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MIjeep86 02-20-2012 07:26 PM

Pig Cooker
Hi y'all. I have been looking into pig cookers for
A bit and I wanted to see if the good people of
JF have any recommendations? Also I would like
something I can tow behind my vehicle. Thank you for any help.

phitmein 02-20-2012 11:26 PM

build one yourself, I did and DIY ones rock big time .

If you build one build it out of thick stuff .

There are alot of very good tips below and I can see from reading that I will be modifying mine some to make it even better.


MIjeep86 02-21-2012 03:17 AM

I actually never thought of constructing my own. I appreciate the advice and the link. Thank you phit. Thinking about it now I'd rather build my own.

phitmein 02-21-2012 10:52 PM

"Thinking about it now I'd rather build my own"

Now you are talking Chris and I would be happy to help you with ideas if you like.

Mine has a 3' by 16" round horizonal smoking area with an off set firebox that is 20"x20"x20" that is also a grilling area with a grate and a griddle on top too if you want to use it .

All of it is 1/4 inch If I remember right .

And I am going to make it be able to run off of propane too next.

I have put together the needed parts and just need to drill a hole to mount them inside the smoker.

After I get done I will be able to cook with wood for the first few hours and then switch over to gas and walk away and leave it going for hours for stuff that needs to cook for a long time low and slow .

I used a old golf cart rear axle and tires as my wheels.

If you want to make one to pull behind a vehicle/ride then get the rear trailing axle and tires off of a junk front wheel drive car.

I have one set aside from a 1990 Buick Century that is perfect for such a thing and you ought to be able to get an junk axle and tires for under a 100 bucks easy.

If you can lay your hands on an old wood stove I think one would make a killer firebox and be alot less trouble than all the metal cutting and welding that was necessary to build my firebox.

If you like I would be glad to do some searching and PM you some links on building plans if you wish .

I got many of my ideas from I think.

Good luck with it .


MIjeep86 02-22-2012 11:24 AM

You have have me some awesome ideas already. If you could give me some links I would be grateful. Do you happen to have any pics of your rig? Or maybe some links with pics. I'm kinda a visual learner. I definitely would like to make it propane off the bat. Again thanks for the info Phit

phitmein 02-22-2012 08:25 PM

No pics. of mine but I will ask a buddy to take some and see if I can post them.

Mine is of this basic design but my cooking area is made of 16" water pipe(I think) with a square fire box like many of the below .

It is welded flat on the ends and not made out of old tanks like many of these.

If you use an old tank I was told do not use galvanized because of dangerous fumes and such that could be released while cooking.

How big of a cooker do you want to build, as in, how big a piece of meat/meats do you want to cook at one time.

You are a iron worker is welding one of your skills, if not, I know that you know some being as what you do.

Do you want to build a horizonal or a vertical smoker ?

MIjeep86 02-23-2012 04:15 AM

I would like to build a horizontal cooker. I would like to be able to cook a piece of meat as big as a pig. I like to build big. Lol. This is a whole other world like jeeps but for cookers. So much info to read. But I am excited to start this. Thank you for your help so far

sirhc76 02-23-2012 07:01 AM and

never use galvanized, welding the crap is bad enough for you.

Pig cookers are normally big, if you intend to cook a whole hog. Whole hogs are normally split down the belly and cooked belly down, legs out and insides to the grill. My current pit isn't big enough to cook a whole hog. My previous pit, which I built sent many young pigs into hungry bellies.

My current pit uses 1/4 steel on the main grill and upright smoker with 1/2 on the fire box. The offset fire box is 20" x 24" pipe, this is one part I'd change since I'm not a big fan of round fire boxes. The main grill is 48" x 24" and the upright smoker on the end is 36" x 24". I'm not fond of the setup, my wife bought it for me as a gift one year. While it is a custom built, not standard cookie cutter model, there are a few things Id do differently had I built it. I gave my previous pit away when I moved closer to her during college years ago. I have learned how to cook on it and tuned it over the years but it doesn't cook like my last one. Make sure to "season" or cure a new pit, its almost like cooking on a cast iron skillet for the first time. I went to the local butcher and asked when he was trimming pork butts. He gave me a call and I picked up 15lbs of pork fat which more than did the job.

