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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know there's a thread for cooking/recipes, but how 'bout one for smokers? There are a lot of variety of smokers out there, from off-set, to barrels, to pellets, etc. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from each other. GI1

I got into smoking a little over three years ago after tasting some food smoked by my youngest brother. My first smoker was a cheap, refurbished CharGriller (the ones you can find at Home Depot) that I got off of Craigslist for $100. Wanted to see if this was something I'd be interested in before investing any further.



That little smoker held up its end of the bargain as I made plenty of tasty items with it, as detailed here, here, here, and here. Unfortunately, it sort of died of rust cancer this Spring. Didn't do too much smoking this summer, and got a little lazy looking for a new smoker. But Thanksgiving is around the corner, and it was my turn to host, and there's nothing like a smoked turkey. So... decided to get a new smoker.

Now, in addition to staying with a wood-fired off-set, I had wanted to get a reverse-flow. But there didn't seem to be any in my area that I liked. Then, as luck would have it, perusing Craigslist, I came across this brand-new OK Joe's Longhorn smoker someone was selling for $275. Sold! Not a reverse-flow, but it'll do until I find one.



Doing some internet research, decided to do a few mods to it.

First, sealed the fire box with some high-temp RTV sealant.



Also sealed up the exhaust port.



Added a 3" 90-degree elbow to lower the exhaust inlet to the grate. I ended up covering this, and the exhaust port, entirely with aluminum foil to seal it even further.



Next, added a heat deflector and a baffle where the pit and fire box meet to better control the heat. Heat deflector was a 6" x 18" 16-gauge plate, whereas the deflector was a 12" x 18" 16-gauge plate, both picked up at Menards. Turns out the holes I drilled into the baffle let out too much heat, so I ended up covering this with aluminum foil. I also added another plate so that the baffles extended about 2/3 of the way into the smoker.



Also added stove insulation around the entire perimeter of both the smoke pit and fire box to seal up and better retain smoke/heat.



Finally, bought a firebox basket to better contain the coals/wood.



There are a few additional mods I could do, but for the time being, I'm satisfied.

On the initial burn, I coated the entire inside and out with a mixture of olive and vegetable oil, and began a burn to season it.

Here I am on a second burn to better season it. <--- Click on link for vid.

So far, have smoked up some pork shoulder butt, two chickens and some baby back ribs. Mmm, mmm, good.

And this afternoon, fired her up again as we're going to be having baby back ribs for dinner tonight.



GI1
 

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Tonyben has the Cadillac of smokers, and its Blutooth!
THAT'S NOT A SMOKER! That's a computer with fumes that just so happens to crap out savory meat products.

I'm a Weber Smoky Mountain kinda guy, myself. I have the 14.5" and the 18" but can't post a photo of them together because the 14.5" is already packed into my trailer getting ready to move to Indiana.

The 18" is going to do some 'work' on Saturday because my Mom is having an early Thanksgiving 'send-off' for me in Massachusetts since i'll possibly be spending the holiday alone (future wife is working at the hospital and I'm thinking of volunteering at the veterans shelter in Indy if they need an extra hand or two).

I have a few new rubs i want to try out on pork ribs, and they're not as involved as a shoulder or a 'Boston Butt' as we call them around these parts (on the wrong side of the iron curtain).

I'll post some photos of my progress if i'm not too busy on Saturday!

Another forum i'm on calls something similar to this a "BBQ Mega-Thread"...but I like the idea of having it be strictly smoker!
 

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I cut green hickory into kindling size pieces and wrap it in aluminum foil. Works better than you think. Indirect heat on the meat and swap the wood pack out every 1-1.5 hours. Yes it’s cheating but it works.
 

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That looks like a nice one Duce. I have a Brinkman, R2D2 lookin one for charcoal and wood and a Masterbuilt electric.
good smokin! DI5
 

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I started out with a Weber kettle, then came the upright drum smoker, and a Camp Chef pellet smoker.
My neighbors bring me meat which gets turned into BBQ.


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The heat deflector seems like a good idea but the 90° down/up spout? I mean since smoke collects on top might not move as much. But I suppose enough people does this mod it must work?

The metal milk crate is nice but I think the holes should be smaller to keep the small embers from falling through. I suppose if there are green wood under the basket it'll self light.

1100mike - I like the stainless barrel. I need to find one to replace my standing barrel smoker.
 

