- Education and Science
How To Build A Food Smoker
Build A Smokehouse or A Food Smoker
During my youth, the smokehouse was out the back door of the home I lived in.
There was always Sausage, bacon and ham in that smokehouse. It was one of those things in life that I just took for granted like so many things of my youth.
I loved that smokehouse, the smells were unforgettable and oh the taste of that ham.
You can create those same smokehouse memories today:
For every skill level of "Do It Yourself" there is a smokehouse or food smoker design available.
Some smokehouse designs are complex and some food smoker designs are extremely simplistic.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered a plate full of succulent, mouth watering, fall off the bone, ribs?
Create that same wonderful smell and flavor in your own home. The wonderful taste of fantastic smoked BBQ is only beaten, when you do it yourself.
Now you have the opportunity to not only smoke foods you love, but to build your very own smoker or smokehouse.
There are many types, styles and ways to build a smoker and I am going to show you as many as possible.
Intelligence is something we are born with. BBQ'ing is a skill that must be learned" - Edward de Bo
How To Build A Smokehouse or Food Smoker and Where to Begin
The wonderful flavor of smoked meat and smoked cheese is something that most of us love.
Is the price at the grocery store more than you are willing to spend on a regular basis? If so, what is the answer?
Build your own food smoker or smokehouse!
If you have decided to build a smoker, what do you need?
the first consideration is, what are you going to smoke in your new smoker?
Do you plan to use your smoker to cold smoke or hot smoke your meat and other items? Fish and poultry is usually hot smoked and needs a temperature of 190 degrees to 200 degrees, of course this depends on the recipe you choose to use. Most meats and cheese are cold smoked usually at a temperature around 90 degrees.
The above are guidelines and there are always exceptions. If you want to smoke cook meat for to days meal, you would cook your roast while smoking it ... Hot Smoked. Cold smoking adds flavor and preservation to the meat.
Location is the second consideration. No matter how much you might love the smell from a great Bar-B-Que, you may not want that smell throughout your home in the summer months when the windows are open. You want to be able to locate your new smoker or smoke house far enough from the house so the distance and wind can eliminate the smoke. Portable smokers are not usually a problem; you just move it to the location before use. If you are looking to build a permanent smokehouse, then you need to give this a great deal of consideration before you start building.
Size now becomes the third consideration. How much will you be smoking at one time? Are you going to be smoking large items like turkeys or small items like blocks of cheese or sausage links? If you only intend to smoke items like sausages then you could design you smokehouse narrower and taller. If you want to smoke large items like turkeys and roast then you would want a larger floor area for your smoker.
At this point you probably can understand why many of us that love to create smoked foods also have a number of different types of smokers. Welcome to the wonderful world of the smokehouse
how to build a smokehouse
The ease of building a smoke house
Building a Smokehouse does not need to be complicated or expensive. If you are even a little handy with tools you can build a smoke house today!
Build a normal structure type building of the size you need and put good insulation on the walls. Purchase the cheapest materials that you can possibly locate. I know, concrete is not cheap so what about the floor? The truth is, your smokehouse does not need a floor, you can place if on bare ground. When you have your box building built, cut a hole about 12 inches up from the bottom big enough to accept a 3" double wall heater vent. Now on the opposite wall repeat this at the top of your structure and place a cap on the pipe.
Add some racks, hooks and shelves inside you new building and you are almost ready to go.
The next step is to build a fire box outside from your building to connect to the intake vent you cut into your smokehouse building. Remember the one you placed about 12" from the ground? You need to place this box far enough from the building to warm the building inside to about 90 degrees with the roof vent opened full. When you close the roof vent the building should be able to reach 170 to 200 degrees. This distance and the size of your fire box will be how you get within the temperature range.
There, not really very hard to build a smokehouse
Building A Smokehouse: Local Zoning Law
save your self some aggravation
Before you look further into building a smoke house, I feel obligated to include this piece of advise for anyone that is considering building a permanent structure as a smoke house.
You need to check with your local agencies about zoning considerations. Different localities will have different restrictions. You may need to place your smokehouse a minimum distance from your property line. materials used may be dictated by local law, such as using flame retardant materials. Are you going to have running water of electric installed in your smoke house? If so, these will be a consideration that may need to be approved through local law.
