Author Topic: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?  (Read 3843 times)

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Offline HASassin

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Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« on: February 02, 2011, 01:58:57 PM »
So basically i want to see if this is usable

so i bought a barrel drum smoker for 40 bucks on clist, then i removed the legs, filled it with 6 inches of loose vermiculite under the firebrick hearth, then placed the entire barrel on top of a concrete base i made.

i have yet to do the final stage which is insulate it with vermicrete

- so.... before i make this final step, i still have the option of making a traditional dome (though more expensive and more work)
if im good with this design id really like to leave it the way it is

barrel length is 29
barrel width is 19
dome height is 14
opening height is 8
opening width is 16

is it viable?
are there any modifications i can make before it becomes permanent?
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA


Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 02:09:18 PM »
This is the only pic i can post, becuase there is a stupid 128 kb pic limit
this pic is an older model ,i have since enlarged the chimney, to see the most recent go to this link
http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/charcoal-barrel-smoker-wfo-design-viable-15318.html#post107248
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

buceriasdon

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 02:28:40 PM »
If I recall right it was suggested you move the chimney to the front. Correct? In it's present location you would lose a lot of heat up the chimney. I assume you intend to build the fire somewhat centered on the hearth and then push the embers towards the rear to bake the pizza.
Don
ps. I have found it easiest to change my camera settings to smaller format.

Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 02:34:25 PM »
If I recall right it was suggested you move the chimney to the front. Correct? In it's present location you would lose a lot of heat up the chimney. I assume you intend to build the fire somewhat centered on the hearth and then push the embers towards the rear to bake the pizza.
Don
ps. I have found it easiest to change my camera settings to smaller format.

i appreciate it

you cant make it out in the pic very well, but the chimney is actually in the front lol
and if you click on this link, it will show you the updated build (with some temporary insulation lol)

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/charcoal-barrel-smoker-wfo-design-viable-15318.html
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 02:37:37 PM »

yes, im really only interested in making maybe one pizza at a time, so i want it to heat up as fast as possible, - heat retention isnt that important for me, bc i wont make more than 3 or 4 pizzas in one firing ever.

i would just like it to get up to around 900 degrees if that is possible lol
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 02:49:06 PM »
I think you can get that temperature, but Im afraid your never going to get the top heat that you want.  I think a lower roof is in order.  Either a roof made of firebrick or lined with firebrick. Or a free broken fireplace surround, like I use.  What part of the state are you in? If your close, i'll set you up. Is that your gas grill in the pictures? If so can you make the pizza cooker use the gas grill or do you want a wfo?  Start looking around for a computer fan, your gonna need that also.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 03:21:56 PM »
I think you can get that temperature, but Im afraid your never going to get the top heat that you want.  I think a lower roof is in order.  Either a roof made of firebrick or lined with firebrick. Or a free broken fireplace surround, like I use.  What part of the state are you in? If your close, i'll set you up. Is that your gas grill in the pictures? If so can you make the pizza cooker use the gas grill or do you want a wfo?  Start looking around for a computer fan, your gonna need that also.

thank you for your generosity
im in houston texas

what do you mean by free broken fireplace surround?

the gas grill is good, and i have made some good pizzas in it, and have even burned wood in it but i want to take it to the next level with a WFO

if i attach firebricks right on top of the apex of the dome, would that increase the top heat?
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 05:26:22 PM »
From what I see in the new picture over at fornobravo you still have airflow issues to workout.  The vent looks to be located inside the dome at the top front.  Still not correct.  The vent needs to be outside the oven entry.  The Home Depot square to round you made the vent out of is also not suitable   The metal is too thin and will burn out fast, and is galvanized which can have it leaving toxic zinc compounds in your oven once you heat it up. 

My main concern is that you've commented multiple times about things being permanent, but the materials and methods you continue to use are not what would be used in a permanent oven.  You have to decided if you want to scrape it all together as is and have it function however it does and still probably make better pizza then your home oven or if you want to basically redo a lot of what you've already done with proven materials and methods and have a oven that will run at 900F with a good balance of heat and make pizza like only a well build wood burning brick oven can make.

Jet Deck,
I'm curious why you think a 14" dome is going to be too high?  That's fairly low in brick oven terms, 12" is the lowest dome I've ever heard mention of.
-Jeff

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 05:31:31 PM »

what do you mean by free broken fireplace surround?


The top of my propane fired rotisserie is made from a piece of a broken fireplace.(I bough my pizza stone at a fireplace store)  I thought it was called the 'surround' but that isn't correct.  It is the part of a fireplace that would be around the walls.  You can see it here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11402.msg105321.html#msg105321

If you could see the underside, it has a fake brick cross-hatch pattern on it.


if i attach firebricks right on top of the apex of the dome, would that increase the top heat?

Yes, in my opinion it would help with the top heat issue.  But the bricks need to be on the inside of the lid.

Have you cooked in this yet?  What temp did it get up to?  Maybe you could cook some caputo biscuits and see if the tops brown?
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 05:35:02 PM »

Jet Deck,
I'm curious why you think a 14" dome is going to be too high?  That's fairly low in brick oven terms, 12" is the lowest dome I've ever heard mention of.

