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Q&A

If I put a smoker in a shed, does my exhaust have to be at the top of my shed? (Does exhaust height matter)?

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I'm looking to purchase a " Weber Smokey Mountain," but wanted to get an enclosure for it so that during cold/rainy/windy weather I can smoke without issues, since I heard it isn't greatly insulated from the elements (which could have to do with it's price-point).

I realized that I could use my shed as a storage/smoking area for my smoker. I notice there is a 4" or so hole with a vent at the top of my shed (I believe I Saw one on both front and back), but the vents seem to be very narrow (to stop larger-bugs/animals from coming in). I could replace them, but I also noticed 2 rectangular (2 square panels on top of each other for each window) windows on the side of my shed that seem to open with a screen on the bottom panel for airflow. I would place my smoker next to one of the 2 windows with the exhaust facing out towards the window.

I am curious if

  1. The windows itself would provide enough of a ventilation source for the WSM if I keep the door open there should be a nice draft going from the door to the window which should pull the smoke better; however a door being open will cause temp shifts (the shed still gets cold anyways), wind, and possibly animals to get inside.

  2. If it would be better to get a venting fan with louvers and put it in the window's space so the smoke should get pulled out by the powerful vent fan and I shouldn't have any issues. BUt the thing is, will all of the smoke get pulled, or will it float to the top of my shed and stay there? (I assume the smoke would escape from the vents on top, but I'm not sure if it will be good enough even for just a little trailing smoke). EDIT: I also would like to have an intake fan on the other window so that I will get fresh air inside the shed as well, or maybe just keep the other window open(without a fan) to create a nice draft.

:EDIT-END

  1. If I should get fans and place them up top where the vents are (but I would have to cut a hole which is what I want to avoid and why I really am happy I found windows in my shed).

My major concern is to make sure that I am not generating too much smoke and creating carbon monoxide. I will be setting up a few carbon monoxide readers around the smoker, door, etc, and I'm hoping there is a unit that I can get that connects to a mobile device or desktop so I can monitor the shed. I really do not think I will have an issue with #2, but I want to be safe, but curious what others think. I'm not sure if creating a cross breeze with #1 will be safe, especially doing longer smokes that will go into the night time where animals roam. That is why I especially like having the shed, and it being fully closed (besides the windows being open, or the fan being on with louvers open, or closed when off). Which is why #2 seems like my best bet.

Any advice is appreciated, thank you.

EDIT: I want to keep the smoker enclosed in the shed as much as possible. I want to be able to open the door to the shed, and be able get inside and close it, to tend to the smoker. This means I need to have most of the smoke leaving, and some fresh air coming inside that I can tend to the smoker without worry.

NOTE: the shed was cold when I went inside it the other day, but that can be fixed in many ways. The fire from the smoker should warm it up nicely, but I can add other heaters as well, or maybe some insulation.

NOTE: The shed is wood, so I'm not really sure if the smoker inside a wood shed is even a "smart idea" but I don't see the flames leaving the smoker.

NOTE: I figured this would be better for "The Great Outdoors" over "Cooking," but if I that is not the case, please feel free to flag the post in order to migrate it.

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3 answers

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Safety guidelines for this smoker specifically state that it's not suitable for indoor use.

It's quite literally the first thing on the instructions

https://www.riversidegardencentre.co.uk/pdf/2009_Smokey_Mountain_Cooker.pdf

DANGER
Failure to follow the Dangers, Warnings, and Cautions contained in this Owner’s Manual may result in serious bodily injury, death, or fire causing damage to property.

Do not use indoors! This smoker is designed for outdoor use only. If used indoors, toxic fumes will accumulate and cause serious bodily injury or death.

By the looks of the design it isn't possible to seal it to a chimney so there's no way to control the exhaust gases/CO. What you'd probably find if you ran it in the shed was that the CO alarms would give you no peace.

If you want to run it under a shelter then a small shelter with no more than 3 walls and a roof is possibly acceptable to ensure adequate ventilation for you to share a space with it. Basically no more than wind and rain screens.

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Yes it will create CO. The question is if the CO level is dangerous when you open the door to tend to the cooker. Put it by the door and don't enter the shed while cooking.

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In a dirty kitchen, Cooking shed. A chimney or stack. Needs be 6 inch's above roof peak. For proper draft. So no back draft. Were the pipe goes threw the roof you need double wall vent pipe. Cut a 12 inch square hole in the roof. Next lay over the hole a 24 inch sheet metal. Cut a hole round in the center with tin snips. like triangles. This is fitted down the double wall pipe. Onto the roof wood. Keeps rain out. Keeps heat from wood so no fire there. Next a dirty kitchen needs vented. So you will need leave a window open. Or door when cooking. On a wood roof this is important to prevent fires & proper venting. Nothing better than a plain stove pipe to set a roof on fire in a cook shed. Be sure & check vent pipes often. They can have no holes in then were a spark or hot cinder can escape. Keep cooker away from walls. Use cheap sheet metal on the walls near them to deflect heat & sparks.

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