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Old 08-07-2010, 10:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Brick BBQ Smoker Questions

Hey all,

This is my first post and she's a doozie.

I just started BBQn' last year. I usually just do ribs and everybody just goes nuts over them. My oldest son (age 13), who will eat anything as long as its mac & cheese, said that those ribs were the best tasting thing he has ever eaten. In short, we are hooked on Q.

Right now I am using a Char-Griller with the offset smoke box attachment. I have heavily modified it, including smokebox mods. I have added a charcoal basket in the smokebox, I designed a simple baffle system using SolidWorks, and have added a piece of 4" dryer vent tube to extend the smokestack down to cooking grate level. I have 2 thermometers in the cover, one on each end. In stock form, no baffles and a stock firebox, there was a huge difference in temp from one side to the other. With my mods, the temp differs by roughly 5 degrees, I can live with that. Not bad for an el-cheapo, not-to-efficient offset smoker. One thing I should do to it is seal all the holes and use some gasket material to seal the lid. My most recent addition to the setup is the stoker system I built for it. It consists of a 4" radial fan and automatic damper that attaches to the intake vent of the smoker box and a temperature controller. Here is how it works. There is a temperature probe in the cooking chamber. The temp controller monitors temperature and adjust the speed of the fan with a Variable Frequency Drive. As the temperature reaches it's setpoint, it gradually slows the fan down, and at times, turns the fan off completely. In industrial terms, a PID loop controller. It works great! Especially in the winter (I live in Wisconsin). It really works well, as they say, "set it and forget it". Set it for 225 degrees and it holds it rock solid. I smoked a tri-tip one time. OMG! Tasty! I discovered tri-tip on one of trips to California. If you mention tri-tip here in Wisconsin, people just cock their heads like dogs do when they hear a funny sound, you just never hear about tri-tip up here. We had a cow butchered (4 hungry kids, 3 sons and a daughter) and we asked the butcher for the tri-tip. Luckily he was stationed out in Cali when he was in the army and he knew what I was talking about. Otherwise, I think it just get ground into hamburger up here.

Anyways, on to my question:
I want to build a brick BBQ not much unlike the "Wilber Smoker",, follow this link to see what I am talking about. This smoker is bacially a hearth on one side and a cooking chamber on the other, niether are connected to one another. You burn the wood down to coals and shovel them in the cooker. Both the smoke chamber and the hearth are vented like a conventional fireplace. I guess my question is: wouldn't it be better to vent the cooking chamber at a lower point than venting it out the top like a fireplace? From what I've read and observed is that on all good comercially built smokers is that the exhaust is lower than cooking grate level. That makes the cooker more efficient and keeps more smoke in the chamber.

If anybody has any ideas, plans, opinions or links, let me know. I am looking for any info on how to build one. It's kind of a big deal so I what to do it right the first time.


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Old 08-08-2010, 09:34 PM   #2
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Re: Brick BBQ Smoker Questions

Well that may be an over broad assessment of where commercial pits vent. Every one I ever seen vented out the top. Southern Pride jumps immediately to mind. It vents right out of the top or at least some of them do. Guess a person could re route the exhaust it if they wanted but any sharp angles is a great place to collect grease. Venting down low would increase the chance of oversmoking..creosote etc. object is to keep some nice sweet smoke wafting through the apparatus. You do not want to capture stale smoke it a no means to escape type configuration. Now I could sure not argue with them who vents at grate level but would not want to go any lower than that.


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Old 08-10-2010, 07:11 AM   #3
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Re: Brick BBQ Smoker Questions That's the real deal.

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:58 AM   #4
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Re: Brick BBQ Smoker Questions

I knew I wanted to build something that would be functional as a BBQ/Smoker pit, Your brick barbecue-smoker can last as long as the earth from which it is made. Now you can build your own backyard . Plans for building your own custom smoker from brick and mortar to steel construction. Build the barbecue you need with these plans.
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