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1100mike - I like the stainless barrel. I need to find one to replace my standing barrel smoker.
Found on Ebay used for half the price of new. About $600 shipped. My original steel drum lasted about 6 years before the bottom rotted out.

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Nice set-up, Duce. Afterlooking at your pics, I am now REALLY hungry!

I have been considering one of Camp Chef's smokers. Anyone have experience good or bad with them?
 

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Nice set-up, Duce. Afterlooking at your pics, I am now REALLY hungry!

I have been considering one of Camp Chef's smokers. Anyone have experience good or bad with them?
I have a DLX. Holds temp well. Works like its supposed to. Pellet smoker doesn't have the deep smoke flavor I get with the drum. But it's pretty good, especially if I use the auxiliary smoke tube with it.

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I started one awhile back and was showing a "moked goose". The thread still exists but the pictures are gone. Too bad too, it was lovely. Anyway, I love smoking food. I smoke damn near everything. From a smoker to a smoke infuser, I love the taste. Here's one picture I do have on my phone. I can't remember everything that's in it but since it has bacon it's greasy and bad for you.
 

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if you have access to some hay, try this.
on a smoker that is cold, add a couple pieces of lit charcoal. slice up some tomatoes and a type of cheese that you like and put them in the smoker. close it all up including the exhaust vent. put the hay on the coals and close it. let the cheese and maters stay in the smoke for 10 minutes or so. don't let it get hot! you only want the smoke.
good snack...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The heat deflector seems like a good idea but the 90° down/up spout? I mean since smoke collects on top might not move as much.
And that's the purpose, so that the smoke/heat doesn't immediately go out the top. On this particular smoker, they simply positioned the exhaust port too high... it should be lower to the grate. On other smokes of this type, especially custom-built ones, the exhaust port is at the grate.

The metal milk crate is nice but I think the holes should be smaller to keep the small embers from falling through.
But you want the small embers to fall through, which they do, and come to rest on the bottom of the fire box. Also, if the holes were smaller, then that would restrict air flow. Now, use of the basked is not absolutely necessary, but on my old smoker, I didn't use one, and was always having problems keeping a fire going. With this crate, works so much nicer and easier. Best $35 I've spent (but I see now that they've gone up in price).

Alternatively, could've made my own using a sheet of expanded metal, as shown here. But everywhere I looked, places wanted $25 for it. So, I thought an additional $10 wasn't much to pay for one already fabricated.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm a Weber Smoky Mountain kinda guy, myself. I have the 14.5" and the 18" but can't post a photo of them together because the 14.5" is already packed into my trailer getting ready to move to Indiana.
I was looking at that one too... they sell 'em at the local hardware store. Have heard good things about them... still may get one just to try it. Buddy of mine has one, and he uses primarily charcoal with small pieces of wood added for more flavoring. He said temp control was quite easy, and that he didn't have to pay a lot of attention to the fire (which one has to do a bit more of with these off-set smokers).

They also do not take up much space.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nice set-up, Duce. Afterlooking at your pics, I am now REALLY hungry!
Here's a photo from last night's finished product:



Now those were tasty!

I have been considering one of Camp Chef's smokers. Anyone have experience good or bad with them?
Unfortunately, I do not.
 

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Just wondering if there should be any concern with the galvanized transfer pipe?

I realize it may not get exceptionally hot (250 to 350 F) but at what point does the galvanization begin to break down?

I know inhaling galvanized smoke can make you real sick.

A buddy has a steel close nipple with a 90 on his smoker screwed into the transfer hole, then a longer nipple down to the grate.

He cut down the nipple threads going into 90 and then welded the nipple to the 90 to keep it from extending to far into the grill area.

He tried a couple of different lengths until he found what he considers the "perfect" length.
 

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Just wondering if there should be any concern with the galvanized transfer pipe?

I realize it may not get exceptionally hot (250 to 350 F) but at what point does the galvanization begin to break down?

I know inhaling galvanized smoke can make you real sick.

A buddy has a steel close nipple with a 90 on his smoker screwed into the transfer hole, then a longer nipple down to the grate.

He cut down the nipple threads going into 90 and then welded the nipple to the 90 to keep it from extending to far into the grill area.

He tried a couple of different lengths until he found what he considers the "perfect" length.
galvanized lets off toxic fumes. don't use it...
 
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