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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 07-13-2011, 07:54 AM   #1
WaywardSon
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Question Need help on reverse flow build/conversion

Well...a few months ago I bought yet another smoker. It is a 500 gal. propane tank on a trailer and is really just a large grill. There is no firebox and no good way to add coals...going to change that one way or another. I have a friend who is a talented welder/fabricator and has built many pits of various designs. Neither of us has ever seen or used a reverse flow cooker...they just don't seem to exist in our area. So...I come to the Brethren seeking advice...I understand the basic design, but am pretty short on details. If you have been involved in building a reverse flow cooker of this size I would really appreciate your input.



View of the front. I am probably going to make the two doors into one in order to be able to get a whole hog on it.

Back side below. Those two small doors are the only way to add coals to the smoker.



If we end up going with a reverse flow these doors will probably be welded shut as there will be a firebox on the end.

Back end of the cooker. This is not a firebox...just a place to store wood or whatever.



So...what are your thoughts? I have material on hand & my builder is waiting on me to make up my mind. On the advice of a member here, I had a look at the Bubba grills...like 'em a lot and see no reason why this can't be made into something similar. All input appreciated...and can provide more pics if needed. Thanks...........John
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Unread 07-13-2011, 08:57 AM   #2
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if it wasn't already mounted on the trailer . I would have mounted a fire box under it in the middle. But the eaiseiest thing for now would to take off the tool boy and mount a firebox prolly a 24x24x1/4
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Unread 07-13-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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The Langs have what is in my not-so-humble opinion a very good fire box, and they're 24x24x24; nice door on the back; 4 adjustable round air intakes. If it were me, I'd mimic that. Then the baffle goes from that back end all the way to the front, but stops about a foot before the front.


Ok, lets see some replies from guys that have done this. That's a heck of a huge grill that with a few mods could be a great smoker.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
WaywardSon
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Default Tank diameter

Lake Dogs,

What is the diameter of the tank on your Lang? I may be wrong, but I am thinking that the width on the firebox will need to be close to the diameter of the tank a few inches below the centerline. My cooking surface is a bit above the centerline of the tank...how far below the meat does the angled plate with the drain need to be? That distance will determine the location of the firebox and therefore it's width where it meets the tank. Make sense?
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Unread 07-13-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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Guys, anyone with a Lang 84 that can get the dimensions of the firebox for him? I'll see if I cant get it to you tomorrow.

Let me see if I can find a pick. Just barely under the opening are the grates; expanded steel set in a 1x1 frame. The bottom grates sit directly on the baffle, so it's what, perhaps 2 inches below the opening.

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Unread 07-13-2011, 09:04 PM   #6
WaywardSon
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Per Lang's website, the firebox on the 84 is 24" square and appears to be mounted a bit below centerline of the tank. Sorry to bother you with that.

I'm thinking that the tank you are using will determine the size and location of the firebox.

It surprises me that your lower grate rests directly on the baffle. I would not have thought you could do that...learning something every day here.

And I do appreciate your willingness to help! Nice looking batch of ribs there too.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 06:32 AM   #7
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bump. C'mon guys, there's lots of folks 'round here that have built their own smokers! Wayward needs a few pointers here on building that baffle and re-working his firebox.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 06:47 AM   #8
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This is the image I gave to William and he did the rest. There is a spreadsheet floating around that will help you calculate the size of the firebox, opening from FB to cooker, and the smoke stack height based on the size of your barrel. I'll see if I can find it and post it for you. Hope this helps!


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Unread 07-14-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
WaywardSon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posey's_pork_pit View Post
This is the image I gave to William and he did the rest. There is a spreadsheet floating around that will help you calculate the size of the firebox, opening from FB to cooker, and the smoke stack height based on the size of your barrel. I'll see if I can find it and post it for you. Hope this helps!
Thank you! I just sent that to my builder & will try and meet with him this afternoon and go over it. I think I know the spreadsheet you are referring to. I looked at one when I bought the cooker and IIRC (and understood:-) it called for a firebox so large that I nixed the idea of a reverse flow cooker...along with about an 8" exhaust stack. In looking at the 500 gal. smoker by Bubba Grills it appears that his firebox sort of tapers from the diameter of the tank where they meet up, down to a smaller dimension at the door...maybe 24"? Sure would like to turn up someone who has one of his 500 gal. models.

I truly appreciate everyone's help...........John
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Unread 07-14-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Here you go John ~ don't know if it's the same one you have seen before but it sure did the trick for William.
Attached Files
File Type: xls DODIS' BBQ Smoker ratio form .xls (51.0 KB, 49 views)
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Unread 07-14-2011, 02:14 PM   #11
WaywardSon
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Thanks...since the cooker and I are not in the same place & I don't have the measurements I just went with cubic inches...231 to the gallon X 500=115500 cu. inches. Entering that number in the smoker volume field yields a firebox dimension of about 34" on all sides. That might be livable.

After I get done mowing I'll run down and take some measurements and double check those figures.

I really hope to be able to make this work. Both the builder and I understand how to convert this cooker to something "normal" for this area which would involve enlarging the doors on the backside and shoveling coals through that opening. Works fine & I've burnt a lot of wood cooking like that. It involves a lot more fabrication work than the reverse flow design however. That, and I just like trying different methods of cooking...and for this area, reverse flow is different.
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