Even if your smoker is portable, you might get a visit from the local authorities if someone complains about the smoke at all hours. You need to consider your neighbors before you place that nice butt on to smoke-cook for 12 hours.
About Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Designs
The best book about building smokehouses using anything from old refrigerators, barrels, masonry blocks and some creative materials.
What causes this book to be heads above other smokehouse books is the volumes of knowledge about smoking meats provided by Stanley Marianski,
More than 100 detailed drawings and 50 photographs guiding you through the building and smoking processes and the confidence the book instills through its professionalism and readability for any level of expertise.
The first half of the book describes the basic principles of smoking, curing, cooking, storing and smoking meats and poultry.
The second half helps you, through highly detailed and comprehensive designs, build your own smokehouse.
The information is written in a clear to understand and follow language. The information is first class and accurate.
There are so many books on the market about meat processing, making sausages and many other meat related subjects that it is a real pleasure to see once in a great while a book of this sort actually worth reading and gaining knowledge from it.
I have seen this book offered on other sites for as much as $28.99!
The Texas Style BBQ Plans
If you love traditional smoked food barbecue like me, then this is your grill. Don't you love that smooth smoky flavor wood gives to all your Bar-B-Que foods?
This is a do-it-yourself welding project that won't cost a fortune to build.
Free Guide to Build Your Own Texas Grill
Looking Around The Smokehouse
Here is a quick look inside the smokehouse. If you don't find it here, you can request what your looking for and get a look at it in a couple seconds.
The Texas Style Smoker Bar-B-Que
This is a very common type smoker that you can find at any number of outlets. They are easy to use and convenient for a lot of folks.
These also come in different sizes and of course different price ranges. I got one that is a medium size somewhere around 36"x20" for the cooking surface. You can buy these with an outside firebox and they are great starter units that run around $200.00
If you would like this style and you are handy then check out The Texas Style BBQ Plans
Traditional Smoke House
A great Story about building a Smokehouse and using it.
"Smoke houses are one of those curious family traditions. Either you grew up with one or you did not."
"Having grown up with a smoke house, it seems impossible to prepare meat without one. I see products like smokehouse barbecue sauce and liquid smoke and just laugh. People always buy this prepackaged junk that is supposed to emulate the smoke house flavor, without even being aware of what they are missing out on. Most people don't even realize what smoke house meat tastes like. The taste really defies explanation." Read The Whole Story
Cowgirls Homemade Smoker
A Cowgirls Drum Smoker
This is my new must have design
If I gave out an award for Smoker Design of the year, this would most likely win hands down.
I have fallen in love with this drum smoker and you can believe I will have one before this spring rolls around.
If you are looking for a design to build your own smoker and also want something that shouts style, this barrel smoker could be just what you are looking for.
Check This Out...
Smokehouse Tip # 1
If you hang pieces of ham and beef they can keep
for years, but will be very tough to eat.
Professional Barbecue Recipes! Competition style ribs, butts, chicken, and beef brisket...
Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered a plate full of succulent, mouth watering, fall off the bone, ribs? Would you believe me if I told you that competition BBQ is better than any barbecue you can get in any restaurant? Now... you can learn the secret barbecue recipes of barbecue Pro s. Soon you ll be able to cook on a level that you never knew even existed. Read on...
double barrel smoker
This design is from the book "Real Barbecue" by Greg Johnson and Vince Staten. Their philosophy with the Big Baby is to take stuff that's more or less lying around and turn it into a smoker that works on the same principles as the $1,600 jobbies that the pros sell.
The essential function of a top-notch barbecue smoker is to keep the meat entrusted to it comfortably separated from flames and direct heat and yet in the path of the hot air and smoke that give it its flavor.
For more information on the
Double Barrel Smoker Click Here!
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Building a Cold Smoker - Smokehouse Combination
Free Smokehouse Design
I love this design from Cowgirl. If I had a good area to build a permanent smokehouse, this would be extremely high on my list of possible designs.
Cowgirl has fantastic pictures and step by step instructions for construction
My original smokehouse plan was to make something big enough to cold smoke two pigs worth of hams and bacon at a time.
I only butcher pigs once or twice a year for curing,....but I cook several pigs a year on my cinder block pit.
