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Thread: Insulated Smoker Project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Posts
    370

    Default Project #1 from DVA, Insulated Smoker Project

    I started an insulated smoker project last year. This thing is a vertical smoker with the fire in the bottom and cooking chamber in the top, it looks like one of the fridges with the freezer in the bottom. The only thing different from the freezer type design is I put the fire in the bottom and the heat raises up inner walls holding the cooking grates and smoke pores over the top of the inner walls to flavor the meat. Smoke drops to the bottom of the cooking chamber and exits up a chimney that starts at the bottom of the cooking chamber. The smoker a 20 inch wide by 20 inch deep by 30 inch tall cooking chamber that will fit up to 8 cooking grates.
    The internal frame was fabricated out of 1 inch tubing and 2 by 1 inch 16 gauge tubing. The walls are 14 and 18 gage material as it is what I had available at the time. I had to seam weld all of the sheet metal on 5 sided to make a leak proof smoker.
    The doors are fabricated out of 16 gauge sheet and have used tadpool fiberglass gaskets for the seals. I used stainless steel piano hinges and purchased some spring loaded push to close freezer latche (the coolest addition to the prject).
    Between the cooking chamber and the fire pit I have welded in a water pan fabricated out of 11 gauge steel that holds about 5-6 gallons of water and water is drained out of a 1 inch ball valve on the side of the smoker.
    The smoker has two inches of insulation and 16 gauge sheet metal cover on the outside. The outside sheet metal was powered coated and the outside of the smoker was painted with BBQ paint to protect from rust.

    This project took about 150 hours to build but well worth the experience and the smoked food is always appreciated by my family and friends.
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    Last edited by DVA; 10-13-2011 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Number project for 250 EXT contest
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The Boonies of Texas
    Posts
    420

    Default

    Mighty nice. I see smoke. Where is the MEAT!

    Thurmond
    Miller Bobcat 3 Phase,
    Miller Suitcase X-Treme 12VS wire feeder for the Bobcat with M-25 300A .045" gun / Bernard 400A 5/64" wire mig gun .
    26 series gas cooled TIG torch, setup for quick connect to Bobcat.
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    Hobart Handler 187 Mig / Fluxcore
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  3. #3

    Default

    Looks professional, you do very neat work.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  4. #4

    Default

    Very very nice, where and when is the cookout?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Thanks for the complament.

    The meat is all gone. I cooked 3 pork sholders this last week for my work group and it did not last long.
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Posts
    370

    Default

    I looked for pictures but do not have any meat pictures on this computer.
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

  7. #7

    Default

    Really nice smoker.

    What did you use for insulation?
    Just starting in Aug '10
    ---
    Hobart Handler 187
    Power Plasma 50

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
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    Default

    I used mineral wool insulation; it is good for 1200° F and I spent about $40 dollars for five 2X4 foot 2 inch thick sheets. The insulation is common in industrial applications and can be found at any industrial insulation supply location.
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

  9. #9

    Default

    I used the pink stuff from home depot when I built my powder coating oven. No problems with it and I run near 420 degrees for some powders. I think smoking you would run maybe 250 degrees so the pink stuff should work fine there too. Just remove the paper backing.
    Have fun
    Tom

    Everlast PM256
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    ect, ect.

  10. #10

    Default

    that could smoke alot of meat, makes me hungry....
    Journeyman welder
    250EX
    Power plasma 60
    horizontal band saw
    Miller digital elite 'wicked' lid

  11. #11

    Default

    I have a cheap walmart propane smoker. I thought that I could easily extend my smoking if I could insulate it.

    I guess now I could consider building one from scratch. Though, I guess that would have to be a future "big project".
    Just starting in Aug '10
    ---
    Hobart Handler 187
    Power Plasma 50

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The Boonies of Texas
    Posts
    420

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EmptyNester View Post
    I have a cheap walmart propane smoker. I thought that I could easily extend my smoking if I could insulate it.

    I guess now I could consider building one from scratch. Though, I guess that would have to be a future "big project".
    I have one of those from walmart. I have issues with any breeze at all blowing out the flame.

    Thurmond
    Miller Bobcat 3 Phase,
    Miller Suitcase X-Treme 12VS wire feeder for the Bobcat with M-25 300A .045" gun / Bernard 400A 5/64" wire mig gun .
    26 series gas cooled TIG torch, setup for quick connect to Bobcat.
    17 series gas cooled Tig Torch for Low Amp Solar Tig (Direct Solar Panel Powered Tig welding)
    Hobart Handler 187 Mig / Fluxcore
    EVERLAST PowerUltra 205P
    EVERLAST PowerTig 250 EXT 2013 Model

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Posts
    370

    Default

    My brother uses one of the Wal-Mart propane smokers and has good success. I am sure if you were to add insulation you would be required to cut back on the gas flow to control the temperature as there is a lot of heat loss from the outside surface. My first smoker was an insulated smoker with one 22.5 inch diameter (397 in2) cooking grate and my new insulated smoker has eight 20 inch square cooking grates (3200 in2). The non-insulated cooker went through about 1 lb of charcoal per hour where my new smoker is at about 0.5 lb per hour.

    Before insulation the first thing to look at air leaks (more critical on non-propane smokers). After the leaks are under control insulation will always help. To insulate the smoker you can have a sheet metal shop bend up some 24 gauge sheet metal to cover the outside of the insulation. There are many types of insulation to use but mineral wool is stiff and will stand up on its own and has very good thermal protection properties to boot. The pink insulation would work on most smokers because the temperatures are relatively low. Fire box chambers can get an upwards of 500°F but it all depends on the design of the smoker and the proximity of the fire to the walls of the fire box.
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

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