redesigning a firebox (long read)
I see theres a lot of guys in here that build thier own stuff so thought I would throw this out there and get your thoughts on this.We built a large smoker last year using a 275 gallon fuel barrel laid flat as the cooking chamber and a 50 gallon barrel on the back of it for the firebox.I cant seem to find pics right now but can take some and post them later if it would help.
It worked really well last year and holds the temps between 225 and 250 very well, we didnt go with a conventional design as we mounted the firebox higher up on the back instead of underneath, and cut a long slot right below the cooking grate for the heat to come through.The charcoal basket runs the length of the barrel and you can pull it out the end rather than opening a door and losing heat.The other end of the barrel we added a door that swivels up which acts as both a damper and a cleanout for ashes. Inside above the slot we cut we added a heat deflector which was actually part of the barrel we cut out, it kicks the heat down and around the inside of the barrel and back across the entire grate before it can go out the 2 exhaust stacks in the back.We werent sure if that would work but it actually heats the whole thing amazingly even all the way across.
This year were going to mount it to a trailer but we lose a ton of heat through the thin 50 gallon firebox and burn a lot of charcoal to keep it going, also in bad weather it becomes tricky to maintain enough heat, so I want to try to redo that and build a heavier box.Also am thinking of adding a temp controller so I can get a nap during competitions or long weekend cookouts.
I have managed to acquire a sheet of 3/16 sheet steel, 1 inch tubing, access to a plasma cutter, welder, etc.. without spending anything on it, but now we are undecided on weather to cut the old box off and start over or try to build a box around it and insulate it making it a double walled box.Problem with thats going to be figuring out how to get the clean out, charcoal basket etc... to work with it as well as adding a heat controller.
Any ideas or suggestions on insulating, adding controllers, or anything else I am open to as I dont want to do this again after its mounted on the trailer permanently.i