Cooker FAQ

1How do I season my cooker?
Here is a quick and easy way to do this. Take all the grates out of the cooker and warmer then get a wet rag and wipe down the inside of cooker to remove any dust or foreign objects. Once this is done, get a fire going in your firebox and let your cooker warm up. While the cooker is heating up spray the inside with cooking oil such as Pam. Spray the grates before you install them. Get the cooker up to 250/275 degrees. Let your cooker run for several hours.
2Can I pressure wash my cooker?
Yes. You can wash the outside at any time. As far as the inside goes, you can heat the cooker up to over 300 degrees after tilting it downhill. Mist water into the chamber to create steam. Steam will clean the inside perfectly. Remember that if any water gets into your firebox, please clean it out as ash and water will create an acid that will rust the steel.
3Should I keep my cooker covered?
Cookers are an investment like any other big ticket item. Keeping them covered or stored in an area to keep them out of the weather will prolong the time before having to do extended maintenance.
4What do you paint the cooker with?
Shirley Fabrication uses 1200 degree Rustoleum on all of our cookers. 2 coats of paint is applied only after the cooker has been sandblasted. We provide you with a can of touch up paint to keep your investment looking good.
5Why cabinet doors vs traditional doors?
Cabinet doors offer easy access and into the cook chamber. With a cabinet door you will get more space since there wont be the curve of the smoker taking up precious cook space. Cabinet doors are our biggest seller and are an upgrade.
6Insulated boxes vs uninsulated
There is no right answer when asking if an insulated firebox is better than a non. It comes down to personal preference. While you will use less wood and the outside will not be as warm, folks who don't opt for the insulated option see no need to get it for the most part. If you continually cook in very cold temps, the insulated firebox makes more sense than someone who lives in a temperate environment.
7Why a stick burner?
Stick burners will give you a flavor profile that is hard to beat. Many people are converting back to stick burners because they just cant achieve the flavor profile that a stick burner produces.
8How often will I need to feed the cooker?
Generally every 45 minutes to an hour is common place. There are variables that come into play such as: seasoning of the wood, type of wood, split size, weather, intake and exhaust.
9How long will my cooker last?
If the cooker is taken cared for, it can last a lifetime. With normal care and maintenance, you can very easily pass your cooker down to the next generation.
10Do you have gas assist in your fireboxes?
Shirley Fabrication does not offer gas assist in any of our units. There are too many variables that make them dangerous if folks don't pay attention to them.
11How do I build a fire?
The easiest way is to purchase a weed burner (approx $40). Get a chimney or two of charcoal going and put it in the firebox. Open your smoker up to allow good airflow. This will allow good drafting. You should be up to temp in about 35-45 minutes.
12How do I go about purchasing a cooker?
The easiest way to purchase a cooker is get a budget in mind, type of cooker you want and then email Tyler (tyler@shirleyfabrication.com). Every evening email gets checked and responded to. Tyler will work with you on designing if you have question or concerns. The staff rarely answers the phone during the day. If you call, please leave a message as we get alot of inquiries and it makes it easier knowing who we are calling back. Once you have decided what you want on your build, simply send in a $300.00 non-refundable deposit. This secures your place in line.
13How do you handle payment?
We currently require a $300 nonrefundable down-payment to secure a spot on our build list. The balance is due on pickup day.. We accept personal checks, money orders, cashier checks and of course cash!!! At this time we do not accept credit cards or PayPal since there is cost associated with this and we would have to pass that onto the customer.
14What about a Layaway plan?
We have had people that take this route and some have waited as long as a year to complete the layaway. We still require a $300 nonrefundable payment to start the process. You pay as you can and we will send a receipt via e-mail and track your payments. When you are ready to get your cooker we require an 8 week notice to let us know you will have final payment so we can complete the build.
15Does Alabama title trailers?
The State of Alabama does not title trailers. Adjustments will be made if that changes.
16What types of cookers do you build?

1. Reverse flow – This style cooker is our specialty as we feel like we have perfected the process through much trial and error. This style cooker will have very even temps across the cooker although different grate levels may have different temps across the grates.

2. General offsets- This type cooker has the stack opposite the firebox and generally will have more hot-spots but it comes down to personal preference on what type to get.

3. General offsets with tuning plates— This style cooker has a series of plates that can be moved around to get even temps or moved to achieve hot-spot areas.

4. Grills- We build direct-cook grills and have a door system that allows you to easily clean the charcoal and keep the cooker clean

5. Coming in the near future will be Vertical cookers with a offset firebox

17Do you ship cookers?
Shirley Fabrication does not ship cookers. The customer has the option to use a third party company such as U-Ship to pick them up from our location. Final payment has to be made before we can release the cooker.

Why Buy a Shirley?

Shirley Fabrication products are not built on any assembly line. Each project is handled as the most important project that the Company has ever done. Pride, hardwork, communication and honesty make up the foundation of this Company. Customers are not a number and are treated with the upmost respect. Shirley Fabrication will go the extra mile to ensure that we do not have one unsatisfied customer! The customer is the reason for the business and that fact is NEVER forgotten!

Some Quick Facts

Trailers- All trailers are custom built by us and will be built out of 2x3 or 2x4 11 gauge tubing, depending on cooker size. LED lightning is standard and encased in protective boxes. LED lighting is better for appearance and is maintenance free. Trailers will be equipped with 2 safety chains, a jack with foot and the wire harness encased in tubing to keep it from snagging. Your trailer will also have heavy duty custom built fenders built and designed by us.

Cookers - 24 models- Our 24 series comes with a 3/8 thick cook chamber made of 24 inch pipe. Standard fireboxes are ¼ inch thick. We do offer upgrades. Please refer to the upgrade chart for additional options. 30 Inch cookers are made from ¼ inch thick rolled plate. We do not use 3/8 thick steel due to the cost and additional weight.

Grates - All grates are made using 1x1x ¼ inch thick angle iron and ¾ # 9 wire. These grates will last forever with proper seasoning and care. All of our grates slide out and are removable for easy access to your chamber and warmer.

Warmers - All warmers are made from ¼ inch thick plate.

Handles - All handles are equipped with 6 inch cool touch springs.

Fire baskets - Slide out on a track and are built to last and are heavy duty. This makes it easier for Firebox clean out.

Doors - Cook chamber doors have standard gaskets installed. The warmer and fire box do not have gaskets.

Fire poker - We provide a standard fire poker that we fabricate with all cookers.

Fireboxes - The standard is ¼ thick but can be upgraded to 3/8 thick, ½ inch thick or insulated.

Insulated fireboxes - These boxes are fabricated from ¼ inch thick plate steel. Sandwiched in between the plates is high density 2 inch thick 2000 degree insulation that is clad with a ¼ thick plate on the outside. Doors are made from ¾ inch thick plate. Doors are not insulated nor necessary.. The bottom, side, and top of the box is insulated.

Ball vales – Standard ball valves we supply are 1-1/4 inch. You can you can upgrade to a 2 inch valve if you choose.