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Topic: I want to build my own smoker . . . . From: Bonnie,
Subject: Re: Smokers
I have been looking at smokers for some time and would like to build my own. I will use a 24" diameter carbon steel pipe for the smoke chamber and a box measuring 24" wide x 18" length x 24" depth for the firebox. I have a few questions about my design.
1. Should I have 2 adjustable air vents on the firebox door? One just above the coals grate and one just below the grate. The logic is the one above the grate is air for drafting and the one below is for the air to the coals.
2. When connecting the firebox to the smoke chamber, how much opening should there be for smoke drafting? Answer as a percent opening on the 24" pipe or inches from the bottom of the pipe.
3. What is a good lenght of pipe for a smoke chamber? I have seen as short as 36" to as long as 48"? What is best?
4. What size smoke stack should I use (diameter pipe and height above the top of the smoker)? Do you have a recommendation on the location of the stack? I have seen them located at the top and on the side about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the top.
5. If you have any other design factors that you think are important not to miss please let me know.
Thanks for the help! I love your homepage information. Please e-mail me your response.
1. Only 1 adjustable below the coals.
2. More is better, 100% is best.
3. Longer is better.
4. All you need is a 2" pipe long enough to have a cover which allows air flow on all four sides.
5. The cooking area, which you call smoking, is much too small for the firebox area. Firebox can serve 6-10 times its area. A 24" diameter is too small for serious cooking because the grill becomes too long and (1) the lid becomes too heavy to handle and (2) the heat loss from the elongated section becomes too substantial. In my estimation, you'd be better using a 55 gal. drum than the heavier pipe.
Your design and pipe will make an excellent grill for broiling.
Hey, do it anyhow if that is the only way you can have a quality grill.
Feel free to check back with questions or comments. Let me know your progress.