Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
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FAQ Subject: Smoke stack design/problems
Hello, I need your advice about a project I have built. Last summer I built a big iron sidewinder pit and have enjoyed great success with it. A lot of the thanks goes to you and your excellent ideas that you share through this web site. My question is concerning a burn pit that I built to take the place of my tired 55 gal drum I had been burning my wood down in.This new stove I call my pot belly isn't wanting to draw like I know it should. When the door is shut and the vents are cranked all the way open the fire just smolders but when I open the door It literally burst into flames but the flames seek the door and not the smoke stack. I have been around wood burning stoves all my life and so has my father and he says my vents are large enough but my smoke stack is too small in diameter. Let me give you some dimensions so you will have something to base an opinion on. The stove is built out of a 26" piece of 24" diameter natural gas pipe. (1/4" thick) I sealed each end and put a door in one end with two round vents 41/2" in diameter. Actually the vents are eight two inch by one inch slits placed around a 41/2" diameter. The smoke stack is also 41/2" in diameter. I based this vent design on my fathers old fisher wood burning stove, but as my father pointed out the stove has an 8" smoke stack. Given all of my ramblings do you think he is right? Are my vents fine and do I need a bigger flue or do I just need a larger vent opening? Sorry to write such a long winded question and thanks for reading it.
Thanks from a Georgia boy being held prisoner of war in Texas. Clinton W. Stapleton
How many times do I have to tell you to listen to your father!!! It may also need a little height 2-3' to help it draw.