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Unread 05-30-2010, 09:05 PM   #1
rehab6
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Default question about rack height

I hope I am posting this in the right area. I am not sure if it has been posted before, if so, i apologize. I am building a pit out of a 350 gallon drum, set upright, and trying to decide on the height between racks or shelves for the meat. I want to make sure I give enough clearance between the racks, but hoping to put at least one or two in there. i have been told anything between 8 and 12 inches. any thoughts?
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Unread 05-31-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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An upright 350 gallon drum? Thats gonna be a huge rig!

If it's an upright, like a UDS, as long as your bottom rack is 24" away from the bottom of your coal basket, you should be ok. If you're going to use a heat sink, you could get much closer. Do your next rack no more than 12" up from that or you'll be wasting too much space.

If it looks like there won't be enough room between the top rack and the top of the drum, measure from the top of the bottom rack to the top of the drum and put the second rack 1/2 way up (or 2/3 of the way up so you'll have 1 large capacity rack and 1 medium). It all depends on what your needs are.

In my UDS, my racks are 7" apart, and that's probably too much since I really only ever smoke ribs, pork loins and the occasional brisket.

Hope that helps.
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Unread 05-31-2010, 05:00 PM   #3
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the heat is from firebox (old wood stove) and piped in the bottom. i have about 6" to 8" from that for the first rack, so i can put pan underneath. i am thinking, if i read that right, if mainly ribs and briskets, 8" or so, so i can have two more full racks, and a third rack that s a bit narrower toward the top.

i am thinking adding another rack area between the first two, that i can move the racks to a different height if need be might be a good idea - in case of taller meats. my concern was making sure that i have enough space for air flow between the racks, so they are not bunched up.

i am also thinking of trying to find a way of rigging a real long gas grill insert that i can set in below the racks, for a real big grill, for burgers and such for fund raisers as an option for them. gotta figure that system out too. i wan to make it removable, so its only used if they want it.
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Unread 05-31-2010, 08:37 PM   #4
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rack height? well...let's see...have 'em stand on a stool, stilleto heels...whatever it takes to get their rack at eyeball level :) Ok, i'll go to my room now.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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Ohhhhhhhhhhh, that makes sense now.

8 inches is probably fine. as long as there is a couple inches on each side of the hunk of meat, the smoke & heat should move around it ok. Circulation is really only an issue if you plan to completely cover the bottom rack with meat, which is why you'd usually not put everything so close.

What about making that middle or top rack removable? That way if you do have some huge pieces of meat to smoke, you have the flexability to remove a rack to fit it in.

For even more flexability, you might want to consider using something like this:



Obviously use an unpainted version, but this would allow you to move the racks to whatever height you need or remove them if you don't need them.

I'm assuming you have a welder (?) you could just weld the cooking racks to the brackets and easily slip them in and out.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 08:45 AM   #6
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got a welder, i am prob going to use angle iron on the back and sides of the tank, and expanded steel (i think that is what its called) the hollow grate type for the racks. prob removable stands for the front of the racks for support. that way the front and center will have support, but easy to move about. i had thought about the type in the pic, but was concerned about weight and heat. i had thinner grating in it, and it got tore up after the first few cookings in it.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 08:56 AM   #7
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You might be better off choosing a turkey fryer burner over a gas grill burner, as well.
It's removable, and you could simply use a farm disc plate or a pan of rocks above
the burner to hold and radiate the heat.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 09:07 AM   #8
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hadn't thought about that avenue - will look into it
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