Building a Smoker-Grill
I have three smokers, a Brinkman All-In-One, a Camp Chef Smoke Vault and the latest is a Sun Joy Horizontal with a side firebox. What I don’t have is a grill, nor do I have room enough on my porch to add one. The intent for buying a horizontal smoker was so not only to make great smoked BBQ, but I could make a few simple modifications with common household tools to use it as a full size grill or use it to sear my briskets the SmokyOky way!
Here is the original Smoker
I wanted to add a propane burner yet still have cooler spots for warming areas so I bought a burner assembly slightly smaller than the smoke chamber, a dual venturi valve, a hose and regulator assembly and an igniter I scrounged a small 6” x 8” piece of aluminum to mount the controls and igniter on. All together I believe it cost about $70 for parts.
The tools I used where common household tools except possibly for the step drill bit which cost about $20 at the hardware store. Here are the tools I used:
First I made a template from some of the clear plastic packaging to set the hole for the gas lines, then using a nail I popped a dimple in the bottom of the smoke chamber to drill the holes for the gas line. Next I drilled the holes using first a small 1/8” drill bit then the stepper bit.
I wanted to raise the burner assembly off the bottom a little but not as high as the mounting brackets that came with it so I used a canning jar ring to do this by bending over that edge that holds the lid in place with slip joint pliers and setting the jar ring around the gas lines. It’s not pretty but it works! Next I drilled the holes for the igniter parts.
Now to mount the venturi valve and igniter button. First I had to remove the shelf unit, and decide where to mount the bracket. When I removed the shelf I found the bolts used to hold the frame on would work perfectly to mount the bracket – so rather than drill extra holes in the smoke chamber I used these to mount the bracket. Next I had to calibrate my piece of aluminum, then drill the mounting holes, valve holes and igniter holes, paint the plate and mount the venture valve, and igniter.
Next I calibrated my new thermometers, drilled and mounted the new ones. I left the old one in basically to fill the hole and to demonstrate to the newbies how bad these original equipment thermometers can be – I have no doubt it won’t work right and it can not be calibrated.
The test – it’s a little hard to see in the bright sunlight but we have fire and no gas leaks. The igniter work on the first push which is probably one of the few times I’ve seen these thing work right. We also have two outside thermometers equal to each other at 425°F and an idiot thermometer that says warm. I’ll say it’s warm! I would have burnt my ribs to a crisp if I depended on this thing!
Mod 1 is complete! The next mod will be changing the racks, adding a cover plate to separate for the “grill” from the smoker, adding and a baffle and tuning plates if needed. Coming soon!
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