Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vertical Drum Smoker - Part 4

I took a couple of weeks off from working on my smoker to get some other work done.  I did manage to cook a small Boston butt as a test before my break.  It turned out really well, but I also learned a few things to improve upon for next time.  I don't have a custom fire basket yet, I simply put a small Weber table top grill in the bottom of the can and used it as my firebox.  It worked pretty well, but I think a basket with an ash catcher would allow for a more even flow of air and better cooking.

I resumed work on it today by putting a coat of semi-gloss black on it.  I also installed a single valve and 2 caps on the bottom vent holes.  I may replace one of the caps with another valve after a few more test burns.  It depends on how hard it is to control the temp the way it is now.  I also installed a second rack for holding a water pan, or for extra cooking space.
 I still need to paint the lid and maybe make a vent system for the top.

I may work on the improvements later.  I'm not real happy with the thermometer I bought, it seems to read about 50 degrees too hot.  I've been shopping around and reading reviews, so I'll see where that takes me. 

I may put some pipe elbows on the two side vents and place valves closer to the top.  I've seen other design with this configuration, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort.  It's not like it's hard to bend down and adjust the valve at ground level.  I'm still considering custom paint options as well.  Hopefully the 3 coats I have on it now will keep it protected from rust, but I may spice it up a little bit.