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Finally, a Smoker I Can Call My Own

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#1 stettoman

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 10:41 AM

Without warning (and only a little provocation), the son of a long-time friend has built me a smoker. It's supposed to be here this week, hopefully in time to do some ribs and a mac-&-cheese for the Glorious 4th.

 

I have no pics, or I'd posted 'em already. The kid won't send me any.

 

He owns a metal fabrication shop, https://www.4sfabworks.com/ in CO Springs (that's in CO, folks!!), and this will be his first shot at something to cook in. He claims (and I b'lieve him) that he performed every calculation known to man to get variables like draft, drift, swish and sway just perfect (OCD), and that it will be compact and mobile...

 

Can you tell I'm giddy? First good news this whole damned year! And all I gotta do is loan him the Alumacraft for a week!

 

Stay tuned for pho-toe-grafs!


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#2 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 10:45 AM

Awesome!



#3 luvmesump3pp3rz

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 02:52 PM

SWEET!!! looking at his site he does really nice work. i bet it will be really well done. hope it comes before the 4th.  :cheers:



#4 trlrman

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 03:54 PM

send him this to double check his calculations http://www.feldoncen...calculator.html



#5 MikeUSMC

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 04:53 AM

Congrats, stettoman! Can't wait to see pics of the new rig (and some grub!)! :party:

Checked out his website, and he does some REALLY nice work!
:cheers:
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#6 stettoman

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 08:00 AM

Awesome!

 

 

SWEET!!! looking at his site he does really nice work. i bet it will be really well done. hope it comes before the 4th.  :cheers:

 

 

send him this to double check his calculations http://www.feldoncen...calculator.html

 

 

Congrats, stettoman! Can't wait to see pics of the new rig (and some grub!)! :party:

Checked out his website, and he does some REALLY nice work!
:cheers:

 

Thanks guys, I can't wait! The Darlin' Bride and I have talked about Traegers and Green Eggs and all manner of units (spent wa-a-a-y too much on a 4-burner Charbroil a few years back, never again!) for the last year, and this unexpected little traveler is going to be in my garage for powder-coat today, hopefully ready to test drive for the 4th...

 

I'll pass your compliments (and that calc addy) on to Mikey too, I have no doubt he'll build custom orders to suit, but let's get a look at 'er before I start passing out cigars!

:cheers:  


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#7 Rajun Gardener

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 09:38 AM

SWEEEET!!!  Can't wait to see what he comes up with.



#8 CaneDog

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 11:22 AM

That's awesome stetto! Congrats!  Looking forward to pics.


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#9 stettoman

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 10:16 PM

Teaser:

20190702_202811.jpg

Some details later.

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#10 luvmesump3pp3rz

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 10:24 PM

i`ll say it again. SWEET!!! small and portable but does a nice job. that would be perfect for me. i bet you`ll have fun with it! :cheers:



#11 CaneDog

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 12:20 AM

Hecks yes!  That's awesome!


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#12 stettoman

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 08:47 AM

A quick inquiry: the shelves are the same eighth-inch steel as the rest of the unit, should I season them before use?

20190702_143946.jpg

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#13 midwestchilehead

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 01:02 PM

Yes. Otherwise they will rust.


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#14 Rajun Gardener

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 08:57 PM

That's a cool little smoker!! It's gonna take some getting used to that small but once you figure it out you'll be set for years of Good Eats.

 

 

I would spray the inside down with a canola oil and fire it up to season the smoker. The next cook/seasoning would be a cook with greasy food like pork fat if you can get it from the butcher, if not throw cheap bacon and cheap cuts of pork. Run it with charcoal to get it up to at least 350 so it seasons well.



#15 stettoman

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 09:34 AM

What a fekkin week!

Ok, the smoker seasoned ALL DAY yesterday with charcoal and dry applewood. This morning I'm doing cherrywood on St. Louis ribs, 3 racks. 2 racks rubbed with Excaliber Ultimate and 1 with my "spicy" homemade.

