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Blizzard
12-30-2017, 08:37 PM
There is a place on my way to the gun range and they make smokers out of old propane tanks. I stopped last summer to look at them. Then today I drove by the place and started thinking about them again.

Itís a horizontal propane tank and on the right side there is a firebox seperated from the cooking area by a steel plated welded in place. You can access the fire box from the outside for adding wood etc. the chimney is then on the left side to draw the smoke across the meat.

Basically it is an offset smoker without the offset. What do yíall think about this style? The guy there said it helps keep maintain temps and uses less fuel (either wood or charcoal.

Stlsportster
12-30-2017, 09:03 PM
Smitty has a vertical stickburner made out of an old tank and loves it. LSG makes a vertical stickburner too.

As long as you don't ever need to do a whole pig, where you'd need thr horizonal space, they should work fine.

How much do they want for them?

Blizzard
12-30-2017, 09:11 PM
No it’s not vertical. It is horizontal. I think they were standard sizes, 48 long by 24 or 30. I can’t remember the prices exactly, somewhere around $1,500 give or take. Like most smokers, it depends on the number of doors and options. They had the counter weights for doors etc. pretty nice really. Very thick and heavy metal.

CptKaos
12-30-2017, 09:21 PM
No it’s not vertical. It is horizontal. I think they were standard sizes, 48 long by 24 or 30. I can’t remember the prices exactly, somewhere around $1,500 give or take. Like most smokers, it depends on the number of doors and options. They had the counter weights for doors etc. pretty nice really. Very thick and heavy metal.

Doesn't sound like it would have much useable cooking area if the firebox is 20" wide and you give up 12" or so to get away from the hot spot, only leaves 16" to cook on

Larry

Blizzard
12-30-2017, 09:27 PM
Sorry, Iím not being very clear. The pipeís were your choice of 48 to 60 inches long with a diameter of either 20 inches or 30 inches. Then either one or two doors of your choice. The fire box was at one end. The surface area for cooking seemed to be plenty big enough. There was a fixed rack and a slide out rack above that.

aks801
12-30-2017, 09:34 PM
Seems like a decent price. Any way you could see one in action or get customer testimonials before a purchase?

Notorious Q.U.E.
12-30-2017, 11:14 PM
Pics or links?

SmittyJonz
12-30-2017, 11:19 PM
Meat Monster has an Internal Firebox model. Tons of guys "Smoke" on Grills by banking fire to one side - same principle. I'd check them out........

Rockinar
12-31-2017, 12:04 AM
Sorry, I’m not being very clear. The pipe’s were your choice of 48 to 60 inches long with a diameter of either 20 inches or 30 inches. Then either one or two doors of your choice. The fire box was at one end. The surface area for cooking seemed to be plenty big enough. There was a fixed rack and a slide out rack above that.


So basically like a long charcoal grill with a walled off end for the "firebox/offset"?


I don't see any issue with the design other than you would get a lot of ash on your food I would imagine. Probably do get pretty even temps.

dwfisk
12-31-2017, 06:01 AM
Very common design for lower cost homemade smokers down here, much more common than what we would consider an offset firebox. I actually have a design for one (not built one yet) that would be a low cost 20” diameter (new 1/4” wall pipe) patio model cooker with a small “firebox” on one end w/direct sear grill and a 30”X20” cook chamber. Plenty of room for 2-3 briskets or butts or a few racks of ribs or chickens at a time. I was hoping this would hit at about $1,000 so your estimate of about $1,500 for a larger propane tank sounds pretty reasonable.

Blizzard
12-31-2017, 08:12 AM
Thanks everyone! Iím glad To hear the design does mak some sense. I might have some pictures when i stopped there last summer, let me dig around on my computer.

But as for a website, this is just some guy working out of a barn off highway 175 near Kaufman, Texas. One of those cash only places. He was an old guy but seemed real friendly and knowledgeable about welding etc.

Nuco59
12-31-2017, 10:23 AM
Honest question time. If it is a fairly common design, then why do the offset fireboxes seem to be more prevalent? Seems like making a smoker from one long pipe would be easier than joining 2 pipes for the offset?

does the "in line" not draft as well? are there other factors to be considered?

Blizzard
12-31-2017, 12:57 PM
Very good point. Ifís itís a good design, why arenít the big name smoker companies making similar designs?

My biggest question is will the main smoking chamber get too hot, since the fire is right there. Plus the question someone else raised about ash on the food. If that would be an issue or not.

dwfisk
12-31-2017, 01:33 PM
Honest question time. If it is a fairly common design, then why do the offset fireboxes seem to be more prevalent? Seems like making a smoker from one long pipe would be easier than joining 2 pipes for the offset?

does the "in line" not draft as well? are there other factors to be considered?

Very good point. Ifís itís a good design, why arenít the big name smoker companies making similar designs?

My biggest question is will the main smoking chamber get too hot, since the fire is right there. Plus the question someone else raised about ash on the food. If that would be an issue or not.

In my experience, it is a common design for low budget homebuilt projects, at least in our part of the country. If you think about it there is hardly any welding, just cutting that can be done with a variety of inexpensive tools. Adding an offset firebox can easily add $500-$750 to the cost of this style cooker, not to mention the necessary skills, tooling and equipment. For the most part I see smaller 4-6 ft examples althought I have seen several 250-500 gallong 7-9 ft examples. Iíve only cooked on the smaller ones.

My thoughts are the smaller sizes can get away with relatively small fires that only use 25% of so of the total length (for example in a 4 ft tank you can get away with a fire using about 1 foot of one end leaving 2-3 ft to cook on. But larger cookers require proportionally larger fires and you sacrifice a larger portion of your potential cook area; Iíve seen big ones that effectively sacrifice 50% of the potential cook area.

All that said, there is no doubt in my mind that you have better fire, temperature and smoke control with what we would all recognize as an offset firebox and of course you donít sacrifice any of the cook chamber. To me, it all comes down to $ís and what sklls/tools someone might have at their disposal. I think they can be a good low cost alternative for a smaller cooker, but would not consider one ďcompetitionĒ for a well built offset of any larger size.

Blizzard
12-31-2017, 04:12 PM
Thanks for all the great information here. I finally found the pictures. I stopped there last May.

The one pictured was one he was working on at the moment. He was saying the main cooking area should be filled with water and they were drilled and tapped with a spigot to drain the old water.

Here you can see the firebox divider inside the main cooking area.

I forgot to add. My gun range was on the receiving end of a direct hit from an F4 torndao. The whole range was destroyed. BUT, the BBQ grill survived. It was made by the same guy who made this grill pictured.

https://i.imgur.com/f4EiauVl.jpg

and firebox door on the outside
https://i.imgur.com/lCPg53Tl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/i8UaDJml.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/ykyx1SYl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/g6rbTWyl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/23BWsRWl.jpg