The Beast of a Cooker

The cooker is about 12 feet long. Each lid is almost three feet wide. The cooker has a horizontal steel plate welded the entire length inside, just under the racks. When cooking you fill it with a few inches of water and steam the meat. The smoke rises from the firebox, hits the plate and then travels to each end of the cooker and out the two smokestacks. The smoke never touches the meat at this time. This allows the meat to be cooked for a long time without becoming too smokey tasting. The water keeps the temperature constant and even. Without the water, the temperature will rapidly change as the wind fans the fire, and the temperature would be too hot directly over the firebox and too cold at the ends. After the meat is finished cooking, you remove some caps on pipes through the end of the plate. This lets the smoke come up from under the plate. You also close the dampers on the two end smokestacks and open the damper on the middle smokestack. The smoke then rises from the firebox, hits the plate, travels to the ends, passes up through the plate, passes towards the center and over the meat, and then goes out the center smokestack. This double pass of the smoke also helps to keep the temperature even from center to end.
The cooker has no wheels. According to Dad, this intentional design flaw was "So people wouldn't want to borrow it."

(click on images for larger view)

Here you can see the firebox on the back. The sloping bottom on the firebox extension helps to roll the logs into fire as it burns. The capped pipes on the end are for draining the water.

Here's the cooker in action. The end caps have been removed and we are smoking the meat.

Here we are cutting up the meat getting ready to serve. Looks like my uncle is doing more talking than cutting.

Inside the cooker