• RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

IndyEFI500

Building a new smoker

Recommended Posts

So I have decided that my smoker affliction is raring up again and I need to build something new.  I have seen a number of smoke houses on the internet that are made of cedar and look kind of like an old outhouse.  Me being me thinks that would be funny in our yard ( the wife agrees if I just get something nicer looking than my old refrigerator smoker).  So here is my thoughts on how to build one.  Pour a floating cement slab.  Keep some ready rod sticking out of it for the next step.  Then build forms to pour concrete walls about two foot high or so.  The ready rod will help anchor the slab to the walls.  On one side of the concrete walls leave an opening to attach a metal door for stoking the fire and removing ashes.  On top of the concrete wall build an all cedar smokehouse about four to five feet tall.  Probably build it taller in the front and shorter in the back for a pitched roof.  Here is where I am debating on really what to do.  I generally only smoke with small amounts of charcoal and the rest real wood such as oak pieces or apple, hickory or what ever I'm in the mood for.  Thus I think two feet of concrete should be more than enough as a firebox but am debating on using cement backer board to line the inside to make it even more fireproof.  I am wondering if the cement backer board is ok to use in a smoker or if I should just skip it.  I also want this to be somewhat insulated as we don't have much in the way of trees to the NW side of where I am building this and want to be able to use it in the winter.  With my current fridge I can just move it to a calm area on the other side of the house but this will not be movable.  I have two pics of kind of what I am going for enclosed.  If I had a little more room I would love to build the one with the work table.  Let me know your thoughts, ideas, concerns. 

Cedar smoker.jpg

smoke house 2 - 15- 09.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the type of smoker you want to build. I casually refer to them as either cold smokers or cookers. A true cold smoker would move the heat source and smoke generation farther away from the house so that it dissipates the heat and pushes the smoke to the house at a low temperature.In these you can do sausages, hams and a wide variety of sausages and cured meats. 

 

The ones you show that have the heat right in or right under the house will work great as well. We used on like this for a few decades to smoke our deer sausage. They will often require you to watch them much more closely IME to keep the smoke going while making sure you monitor the temp to keep it from getting too high.

 

Either way you can make a lot of great tasting  stuff in them. You just need to understand what the strengths and drawbacks are to each and which is a better fit for what you want to do.

 

I would consider maybe making it a bit taller so you can get multiple layers in there. As you can see, you can have the heat source in there and still have wood interior. But that increases the odds of a fire if you let the fire get out of control. I would also check with your insurance especially if it is going to be within 50 feet of your house. many companies will have a setback for anything that uses wood to make heat and especially if it isn't UL listed. I found out the hard way with a Canadian made outdoor corn fed boiler I bought many years back. 

 

Personally I am torn between doing what you are doing and building a fridge smoker out of an old metal refrigerator that I can get from a friend for free. If I do that I will put in a pellet feeder and controller to run the feeder and control the temp.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it were me, and it isn't, I would offset the firebox.    That would (should?) allow better control of the temperature and smoke, and easier firing.    

 

Sort of the wood version of those big smokers made out of old propane tanks.  

 

http://www.pbs.org/food/features/bbq-with-franklin-season-1-episode-4-the-pits/

 

Edited by delcecchi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thoughts.  I have tossed around the idea as well of an off set smoker.  The problem I have is in the size I want I can't find a heavy enough vessel without making one.  That would add to the cost greatly if I had to buy that much heavy steel.  I want heavy steel if I go that way as it will be residing on the NW side of the deck area and not much in the way of wind block in the winter. 

 

I am enclosing pics of my two current smokers.  "Big Sexy" was a 300 gallon fuel barrel that a friend of mine and I built.  We added dual fire boxes to it and have it set to do rods for sausage, a grill or a whole hog.  We use charcoal and oak slabs to fire it.  We can keep it as low as 125 for doing sausage or up to 400 for grilling.  We haven't tried grilling much with it but we are quite certain we could get more temperature out of it if we tried. 

