How do you build a smoker?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by spoonfish, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    I was wondering if anyone has some ideas on how to build a smoker. I know some can be made from old refigerators and other ways. Any suggestions?
     
  2. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Spoon, I sure wish you would post a week earlier, I just gave a smoker to my son. It was in my way here. :crying: He probably will not use it but it is OUT my way!
     

  3. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Top I appreciate that! Day late and a dollar short. :D
    I had been useing one from some people that i rented to. Unfortunatly i evicted them so now I don't have one. Maybe I should have told my new renters they had to have one LOL. I'm thinking of building one and have been looking around on the net for ideas. They have some plans to make them from garbage cans even. Those have a hot plate for a burner but I'm thinking I want a fire box instead. I don't know why I need a big one I usally only do a turkey or a brisket at a time. I may just end up dropping some hints to mama about getting one for x-mas. ;) I know where I could get a refigerator but after looking around on the net some say there not good to use unless you get the old steel type. Thought maybe some one has made them in here and has some ideas. Thanks!
     
  4. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    What size are you looking to build?
    I have one that I built from a 300 gallon tank. It has a 24"X24" offset fire box.
    Or you can build one from a 55 gallon Barrel. That was my first one.
    Now I have a SS electric smoker. It holds 8 racks that are 18"X18" And was thinking about bulding one. But after buying this one. Will not be building a smoker any time soon.
    I will look up the page to the offset smoker if you wouild like to see them.?

    PEte
     
  5. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Name:
    Mutt
  6. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Thanks Shiloh,
    I am thinking one made out of 55 gal. barrel may be plenty big enough for me.
     
  7. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Thanks Mutt.
    Thats a good price on it. I have access to a barrel and lots of hickory trees here is the only reason I was thinking to build one. If I don't I will sure look at that one. Thanks!
     
  8. Wally

    Wally New Member

    Messages:
    857
    State:
    FLORIDA
    Troy,
    Be sure the fridge, is an old one, with NO plastic inside. Also, do NOT use the aluminium shelves that are in fridges. Get the racks out of an old oven. The aluminium will give off BAD stuff that is not good for you!!
    Check around on the internet for some good ideas.
    I got a 4 footer that can handle 6 briskets at a time. Made out of 1/4 plate. Round , thick walled pipe does best!!!
    Wally
     
  9. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    I will try to find the one on barrels for you. One of them you use the bouble barrel kit for a 2 barrel heater. And one of the others use a smaller barrel for a fire bix.
    My first one was a barrel cut in half. Hinged the top the the bottom. And cut a sq hole in the bottom. Used blocks to hold it off the round. build a fire under it and let the smoke and heat rise.

    I did plan on building a block firepit with the coals under the meat. And fill the blocks with sand. I have fixed whole hogs on one. And it would take around 20 hours to do a 200 lb hog.

    Pete

     
  10. Rainman4u2

    Rainman4u2 Guest

    I have a buddy that built one out of an old Gas stove. He used the bottom of the stove(pan storage area) as his fire box. Next he cut a 1 1/2 inch hole in the bottom of the stove and inserted a metal pipe that came up to the top of the inside of the stove. In that pipe he drilled 1/8 inch holes every 3 inches. He then put a pipe out the back for the extra smoke. He also sealed every possible hole left(took him a few hours with smoke rolling). If I remember correctly, he also re-inforced the bottom drawer, and the bottom of the stove with 1/8 steel plating so it wouldn't warp the first time he fired it up for a turkey. So far he has had no complaints, and the food that comes out of it tastes great.

    Ray
     
  11. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Spring Hill, Kansas
    I think that I may make my next smoker due to the cost of a new one of that size. Its going to take some trail and error because you will want to maintain a steady temp across the whole smoker. If you have too much smoke with the heavier woods like hickory, oak etc... you meat will have a bitter taste to them but cherry wood and apple wood are great to start with because its hard to oversmoke you meat.

    If you are going with an off set smoker I would recommend putting you smoke stack even with your cooking grates because if you mount the stack on top your going to have uneven tempertures through out your smoker, the temps will be higher on the fire box side and cooler on the the oppsite side. The uneven temps are caused by the heat rising. If the smoke stack was even with the cooking grates the heat has to travel to the oppsite end of the smoker before leaving. You can also mount a piece of metal about a 45 degree angle above the opening on the firebox this will cause the heat to disperse evenly.

    Once you have your smoker built, you will want to season it, I seasoned my smoker with the fat juices from a pork butt, collect all the juices from the butt and spray or wipe down all surfaces inside.

