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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 08-26-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
Tom Dean
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Default Campfire Smoker

I am thinking of building a campfire smoker.

My requirements are that it fold up so it is small to carry.

I am thinking of getting some SS sheet metal and put hinges on the edges. Assembly the smoker by aligning the hinges and inserting pins.

I am thinking of a lower section that is over the fire/coals and a taller section with the grate slightly above the top of the lower section.

Does this sound reasonable?

Is something like this available? Maybe a kit?

I looked in Sportsmen's Warehouse - nothing.

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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
Lake Dogs
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They make camping ovens, some light enough you could back-pack it in. We have one that folds up to almost nothing. I'm thinking something like this is probably 90% of what you're looking for. We use it at cookoffs, for making cornbread. Works great.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #3
Grillman
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Maybe the Pocket Grill is what you are looking for.

http://pocketgrill.com/

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Unread 08-26-2011, 11:09 PM   #4
PigTamer
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What kind of campfire? Smokey joe mod may work if you are looking at camping with a way to pack it in.
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Unread 08-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
Tom Dean
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I plan to use it 'car camping' - I don't need to pack it in.

I want to limit the size to 24" x 18" x 3" folded.

I want it to be a smoker, not a grill. To me, that means a covered top with a vent to regulate the heat. Indirect cooking only. Correct? I have seen barrel types that have one compartment for fire, etc., and a second, connected compartment for cooking.

I have a 13 foot Casita Travel Trailer I pull behind my Jeep - up into the woods. Had a difficult time with some ribs, etc., on a campfire.

A smoker would be ideal, I think.

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Unread 08-27-2011, 08:45 PM   #6
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well the hardest part of a build like that when making a smoker is going to be able to seal it up so that there are no bad air leaks, because if you have air leaks your not gonna have the low and slow....but I will do some thinking...
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Unread 08-27-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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couple more questions do you want a seperate fire chamber next to the cooker or possibly something similar to a uds with the fire below and a heat diffuser between the fire and the cooking area. And are you going to use charcoal, or coals from the camp fire for fuel, those answers will help me to narrow down a possibility, I already have something in mind...also depends on how good you are at metal working or do you just want rough plans and going to see if someone can build it for you to the specs?.
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Unread 08-27-2011, 09:08 PM   #8
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Tom I've been thinking along the same line as you. I thought about making one that can be taken apart so it will be easy to carry and store.
I usually slow cook ribs on the low-heat side of a campfire, covering them with a pan at times to trap some of the smoke.... and I do underground cooking while camping that slow cooks meat.

I'm trying to convince myself that I need a small smoker too.

If you come up with one, I'd love to see what you build!
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Unread 08-27-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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I know how to make one that can be pretty much folded up and will be fairly easy to assemble and disassemble using whatever metal you want with the right type of hinges and a couple of latches, I will try to see if I can get a picture drawn up and explain it and see if that is how you might want to do it, in essence you make a tall box out of the metal, and get the long plano hinges and use to attach three sides together so it is attached together in a continuous piece and can be folded into a box, get 3 or 4 hasp type latches to use to attach the 4th side together. now you have the outside, for the diffuser about 6 inches from bottom on the inside mark one side horizontally, cut another piece of metal that fits the inside dimensions. now attach that to the side you just marked on the inside with another plano hinge so it can be folded up against the side for storage and folded down to be a heat diffuser, just drill some holes in it to let the heat through to the cooking chamber. Next cut another piece that fits the top, and attach that to the top edge with a plano hinge so it can be folded over backward to lay flat on back wall, use a hasp on other side to keep it closed, finally add your air vents in the bottom box with a way to adjust them and one on top for exhaust, next step is to put some type of stop on the front side of the heat diffuser to stop it when it is folded down over the fire like two small bolts with nuts through the front of the box so when it folds down the grate is level. lastly you will probably need some high temp gasket probably foam tape style to place down both sides of each joint so they seal together when you hook it all up. I know this was long winded and is just a rough idea and hopefully not to confusing but should work for what you want to do by placing it over the coals...
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Unread 08-27-2011, 11:23 PM   #10
Tom Dean
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I don't know enough to answer the two chamber or diffuser question. I want slow cooking. I will mostly use gathered wood - here in the Northwest, alder, fruit trees, etc.

I am OK with metal working or I can get help...

The last two trips, we had a fire in a gathered stone fire pit and a grate from an old Weber over the top. Two successes and two sort of failures. When I saw the over-done on one side, I passed out more beer and foiled it - poured some beer on the overdone side and covered it with foil - (marinating?). I don't think anyone really noticed. The beans came out excellent and thus covered for me.

How do I control the heat? I envisioned a part over the campfire and move fire in and out sort of like indirect cooking. The food not really over the fire. Or, is it better like a UDS?

I do want to fold it up flat...
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Unread 08-27-2011, 11:38 PM   #11
Tom Dean
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Ah, I see.

If I construct it so that one end is open at the bottom, I can feed the fire with coals, etc. A nice big chunk of alder that is smoldering.

How tight does the box have to be? Is closely overlapped enough? Like each side piece has a flap (bent 90 degrees) at the end that overlaps the adjacent side? And, the top fits over all the sides the same way?

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Unread 08-28-2011, 12:21 AM   #12
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it wouldn't have to be super tight because you can control the heat by the amount of the coals, if to hot take some out and if need more you can add them pretty easy it just means that you will have to keep a little closer eye one the fire and tend it more often if it has a few leaks. But that is also part of the fun.
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Unread 08-28-2011, 12:57 AM   #13
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i know you said you didnt want a grill but this is not a grill. This is what pigtamer was speaking of. this one is mine. i take it camping all the time. great for outdoor use. it is totally indirect and can hold 3 small butts or 4 racks of ribs or 27 wings. haha

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Unread 08-28-2011, 01:28 PM   #14
Tom Dean
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What does the power do? What is the thingee on the right side?
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Unread 08-28-2011, 01:33 PM   #15
Tom Dean
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Neat idea but not what I want...

http://www.automatic-chef.com/?gclid...FRZ3gwodli69Ng
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