 

The second is my refrigerator smoker.  This picture was not long after I first built it years ago.  I have made numerous changes to it now.  I do debate on making an offset smoke box for it and just keeping it instead.  Probably would save me time but I also hate to screw up something that works.  If I stay with regular or lump charcoal I can keep it pretty steady at 150 and have had it up to 325.  Now that I have switched to charcoal and oak chunks it is much harder to control. 

 

I have also thought about and like the pellet smokers but mine sit out  in the wide open and I don't want to be dragging them in and out of the garage all the time.  I have not heard of too many pellet smokers that can withstand being outdoors all the time.  If someone knows of one I'm all ears.  I really don't need to build another but it's been about three years since I built one and am kind of getting the itch.  Plus the wife says she would like something nicer in the back yard.  Let me know if anyone thinks of anything else. 

25126021080_e92cf1a297_c.jpg

IMG_0203.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many hundred people/ dozens of people/ you gonna be feeding at a time?   

 

The franklin bbq book has a lot of writing and opinions about smokers, and how they should be made and work. 

 

I have no experience on a large scale or with offset smokers so won't opine on the issue.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Sounds like you guys gave her heck up there to find them. I'd be praying thanks, too if I got that one on! ☺️
    • Quick recap:   Weather was too darn “nice”!  Upper 80’s - 90’s; no wind to speak of; mostly sunny. Water temps were anywhere from 64 - 71 depending on location and day.   We looked the lake over from end to end, marking up our map and returning to some places where we saw fish either later the same day or a couple days later.  We could literally see the transition from spawn to post spawn happening during our stay.  Being new to both muskie fishing and that lake, we spent time in dead water as much as good water but feel like we got a pretty good handle on how to go about setting up a more efficient return visit.  It was a lot work and long hours but I’d go back this weekend if I could so I must’ve enjoyed it.   A few pics as hoped for:
    • big dave 2 and leech, darn good lookin meals!!!!  Dave have a good weekend!!!!
    • Ok Dave have a good weekend. Hope you get over the whole butt hurt Leech deal! Not sure where you got that I don't like folks smoking or grilling things?  I know I do enough. Have fun! 🙂  
    • Heavy rains across northwestern Wisconsin last weekend and early this week have flooded some roads and caused washouts on some highways, roads, state parks, forests and trails. According to the National Weather Service the area has received 7 to 12 inches of rain from Friday through Monday.Several park system property or portions of properties are closed due flooding. Amnicon Falls State Park, closed temporarily but has reopened, though some roads, trails and observation areas remain closed. Pattison State Park is open for camping only; all trails, observation areas, picnic and day-use areas are closed. There are washouts on the dam that forms Interfalls Lake and Highway 35 over the dam is closed. A campground and horse trail are closed at Governor Knowles State Forest and the day use areas along the river at Interstate Park are underwater.Water was roaring over Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park.Photo credit: Gervase ThompsonAll rivers in the region are running extremely high. The falls at both Amnicon and Pattison are roaring, but road closures mean observing the falls now is challenging. The Bois Brule and Flambeau rivers are high enough that some canoe launches and campsites are underwater. The water is making its way downstream and the Lower Wisconsin River is running very high with all sandbars submerged and canoeing and kayaking not recommended. The river is expected to crest Muscoda this weekend at 40,000 cubic feet per second. .
    • I'm still going to smoke this fatty while camping this weekend whether Leech likes it or not.....😋       See you fellers on Monday........
    • Rick didn't like all the "My Grills bigger and better then yours" posts!  😅
    • We switched to a new server. Had a glitch in our dB that lost a couple days of posts.
    • I ripped a hole in one of my favorite pairs of fishing shorts just need a decent sized patch to cover her up
    • I am not sure what happened either but we lost all of the posts last couple days not just this thread. And it looks like the same thing happened over on FM site as well. I know the site was down last night while I tried look at it.