    I like to use different types of wood like cherry, apple, maple, oak, hickory and mesquite. The fruity woods are great for chicken, sausages etc... the oak, hickory and mesquite are great for ribs, brisket, pork etc... You might also try mixing different pieces of wood.

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact me I go could on for hours about Queing.


    chris
     
  12. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio
  13. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Spring Hill, Kansas
    I got that smoker about a year or so ago but I got mine around 100.00 from lowes. Lowes will match prices. I like mine but I had to bolt in a tuneing plate to disperese the heat evenly.

    chris
     
  14. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
  15. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Thought ya might like this idea,

    Home-Built Smoker ala Alton Brown

    3 2x4’s cut to 4-6-inch lengths, for “feet” to raise smoker off of ground
    1 large terra-cotta flower pot, unglazed, with drainage hole (about 20" high and 15-20" opening diameter)
    1 large terra-cotta bowl planter (same opening diameter as large pot), unglazed, with drainage hole
    1 adjustable variable-heat hot plate (extension cord if necessary)
    1 9" metal pie plate
    Chunks of hardwood, for smoking (your preference – Alton used hickory)
    1 metal grate from a kettle-type charcoal grill, to fit inside smoker above but not touching wood
    1 meat thermometer with a diameter large enough to sit on top of bowl's drainage hole

    Place 2x4’s on edge in a triangular position, and place large flower pot on top of them, adjusting them so that it is steady. Place hot plate in bottom of pot, running the cord out through the drainage hole. Place the pie plate onto the hot plate, and fill with several chunks of hardwood, keeping a single layer. (Chunks should be approximately the size of a 4” cube.) Place grill grate inside pot (this should be above the wood – suspended several inches from top of pot – find one that fits!) place bowl-shaped planter upside down over pot, as a lid. Insert meat thermometer into the drainage hole. Plug in hot plate to preheat smoker to 210 degrees F. Place a 5 pound pork butt (or meat of choice) onto the grate, then, adjusting heat so that it stays at a steady 210 degrees F, smoke meat for 10-12 hours, checking for doneness after 10 hours (pulls apart easily). During this time, you will see smoke die down periodically (approximately three times during the 10-12 hour time period). When this happens, quickly open the smoker, remove meat grate, and empty the pie plate in a fireproof receptacle, replacing the charred wood with fresh. Replace all, and continue smoking. Enjoy!



    Instead of setting it on 2x4's and using the hotplate, create a firebox, and run a steel pipe into the bottom of the clay pot off to the side of the firebox, through the drain hole of the flower pot.
     
  16. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Those are some great ideas guys and I'm sure Spoon will be grateful for all the excellent suggestions.In keeping with the help your brother spirit of the BOC I volunteer to test the products created by all these smokers FREE of CHARGE.Cmon you can't get a deal like that anywhere!!!!!I'll even provide a detailed after eating review in case any of your recipes need tweaking.I used to dabble in the smoking art when I lived in Colo and we made a very good one from an old fridge.As someone has said dont use the aluminium racks they will poison you and make sure children can't crawl in and suffocate.
     
  17. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Yes guys I am very gratefull for all of your ideas, they are all good! Also thanks to Jim for his brotherhood spirit, allways being there to contribute and volunteer his services Free of Charge. Now where else can you find such a wealth of knowledge and such a fine group of people willing to help..... :thumbsup:
    'Smoke em if you got em'
     
  18. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Cold smoker, or hot smoker? If you're talking about cold smoking, the problem is generally how to avoid too much heat. I once tried making some jerky in a fridge, with a 100 watt light bulb inside for a heat source. It got so hot it ruined the jerky and melted the plastic inside the fridge. Melted/burning plastic can give off toxic gases, such as formaldehyde and phosgene; it might be safe at temperatures below 150 degrees, but I'm not at all sure. I'm not familiar with using aluminum racks, so I can't offer an opinion as to their safety at various temperatures, but chrome is safe at low temps and dangerous at higher temps. Never use a chrome rack to grill on.
     
  19. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    Don't know if anyone has said this,if they have any Bar B Que Cookoff's
    around you,you might want to go to one.They will have every kind of pit or smoker there is at one.Most of the folks,are real nice,and will show you there's.You might even get some free plans.Just a option you might try.
    My brother in law cooks at them,we go every once in a while,and you will see anything from a 55gal. barrel pit to some several thousand $$$ pits.Most of the people take it pretty serious.
    Leakyboat
     
  20. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,512
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    and man is there some good q at them cookoffs too :p