Russell Marr's Creation: "El Toro Bravo™" & "El Boaro Bravo™"
Russell Marr sent me these pics and the story below. This is GREAT!!
Very handy work!! Good Luck with your dream.
The Smoker King
These are the first two in a series of artistically designed smokers
I plan on making and hope to get into production, either on a large scale
or on a limited basis. The bull is operational. I've been cooking with
it for several months, the boar is a work in progress.
When people ask me what possessed me to build a smoker that looks like a bull, I like to tell them that I heard a voice, a voice that said "Build a vessel - build it 5 cubits long and 3 cubits high - fill it with animals of all kinds - but mainly beef and pork ".
Actually I came up with the idea about ten years ago when I built a smoker using the traditional off-set firebox design. While building that smoker, I noticed it had a vague resemblance to a charging bull (with the lowered firebox being the head and the long cooking chamber being the body). The problem was, I didn't have the skills at the time to build anything that was in any way realistic looking. I've since learned the art of sand-casting which enables me to sculpt and cast in aluminum almost any shape imaginable.
Another problem is, the traditional off-set firebox, with it's inherent problems, is not a very good design.
In the 10 years of cooking with the first one I built, I discovered those problems and also thought of ways to overcome the problems (uneven cooking, poor air flow, inconsistent temperatures, constant adjustments).
While building El Toro Bravo™, I spent a great deal of time building something that was an artistic and realistic rendition of a charging bull. In doing so, I realized all the parts were there to design a smoker that overcame the flaws of the traditional off-set firebox design.
What I came up with is a smoker based on the off-set firebox design but with forced air induction (rather than natural draft air flow). Forced air allows for the heat to be moved out of the firebox into a chamber directly below the cooking chamber (in the belly of the beast) which results in precise, even heat distribution from side to side (when the temperature is 225 deg. at the head, it's 225 deg. at the butt). Also there are a series of baffles that keeps the heat there longer which makes very efficient use of all fuel.
(I haven't done any scientific comparison yet but I'm sure this design uses at least 25% less wood).
After leaving the firebox and circulating through the underbelly chamber, the smoke enters the cooking chamber at the opposite end (away from the firebox) and passes over the food and exits through ductwork in the upper neck and is then routed out through the nostrils. The air flow is controlled by an adjustable electric blower motor which can be turned on high for fast start-up of the charcoals. With the blower turned on high, cooking temperature is reached very quickly. The blower motor can then be turned down to a very slow speed, just enough to keep the heat at a desired level and to keep the smoke moving over the food and out the nostrils. As long as there is wood in the firebox, it will maintain a constant temperature for hours on end. I'll start it early in the morning and go back to bed for a few hours and when I come back out, the temperature is within a few degrees of what is was earlier.
There is also a manual air pump which is actuated by pumping the tail up and down.
On a calm day you can blow smoke rings out the nostrils by pumping the tail a few times. Not only does it look good and work good, it's also fun to use.
There are a set of small caster wheels behind the rear hooves so you can roll it around. Just grab the horns and lift up. The casters contact the ground and it can be rolled around (on pavement anyway - not so good on soft ground).
Oh yeah, one last feature I almost forgot to mention.
Those things hanging between the rear legs that kinda look like testicles, well that's really just an ash dump.
Just grab 'em from behind and pull, they slide out from between the legs and can be dumped out and then re-attached.(just hope nobody's lookin').
I've applied for a couple different patents (design patent and utility patent) and hope to have them available in the near future. I have many other models planned.
Russ Marr, Lincoln NE