Saturday 16 August 2014

Progress on the Drum Smoker

We're waiting for the last few parts to arrive before we fully assemble the drum smoker. We have most of the parts already including the metal shelves. We'd looked at buying a BBQ/Smoker, but for that size (57cm diameter) the prices are ridiculous at £400 for a Weber, a price which allows for a discount of 20% off list price. 

After some thought we asked a local fabricating company (Twiggs) to cut some discs of the correct diameter from flattened expanded mild steel. The cost was not excessive and the work was done promptly by Twiggs. In the picture below you can see one of the discs standing beside the smoker.

The thick hide gloves are essential for handling the grill shelves as they have razor sharp edges from the manufacturing process. The grids are mounted within the drum to form three shelves, the lowest being the charcoal level. They are each supported on three 10 cm bolts inserted through the drum walls. This arrangement seems to be sufficiently robust to support a substantial cooking load.

Each of the upper two shelves will provide approximately one square metre of cooking area.

We've also started the process of installing the air vents at the lower end of the drum. These are fabricated from brass 22mm plumbing fittings mounted through the drum wall. The design will allow the air flow into the drum to be adjusted during the cooking/smoking process. Thus providing temperature control by restricting the amount of air available to the charcoal. In operation the lid will be placed on the top of the drum. It will be fitted with an adjustable smoke vent.

Edit 18th Aug 2014: We've built the smoker, with the exception of the thermometers. Those were ordered over the internet, have been despatched and are expected any day now. We've undergone a first test firing with a small load of charcoal and all seems well.

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