But it didn't happen without a pic, right?

Fired up. A permanent burner tray has yet to be acquired.
20190704_073051.jpg


Cherrywood soak
20190704_081300.jpg

My rub. Several of YOU contributed to the formulation, both with posts here and powders received. I've braised tenderloin, ribs and roasted wings with it, now it smokes...
20190704_090256.jpg

...and all three racks reside easily within. A small tub of mac-n-cheese was scheduled to go on the floor, but I worry about drowning it in drippings...
20190704_075632.jpg


HAPPY INDEPENDANCE DAY, GUYS N GALS!! I'll report back after the melee....

Do what I mean, not what I say.....


#16 MikeUSMC

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 01:58 PM

Looking good, Eric! :party:
:cheers:
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#17 stettoman

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 05:21 PM

The learning curve, steep it is with this one. I actually tried the 3-2-1 method, ribs are still on after 9 hours. I seem to have issues with vent adjustment. Meat thermometer reads at 112°F. I have vent wide open now, in one hour these guys are going on the grill for an after sear....fo' betta or no....

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#18 Rajun Gardener

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 06:56 PM

Do what you have to to get them cooked for today. I'll be back later to make a few suggestions, I have the grill going with steaks.



#19 Rajun Gardener

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:04 AM

I need more pics of the outlet from the firebox to see what's happening.

 

I can tell the exhaust is small so maybe add another one to make it draw better. I would order this and install it on the side about 3" below the top, it's a bolt on after you cut the hole. While you're there order this one for the top to make it look better than the A/C duct you have.

 

You need an ash grate to let the charcoal burn clean and better. I would try using the minion method or maybe a basket and set it up like a drum to burn from one end to the next. Stop using wet chips, all you need is a few small chunks for all the smoke you'll need and the more you cook on it the smoke flavor will build up.

 

I would add 2 more shelves, one in between each rack. I'm sure that bottom rack cooks at a lower heat and is probably cooking more from the heat of the firebox metal and not the smoke rolling over it. Just guessing from the pics.

 

That's it for now and try to post more pics. I'll be out all day frying fish for a VA hospital benefit but I'm sure someone else will give thoughts too.

 

Happy Friday!!!



#20 stettoman

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 10:15 AM

I need more pics of the outlet from the firebox to see what's happening.

 

I can tell the exhaust is small so maybe add another one to make it draw better. I would order this and install it on the side about 3" below the top, it's a bolt on after you cut the hole. While you're there order this one for the top to make it look better than the A/C duct you have.

 

You need an ash grate to let the charcoal burn clean and better. I would try using the minion method or maybe a basket and set it up like a drum to burn from one end to the next. Stop using wet chips, all you need is a few small chunks for all the smoke you'll need and the more you cook on it the smoke flavor will build up.

 

I would add 2 more shelves, one in between each rack. I'm sure that bottom rack cooks at a lower heat and is probably cooking more from the heat of the firebox metal and not the smoke rolling over it. Just guessing from the pics.

 

That's it for now and try to post more pics. I'll be out all day frying fish for a VA hospital benefit but I'm sure someone else will give thoughts too.

 

Happy Friday!!!

 

I'll post a few more interior shots in a bit, got some after-gluttony cleanup first.

 

He fabricated the smoker using the Feldon's Calculator that trlrman linked, location of exhaust/air intake/firebox outlet were not stipulated, so those were all his call.

 

One of the things we had discussed was a charcoal basket, I was obviously making do with an aluminum tray poked full of holes and elevated with a split pine 2X4. It seemed to burn ok, though the coals burned in a definite front-to-back pattern. Thing was, it just wasn't getting hot enough.

 

I agree on the shelves, the lower one is situated about an inch below the top of the firebox outlet. Meat placed there did get scorched a bit. The shelves he made are 1/8" plates with slots cut out, I wonder how much if any difference would be made by using wire grates.

 

OK, pics in a bit...


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