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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.


View Poll Results: What is YOUR Favorite Smoker Design?
ECB (with Mods) 9 3.15%
UDS (with Mods) 68 23.78%
Pit BBQ 11 3.85%
Offset 117 40.91%
Double Barrel 12 4.20%
Box Smokers 58 20.28%
Other 39 13.64%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 286. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:20 AM   #1
Ray Zorback
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Lightbulb Smoker Design Discussion

Hey. I hope this thread will start a discussion on different smoker designs & their Pros & Cons.
I can't decide on what to build.
  • Modify my El Cheapo Brinkmann?
  • Build an Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS)?
  • Double Barrel Smoker?
  • Pit Smokers?
  • Box Smokers?
  • Indirect Heat Smokers?
Here is a short list of just a few design ideas that I found on about.com.

What are the best designs for smoking Q? What are you favorites for getting the best flavor?
Please put in your 2 cents!
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[COLOR="DarkRed"]Works in Progress:[/COLOR]
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Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS): Still Deciding the Design Details

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[URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26513"]Smoker Designs[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26261"]ECB Mod Talk[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436"]Ugly Drum Smokers[/URL]


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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:42 AM   #2
Arlin_MacRae
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Interesting topic, Ray. It should generate some good info.

Howsabout you goin' over to the Cattle Call and introducing yourself!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:43 AM   #3
Puppyboy
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If I were to build a cooker, it would have wheels so I could take it where ever. It would also be big enough to cook plenty of food but not to big where heat and smoke is wasted on empty space. A squared unit I think would maximize cooking space. The rounded units have that dome at the top where you can not put anything.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:53 AM   #4
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A UDS is probably the most bang for your buck. You don't need to weld. It's fuel efficient. It has a large capacity (4 briskets or 8 butts with two racks) and if you are creative, you can build the whole thing for around $60.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 09:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppyboy View Post
If I were to build a cooker, it would have wheels so I could take it where ever. It would also be big enough to cook plenty of food but not to big where heat and smoke is wasted on empty space. A squared unit I think would maximize cooking space. The rounded units have that dome at the top where you can not put anything.
Be careful of a flat top. In some smokers(but not all), condensation will drip that nasty creasote water onto your meat. I think that the reason so many smokers have a domed lid is to direct any condensation down the sides. It is a whole lot easier to make a flat lid than a domed lid...
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Unread 04-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #6
Puppyboy
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I did not think of that Noah. Figured there was a reason for the dome though.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 11:49 AM   #7
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Off set on a trailer. Lots of work to build, buth well worth it!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 12:45 PM   #8
keale
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Whats a Double Barrel Smoker? I figured the part that it might have 2 barrels, anyone has pics?
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Unread 04-26-2007, 12:52 PM   #9
Ray Zorback
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Lightbulb Double Barrel Smokers

Here are the main 2 I found online:
Big Baby

OR
Big Smokey

Click the Pix to take you to the "How To"

You can see why this is such a tough decision!?!
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[COLOR="DarkRed"]Woooo Pig Sooie![/COLOR]
[I]I worship the King of Kings, & drink the king of beers.[/I]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Works in Progress:[/COLOR]
El Cheapo Brinkmann (ECB): Refurb & Mod
Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS): Still Deciding the Design Details

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Favorite Threads[/COLOR]
[URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26513"]Smoker Designs[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26261"]ECB Mod Talk[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436"]Ugly Drum Smokers[/URL]


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Unread 04-26-2007, 12:56 PM   #10
Puppyboy
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A guy here in town has one of the double ones. Kinda neat but watch out not to burn your knees.
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-New Braunfels Bandera (rescued)
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-Concession trailer nicknamed "The Dawg House"
[URL]http://www.facebook.com/BarkinDawgsBBQCatering[/URL]
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Unread 04-26-2007, 01:02 PM   #11
Ray Zorback
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppyboy View Post
A guy here in town has one of the double ones. Kinda neat but watch out not to burn your knees.
... or "other" things.
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Bye for now,

Ray Zorback
[COLOR="DarkRed"]Woooo Pig Sooie![/COLOR]
[I]I worship the King of Kings, & drink the king of beers.[/I]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Works in Progress:[/COLOR]
El Cheapo Brinkmann (ECB): Refurb & Mod
Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS): Still Deciding the Design Details

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Favorite Threads[/COLOR]
[URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26513"]Smoker Designs[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26261"]ECB Mod Talk[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436"]Ugly Drum Smokers[/URL]


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Unread 04-26-2007, 01:36 PM   #12
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Ray,

I seriously doubt you will find an iota of difference in the quality of product from all the designs out there!
The cook learns the cooker and adapts to it's personality and the meat really does not care!

If I were to build my ideal smoker it would have:
Primarily Stainless Steel construction.
Be a "vertical design" in the smoke chamber.
Run as long as I could ever want without refueling or fussing with the fire.
Allow a variety of properly seasoned clean wood flavors without maintaining a separate "wood yard" to produce and store them.
Allow temp control to just a couple of degrees.
Be super easy to clean.

I am not talented enough to design or build something like that, so I just bought it!

There are a ton of great designs in use.
The WSM design and it's big brother, the UDS, work very well. Simple to load and stabilize and little "fuss" as the cook progresses.
The Bandera design, especially if built bigger like Phil's MOAB or Midnight's cooker (do a search for those) have a lot going for them.
The traditional horizontal log burner looks "sexy" and is a mainstay in the BBQ world. Without "reverse flow", the various temp zones can be used to your advantage. With "reverse flow" (ala Lang), you can have a larger area of even temps if that is what you want.
The "stacked" cookers with the fire in a chamber below and/or separated from the smoke chamber work very well.

They only thing I would suggest is that you plan and build a "mid-size" smoker, whatever that means. If you are thinking small, it is cheaper and easier to just buy a WSM or small sheet metal horizontal from Wally World.
On the large side--no need to build a HUGE pit you will never use either. Waste of time and money.
But, do allow expansion in space from what you are doing now--Trust me, your needs will grow, not get smaller

Figure what you need, pick a design you like, and do it!
When you pick a design and do a cost projection--stop and take a look at the market. You may find that a couple of WSM's, a Spicewine, a Lang/Klose, or whatever may not be that far off your costs and are proven designs. No engineering needed!

Have fun!

TIM
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Unread 04-26-2007, 02:06 PM   #13
WineMaster
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Building two smokers right now. We took a number of variables into mind when we were deciding what to build.
The two biggest are Where we live and Do we want to sleep. The other thing is that we make a lot of sausage and have the need to hang meat.
We are working on them again tonight. We might be able to bring them to the other shop to prep for paint. Its getting close to the season and temp test time. We cant wait.

Dan
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Unread 04-26-2007, 02:15 PM   #14
Ray Zorback
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Can you take some pix and post them for us?
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Ray Zorback
[COLOR="DarkRed"]Woooo Pig Sooie![/COLOR]
[I]I worship the King of Kings, & drink the king of beers.[/I]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Works in Progress:[/COLOR]
El Cheapo Brinkmann (ECB): Refurb & Mod
Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS): Still Deciding the Design Details

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Favorite Threads[/COLOR]
[URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26513"]Smoker Designs[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26261"]ECB Mod Talk[/URL] | [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436"]Ugly Drum Smokers[/URL]


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Unread 04-26-2007, 02:24 PM   #15
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When there Done? Or tonight.
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