My first smoker

Horizontal smokers with a side firebox and tuning plates.
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Russellgf27
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My first smoker

Post by Russellgf27 » January 15th, 2021, 3:47 pm

Hello everyone, I know this is going to be kind of a lengthy post but I appreciate anyone who can help me with my first build. So I have gotten the bug to build my own smoker. I picked up a air compressor tank from my company it was decommissioned for having too thin of walls for operation at high pressure. It's a little over 20" OD and the kinda felt inside and it feels fairly thick my best guess is it's 19.5 ID, and it has an over all the length of 64". I have done my calcs and I know how big of a fire box, throat and stack should be but I have a few ideas and question I want to run by you guys.

I want to build the fire box as an insulated box, a round fire chamber with a square shell, utilizing the flat top of the box as a searing station building a small cowboy grill where I can slide in a grill grate or a flat top. Is this a good idea or will it ruin the efficiency of the fire box.

Second I have a question about fire box placement and deflector plates, the ends of the tank are 6 inches to the weld line for the cylinder I want to butt the fire box up against that. So the fire box will be taking up about 6" of the cooking chamber then I was going to make a plate that would rest on top of that roughly 8-10 inches long so I can add a water pan. Would I still need a DP to push the heat downwards or would the end of the chamber achieve the same goal.

On a side note would it be a good idea to design the smoker to be able to be both a standard smoker for varying temp zones and a reverse flow to get an even cooking chamber. I would just make sure the have the fire box low enough for a removable damper system. Or is that just over kill.

Thank you guys for your feedback, criticism, and advice. I'll put of some rough sketchs for what I'm looking to do.
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dacolson
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Re: My first smoker

Post by dacolson » January 15th, 2021, 7:39 pm

Nice looking setup Russell. Tip for you on that tank. Get your doors cut early so you can inspect the bottom of the tank for rust damage. It would suck to get a bunch of hours in and find out you have no metal worth saving on the bottom. Been there ...

On the flat top grill ... would you leave the top of your FB uninsulated? I can’t see it getting hot enough to cook on otherwise. Unless you build in some sort of door/hatch. I like your square box around a round firebox design. Moberg builds them that way too.

I don’t have any experience with a downward deflector plate in a standard offset like you mention. I deflect upwards. Improves convection.

On the hybrid/combo style, you’d need to put a stack at either end to make it work as a reverse flow as well. I did a standard offset build with tuning plates that ran well. Easy to use/build and helped keep temps relatively even.

Keep the questions coming. And share pics as you build. Love to see your progress.


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Dave C - QueNorth Smokers
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Russellgf27
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Re: My first smoker

Post by Russellgf27 » January 15th, 2021, 9:00 pm

Dacolson, the thought for the fire box grill top was to make a small basket grill on top of the box where I can shovel coals out of the smoker to the top and slide a gill over. I saw another builder from a youtube video had one and I was thinking it would be great for reverse searing. Or just as a small grill top.

And you have just enlighten me on how exactly the deflector plate worked haha, my thought was it was to reduce flames in the CC but now I'm realizing it's for radiating heat up wards haha.

Thank you for the tip I will probably be cutting it open tomorrow.

Just to kinda pick your brain for smoker knowledge and bounce my ideas off, I could easily make dual smokes stacks with a bolt on system so I can put a blind flange on the end I don't use, would making two sets of baffles one normal for the reverse flow and one that is like a tuning plate with holes increasing in size. Or is the placement for them to different to run them on the came rack?



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dacolson
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Re: My first smoker

Post by dacolson » January 15th, 2021, 9:43 pm

Funny on the deflector plate. I actually meant I put a deflector under the FB throat angled upwards to deflect heat upwards in the CC.

On the hybrid option, you sure can do that. There’s some on here even. (Maybe even one of mine lol). Here’s my take - just my opinion. I built one for a good friend. He set it up each way once and settled on standard offset with tuning plates and has never switched back to RF. It sure looks cool though lol. So ... up to you but it was a lot of work.


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Russellgf27
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Re: My first smoker

Post by Russellgf27 » January 16th, 2021, 12:24 am

I'm ok with putting in the extra effort I'm hoping to make and keep this smoker for the rest of my life it should be big enough for anything I want to do and if it is interchangeable then I'll have plenty of options. I will definitely take a deep dive through the forums to find some similar builds.

I found the guy who makes the grill top on the square box, his company is called chuds bbq but what he has set up is similar to what I want to make I'm just concerned that it may cause issues with the rest of the fire box
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Re: My first smoker

Post by dacolson » January 16th, 2021, 12:56 am

I wouldn’t worry about it at all. Your just basically setting a charcoal grill on top of the fb. Good idea. I’m a fan of having a grill near your smoker. It’s nice to be able to make food to eat while you smoke.


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