BBQ Spotlight: DragonSmoker
Some BBQ enthusiasts go all out, and the father son team at Dragon Smoker is definitely one of those. This BBQ Spotlight will focus on Chris and John Hampton, artists and owners of DragonSmoker.
Chris and his father John are both art and sculpture students that made a career teaching the arts in Florida and Connecticut colleges. Both are sculptors, welders, and metal workers, and have a love of southern barbecue. After moving on from teaching, they decided to collaborate and make artistic smokers out of steel. What they have created is simply amazing. Giant smoke breathing dragons that cook you food!
Chris started building the original Fire Works Dragon Smoker in 2009, and posted a few shots of how he put it together. The project starts with a custom welded steel cart and firebox.
Then the grill is added and the top of the smoker is attached, giving him a solid platform to secure the frame for the dragon sculpture.
Once a wire frame is welded in place, each scale must be individually attached to the frame to create the desired look. This takes from four to six weeks on every project. The smoker is complete once the scales are in place and the exhaust pushes smoke from the dragons mouth.
Following his original design he has created 2 models, the black steel dragon and the stainless steel dragon. Both are stunning works of functional art!
Here is how Chris describes his creation:
Each dragon is an original sculpture that will create great BBQ. The dragon smoker has a cooking area and a fire box where you can burn your choice of woods or charcoal to get just the right temperature and smoky flavor. The original mild steel version has been making great smoked southern style barbecue since 2010 and yours will too.
You can order your own dragon smoker, starting at $3000 for the black steel version.
There is also an upgrade to an $8000 stainless steel version.
The dragons feature plenty of grill space, with the base models starting out at 20" x 30" and growing all the way up to larger models big enough to smoke a whole hog. The end product is a stunning dragon that is at least 7 foot tall and 8 foot long, full of fire and breathing smoke.
The dragons can be custom painted with hi temp paint, to make your dragon one of a kind.
Custom commissioned builds are also available. Northern Lights Smokehouse ordered a gigantic dragon on a trailer, with the requirement that it was large enough to smoke a full sized hog. The end result is awe inspiring and a great advertising gimmick for their catered events.
The smokehouse takes their dragon on the road for to fairs, benefits, and catering private parties. After owning it for a while, they even gave it a custom paint job to keep it looking monstrous.
Dragonsmokers has been highlighted in many picture galleries and greatest hits websites, and as an even bigger sign of success they were featured as Grill of the Month in the BBQ America Magazine in 2014. Hopefully their success can allow them to keep building dragons for years to come.
If you are lucky enough to live nearby in Connecticut, you can even rent a dragonsmoker for your party!
For more pictures of Chris and Johns handmade works of art or to purchase your very own dragon, visit the http://www.dragonsmokerinc.com website.