Author Topic: Rack spacing on SI#1  (Read 1802 times)

Elliottbte

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Rack spacing on SI#1
« on: February 21, 2015, 08:45:33 AM »
First of all, I am very happy overall with my SI#1 that I got a couple months ago for Christmas. For my first smoker, I decided to go with the #1 although I was tempted to get the #2.  So far my experience has been that I can handle a meal for 12 or so people if I stuff the #1 full. 

But one thing that I would like to see is for the rack spacing on the #1 to more efficiently use the vertical space.  If I put racks on the lower and middle positions, the lower shelf provides a good bit less vertical space than the middle shelf. I have found myself putting the middle rack on top of the guide rather than in it to buy even 1/2" in height (yes, I'll be careful pulling the shelf out as it could tip given its not in the slots).   Right now I have two 5lb pork butts in the smoker and its maxed due to height. If I had the middle rack 1" higher, I bet I could do maybe 2 7lb butts.

What I'd really like is an additional slot above the middle slot.  The other size smokers have side rail assemblies with extra slots above the middle. The #1 does not and I think it has to do with the hole in the rail assembly where another slot would be welded.  This is a shame as that second lower hole serves no purpose, at least on a #1. 

Assuming SI is not coming out with a new side rail design, has anyone tried to modify the existing design to maximize the vertical spacing?  I'm tempted to have someone weld in another slot but I'm not sure exactly what type SS to use and I know welding SS is a bit of a specialty and this would probably cost a small fortune.  Maybe I buy an addition side rail to use as my "raw material" to tear out a couple slots and then weld to my existing side rail.

Any ideas?


« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 09:08:45 AM by Elliottbte »
Brad from Chattanooga
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paidin

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 10:13:29 PM »
how about drilling a hole in the vertical part that holds the rails and screwing a bolt right above the that rail to help hold the rack and prevent it from tipping?

or get a bar of metal that you can attach to the bottom of the rail above the rail you want to set the rack in to keep the rack from tipping?

paidin
the SI#4 should be named "The American" because you can do everything in excess with it.  Just because you can.  'Murica!

DivotMaker

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 10:33:38 PM »
Do you have the new-style rack, as shown here?

New #1 Rack

Tony from NW Arkansas
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Elliottbte

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2015, 07:55:38 AM »
Do you have the new-style rack, as shown here?

New #1 Rack

DM, thanks for the reply.  No, I do not have the new one.  But I don't think it solves the issue as is.  Mine has three slots, top, middle, bottom.  The spacing between the bottom and middle is 3 5/8".  The spacing from the middle shelf to the inside top of the SI#1 is 7 1/2".  Assuming that I want to leave at least 1" free space at the top to prevent the vent hole from being blocked, that gives me a middle shelf to top effective height of 6 1/2".  I could make these two headspaces about the same if there was a middle shelf slot about 1 1/2" above the current slot.

The new rails you mention have an additional slot, but it is below the middle slot, not above.  Just looking at the picture, it seems that the original three slots are in the same position relative to the hanging hole, with the new slot but equally in between the lower and middle. If the new slot was above the middle one rather than below it, I think we'd be in business. 

Just now typing this, an idea came to me idea based on paidin's message above where he mentioned drilling the vertical part of the rail assembly.  How about I just flip the new rails upside down, and drill new hanger holes in the appropriate location.  Then my new shelf slot is above the middle, not below it. But drilling that hole in the right location may not be that easy as the now top slot is in the location where the hole would be.

Hmmmmn, I need to think this through a bit more but maybe this can work out.  Of course the ideal situation would be a new rail assembly with slots added both above and below the middle slot for a total of 5 slots.  I would buy that in a heartbeat.
Brad from Chattanooga
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Elliottbte

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2015, 08:06:00 AM »
how about drilling a hole in the vertical part that holds the rails and screwing a bolt right above the that rail to help hold the rack and prevent it from tipping?

or get a bar of metal that you can attach to the bottom of the rail above the rail you want to set the rack in to keep the rack from tipping?

paidin

Paidin, thanks, you've got my creative juices flowing now.  You mentioning drilling gave me an idea based combined DM's suggestion of the new assembly.  In addition to my thoughts in my reply to him, you've given me something else to think about.  Mentioning "bar of metal" has got me thinking "spacer", and I could attach it by drilling into the metal that forms the top of the slot.  Now I just need to determine what type material would work and how to make it tip safe. 
Brad from Chattanooga
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paidin

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2015, 10:40:53 AM »
how about drilling a hole in the vertical part that holds the rails and screwing a bolt right above the that rail to help hold the rack and prevent it from tipping?

or get a bar of metal that you can attach to the bottom of the rail above the rail you want to set the rack in to keep the rack from tipping?

paidin

Paidin, thanks, you've got my creative juices flowing now.  You mentioning drilling gave me an idea based combined DM's suggestion of the new assembly.  In addition to my thoughts in my reply to him, you've given me something else to think about.  Mentioning "bar of metal" has got me thinking "spacer", and I could attach it by drilling into the metal that forms the top of the slot.  Now I just need to determine what type material would work and how to make it tip safe.

I am not up on my metallurgy but some types react with each other.  Best bet is to use some stainless steel.  Is it possible to just skip the hole and hang the rail right on the posts?  that will give you some additional height.  I have only used mine once but plan on smoking something up today so I will look at mine and see if I can offer some useful advice :D
the SI#4 should be named "The American" because you can do everything in excess with it.  Just because you can.  'Murica!

DivotMaker

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 07:43:10 PM »
Brad,

I never found the standard shelf space in the #1 to be a problem, but I wasn't trying to stuff 3 gallons into a 2 gallon bucket.  I think cooking efficiency may suffer with overloading the #1 - it's just not that big.  Instead of doing two 7 lb butts, I would just find a single 10-11 lb butt (which pretty much fills it).  I also never had trouble doing 3 racks of baby backs, using all three shelves.  I've also done a 13 lb turkey in the #1.  Just my 2...but you may find that packing it too tight may not yield the results you are hoping for.
Tony from NW Arkansas
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Elliottbte

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 09:32:46 PM »
Brad,

I never found the standard shelf space in the #1 to be a problem, but I wasn't trying to stuff 3 gallons into a 2 gallon bucket.  I think cooking efficiency may suffer with overloading the #1 - it's just not that big.  Instead of doing two 7 lb butts, I would just find a single 10-11 lb butt (which pretty much fills it).  I also never had trouble doing 3 racks of baby backs, using all three shelves.  I've also done a 13 lb turkey in the #1.  Just my 2...but you may find that packing it too tight may not yield the results you are hoping for.

DM, thanks for the advice.  I guess I need to find a butcher that can cut me that size butt. I've seen the pairs of butts at Sam's, and smaller ones at my local grocery store.  You know the biggest advantage of doing a 10lb butt may be starting my LazyQ at night rather than waking at the crack of dawn to do a 6lb butt in an effort to ensure its done and rested by dinner time.
Brad from Chattanooga
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DivotMaker

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Re: Rack spacing on SI#1
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 07:16:49 PM »
The 2-packs I get from Sam's are in the 8-11 lb range.  The big boys are out there, and they cook sooo much better than the small ones!  Another thing I've done, many times, with the #1 is multiple cooks for a bunch of people (up to 15).  If you smoke 3 racks of ribs, and then vacuum-pack them as soon as they're done, they reheat as good as just out of the smoker.  Then, smoke a big old butt.  Combine the 2, and you have a lot of pork for a crowd.
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!