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Unread 05-01-2013, 04:22 AM   #1
Just BS
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Default Cinder Block Verticle Smoker ~ Direct vs Indirect

Poured the foundation today for my "Outdoor Kitchen" area. It will include a verticle smoker built with cinder blocks. Inner dimensions will be 24" X 24" X 6' tall. I want to go with indirect heat but my concern is that it will be difficult to maintain enough heat. The inner dimensions of the offset fire box (also built out of cinder block and lined with fire bricks) will be 24" X 20" X 28" tall. Are my concerns valid? Should I just put a door at the bottom and make it a direct hest smoker?
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Unread 05-01-2013, 04:30 AM   #2
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Couldn't you put in an extra set of rack runners above the firebox for a removable heat diverter? Then you would be able to try it both ways.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 04:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Couldn't you put in an extra set of rack runners above the firebox for a removable heat diverter? Then you would be able to try it both ways.
Do you mean if I was to go direct??? That is exaxtly what I would do.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 05:57 AM   #4
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Is the top of your firebox open or closed in? If closed, I would think you could maintain good heat althought it might take a while to get that mass up to temp.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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Is the top of your firebox open or closed in? If closed, I would think you could maintain good heat althought it might take a while to get that mass up to temp.
I haven't figured out how to enclose it yet, but that is the plan. I am leaning towards pouring refractory concrete into a mold. Still working out the details.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
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I am right there with you.
Due to the winters here in WI, I chose to go vertical. From my research, it will heat more quickly and being fire brick will have more stable temps in the cold.
My WFO is incredible at holding heat from even a small fire. I plan on using the same insulating concrete behind the split fire brick liner.
I plan to make a domed stainless steel inner liner for the ceiling with the top flue extending down into the cooking chamber (dimension not figured yet) to maintain heat and smoke.
I will be updating my build thread very soon as the rain and chit weather seems to finally be behind us now...

Not sure if this helps but some ideas from my research.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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Couple of thoughts if you still want to go indirect/offset (looks like ThermalMass's build is not an offset). If I understand your original description, your firebox will be concrete (cinder) block with a fire brick liner. You could just stop the firebrick liner one course (about 2-1/4 inches short of the top of the outside layer of block, cut a (i.e. 1/2 inch) steel plate to fit tightly and cover with refractory mortar. You might consider extending the steel plate into the cook chamber a few inches to act as kind of a deflector plate. Based on ThermalMass's experience with his WFO, I'm pretty confident this kind of setup would get you plenty of heat & smoke. Final thought, you will probably want to control your fire at the intake side, so some kind of firebox door with adjustable air intakes should be part of your plan. Good luck, this sounds like an exciting project.
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I haven't figured out how to enclose it yet, but that is the plan. I am leaning towards pouring refractory concrete into a mold. Still working out the details.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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Thanks Thermal Mass. I got to see your thread while following v-wiz's build thread. I am doing a WFO too as part of this project. Right now I'm all over the place, keep second guessing myself and changing my design. Unlike you, my winters are mild and shouldn't be too much of an issue. Its actually the hot ass summers that put a damper on things....and if I don't get the first coarse down soon, this thing won't get finished until next year.

Dwfisk, That is an excellent idea. If I set a steel plate down with a piece of CF Board on top of it and then enclose with refractory morter and finish it off with a nice piece of granite, that would make for a nice work surface too! Brilliant.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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Ooooohhhhh granite - functional and pretty. Please make sure you take a lot of pics of this build. I can already tell it is gonna be a good one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just BS View Post
Dwfisk, That is an excellent idea. If I set a steel plate down with a piece of CF Board on top of it and then enclose with refractory morter and finish it off with a nice piece of granite, that would make for a nice work surface too! Brilliant.
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Home built 24"x72" reverse flow stick burner trailer with 18"x44" grill w/CI grates and upright SS gas oven/smoker.
Home built 48" fire pit with a 30"x30" Santa Maria style ranch grill.
Home built lump charcoal retort, iGrill & a bunch of other cooking toys.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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I also have a vertical smoker. I know a few guys who have cinder block smokers that have a hard time maintaining a temp but that is in Illinois in the winter. Seeing as you are in SoCal, I don't think you will have that problem.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 12:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oifmarine2003 View Post
I also have a vertical smoker. I know a few guys who have cinder block smokers that have a hard time maintaining a temp but that is in Illinois in the winter. Seeing as you are in SoCal, I don't think you will have that problem.
Yours is made of wood??? Post a pic!
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