I don't use gas and once I get it set I can leave it for several hours without touching it. I use 4 digital thermometers when I cook brisket, two in the meat and two in the grill. I keep them all on high low settings get my fire set and then go to bed. The alarm will go off on the remote if the meat or pit temps fall or rise above the set points. Proper tuning is key, enough draft and the ability to regulate the incoming air. Keep the main grill the same cooking temp across the length of the grill is another key issue. Read those two sites and you will have all the info you want. In the meantime here are some brisket, St. Louis and baby back rib pics to get you motivated.

MIjeep86 02-23-2012 03:13 PM

Thank you sirhc for the info and pics. There is so much to take in. Lol. Plus I have to start from scratch. I can't wait to get into this and start building. What wood do you prefer to cook with?

phitmein 02-23-2012 08:41 PM

Damn it, I just spent thirty minutes typing a responce here and the ******* puter ate it.

Talk to a propane company that has the big silver ones that are in peoples yard because they by law have to replace them every 10 years.

At my suggestion my buddy got a 120 gallon one for 100 bucks that he used for a holding tank for his shops air compressor.

They have bigger ones too.

They can be very dangerous to cut on and you have to flush them well with water before you try or ka-boom.

Again I would make damn sure that it wasn't galvinized.
If I remember right a magnet wont stick to galvinized.


sirhc76 02-23-2012 11:32 PM


Originally Posted by MIjeep86 (Post 13112079)
Thank you sirhc for the info and pics. There is so much to take in. Lol. Plus I have to start from scratch. I can't wait to get into this and start building. What wood do you prefer to cook with?

depends on the meat. I generally keep pecan, mesquite and live oak on stock. I cut and split my own oak and mesquite since I have plenty of it available at the family ranch. Oak burns long and hot, mesquite is hot and fast. Pork takes in wood flavor pretty well so you want to keep that in mind when cooking it. I don't like the taste of mesquite on pork or brisket for that matter. I keep it on hand to normally get my fires going, I use a propane pear burner for that. I think there is a really good guide for cooking wood on bbqforums. I preburn my wood to get rid of the bark and most of the smoke. The thing I have learned is you will ruin a lot of meat before you get it right. I still ate it all but it wasn't quality BBQ :)

The biggest thing to consider is your draft and ability to regulate incoming air. Not having enough or more of one than the other can be a bad thing. Read BBQforums and you will have all your answers. Propane tanks make great pits. You can also fill them with CO2 or CO via your car exhaust to push the leftover propane out. Dry ice also works although Ive never done that route. With the price of steel Id think they would be expensive right now, I recall when people would give them away if you hauled it off. Remember they don't have to be round you can use plate steel and build them as a box. My first pit was built that way and I loved it.

phitmein 02-24-2012 01:43 AM

Sir, that's a very nice smoke ring you got there in the brisket dawg .

Yum-yum eat em up .

phitmein 02-24-2012 10:17 PM

I have spent the last few hours looking at different pits on the web and this one in the picture is the nicest so far.

His atleast has the exhaust pipe on the proper side but it is to high up IMO .

Still that is a very nice rig.

MIjeep86 02-25-2012 09:27 AM

That is a very nice looking rig. As you guys suggested the propane tanks. That's something I would have never thought of. But like a jeep I'm trying to do a million hours of research before I start anything.

LMontycj2a 03-01-2012 05:01 PM

Thanks phitmein for some great links. Lots of good info that I can use to modify my cheap offset smoker.

And good luck MIjeep86 on your build.

The time now is 05:49 AM.

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