 500 degree pizza oven might be a little optimistic. A smoker is typically used best for a smoker. If you want an “everything” unit than I might suggest a wood grill. You could always toss a pizza stone on it and cool it off to smoke on occasion.

Bottom line is a smoker, a grill and a pizza oven are all specific units. Hard to make one pit do it all.
That is part of the problem... I'm not sure how big to make the cook chamber. After I put up the cinder block and brick, I will have a chamber that is 24" x 32"x 72". I will need to fit in the fire box, baffles, water pan area, and cook chamber in those dimensions. For example if I make a 10" tall fire box then I will have a 62" cook chamber, if i make a 24" tall fire box then I will have a 48" tall cook chamber.

I agree if you try to do all of those things, it probably wont do any of them really well. I definitely want smoking to be TOP priority! I will have a brick grill attached to the side so I am not worried about using it as a grill. I will have a TON of thermal mass, which I am assuming will give it a lot of similar properties of a pizza oven. Since it had all that mass I just wanted to make sure all my materials I use can handle temps of 500F, just in case I wanted to bring the temp up more than normal and throw in a pizza instead of a pork butt.

This is the basic design I am trying to make my smoker look like, except mine will have brick, inside and out.

Thanks
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Big T
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Re: Brick grill and smoker build!

Post by Big T » June 30th, 2020, 9:15 pm

As you've found out, there's not really a true formula for a vertical smoker or at least no one has any info on the formula. Here's my thoughts on what I think that you're trying to build. 1) The FB should be a minimum of 18'' tall because you really need a fire rack to keep the wood up off of the floor. I've never had any luck with a small, clean fire sitting on the floor and 10'' seems really tight to me. 2) I would build the intakes as large as I could without them looking ridiculous. You can always close them down to whatever your fire requires for your desired temperature. 3) You only need an opening for the exhaust because the vertical cabinet acts as a stack. A 4'' diameter stack should be large enough, I would put a damper on it so you can close it as needed. I have built a few verticals over the years without any real formula. I just tried to learn what didn't work from each build and try something different on the next build. While I never perfected my design, I also never built one that wasn't useable after some trial and error. The closest thing to a vertical that I have now is the WC on my RF smoker. My fire box is roughly 24'' w x 18''d x 18''t and the WC is 24'' w x 18''d x 30'' t. there's 2'' of insulation between the FB and WC with a 5'' x 5'' opening between them and it has a sliding damper over the opening. I also have a plate that can block off the opening to my main CC so I can direct everything into the WC if I want. My thermometer on the WC only reads to 500 degrees and I have had it pegged a couple of times with a good bed of coals and a small fire. While this isn't recommended on an all steel cooker because you risk major warpage, I think you could get by with your setup if the FB is completely lined with firebrick. Once again, these are just my thoughts on the matter and I'm sure some other guys will have different opinions so take it for what it's worth.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Cole Leffert
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Re: Brick grill and smoker build!

Post by Cole Leffert » July 1st, 2020, 4:10 am

Thanks Big T!



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