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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 04-22-2017, 10:58 PM   #1
sleebus.jones
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Default Cinderblock smoker experiments

So, having some room and some spare cinderblocks, I figured why not make a smoker today?








Doesn't take much to blacken everything up.



Looks like this has been in operation for...well...longer than a few hours!



So some good learnings here. First off, it's too small to be useful. I need to make it one block longer, and one course higher. Using the steel plate for air intake allowed me to moderate temps, but getting it below 170° requires some effort. It will run nicely at 250° for conventional BBQ. I'll be cutting some supports and notching the blocks to set them in so I can put a grate in there. I'll also be able to hang some sausage, but it's really all just something to play with for the moment.

Not that bad to put together...should be able to make one wherever cinderblocks are available.

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Last edited by sleebus.jones; 09-19-2017 at 01:48 PM.. Reason: fixing busted photo*ucket links
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:23 AM   #2
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I have always wanted to play around with one of those,kinda like a Barrett 50 cal.,just to see what can be done with it.Possibilities are endless.I am leaning towards live fire cooking now that the ceramic cooker has got to a point of being boring.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:35 AM   #3
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Planning to do something similar one of these years... Thanks for doing some research for us!
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
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I have always wanted to play around with one of those,kinda like a Barrett 50 cal.,just to see what can be done with it.Possibilities are endless.I am leaning towards live fire cooking now that the ceramic cooker has got to a point of being boring.
Really very easy to play with...it's like lego for adults. I'm going to head off to Lowes today to pick up another 16 blocks, which will make it a block longer and higher like I mentioned above. Then I'll be able to fit a rack inside and actually cook something. I'm thinking country style pork ribs for the first cook. Kinda wish I had one of them WiFi thermometers now. It's a bit of a walk back there.

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Planning to do something similar one of these years... Thanks for doing some research for us!
Yeah, this might come in handy given your current situation? Although I'm not sure how easily you'd come by a pile of cinderblocks.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:00 PM   #5
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Ok, lots of views, no comments...probably because there's no dang results! Well, brethren, I am here to deliver!

Step one was to reconfigure the pit. Now it's 31"x15". Next was to notch the blocks to put in supporting rods for the grate.

Yeah, they're a bit thin. Came from some old political yard sign. I figured they could stand up OK to hot air.



I'm repurposing one of my cooling racks for a cooking grid. Looks a bit lost in there.



Yep. A lot of unused space. Need to find a source for expanded metal in Houston.



Bigger pit made for a bigger hole to cover up. Steel plate no longer did the trick, so some spare lumber was pressed into service. Rock holds down the themocouple lead so the probe stays at food level.



Looking good...



Looking better...



EAT ME!



This turned out really well. Fired on 100% Pecan. Seasoning was salt and pepper applied at 2.5g/lb for the salt and pepper to taste. Let the chop sit a couple of hours because I love a smoked ham pork chop. Let me tell you these did not disappoint!
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Last edited by sleebus.jones; 09-19-2017 at 01:54 PM.. Reason: fixing busted photo*ucket links
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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Looks Great and Congrats......Now THAT is a PIT!!!!!! Great Job!
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleebus.jones View Post
Yeah, this might come in handy given your current situation? Although I'm not sure how easily you'd come by a pile of cinderblocks.
Ciinder blocks are real easy to come by over here - those and contrete are the primary construction material used. A place to build it in my compound - not so easy... Wood? Very difficult. Pork? Impossible.

I will continue to live vicariously through you guys until I get back to TX!

Cook looks great Sleebus! I can almost taste those chops!
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:54 AM   #8
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Nice looking plate, Pit looks like something fun to play with.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:04 AM   #9
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Nothing wrong with that at all.

Nice build and grub.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:26 AM   #10
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Rebar is super cheap and very strong when it comes to keeping a rack up. A angle grinder with a masonry disk cuts through block like butter and a cut off wheel makes quick work of trimming rebar.

Good work
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:27 AM   #11
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Now that is a cooker that is truly adjustable to the needs of the group. Nice cook and rig!
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:26 AM   #12
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Rebar is super cheap and very strong when it comes to keeping a rack up. A angle grinder with a masonry disk cuts through block like butter and a cut off wheel makes quick work of trimming rebar.

Good work
I think that's going to be the next step. The rods in there right now are pretty flimsy, but are fit tight into the block, and are clamped by the blocks above. They didn't move when I set the grid on it, but they also don't fill me with confidence. I spied some rebar at Lowes when I went to get my additional 16 blocks, might have to pick that up next weekend. You are right about a masonry disc on block...works great. Will be easy to enlarge the slots for the rebar. I've got a angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel, so I can trim up rebar really easy.

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Now that is a cooker that is truly adjustable to the needs of the group. Nice cook and rig!
With just simply stacked blocks, you can configure to just about any size you can dream up. Blocks are CHEAP, ~$0.90 so even if someone wanted to build one from scratch this size, they's only spend $42 on blocks. That's hard to beat for someone who wants a good performing pit and doesn't have a lot of jack to throw around. My cook yesterday came off as good (or better!) than what I turn out of a big trailer mounted BBQ at the HLSR. Even with very basic methods of heat control, it was easy to keep it running where I wanted it.

I think I may try making the fire box one block higher and see how that works, only need 4 blocks to do it. The reason being that I've got to get down on my hands and knees to feed the pit, and I can see that getting old quick. Not sure how that will affect airflow, since I won't be changing how the heat gets into the pit; it'll still be just the one block at the bottom.
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:35 AM   #13
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Thanks for putting this up - i've been interested in doing something like this for a while now. Looks very cool!
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:41 PM   #14
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Thanks for putting this up - i've been interested in doing something like this for a while now. Looks very cool!
I definitely suggest doing it. It's fun and you'll be surprised how well it cooks!
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:49 PM   #15
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Very cool! Might give this one a try.
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