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Thread: homemade smoker plans or ideas?
12-18-2011, 04:18 AM #1
homemade smoker plans or ideas?
I have been thinking about making a smoker for meat. does anyone have any experience and/or thought about this?
I know there are for sure 'meat smoker groups' and I should check them out but I like this group!
12-18-2011, 05:14 AM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
- Middle of nowhere, Minnesota
- Blog Entries
How big are you wanting to go?
Do you want to be able to cold smoke with it as well?
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.
12-18-2011, 05:36 AM #3
I have an old refrigerator could use...
Cold/hot to be honest I am pretty ignorant about this.
12-18-2011, 03:08 PM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
A typical BBQ uses direct heat over a short distance to sear the food. Cold smoking is an art unto itself. I'll leave HNSB to talk about that.
The smoker works by using indirect heat relatively removed by distance, or a barrier to prevent direct heat and often only a pan of water which adds humidity. The heat contained in the smoke does the work, that incidentally adds a flavor to the food.
A tall box/tube with a small fire in the bottom and the meat held by a rack suspended near the top of the tube is one design. They can be electric, LP or charcoal. This link is only an example, I've never used like this. Vertical Smokers for every enthusiast - Built to last with quality materials
Take that arrangement and lay it on its side and you have a side draft smoker where the fire burns in a small separate chamber and the smoke fills a larger tube. Most sold are direct flow, this one is an intriguing variation on the theme: Building an italian offset smoker The side burners work very well simply burning wood, charcoal is not required.
One of these will give you so many options for cooking its my admission I wasted years trying to master the above sheet metal designs, all the while I had piles of refractory laying around the shop that I could have made one like this. Google "ceramic grill" and you will get a lot of links. There are Asian and Latin variations of this thing. Green Egg made the most market introduction. If you look around and stay away from the name brand websites, you can find a serious discount. The dealer we used gave us a 20% discount on all accessories for one year. His mistake was including charcoal. And me burning a lot making smelted steel. Hooboy was that a good deal!
Here's the real selling point. The sheet metal designs radiate away a lot of the heat you want cooking your food. Because of that you have to run them hotter, that is harder to control effectively, and you burn more fuel. The refractory ceramic (probably clay) holds the heat in so well that you burn a lot less charcoal. It will smoke on one load of charcoal for 12 hours if you wanted that and hold the set temperature for that length of time. You can sear a steak at 800 F or slow cook near 150 F. Charcoal baking, pizza. This thing works. It's made of material that will crack if dropped, but I expect my grandkids to be using this thing.
You can cook food on any one of these designs. I'll freely admit I came late to the ceramic type and I should have known better or figured it out for my self. Duh.
Last edited by Mike Blue; 12-18-2011 at 03:11 PM.
12-18-2011, 04:17 PM #5
I'm a green egg convert and user. Saer meat at 700* or smoke ribs at 190*. The egg has attachments for indirect heat cooking that serves as a barrier for smoking meats. And the taste of the natural charcoal on the meat, is incredible. Double O
12-19-2011, 03:02 AM #6
I have actually been wanting to make one. I have one of the premade cylinder types but its too small to really do a lot with. I am planning to make a larger cylinder/trash can type smoker out of a 55 gallon drum. I saw somewhere online where a guy had plans but I can't find the link now. He found a brand of cheap charcoal grill that he gutted and used because the parts from it fit the 55 gal drum with minimal mods. He was able to use the grill lid as is and I believe the grill grate as well. If I remember right he used a large stainless mixing bowl from Wally World for the water bowl and he made vents in the bottom of the drum to control air flow over the coals.
You Tube is a decent place to look for instructions and building a lot of this kind of stuff.
12-19-2011, 03:33 AM #7
I'll try to find the pictures of the cold smoker I helped my friend build last summer. It was easy to make and inexpensive. The fire box is just a metal drum. A length of stove pipe leaves the drum and enters an extra large rubbermaid tote. The tote has a rack in it and sits down in an ice bath. Works perfectly.
12-19-2011, 05:17 AM #8
take a 55gal drum and cut a flap out of the side and put a rack in it you can burn a smolderign fire below the rack to hot smoke or cut another hole in the bottom and use dryer duct and connect it to another drum to use a a fire box then the smoke would have a chance to cool if you want to cold smoke cheeses and stuff. if you want to pm me and ill explain it more i did it once for a buddy and it wrks great, not much skill required just some basic tools and some imagination,
12-22-2011, 04:49 AM #9
here tim this is what i as talkign about for a flap on your barrel and here is a mounting idea, its really up to you i said 6 in legs but thes look alot higher,
onethe end thats facing the camera is where i would put the pipe hole that brings the smoke from the fire box below the rack of course
Last edited by Deerhunter1995; 12-22-2011 at 04:52 AM.
12-22-2011, 04:55 AM #10
hey tim if you have a refridge you can youse than get rid of the racks it has and get some bbg grill racks for it and cut a hole in the side and pipe smoke in from your fire barrel if you dont ant to cut up a drum put the pip toards the bottom of the fridge.