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INSULATED PORTABLE BBQ SMOKERS

Even though traditional offset BBQ smokers produce great BBQ and are practical to use, when it comes to heat conservation they are not the most efficient ovens.

They lose heat through the smokestack, the lids and the walls of the BBQ smoker itself.

When barbecuing we open, close and adjust the smokestacks and the lids loosing heat while doing so. As a fabricator and designer there is not much we can do about that but... the walls of the BBQ Smoker are another matter.

There are three things to consider when it comes to heat loss through the smoker walls:
*The thickness of the wall,
*The difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the smoker,
*The material used in the wall of the smoker.

A thicker wall looses less heat than a thinner one. The larger the difference in temperatures the more heat will be lost. The thermal conductivity of the material used is the biggest factor regarding the heat loss through the wall, the higher the conductivity the bigger the heat loss.

One way to measure thermal conductivity is BTU/h*ft*F.  This basically means BTUs per hour, in an area measured in feet and in Fahrenheit degrees.

AT 250 F, the thermal conductivity of steel is around 30 BTU/h*ft*F and for mineral wool is 0.304 BTU/h*ft*F.  It is easy to see that steel is one hundred times a better heat conductor than insulation.

Below is a table that compares the rate of heat loss per hour through a 3/8" thick steel wall vs. an insulated steel wall (both one foot square) at different outside temperatures.

    HEAT LOSS HEAT LOSS
Outside Smoker 3/8" thick Double wall
temperature temperature Single wall Insulated
    smoker Smoker
100 250 144,600 BTU 545 BTU
90 250 153,600 BTU 581 BTU
80 250 163,200 BTU 618 BTU
70 250 172,800 BTU 654 BTU
60 250 182,400 BTU 690 BTU
50 250 192,000 BTU 727 BTU
40 250 201,600 BTU 763 BTU

As you can see, the heat loss difference between an insulated and non-insulated wall is about 264 times.
It is so vast that that the steel thickness is not really relevant.

Some of the “on the field” benefits of an insulated BBQ smoker are:

  • More constant temperature inside the smoker
  • The cooking temperature holds much better to changes in weather
  • Less air flow inside the smoker
  • Less tending to the fire required
  • Tremendous savings in wood
  • Friendlier to be around  (The outside of the smoker is not as hot as regular smokers. This is particularly important if there are kids)
  • Protects the paint
  • Protects from rust

If you are including heat conservation in your set of parameters or, if you want one of the best smokers available today then the fully insulated BBQ Smoker is your smoker.







 

Here is an insulated BBQ smoker in process. The center photo shows the insulation between the two steel walls.
We actually build a BBQ smoker inside another BBQ smoker... with mineral wool in between!

Any BBQ Smokers you like?contact us!

OLD COUNTRY BBQ PITS

1919 E. SAUNDERS, SUITE 31 * LAREDO TEXAS, 78043

(956) 286-6389,  (956) 286-4340

E-Mail: smokers@oldcountrybbqpits.com


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