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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 02-20-2010, 07:31 AM   #1
HBMTN
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Default Questions about a vertical smoker

So I am opening a catering business this spring and I am considering making a cabinet style smoker for my pit trailer. It's main purpose will be for cooking sides and chicken and ribs. I am considering something like 2ft deep x 2 1/2 wide x 4 1/2 - 5 foot tall with 36"-40" of that being the food racks. Thinking about a water pan between the fire basket and the food racks and the exhaust out the top. with racks being 3"-4" apart.

Questions:

What would the temperature difference be between the bottom and top racks and would they stay close to the same?

What are the flaws or advantages to this type of design? I am looking at ease of the build and works with where I want to put it on my trailer.

What would you do different? If anything.

In the pic below I plan to remove the water tank from below and mount it on the deck right about where the water tank is now. Then install a step/deck to stand on to reack the upper racks if needed. I plan to put a garden hose hook up on my sink as everyhwhere I ever use it I have a water supply.



Thanks

Ruben
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Unread 02-20-2010, 10:53 AM   #2
armor
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I'm surprised you havn't gotten any responses. Perhaps after everyone has their smokers up and running you will get a better answer than mine. I have been smoking on a spicewine for about 2 years now and I could not tell you if there is a difference between top and bottom as I have never checked definitively. I have cooked both with water and without. Without in my experience will get temps up faster since it's not using energy to heat the water and the temps will run hotter if you don't watch it. Then this again depends on the volume of meat in the cooker. I also cook on a gatorpit which has a vertical at the end of the horizontal. The bottom shelf there seems to run about 30 degrees lower than the rest but now we are comparing the heat of the spice being directly below the water pan to the gatorpit bwing an offset.
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Unread 02-20-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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Those questions are hard to answer about a pit that you are going to design and build. There are so many variables including air flow, insulation, heat reflection etc., as well as how you choose to run it after it is built. All of these thing will effect how your temps run top to bottom. I cook on a large Spicewine and I can greatly change the temp variance from top to bottom by adjusting air intake and exhaust as well as how and where meat is placed.

The best advice I could give you is to get it built and play around with it.
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Unread 02-20-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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have you thought about a separate firebox going into the cabinet? I am about as far from a pit builder as you can get but here is a pic of the one we just finished. The temps run within 20 degrees, top to bottom. I have a shelf setting right above where the heat comes in that is designated for water pans/heat deflectors. This seems to keep things pretty even. I have decided I need to change the exhaust to create more flow. I have only used it four times so I am still learning.
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Unread 02-20-2010, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Munkee's Pit-I cook on a large Spicewine and I can greatly change the temp variance from top to bottom by adjusting air intake and exhaust as well as how and where meat is placed.
You pretty much answered what I was wanting to know, like my offset I can do the same. I just want to make sure that there was not a huge difference in temps that you could do nothing about.

Smookin, nice set up. My thoughts are I will make it out of 1/8 plate to save on weight plus the main time I will use this will be in warm times of the year. My offset pit is 3/8" thick and can handle the extreme cold weather cookings. Knowing I am using a thinner metal I hope to capitalize on the firebox being directly under the meat, plus I have the issue of space on my trailer. I can get a sheet of 1/8" plate and have it sheared to my specs for about $100 and it will be an easy build. I will thing on it for another month or two before I start, to get all the research done I can.

Thanks for the input!
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