I think its to low in this application only.  I think that most of the heat will be radiated by his metal lid to the atmosphere.  There will be a much "thinner" layer of heat exiting the oven, so, he needs to get whats left of the thin layer down closer to the top of the pizza.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends


Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 10:46:01 PM »
i was wanting to get an idea of what it would be like to cook pizza, so set up a temporary pizza insulation thing (i just poured loose vermiculite all over the dome

i went ahead and fired it up to max capacity
the dome got over a thousand easy
the sides were around 700

but the BIG problem was that after like 1.3 ish hours the floor was only around 650-700 so the bottom was defintly not cooking as fast as the top. - now as far as space goes, i think i had enough room to cook 1 medium pizza, though i can see it getting cramped, but its not that big a deal

and in total the pizzas were in there for around 5 ish minutes
the top cooked well, but the hearth wasnt hot enough

now, directly under the firebrick layer, i have a BUNCh of loose vermiculite insulation -

now im not sure if the hearth isnt getting up to heat bc the oven still hasnt been cured fully, and theres still moisture in the hearth brick and vermiculite, or what it is, but that needs to be addressed before i make it permanent.

pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 10:49:56 PM »
From what I see in the new picture over at fornobravo you still have airflow issues to workout.  The vent looks to be located inside the dome at the top front.  Still not correct.  The vent needs to be outside the oven entry.  The Home Depot square to round you made the vent out of is also not suitable   The metal is too thin and will burn out fast, and is galvanized which can have it leaving toxic zinc compounds in your oven once you heat it up. 

My main concern is that you've commented multiple times about things being permanent, but the materials and methods you continue to use are not what would be used in a permanent oven.  You have to decided if you want to scrape it all together as is and have it function however it does and still probably make better pizza then your home oven or if you want to basically redo a lot of what you've already done with proven materials and methods and have a oven that will run at 900F with a good balance of heat and make pizza like only a well build wood burning brick oven can make.

Jet Deck,
I'm curious why you think a 14" dome is going to be too high?  That's fairly low in brick oven terms, 12" is the lowest dome I've ever heard mention of.

now that is a good point you make about the chimney
it is galvanized steel

but i was thinking that if i just run it a couple times, all of the toxic finish should go out by then and hopefully it will be safe
now that is a real concern if you think it will corrode over time, but as long as i have vermicrete surrounding it, wont that act as a patch and just keep the smoke going up the flue?
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 11:31:55 PM »
Did you build the fire in the middle of the floor and then push the coals to the back?  Or did you build the fire in the back and not move the coals?

The galvanised is not good.  No big deal.  Just replace it with steel.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 11:40:45 PM »
Did you build the fire in the middle of the floor and then push the coals to the back?  Or did you build the fire in the back and not move the coals?

The galvanised is not good.  No big deal.  Just replace it with steel.

yah i built it in the middle and then pushed it
i even tried the hot coals technique in the middle for a little bit, but it didint do that much

hrm, this might be a little challenging bc ill have to find something the same size as the whole i have already made lol
- even if it burns through, wont it be covered by vermicrete? is there still a problem?
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 11:48:12 PM »
The galvanizing material will continue to flake off and fall in the oven. Just replace it. If you can't find a transition made of steel or can't find someone to make you one, I can.  (Assuming that you get everything else working the way you want it.)

Can't help you with the floor heat problem.  Check the insulation under the floor and see if it is wet.?
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2011, 12:00:36 AM »
The galvanizing material will continue to flake off and fall in the oven. Just replace it. If you can't find a transition made of steel or can't find someone to make you one, I can.  (Assuming that you get everything else working the way you want it.)

Can't help you with the floor heat problem.  Check the insulation under the floor and see if it is wet.?

what if i coat the galvanized steel with high heat paint?
http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-7778830-Enamel-Bar-B-Que-12-Ounce/dp/B0010O0C94/?tag=pizzamaking-20
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 12:17:48 AM »
NO! paint flakes, glavanized flakes.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline HASassin

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 09:39:13 PM »
NO! paint flakes, glavanized flakes.

sigh lol
i guess ill try and find some stainless steel then

ty though
pizza song
GIMME PIZZZA

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2011, 01:37:24 AM »
....but the BIG problem was that after like 1.3 ish hours the floor was only around 650-700 so the bottom was defintly not cooking as fast as the top. -

First; I am not an expert, but I do enjoy thinking out loud.  1.3 hours may have been enough time to correctly heat the dome, but as you have found, heat follows the path of least resistance.  If this were my oven I would find something to get the firewood/coals above the floor just a little.  The heat needs to be able to radiate downward as much as possible. Maybe even as simple as a firebrick on edge with the logs placed across would allow air to flow underneath the coals and produce heating towards the floor. Please hurry up and figure out the problem, so I don't have to on my build (which features much the same floor as yours) ;D

There is no need to buy stainless for an exhaust.  Steel will do perfectly fine.

Just my .02

- Jet
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Charcoal barrel smoker WFO design - is it viable?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2011, 01:59:49 AM »
I am rooting for you as well Hassasin.  I hope you are able to solve your problems.  I also would like to know why you aren't getting your desired hearth temps.   Is it possible that too much heat is exiting the front?  I would think that vermiculite and firebrick is sufficient for the floor but I have no idea.   How thick is your floor (vermiculite + firebrick)?

Chau



 

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