I wanted a smoke box that I could set right on my block pit, and run a pipe from a separate smoke/fire box to create the cold smoke. Use my cinder block cooker for both hot smoking and cold.
As it turned out, I decided (after I built the box) to make the little smokehouse permanent. Continue...
How To Smoke Food
You have built your Smokehouse or Smoker ... Now What?
You are going to need to know
How To Smoke Food.
Be sure to check out my Lens on smoking foods - choosing the right wood, marinade, sauce recipes. You will also find smoking times and temperatures and more.
How To Smoke Foods
Making a Weber into a cold smoker - small modifications to convert your old kettle to a cold smoker
You will see in this video that with a little imagination you can build your own cold smoker from that old kettle BBQ you have laying around. The nice thing about this conversion is, you can still use it as a BBQ Grill any time you want
Naughty Salmon Dip
12 ounces canned salmon
3/4 cup Miracle Whip (may substitute with mayonnaise)
3 oz. of cream cheese
1/4 cup horseradish sauce
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup diced red onions
2 Jalapeno peppers diced
2 tablespoons Lime Juice
1 teaspoon grated lime
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Throw everything in a food processor and mix in low speed for about five minutes till all the ingredients are nicely mixed.
Cover with wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for best results.
Serve with Crackers
For more great ways to use your Smoked Salmon visit my Squidoo Lens "Smoked Salmon Recipes"
Visit the Smoke House
Ideas and suggestions for all your smoker needs
You have taken the time to get your own smoker, so are you ready for the next step? Before you fire up your smoker there are some things you will want to know
I have created a Squidoo lens that covers your smoker needs from wood selection for the smoke to how to marinade your fresh fish.
Don't forget to stop over at the smokehouse for suggestions and tips on the best methods to smoke your food today.
The Big Smokey
Here is another fantastic Double Barrel Smoker with great pictures and easy to follow instructions.
the Big Smokey is easy to build and cost nothing next to those pro jobs. I've outlined the steps to make the smoker under the construction area. They include color photos and some friendly advise with a list of the tools needed to make Big Smokey.
For more information for building the Big Smokey
Click Here Now!
Smokehouse Tip # 2
Smoked meats improve with age and are best kept in a dry area. They can hang in the pantry or meat safe and should be washed then dried with paper towel before storage.
Quick Build Cold Smoker - This is so simple I could hardly believe my eyes
You can turn any BBQ - Grill - Smoker or cardboard box into a cold smoker.
How to Make Home Made Sausage
Making sausage at home is easy and fun to do. You can create your very own gourmet Sausage today.
Building A Cold Smoker Plans
Easy and Inexpensive Cold Smoker Plans
Do you want to smoke some Cheese? Then you need a Cold Smoker. Building a Cold smoker is quite simple once you understand the basics and know what to avoid.
Mainly, since you are cold smoking, you need to avoid heat. If you have a smoker unit already, then the heat source is more than likely inside the unit and no matter what you try, you end up with heat making cold smoking next to impossible, especially for an item like Smoked Cheese.
You need to keep the heat and smoke source separate from the smoking chamber. You can use a large cardboard box for the smoke room, if you are cold smoking, as there is no heat in the unit. Then on a heat source you can place a pan with your wood chips on a small burner. You place a lid on the pan that has a long flex tube that runs to the top of your cardboard box, you also need another hole for the smoke to exit the box, this is usually on the opposite side and near the bottom. There you have a simple, inexpensive cold smoker.
You could use an old tea kettle and run some flex pipe to the cardboard box or even build a nice wooden box for the smoke chamber.
These instructions are over simplified. If you are interested in building a cold smoker, just click - Building A Cold Smoker. You will find complete instructions and pictures.
Another Free set of Smoke House Plans
Get your free plans here
This is a more permanent type structure. You will build a wood framed smokehouse that is 6x8x8 with a gabled roof. The fire box is a separate unit. For the free pdf plans:
Smokehouse Tip # 3
Once the smoked meat is open keep it in the fridge, but don't cover with plastic it needs air.
Smokehouse in action - smoking red salmon
A must watch video if you want to understand what is involved in smoking your own food.
