after a grueling day of grinding and drilling I am very happy to say that we got this beast up to 275 degrees on saturday!!
Turns out the wood burning stove was a bit of a hinder because it is desinged to radiate the heat and not necessarily exhaust hot air. Once I realized what was going on we got the trusty cutting wheel out and basically gutted the inside of the box (DUH
) From there I took everyones advise and drilled out a bunch more holes near the bottom of the firebox for intake. After that we lit her back up for another test run with much greater success
With having said this, there are still some kinks.
As someone mentioned I would constantly be adding fuel and he/she couldnt be more correct. This won't be an issue on short cooks but obviously with a cooker of this size I not just making chicken wings all day. The original plan was to be able to do a whole hog+. Although it would be awesome to have whole hog capabilities i dont see me actually doing it more that once a year (if that). Therefore I am thinking of ways to modify the inside of the cook chamber in order to reduce the volume of actual heating space, with out taking away too much from the outside appearance.
I am thinking something on the line of welding a steel plate across the entire inside of the cook chamber just above the door. I am also thinking of welding a plate vertically in between the doors and re routing the intake so that its only going into one side vertually cutting the cooking space in half then just using the other side as a heating box... or something...
Any thoughts on this? I know the odds are against us but we've had a great time building it so we would like to see some success
. Where theres a will theres a way. (Especially when you have access to Brethren Expertise
By the way I couldnt just stop BBQ all together so while we were working on this I pulled out my Very Ugly Drum Smoker and cooked for the family.. posted a couple pics for everyone