Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an in site into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
He returns all questions . . . . . . .
Topic: Obviously we need some sort of vent hood . . . . . .
From: Patti Shea,
Subject: Re: Venting "enclosed" area
We live in Jacksonville, FL on the beautiful St. John's river - which is somewhat brackish this close to the mouth. We've always barbecued in our backyard and watched the slightly salty air corrode our grills faster than we'd like. Covers don't help much.
Now, we'd like to build a "summer kitchen" in the screen enclosed courtyard where we do our entertaining. We tried moving the grill in there one time and the smoke quickly drove everyone away - it doesn't dissipate fast enough through the screen. Obviously we need some sort of vent hood.
I've asked for advice on vent hoods at every barbeque store in town and gotten either no or wildly varying information. So I'm hoping you can help with some advice. I'm not sure I even know all the questions to ask.
1. What capacity for moving air (cfm) should the vent have?
2. What distance from the cooking surface should the hood be mounted?
3. Is hood size a factor? By this I mean should the hood cover the same area as the grill? Extend over the grill - by 3", 4", 6" on each side?
4. Do you know of any sources that sell vent hoods to meet these specifications? I've looked at restaurant suppliers but want to stay away from industrial stainless steel due to the salt air problem.
5. Are there any other factors I should consider?
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Wow! Some people have all the problems. Salt air, sluggish rivers and smoky barbecue pits. There are folks in Minnesota that would trade problems with you.
Salt air and damp ashes will combine to eat up a grill right before your eyes. Moving it under cover ought to help and the screen ought to cut down on the mosquitos.
The vent is no big deal. You need a minimum of a 6" flue and a hood that covers all the fire box. No overhang is necessary --the heated, lighter air will rise to exhaust outside. That also means that you don't need a noisy fan to pollute the tranquility of the cooking time.
The cheapest route is galvanized steel, the most sylish, copper. Since the temperature to which it will be exposed will be moderate, you can paint the sheetmetal an attractive color without any problem. If you can find a used one, there are folk who deal in such things, it will save a lot of coins. Otherwise, any competent sheet metal shop can build one.
Relax, Patti. Worry makes the meat tough.