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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 02-03-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
mmmmeat
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see fire box behind, but basically directly under smokebox

Current fire baffling system, that just isnt cutting it....

fire box directly under smoke chamber and hole where 5" curved stack is goin(48" long)



ok, so here's my dilema... this is my beast, my homemade stick burner, it's a bear to git goin, and keep up to temp, and when i gotta add fire back to it, it flares up like a motherfarker.... so im thinkin of modin it into a semi "reverse" flow, by adding a plate of 1/4 in aluminum diamondplate that i have layin out back... oh and i got my semitractor 5" chrome stack on it's way along with a couplefew cans of grill paint so i can finish it out

First question is, does aluminum give off hazardous properties when heated up, i know burnin aluminum cans give off haz smoke junk... is it the same with aluminum, i mean it wont be getting anywhere close to meltin temp of aluminum and it's 1/4 in thick so would distribute heat well enuff...right???

Second, should I put firebricks under the plate (lining the barrel) or not???

the plan is to cut the plate so it will drop in and out with ease,(for cleaning when it needs) putting it like 3-4 in under the grate... is that enough space for everything to be copesetic??

any and all info would be a great help!! thanks all!!
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Unread 02-03-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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Almost every one use's aluminum in one form or another, so I guess no, baking cookies, pork butts ect. I like your thinking on the off set, I think instead of sticks for fire use charcoal, easier to control fire, or use smaller stick's which means more sticks to throw on the fire! Are you putting food directly over plate? If so don't. my gas grill gets a fire if I put greasy food over the plate. Move the greasy stuff off to the side, or not directly over plate. Good luck
I think your trying to make some thing like one of these. http://americanbbqsystems.com/
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Unread 02-03-2010, 10:52 PM   #3
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this is reverse flow... im workin towards this except that my fire is underneath not on the side so if i take the plate from the side with the exhaust all the way over to the other side (minus 2-3 inches for the smoke to be able to flow around) i should stop the flare ups,

i did try charcoal on my first few cooks ( i have only done...4 i think) and the last one was all wood, the wood was actually the easiest to keep temp steady... but when i added wood the flame would jump right into the smoke chamber

i mean i have seen cast aluminum gas grills....
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Unread 02-03-2010, 10:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmeat View Post

this is reverse flow... im workin towards this except that my fire is underneath not on the side so if i take the plate from the side with the exhaust all the way over to the other side (minus 2-3 inches for the smoke to be able to flow around) i should stop the flare ups,

i did try charcoal on my first few cooks ( i have only done...4 i think) and the last one was all wood, the wood was actually the easiest to keep temp steady... but when i added wood the flame would jump right into the smoke chamber

i mean i have seen cast aluminum gas grills....
This could work
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Unread 02-03-2010, 10:57 PM   #5
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here's hopin
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Unread 02-03-2010, 11:26 PM   #6
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Good luck neighbor. Wish I could offer advice but my smokers are all the upright barrel type.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 06:50 AM   #7
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I like diy projects. They are great if you have talents and lots of extra materials laying around.
Have you decided to keep your current design or are you starting the second design?
I have a smoker designed like your first one. (With the fire mounted under the main) It works quite well. I think the radiant heat helps maintain temps.
I added a fire grate to the bottom area to build fire on and use a charcoal basket at times.
I can not tell where the smoke enters the top area.
In my pit it entered on end and was open to grate.
I lined the pit with firebricks to help hold heat, takes a little longer to heat up but stays warm longer.
I don't think a reverse flow would change a lot in your pit. I could be wrong.
It would be easy to set up with 2 rows of firebricks and a lid. I think the aluminum is fine to use. I would use 1/4 inch plate scrap and save the diamondplate for a nice shelf on the outside.
There are a lot of experienced builders here. Ask away and they will all chip in with help.
Keep up the good work.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 11:05 PM   #8
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that's where my fire comes in, i will not be changing the design of this guy, just adding to it, by putting in this "fire control device".... "smoke flow diverter"...deal...and the thinking, just like a reverse flow, that the fire will heat up the plate, no flameage into the smokechamber, and the smoke would be gainfully directed over/and around the food, also it would give me a good place to put a water pan under the meat and such...
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Unread 02-05-2010, 12:09 AM   #9
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Meat, It looks like you may have too large of a fire box to cook chamber opening. But it could be just the pic. Im building one simular to yours, only a triple, and was surprised on the calcs from fire box to cook chamber size requirements. Have you tried to block part of it and see what temps do?(edit) I see in the pic now that you welded part of it up(edit) Maybe add to the other side.
Also maybe try a bigger (if possible) heat diffuser and or toss in some water pans on it to catch grease from stokin the fire up.
Some sort of a damper would be worth a shot if its not to much of a pita to get in there.
Keep tinkerin, you'll get it.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 12:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmeat View Post
Ouch! I think I cut myself just lookin' at those pics!!

I'm kinda thinkin' that if you have a piece of steel that will fit front to back and all the way to the left with a small gap on the right, you could get your reverse flow idea working... but I think your fire box hole is too far to the right to get the true reverse flow that you want. Remember, you need heat & smoke to enter and exit on the same side to work right.

Also, I think I would weld something similar to your first baffle in place, that way heat isn't directly hitting the larger plate that will be above it.

As for the aluminum, I think the shelf idea is the better way to use that sucker if it's large enough...

Make sure to post some pics of the finished project!
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Unread 02-05-2010, 02:06 AM   #11
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meat, I like your concept and ambition. Thanks for stepp'n up!
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Unread 02-05-2010, 06:21 AM   #12
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Meat,
There are a couple of things i would try.
I would line the bottom with firebricks. You can call a brick yard in your area and probably buy seconds or thirds. Stack/arrange so they line the bottom and possibly extend up the side walls. They might lay side by side and curve up the walls.
This would create a smoke chamber below the grate. Lay a piece of plate metal on top.You can slide from end to end to experiment with while cooking. I would leave it unattached for future cleaning.Probably will work best slide to exhaust side.
Your grate would be above this.
Using the firebricks would help to maintain temps but also would allow you to move them and the hole of smoke entering the pit.
With the size of the pit, guessing 3 foot, the hole location will not change a lot(i think)Do you want a hot spot on the center of pit or the end of pit?
It looks like you are adding flanges to edges of door openings. That is a great idea.
Sealing up the pit will add to your smoking experiences.
Just my ideas. Hope they help,
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Unread 02-05-2010, 07:39 PM   #13
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thanks everyone, i think im going to take out the current baffles i have in there now, weld in a piece to block off s'more of the fire opening on the right side there, then i'll line the bottom with fire bricks, and slid in that chunk of metal, to kinda git that reverse flow ISH idea, seal up the all the cracks and i WILL keep yall updated fer sure... my 5" stack is on it's way.... cant wait fer that to git here i tellyouwhut.!!!
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