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-   -   Giving new life to an offset smoker (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=47240)

Rajun Gardener April 10, 2018 01:08 PM

Giving new life to an offset smoker
 
I picked up a New Braunsfels offset on CL for $50, it's in good shape and was only used 3 times for steaks. Here's the beaut as I got it.
https://image.ibb.co/hSQfKx/100_1844.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/bvaEex/100_1842.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/n7RbsH/100_1841.jpg

I took it home did a little cleaning and tested it for leaks using charcoal and chips, I found it has a few door leaks and it cooks hot especially next to the firebox. After researching mods I noticed the FB(fire box) was mounted higher than it need to be and the FB opening was too big. I decided to try to make it more like the Old Country brand offsets.

Here's a screenshot from Tom's Test Kitchen reviewing his Old Country Pit, you can see the size opening compared to this COS(cheap offset smoker).
https://image.ibb.co/mkrZgc/Old_Coun...fb_opening.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/juaW4x/100_1851.jpg

First was to lower the FB and decrease the size of the FB exhaust into the CC(cooking chamber). I used plate steel and bolted it together in case this didn't work. I took it apart and started marking for the new FB outlet and pre drilled all the mounting bolts. I don't have anymore leaks between the FB and CC.
https://image.ibb.co/kjkncH/100_1853.jpg
I got it mounted back up and you can see how much I closed off.
https://image.ibb.co/nCq2XH/100_1877.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/bVdd6c/100_1874.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/hWyBRc/100_1878.jpg

Next I cut a heat deflector and made baffle/tuning plates
https://image.ibb.co/fbRy6c/100_1873.jpg

I didn't like the FB door, it had leaks all around because they didn't install plate on the inside to get a good seal.
https://image.ibb.co/cLJJjx/100_1858.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/efTUrc/100_1857.jpg

I used the top of an old barrel and closed off most of the door, the vent still works fine.
https://image.ibb.co/haGbsH/100_1875.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/mi1LKx/100_1876.jpg

I ordered a new 4" stack to move it to the side at grate level but wanted to test it before doing that mod.
https://image.ibb.co/dbMFWc/100_1855.jpg
I cleaned it up, sprayed it down with canola oil, set a water pan on the tuning plate filled with bacon chunks and water, cooked some pork fatty pieces and added a Sprite can to lower the stack to grill level. Let the seasoning/testing begin.
https://image.ibb.co/mQ4UCH/100_1890.jpg
I let it go for about 6 hours and checked it every once in a while to add another log and check the temps. Here's some temps when the fire dropped, I'm impressed it's holding a steady temp across all the grates.
Left side near the FB
https://image.ibb.co/bXd0Kx/100_1889.jpg
Right side near the stack
https://image.ibb.co/mqCuex/100_1888.jpg
Factory gauge on the door
https://image.ibb.co/jjeJ6c/100_1881.jpg

The seasoning worked great, it looks like it's ready to cook now.
https://image.ibb.co/fz3NXH/100_1908.jpg

Later that day I fired it back up to smoke some stuffed turkey wings, it held temp perfect(about 250) using very little wood for this 5 hour cook.
https://image.ibb.co/nQ7GsH/100_1913.jpg
A few hours later
https://image.ibb.co/n8vKCH/0000639.jpg
It's blurry but it sitting at 250
https://image.ibb.co/cWbRsH/0000575.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/bKbbsH/100_1891.jpg
I cooked 2 hours then wrapped in foil with apple juice for another 2 hours, sticky juicy snacks.
https://image.ibb.co/cKsGsH/100_1914.jpg
https://image.ibb.co/mh7AKx/100_1915.jpg

The real test will come his weekend when I do a butt or brisket. I'll make a decision then about adding the 4" stack but I think I'll add it just to get that space on the grate and it should pull harder for better heat.

Any thoughts/ideas on the 4" stack? I did use a few pit building calculators and the FB exhaust opening and stack size is what I came up with.

wildcat62 April 10, 2018 02:10 PM

Great find for $50.00

AlittleSalt April 10, 2018 02:14 PM

Absolutely a good buy.

whistech April 10, 2018 09:45 PM

Rajun, WOW you made a nice smoker out of that.

Rajun Gardener April 10, 2018 09:51 PM

Thanks everyone!!

Arlie double thanks to you!!

hl2601 April 11, 2018 07:18 PM

Looks like many more ribs to come for you Rajun! Thanks for posting that You tube video and the recipe hints!

matereater April 12, 2018 07:57 AM

Nice job !

Worth1 April 18, 2018 05:54 PM

The offset smoker looks nice.
Do you mind if I suggest something?
Line the fire box at least the bottom half with fireplace fire box tile.;)

Rajun Gardener April 29, 2018 12:35 PM

I'm using some 3/16" plate cut about 5" wide to line the bottom and up the back side a few inches. It should help and as long as I keep the firebox dry it shouldn't rust much.


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