In loving memory of Kenis D. Keathley 6/4/81 - 3/27/22 Loving father, husband, brother, friend and firewood hoarder Rest in peace, Dexterday

Smoke Upgrade

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by ReelFaster, May 14, 2024.

  1. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Looking at this smoker on FB, 1/4" cooking chamber, 3/8" metal firebox, stack looks decent and is surely an upgrade over my current OKJ setup. Just wanted to share to see if anything stood out or what to look for.

    The builder of this smoker also posts on FB selling homemade smokers and I immediately recognized this. It's listed at $1k for over 10 weeks or best offer. If I could get it under $800 I think it would be a score?!?

    upload_2024-5-14_9-51-59.png
    upload_2024-5-14_9-52-16.png
    upload_2024-5-14_9-52-30.png
     
  2. buzz-saw

    buzz-saw

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    That looks good if you could get it for that price. Heavier gauge metal makes a huge difference when it comes to holding the heat. I learned that when I bought my unit a year or so ago.
     
  3. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Exactly what I am going for, something a bit thicker so I can maintain temps a bit better vs. the wild fluctuations I currently get. Also hoping that stack will pull much better, I put a stack ext on my current OKJ seemed to work for a bit but this past weekend I had a heck of time keeping a fire going was constantly smoldering.

    The wind was in the complete opposites of the firebox but still, it was frustrating and I had to babysit it all day, usually I can walk away for 30-40 minutes get some work done and come back, but not this time.
     
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  4. JD Guy

    JD Guy

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    Only question that I would have is there a plate under the grill surface to help regulate heat dispersal. That makes a huge difference in maintaining temps. If there isn’t, then one can be made for it, but if this guy builds them then likely it does have it already. $800 would e a good price IMHO.
     
  5. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Baffle plate, good question, thanks!
     
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  6. JD Guy

    JD Guy

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    Yeah, baffle plate! I couldn’t think of that word when I typed the reply:doh:
     
  7. buzz-saw

    buzz-saw

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    Far from an expert by any means on the subject so bear with me.

    Two things come to mind.

    If there is a baffle plate then the plate needs to be short leaving the end farthest from the firebox to allow heat out. This now makes it a reverse flow unit and the stack needs to go in the top of the main chamber on the firebox end. Now heat and smoke will travel under the plate and do a "U"turn and come back across the top essentially heating twice as it travels through the cooking chamber.
    Second is placement of the current stack , it should be on top and not in the middle of one end as it is now. Smoke will stay trapped in top half of the chamber as it is currently installed.

    Again not a BBQ expert but just thinking out loud.

    Reveres flow on left and no reverse flow on right shown below.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  8. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Great stuff!

    I too am no BBQ expert, I've cooked my fair share but I am far from an even being remotely close to an expert. I do geek out on the subject from time to time, and spend way more time than I should but the countless articles I've read and video's I've watched talk about for a trad offset you want the smoke go up and over your meat. That's why you see a lot of pits now designed with the stack lowered down to grate level (many with a collector) creating sort of a rainbow arc over your cooking grate and creating that incredible bark that separates good BBQ from really great BBQ.

    But in the end cooking top down or bottom up works either way I think it's just about knowing your pit and how it works. All I know is I like playing with fire and wood, so for me it's fun and I get great meals we all love. And the fuel is feel and have plenty on hand.
     
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  9. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    My only concern with this pit is #1 not crazy about the platform it's on, kind of big and bulky, going to eat a lot room up on the patio but I can live with it if a good deal!

    #2 and probably the bigger concern is that air intake door shown below, man that's small, IMO too small. I've reached out to the seller and he indicated had no trouble with pulling air, cooked in the rain/snow for hours zero problems but not sure how much the seller used and smoked on it. Could have been a windy day where airflow was no a problem.

    FBDoor.jpg
     
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  10. buzz-saw

    buzz-saw

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    When I bought mine, my wife asked me " Is that just an excuse to burn wood in the summer".
    I think it is a great hobby.

    Interesting thought on the stack placement , learn something new everyday.:thumbs:
     
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  11. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Hahah! Any excuse to burn wood! Agreed great hobby it's fun!

    I've gone down the rabbit hole one to many times on these offsets. I followed a lot of what the guys down in Texas are doing and how they are building pits. That seems to be general consensus for now having the stack at grate level and a properly sized one in diameter.

    Having a collector is still debated if needed or does anything truly. I think if your stack is wide enough in diameter you prob don't need a collector, but if you've got a small say 3" diameter stack might not get enough air pull so that collector might help draw.
     
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  12. Eckie

    Eckie

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    That air intake is interesting. Obviously I'm used to seeing g the loading door on that end, but at least you can also grill over the fire box if you want. The junction between fire chamber and cook chamber looks small, used to seeing more opening there.... But maybe it's just the pic, and /or works well for that cooker the way it's set up. But...I always have to remember and tell myself...the seller is selling for a reason...
     
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  13. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Good point, I noticed that connection as well being a little small.

    Agreed, always selling for a reason. But I know that offsets are not for everyone, they require work so I can see someone getting all hot and heavy with wanting to smoke, running out and buying something and then being like wow this is too much work. People do it all the time! Just speculating but I suspect this person smoked on it a few times, does not have the time to do it anymore or just takes too long. I could be very wrong!
     
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  14. Eckie

    Eckie

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    Oh for sure! Priorities and time.... I'd love to have a stick burner, but barely have the time to use what I've got now, which don't need near the attention that a stick burner would.

    As for the cart, looks like you could (or have it done) take the smoker off the cart and attach wheels to lesen the overall footprint and make it more maneuverable.

    If you can get it, I'm looking forward to pics of brisket, ribs, butts, turkey, chicken etc etc etc....!
     
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  15. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Agreed, I've eyeballed it up and thought mmmm I could just put the casters directly to the legs of the unit in time :thumbs:
     
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  16. buzz-saw

    buzz-saw

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    I fell down the rabbit hole when I went with a stick burner. I considered a pellet style but just couldn't do it. I wanted real BBQ and for some reason a pellet style just didn't do it for me.
    Wood is free and many varieties around here that work well ; hickory , oak , maple , apple , cherry and mulberry are here for it.

    Yup , time consuming and needs constant attention but the end result is worth every minute of it.

    I was cleaning up yard yesterday so actually pulled mine out and did a batch of country style ribs while I was doing things outside.
    Haven't used it for a while so it was a perfect day to do so.
    Sorry , no pictures.
     
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  17. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

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    Same, I just love stick burning and the fuel is free since I already burn wood for heat.

    But I get it, not for all and pellets are easy peasy and make great bbq but am just to much of a pyro :rofl: :lol:
     
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  18. Eckie

    Eckie

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    Or put an axle on it and wheels like Skeeter has on some of his... easy moving then!
     
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  19. JD Guy

    JD Guy

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    Looking at your bottom picture, the baffle plate would sit just a bit above where part of the the heat/smoke come off the fire box but below the cooking grate.It would have a series of holes in it to allow smoke and heat to escape at a more even rate. It’s also slanted down a bit from the firebox end to the exhaust end so as to catch drippings and send them to the drain and catch bucket. Clear as mud?
     
  20. buzz-saw

    buzz-saw

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    I guess.