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Re: Vertical Air Tank Build

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:50 pm
by DrJekyll
So the Labor day cook on the new smoker build was generally successful. My first ever brisket attempt was flavorful and had a great smoke ring, but turned out a little dry. The pork butt was spot on and my ribs were my best yet. Received quite a few compliments from our guests and some from one's who are sparing with their praise.

I couldn't be happier with how the smoker turned out. I still have some things to work out, but they are all user experience related and I don't think I would change anything with the build just yet.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!

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Re: Vertical Air Tank Build

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:34 pm
by bsooner75
Awesome…quite the accomplishment!

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Re: Vertical Air Tank Build

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:55 pm
by DrJekyll
I wanted to do a final wrap-up with a few more pictures to add a little more detail for a few parts of the smoker I may have only described previously.

First is the bottom of the interior of the smoker. You can see that I welded a short 1.5" piece of 3" pipe around the hole in the bottom to act as a collar to help prevent ash from falling in the intake pipe.

Bottom Chamber Interior.jpg

Here is a picture of the exterior of the bottom of the smoker showing the removable u-shaped intake connector pipe. It is held on with clamps, although it fits so tight the clamps are probably not needed. Since the intake port is directly in the bottom of the chamber, this pipe is removable to act as a trap that can be cleaned in case I get ash or other debris falling into the hole. So far, the collar around the hole in combination with the ash tray on the charcoal basket have prevented any problems with ash falling in. Later on, I am thinking of replacing it wit a permanent t-pipe, with one end going to the existing vertical intake pipe running up the side of the smoker and with the other end only a few inches long terminating with a cap. This would facilitate easier cleaning if needed and allow me to add on a fan/controller like a BBQ Guru or FlameBoss into a port drilled into the cap.

Removable Intake U-pipe.jpg

The next picture shows a standard Weber charcoal grate for a 22.5" grill (part# 7441) that makes a flat surface for my charcoal basket to sit on.

Bottom Chamber Grate.jpg

I forgot to take a picture of my charcoal basket, so here is one from the site where I purchased it. It is advertised as a Lavalock 12x12x12 basket, but the actual charcoal basket is 12" wide square x 9" tall and the ash pan is 12" wide square x 3" tall. It is high quality made of heavy gauge steel and worth the cost in my opinion. It holds about 13+ lbs of charcoal plus several large wood chunks, which is more than sufficient for most cooks.

Charcoal Basket.jpg

The next picture is of the diffuser plate in place. You can see it with a drip/water pan in place in a picture in my previous post. I worried that I would not be able to add fuel during a cook; but, I found it is not too difficult as I used a welding glove to lift the front half of the diffuser and was able to dump some more charcoal into the basket when needed on my last cook. I think I would have had enough to finish the 17 hour cook without adding any extra, but went ahead and added some to be sure when putting ribs on at about 12 hours into the cook.

Diffuser Plate.jpg

Here is another view of the cooking chamber empty. I am currently using 3 racks, but I think I could easily fit a fourth comfortably. A fifth rack might get a little too tight or push the bottom rack too close to the fire. You can make out in the top the two pieces of rebar welded in, in the case I want to hang some meat. I'm not sure that I will ever need to as I think I could fit more on 3-4 racks than I can hang, but it is nice to have the option.

Cooking Chamber.jpg

The last picture is of the thermometer sensor port. I used a reducer from the 3/4" to 1/2", then I am using a 1/2" Gampak NM/SE Connector from Lowe's. The rubber insert does a good job sealing the cables, but is flexible enough to pass the sensor probes through. I welded a piece of rebar above the port to hang my transmitter.

Thermometer Sensor Port and Hanger.jpg

Other than the cart I have planned to add someday, the only thing I think I might add is some type of thick deflector in the top of the cooking chamber right below the exhaust port. This would be to act as a baffle to lessen heat loss and make the smoker a little more efficient with fuel. I will add an update down the road if I add something else or ever get the cart built.

I hope the write up of my build helps someone else. I was not able to find any vertical smokers built like this that do not employ a separate firebox. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Re: Vertical Air Tank Build

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:40 am
by el luchador
I LOVE LOVE this build.

A Lot of inspiration, and I think that my next build will be from an air compressor just like you did.


Re: Vertical Air Tank Build

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:33 pm
by FAT
Very nice. Good job.