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Old 12-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #1
ShadyRascal OP
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Build a smoker or Buy a smoker?

My old smoker box I use to make jerky and slim jims is falling apart and heading for the junk pile. Served its purpose as an experimental unit, now I'm trading up to a more permanent unit with more versatility and better heat control. The old dog:



So, I find this Landmann Black Dog 42 for sale on a close out. It's a heavy duty unit, nice venting and adjustable level in the main box for the fire should you choose to direct-grill. Much more sturdy and well made than the typical el cheapo side feed units. And, it's only 350 bucks. Here it is:



Now this throws a bit of a wrench into my plan. I was going to get an old propane tank and build me a smoker, same principle but a little bigger for more jerky smoking surface area. However I'll probably end up with couple hunnerd bucks into parts even with a free propane tank to begin with.

Any you FF's ever built your own out of steel? Wouldja do it again or just go buy one?

(oops maybe this shoulda been in Shiny Things)
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Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


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Old 12-09-2009, 10:18 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyRascal



)
This picture makes me feel hungry, thirsty and adventurous all at the same time.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
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FWIW I've got a Weber Bullet and love it, but look forward to the day that I'll be able to build a smoker out of concrete block. Offset firebox hooked to natural gas.......

$350 is a good deal, though. If you get 10 years use out of it, that's $35/year.

Hard to turn down, eh?

Rancho
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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I am always looking for an affordable smoker. For the simplicity of them, they still seem costly(at least to me). I have a New Braunfels vertical smoker with a side firebox but have been wanting something just a little bigger. I started searching online and on various msg boards, found alot of people talking about 55 gallon drum smokers. What I pictured was the 55 gallon grills you can buy at your local supermarket. The way the posters were raving about about them confused me since those will destroy themselves fairly quickly. After more reading I realized they were talking about a vertical smoker and found pics and plans. The link below shows what I am talking about. Pretty easy construction and cheap to do. Lots of room.

It's on my list, just haven't gotten around to making one yet.


http://www.thepickledpig.com/forums/...-part-1-a.html
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:35 PM   #5
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I'll put in another vote for the 55 gallon drum smoker. I have a New Braunfels smoker with the fire box that's separate from the smoking chamber. The results are fantastic, but it requires continuous adjustment of the fire and vents to maintain the correct cooking temperature for several hours. The drum smoker eliminates that. Just light it up and walk away.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
CaveDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfwscotty
I am always looking for an affordable smoker. For the simplicity of them, they still seem costly(at least to me). I have a New Braunfels vertical smoker with a side firebox but have been wanting something just a little bigger. I started searching online and on various msg boards, found alot of people talking about 55 gallon drum smokers. What I pictured was the 55 gallon grills you can buy at your local supermarket. The way the posters were raving about about them confused me since those will destroy themselves fairly quickly. After more reading I realized they were talking about a vertical smoker and found pics and plans. The link below shows what I am talking about. Pretty easy construction and cheap to do. Lots of room.

It's on my list, just haven't gotten around to making one yet.






http://www.thepickledpig.com/forums/...-part-1-a.html

Thanks for the link to my new winter project!!!
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:01 PM   #7
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I built a smoker a few years ago. Used a 100 gal tank, built the firebox out of 1/4" steel plate and mounted the whole thing on a trailer. I don't have any pics, but it looks like this. And I am a fan of the reverse flow design, it really works well.

http://www.pigroast.com/48pages/model48m.htm

I had a trailer, and tank but I think I still wound up with about $600 in materials.

It really worked awesome for big jobs, but it seemed to burn the same amount of wood/coal for a small job. I sold it and took a smaller smoker on trade since I rarely BBQ large amounts.

I would definately build another, on a much smaller scale and plan on doing so this winter.

Check out http://www.barbecuenews.com/ they have ton's of information on smokers.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfwscotty
I started searching online and on various msg boards, found alot of people talking about 55 gallon drum smokers.

http://www.thepickledpig.com/forums/...-part-1-a.html
I knew a guy that made one. He got his 55 gal barrel from a feed mill, that was used for molasses. I've been thinking about doing the same thing, but would really rather do a brick pit.

Tom B
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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Could find this guy.. ;)
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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I started a smoker project a while back.
It's an old refridge with the rubber seal door, firebox below where the motor and compressor were. It can/will use real fire (briquets) , or an electric hotplate with wood chips in a pan.
On the top, I mounted an old Hobart stainless dishwasher, the tavern size (that's where I got it). I can run the heat and smoke cycles separately, and also separate what goes on one level or the other, meat and large things hang in the fridge below, and salmon or catfish on racks up top in the dishwasher. I'll get pics taken soon.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by peterman
salmon or catfish on racks up top in the dishwasher.
Don't forget cheese. Mmmmmmm. smoked cheese
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #12
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I just read a ton of stuff on the UDM's (Ugly Drum Smokers). After doing some figuring I think by garsh that's what way I'm headed.

The main thing for me is getting lots of grill space. But at the same time, I really don't want a gigantic thing on the back patio. Jerkey'ing up a whole deer takes lots of square inches unless you want to do lotta batches. My current falling-apart unit has 4 grates about 20" square where I can do about 8 pounds wet, pretty decent batch.

The drum smokers I've seen have only two grates, you have to load from the top, pain in butt and what I need to be able to do is check the jerky as it's close to being done as some pieces dry out faster than others and you remove in a graduated process.

Hmmm, then I thinks I can make a rack that is several layers of the round Weber grates attached to each other maybe 5" apart, with proper handles I can load the whole thing and lower it down into the drum as one unit. Time to check jerky, pull the whole works out and go through it while the lid's back on the drum so I'm not losing all my heat. Dayam, I think it might work Scotty! Now I'm on a drum hunt.

Thanks for the tip on the Drum Smokers!
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Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:38 PM   #13
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moved it to shiny for ya, now when the new smoker arrives don't forget us little people.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:00 PM   #14
ShadyRascal OP
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Bought myself a food-grade 55 gallon drum today, and some Weber round 22" grates, the project is begun.

And, stopped on the way home at Long Rider Barbeque in Florence (Kinsman's joint) and had a pulled pork sammich and hand cut fries.

Day-am that was good!! Thanks Chris!! Recommended stop for all ADV'ers traveling the Bitterroot.
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Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:19 PM   #15
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Might be some good tips from Alton to help you in crafting this project.





Better hope "that guy" doesn't stop by and scold you for not being properly trained and licensed in the manufacture of smokers.
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