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multi-purpose fire pit

 
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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We are fortunate to have a plentiful supply of oak fire wood, and I would like to use it for grilling food, smoking food, and just having a backyard pit fire to sit around in winter and poke with a stick. I can use the ashes in my compost and sheet mulch, especially since our native soil is very acidic. I'd like to build a multi-purpose smoker/grill that would serve all 3 of these functions, and it needs to be easy to remove the ashes. Can anyone point me to a good design? I'm a jack of all trades, master of none, so I can do brick and mortar. It's not pretty, but it is functional. I want to keep the cost down if possible. I have a dozen cinder blocks sitting around currently serving as a lizard condo. I don't want to limit the possibilities to just brick and mortar yet. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
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I've moved this thread for Nick as it wasn't getting any response in Homestead forum and I figured that maybe the wood-burning folk might be able to give him some ideas. I appreciate that it's not a 'stove' per se but perhaps your knowledge is transferrable.
 
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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I came across this article in mother earth news awhile back for a oven, grill and smoker combo:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/Build-An-All-In-One-Outdoor-Oven-Stove-Grill-And-Smoker.aspx

 
Nick Garbarino
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Location: west central Florida
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Kay - Thank you so much! It's perfect. Leave it to the good folks at M.E.N.
 
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I also want to build a pit but hubby told me not to use anything with concrete - such as cinderblocks. He said they can shatter/explode suddenly with high heat and temp changes. Others may have used them just fine but since he was a concrete man by trade for many years I'm going to trust him on that one.
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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Jeanine, thanks for the heads up on that. I'm fairly sure this particular design is such that the cinder blocks are primarily for structural support, with heat shields between them and the fire. I'll have time to look into it more in a month or so (hopefully). I definitely would like to have it built by the end of the year, so we can enjoy it during our two weeks of winter! Actually, we may use it year-round and take advantage of free fuel for cooking.
 
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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That looks like a nice, practical unit.

 
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I just built this pit for a friend, might be what you are looking for. I will happily explain how I did it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LURDjQHdWDs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnmbxUJN_c&feature=youtube_gdata_player
 
gardener
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Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:I also want to build a pit but hubby told me not to use anything with concrete - such as cinderblocks. He said they can shatter/explode suddenly with high heat and temp changes. Others may have used them just fine but since he was a concrete man by trade for many years I'm going to trust him on that one.



I knew about the risk of degradation over time with concrete (the lime in it powders at high temperatures), but I didn't run into the explosion issue until recently. I think it's the aggregate (rocks) in the concrete that actually explode, but it's pretty impressive to watch. Hard to tell what aggregates they used in an old cinderblock, but at least they're usually smaller than the rocks in a 6" slab. We had glowing chips leaping about 8-10 feet when we tested our new super-insulated rocket core.

-Erica
 
pollinator
Posts: 324
Location: North Olympic Peninsula
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Nick, here's one I built that does most of what you are looking for. It also uses a rocket stove construction technique that cuts out almost all the cost. Hope it's useful to you.

http://www.permsteading.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=180
 
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