Originally Posted by CraigC
There isn't anything at the bottom. It was made from a 1/4" thick, 16" diameter piece of pipe. It isn't a reverse flow like a Lang. The fire box is welded on and the opening into the cooking chamber is much lower than those bolt on ones (like the one in my back yard that will be in the bulk trash pickup this Thursday).
The reason those cheap units burn a lot of fuel is because they are made of really thin steel and are so porous, they leak like crazy. You can seal a lot of those spots with the right heat resistant material. The lids can be sealed with high heat gasket material like those kamado cookers use. You can also have a diffuser made that will help even out the temps from fire box end to cooler end. The diffuser also stops the direct heat from the fire box getting at the food on that end. I have been told that attaching a flexible, aluminum dryer exhaust "hose" to the stack on the inside and laying it across the grill grates back towards the firebox end, will sort of create a kind of reverse flow effect. Never tried it, but it sounds like it might work. I wouldn't use it above 250 F though.
Much is made about thickness Craig. I can barely move my smoker as it is. I am guessing the sheet metal is 3/16? I should measure it.
When its warm out thickness should not matter and the leaks and heat distribution are most likely what needs to be addressed?
I have considered moving the firebox down a bit more. Maybe even reconfiguring so the box is on the bottom left and not the side.
Then a baffle across the bottom for better heat distribution. Flat steel plate with gaps all the way around? Thinking out loud I am.
I rarely use mine anymore do to the amount of fuel it uses. When I use it now, I put the food and the fire in the main tube. Leave the firebox empty.
This works well for a couple slabs of ribs, or a few chickens but not much more.
Let us know how much fuel yours uses when you test it out. I am curious.