FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


What size tank do I need?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Cookers
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
tclark



Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21 16 7:32 am    Post subject: What size tank do I need? Reply with quote

Well my uds finally rusted out which gives me a good excuse to round up a propane tank and get to work. My question is what size do I need? Looking at either a 250 gal or 150gal(or similar). How much more wood does the bigger size use? Do the bigger pits hold temp better simply because of the higher mass? I intend to use an insulated firebox regardless, and most likley not a rf.

I wouldn't need that much capacity all that often and would rather not waste a bunch of wood on my typical smaller cooks. Then again, I don't want to get done and regret not going bigger!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3154
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21 16 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously, the bigger the cooker the bigger the firebox, and more fuel. The question really goes back to you in terms of what's the largest cook that you will be doing. Do you need to feed a hundred people or just a dozen? You just need to scale your firewood splits to the size of firebox you got. I've run 100% splits in my little 30 gallon New Braunfels and done well.
_________________
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
The Ultimate New Braunfels Makeover
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
tclark



Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21 16 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most cooks are for 15-30, but a few times a year I cook for 100-150, sometimes up to 200.
I know the bigger pit will take more wood, but is the 250 just too much hassle for a smaller cook?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
castrovillecowboy
BBQ Fan


Joined: 26 Nov 2015
Posts: 268
Location: living in VA, heart still in TX

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21 16 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question, and to apologize to jump on your thread, but I have seen someone build a small fire in their large cooker, in the CC, to heat it up. Like a chimney of coals down low in the CC, then use the firebox for smoke and flavour and to maintain the heat.

Thoughts by the more experienced?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3154
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22 16 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tclark, I'm looking at your initial post about possibly regretting not going bigger. I'm with you and understand the anxiety about correctly sizing the cooker and worrying about whether it's too small or even perhaps way too big. I go through that stuff every time I think about a new build. It's a damn sickness, I tell ya! Laughing Laughing Laughing

So here's my 2 cents; You're going to have to decide what's right for you and your particular circumstance. Try to find a happy medium somewhere that will accommodate the majority of your cooking situations. Here's one even better... build two cookers. Have one that suits your small cooks, then have one that is the mac daddy for the larger stuff. You don't have to do both at the same time. Build one, learn from your mistakes, then later down the road build another.

Can you cook one pork butt on a 250 gallon cooker? Sure you can. Is it wasteful and impractical? Probably. Will the world stop spinning if you do that? Nope.

So, I'd quit worrying about it and put together something that's going to take care of business.
_________________
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
The Ultimate New Braunfels Makeover
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
whall
BBQ Fan


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 281
Location: Rockwood, TN

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22 16 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might as well add my .02 Laughing

I built a large pit a couple years ago out of a propane tank. And thought I would never have it full, well I have had it full about three times.

I think it is better to have too much space then having to try and cram too much meat it at one time.

As far as wood use a bigger cooker does take more wood atleast at startup. Once you have the cooker up to temp and leveled out it takes less wood to keep the temp constant. The main thing just like most cookers is to keep the door(s) shut as much as possible.

I have fired it up just to cook 2 racks of ribs before Embarassed Smile Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26018
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22 16 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tclark wrote:
Most cooks are for 15-30, but a few times a year I cook for 100-150, sometimes up to 200.
I know the bigger pit will take more wood, but is the 250 just too much hassle for a smaller cook?

Build the 250 if you have a nice wood supply. I will tell you this I have no problem firing up Bahama Mama for a couple racks of ribs. It is only a 4.5 hour cook and about 8 splits of wood.
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tclark



Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22 16 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="whall"] Once you have the cooker up to temp and leveled out it takes less wood to keep the temp constant. quote]

Thanks for the input guys; this is what I was most concerned about really. I've just never ran a pit that big so had no idea what to really expect.

While we're talking roughly how many butts will fit on a 250(single rack)?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26018
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22 16 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="tclark"]
whall wrote:
Once you have the cooker up to temp and leveled out it takes less wood to keep the temp constant. quote]

Thanks for the input guys; this is what I was most concerned about really. I've just never ran a pit that big so had no idea what to really expect.

While we're talking roughly how many butts will fit on a 250(single rack)?

Depending on how you lay out the cooker and the grates if you go two slide out grates on the bottom about nine 10 lb. butts on each grate.
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
whall
BBQ Fan


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 281
Location: Rockwood, TN

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22 16 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:

Depending on how you lay out the cooker and the grates if you go two slide out grates on the bottom about nine 10 lb. butts on each grate.


^^^ What he said Laughing ^^^
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tclark



Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23 16 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys! Sounds about perfect then as I could only fit 6 comfortably on my uds, but have needed to cook 3x that.
Maybe I'll just need to invite more people to our tailgates!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Cookers All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group