I just found this site today - man I wish I had seen it a few months ago when we first started working on our smoker! There's some great information on here!!
Background info: It is just hubby and I (I'm 26 and he is 2
, but he is the typical male and felt like we needed a larger smoker. Our other one was made out of a 55 gallon drum. Our favorite thing to smoke is briskets. We do a lot of camping at a nearby lake and were wanting a unit we could take along with us, so we decided on a trailer mounted smoker.
We looked at some online and at local pawn shops and quickly realized that they were way out of our budget. We ended up spending a few months talking to coworker and family and before long, we had ended up with almost all the parts to make a smoker for free. Later, we decided some of our parts were wrong, but we were able to trade them to others for the stuff we did need.
The main components we used were a large propane tank and the trailer frame from an old pop-up camper. The propane tank is about 30 inches in diameter and the piece we traded for was about 7 foot long. We used it to make the chamber and the fire box. As I said earlier, we used the trailer frame from an old popup for the trailer. We shortened it a bit - I think it is around 14 foot long now. My husband works for a plant that makes fiberglass composite grating. It is super strong and fire retardant. If the piece of grating does not pass quality control it is considered a reject and is often available for free to the employees. We were able to get pieces of this grating and use it for the trailer floor. It is set up so that you actually stand on the trailer while you are using the smoker.
I'll post a link to some pictures I took. I'll try to add some more to the link soon since we have done much more to it since these pictures were taken. I think you can get the idea, however, of what we were trying to build.
There are also some pictures here that were taken when we first started the project.
We have started a fire in it a couple of times. The first time we had trouble getting it to 200 degrees. We decided to add a few more holes in the channel that comes out of the firebox at the opposite end. I don't know how to explain this well or what terms to use, so please bear with me. We have the firebox and chimney on the same side. There is a channel that is welded in the bottom of the smoker and connects with the firebox. From the firebox, the smoke goes into the channel and travels down the length of the smoker. That end of the channel is open so that the smoke leaves it and travels back down the length of the smoker and out through the chimney.
After we added a few holes to the channel on the far end, we have been able to get it up to 300 degrees pretty easy when we kept adding wood to it. (It takes a while to get a good fire going and to get the chamber heated because it is so big, but that is to be expected.) We like to cook around 225 - 250 degrees, so I think we've got a pretty good setup now.
We still have a few projects left. We want to add a wood box to the front of the trailer. We will probably partition it off so that 2/3 of it is for wood and the other 1/3 can be used to carry the tools and charcoal.
We also need to paint it. Hubby left that one up to me. I plan on just going up to Sherwin Williams and getting some grill/stove paint. I will probably do everything in black to start with. If I can find the right paint (it may involve ordering online), I would like to add some custom features to it. My husband is a huge Texas Longhorns fan and I think a huge longhorn on the end would look neat. I had even thought about putting flames behind it, if I can get it to look right.
Other than that we have just thought about eventually adding a gas hookup that either goes to a side burner or a fish fry thing.
I'm sorry this is so long, but I would love to hear any comments about our work. I think we are going to throw a brisket on there this weekend when we do our next temperature test. Afterall, if we have a fire going in there for a few hours, why not be cooking something while we do it!