How To Make A Trash Can Smoker
Here is a Portable - Simple - Inexpensive Smoker Design
Recently my good friend Martin moved back to Kansas from LA. When he left, he took his smoker with him. This left me without access to a smoker. This is A Bad Thing. Smoked food is one of life's great pleasures. I decided that I need to make my own smoker.
Trash can smokers are great. Here's a few helpful hints:
Drill at least 8, 1/2″ holes in the bottom below the fire grate and 8 in the lid. My first attempt was poorly ventilated and the fire kept going out. I then use aluminum foil plugs to cover the holes to regulate air flow and control temperature.
Season your trash can smoker before you actually put food in it. Get a rip roarin fire going to evaporate all the coating off the inside.
Definitely use a water tray between the food and the fire. It catches grease, keeps the trash can smoker humid and prevents flare-ups.
Get a $7 candy thermometer at a place like Bed Bath and Beyond, drill a small hole in your smoker and stick that baby in there. It's the best way to monitor the temperature
Adding To Your Smokehouse Library
No cook is complete without a great selection of cook books and no one that smokes food ever seems to have too many smoked food books. Here is a very nice selection of smoker cooking books that I personally like.
A Cajun Smoker
Here is my dream and project for later this winter ... will I be ready for spring?
You bet I will!
Smoked Food Is Not Trash
But you sure can get some dog gone good tasting food out of your trash can.
Smokehouse Tip # 4
You can warm smoked meat but be careful not to cook it. Simply cover with foil and heat in a low oven.
The Cajun Microwave
Where the Smokehouse meets the Barbecue Grill
Have you ever tried to put a 70 pound pig in your smoker? Tried to smoke cook a couple of Turkeys for dinner and still wanted to let the kids barbecue some dogs? I have and it does not work so well. The Cajun Microwave might just be the worlds greatest answer.
With the simple addition of some accessories you can slow smoke cook your favorite roast while grilling a few burgers and why not rotisserie cook a couple chickens at the same time.
To learn about the Cajun Microwave check out my Lens:
The StoveTop smoker is for all seasons and reasons
The idea of smoking your own foods might be appealing yet for many reasons, you do not feel its for you.
Perhaps you never fix enough food at once to make buying or building a smoker practical.
You only want to smoke foods a few times each year.
You prefer smoked foods when you are camping.
You want something that is quicker and easier.
There is a great answer if this is you ... Check out my Lens about
Best Smoked Food - Locate the best restaurants and suppliers for smoked food
Windy City is a Pizza and Barbecue restaurant that serves the best of both worlds.
Oh the fantastic smell of real honest to goodness smoked food and in a restaurant.
So you decided to build a smokehouse or a food smoker, now what? There are supplies you will need to operate your smoker and here are some of my favorite suppliers.
- The Sausage Source
We stock all of your sausage making needs; we carry everything to make gourmet dinners to backyard barbecues memorable occasions. These include our famous premixed sausage seasonings, home & commercial meat grinders & sausage stuffers, award-
- The Butcher Supply
A full line of supplies including smokehouse supplies, sausage kits to meat packing supplies.
SmokinLiciousÂ® originated to provide you, the consumer, with the best heartwood core wood chunks and wood chips from the well known trees of Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania. We specialize in selecting only those woods that are designed fo
Setting the opinion Standard - Your opinion does matter
How do you rate this Lens
More Resources from around the Net
- The Smoker King Â» Build a Custom Smoker
Smoking, grilling, and barbequing techniques and recipes by The Smoker King including mops, rubs, and sauces.
- Build Your Own Backyard Smoker - Popular Mechanics
Real barbecue involves cooking tougher, fattier cuts of meat like pork butt and beef brisket over a duration of 4 to 6 hours or longer at temperatures near the boiling point of water. The payoff: tough meat becomes flavorful and succulent, fat is ren
Doc's Texas Smoked BBQ - Smoked BBQ and Burgers
Went to Sonora, Ca in the Sierra Foothills and made a wonderful discovery.
Going north on highway 49, on the left side of the road is a small rustic building that houses Doc's Texas Smoked BBQ.
Doc will even smoke up a special occasion for you including your Christmas turkey.
Some of the nicest folks I have met in a long time and the food was fantastic. If you are in the area, be sure to stop in at Doc's, you will be glad you did.
How To Build A Food Smoker by DMedley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.