Since I am only one man at this point and unfortunately still have a day job, I gotta post what I’m working on even if it isn’t hardcore fabrication.
So, I present to you the “Small Smoker Rehab” build. As you all know, I have been working on my large trailer smoker (which is taking way too long) but I just happened to come across this smoker in a scrap metal bin and decided to breathe new life into it. I had always wanted a smaller smoker, but never wanted to pony up the $200+ dollars to get one. Therefore this is my solution!
Pic of the smoker right after dragging ‘er home.
Pretty rough, very wobbly, and massing parts.
First step is to blow it apart and start making some replacement parts. Needs a new shelf, handles, and some grating.
Cut a new piece of grating from expanded steel and a weathered barn-wood shelf.
Added some 500* Rustoleum engine block paint after some sanding and cleaning. Meanwhile the handles are drying (forgot to take pics of them)
Stole the temp gauge that was destined for the trailer smoker, welded a pipe thread bung on to the lid, and screwed it in.
Custom drip can hung with aluminum TIG filler rod
Rehabbed smoker complete!
Gertrude helping smoke our first meat, with her Frisbee of course.
Smoked rump roast. Turned out a little on the chewy side, but the flavor was pretty good. It was some old meat out of the freezer and I’m still learning.
Here is an update after using a couple of times. I realized that the charcoal wasn’t getting enough air while laying on the floor of the firebox. So I built a reinforced shelf to give ~2″ of airspace under the fire for air intake.
First step was to lay out some similar sized materials and do some mental planning.
Next step, cut out the grate.
Then cut out some reinforcement bars (1/2″ solid square stock in my case) and weld them to the bottom of the grate.
This should give the fire plenty of air and allow me to control the temperature better.
Updated Pics 7-20-2014
Finally got back outside to try out my new smoker modification. Turns out that it worked great. The temperature gets plenty hot enough and is very controllable with the intake and exhaust doors.
Everything starts with a good fire. The new raised grate made sure we had enough air getting to the coals.
This time I remembered to season the meat and put a water tray under the meat (with some beer added to it for good measure).
Back in the house to prepare some jalapeno poppers. Cream cheese, some blue cheese crumbles, shredded cheese, paprika, and a dab of Worcestershire sauce then mix together, put into halved seeded jalapenos, and wrap in bacon (of course).
Pull off the Jalapeno poppers when the bacon is cooked to your liking.
Break out the celebratory beer. The hoppier the better.
I wouldn’t call it a great success, but it was definitely better than my last try at smoking. This was a chuck roast smoked for ~3hrs then wrapped in tin foil for another ~2 hours then put into a small cooler for another ~2 hours to rest and cool down. Turned out a little on the dry side but has a nice smoke ring and some good flavor. Made some BLT (BEEF, Lettuce, Tomato) sammiches today and they were quite tasty.