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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Rajun Gardener
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lafayette La
Posts: 1,459
Default 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.

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).

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.

I got it mounted back up and you can see how much I closed off.

Next I cut a heat deflector and made baffle/tuning plates

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.

I used the top of an old barrel and closed off most of the door, the vent still works fine.

I ordered a new 4" stack to move it to the side at grate level but wanted to test it before doing that mod.

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.

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

Right side near the stack

Factory gauge on the door

The seasoning worked great, it looks like it's ready to cook now.

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.

A few hours later

It's blurry but it sitting at 250

I cooked 2 hours then wrapped in foil with apple juice for another 2 hours, sticky juicy snacks.

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.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
wildcat62's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Zone 6 Northern Kentucky
Posts: 816

Great find for $50.00
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
AlittleSalt's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Zone 8A Texas Heat Zone 9
Posts: 10,985

Absolutely a good buy.
Salt, AlittleSalt, Robert
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Between The Woodlands and Spring, Texas
Posts: 510

Rajun, WOW you made a nice smoker out of that.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
Rajun Gardener
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lafayette La
Posts: 1,459

Thanks everyone!!

Arlie double thanks to you!!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Metro Denver
Posts: 126

Looks like many more ribs to come for you Rajun! Thanks for posting that You tube video and the recipe hints!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: S.E. Michigan (Livonia)
Posts: 1,109

Nice job !

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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Old 23 Hours Ago   #8
Worth1's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bastrop Texas Lost Pines Forest.
Posts: 33,159

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.
Home of Cactus Flats Botanical Gardens.
The dinner table is where we need to get acquainted not the battlefield.
I Seek The Truth.
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