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Tacticool Smoker

Topics for discussing dehydration, drying, and smoking as methods for food preservation

Tacticool Smoker

Postby SwampRat » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:07 pm

So I built a Trash Can Smoker today. I read a couple of websites on this beforehand. But something you'll learn about me is that I pretty much gotta do my own thing. So I used basic concepts and then added a whole new twist to the Trash Can Smoker idea.

The basic idea behind it is first of all I cut the bottom off the 32 gallon galvanized trashcan. I have a 10 inch terracotta pot sitting directly on the ground to hold coals. I set three bricks around the pot to set the trash can on to allow a little airflow. I was unable to find a grating that would fit. So I got a piece of 24 by 24 inch expanded metal, and cut it to fit. This is wedged in very tightly and makes up for the support lost by cutting off the bottom. I don't think this is necessary, but it's little touches like that, that make it a Tactical Smoker, instead of a Trash Can Smoker. ;) I drilled 2 holes on either side by the handles 9 and 1/2 inches below the rim and 5 inches on either side of the seam. I ran a 15 inch piece of 5/16 threaded rod between holes on opposing sides and secured it with lock washers and nuts. The expanded metal grating fits firmly against these and the sides of the can. OK now for what you don't see. I have a water pan that balances above the terracotta pot to steam and catch drippings. Also you may notice 4 studs sticking from around the rim about 4 inches down, these support another slightly smaller rack that's not in these pictures. Today was just a test run and "burn off". With just that small amount of charcoal (enough to fill an old fashioned charcoal starter), and 2 small chunks of hickory the Tactical Smoker maintained 230 to 200 degrees for just over 6 hours!!!, I lifted the lid a few times to glance inside, but other than that I did not mess with it. One advantage to my Tactical smoker is that if you need to adjust the fire you simply lift the entire can (not the lid) a few inches and set aside while you add wood chips, this causes the heat to stay in the smoker instead of rushing out the top when you remove the lid, or out the side when you open a side hatch. I estimate that I can fit 6 average size racks of baby backs in this, or about 3 racks of babby backs and 3 whole chickens or 2 racks 2 split hens and a bunch of veggies like squash and corn.

Anyway I hope you enjoy this.
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby SwampRat » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:22 pm

Ah hell I forgot the most important part, when your all done you gotta paint it camo with hy-temp engine paint :-D
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby tigger2 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:21 am

That is nice. A friend of mine made a smoker out of an old stove. He stripped out all the stuff that was not needed. He bored a gazillion holes in the top of the bottom drawer.
He put the smoke in the drawer. The meat was put in the oven. It worked like a charm.
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby tigger2 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:26 am

Just about any hardwood if ok to smoke with. We have a lot of oak and hickory here. I use my miter saw to slice up the smaller limbs into 1 inch slices. When I smoke, I get the bed of coals going and then put water soaked wood to put on the bed of coals. It works pretty good.
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby Who is John Gall » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:37 am

Man, that looks great. We were just talking about getting a smoker the other day...hmmm...
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby Vina8 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:33 am

Thanks for posting such good instructions and great pictures. I makes it doable for all of us!
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby ReadyMom » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:56 am

This is just sooooo neat! I'll be cross posting this idea onto my EHP site! (with credit to you, and link back here, of course! :D )

:? :? Should there be any concern about anything chemicals burning off from the metal of the trash can? Any carcinogens we should think about? -k
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby TheLight » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:33 pm

Nice hot-smoker!
If you want it to run cooler, try using an electric heating element. Put the wood chips in a cast iron pan on the element and you've got lots of sweet, low-temp smoke.
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby SwampRat » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:31 pm

ReadyMom wrote:This is just sooooo neat! I'll be cross posting this idea onto my EHP site! (with credit to you, and link back here, of course! :D )

:? :? Should there be any concern about anything chemicals burning off from the metal of the trash can? Any carcinogens we should think about? -k
There should be no issue with this, the flame does not come into contact with the galvanized anywhere. If you are paranoid about it then I'd suggest doing what The Light suggested, I found plans like this, but I was going for something I could use that was independent of electricity. I am glad you enjoyed my post :-)
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby Sabre » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:01 pm

Look! you're a legend already. I was gonna ask, do you smoke squash and corn or just heat it as a side dish to the meat?
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby Dutch-az » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:59 am

We are getting ready to build one of these smokers to primarily use for smoking sausage. I will be drilling holes for three dowells near the top to hang them on. Instead of the long threaded rods to hold a grate, I will use 3" bolts to hold it when needed. My question: Do I need a pan to hold wood chips or can the soaked ones go directly on the coals? I don't see us smoking large cuts of meat much, if ever, so I need a dry heat.

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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby cityhomesteader » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:46 am

Dutch-az wrote:We are getting ready to build one of these smokers to primarily use for smoking sausage. I will be drilling holes for three dowells near the top to hang them on. Instead of the long threaded rods to hold a grate, I will use 3" bolts to hold it when needed. My question: Do I need a pan to hold wood chips or can the soaked ones go directly on the coals? I don't see us smoking large cuts of meat much, if ever, so I need a dry heat.

-Dutch

Hey Dutch,
How do you make your sausage? I have the Meat Grinder and sausage stuff the wife just gave me for Christmas.. So far I have only ground a 24 pound turkey and made Turkey Breakfast sausage out of the whole thing. It was So Good it is Gone already!! 19 pounds of sausage Gone!! :blush:
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby cityhomesteader » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:47 am

Oh and By the way! Sweet setup!! I gotta Get me one of those!!!! :thumbsup:
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby mr bill » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:29 am

I'm not so sure that the Galvanized can is the safest way to go. Are the galvanized surfaces stable enough to not allow chemicals to disperse without coming into contact with flame? I realize zinc will melt in an open flame but will chemicals be released in temps at 200 or more? Not wanting to make any design changes but want to be sure that any food processed is chem-free.
A solution may be to burn off the galvanized coating before converting the can to a smoker. Anyone have an answer?
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Re: Tacticool Smoker

Postby CajunDaddys_girl » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:30 pm

A 55 gallon drum would work for this type of smoker...
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