Homemade smoker ideas??



No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Homemade smoker ideas??

    Just wanted to start a thread on home built smoke houses. Gas electric wood whatever. I've been researching heating elements and materials but wanted to. See if people wanted to share ideas or pics of thier own

    My plans. Initially I was thinking of using a old standing freezer but my neighbors or my wife don't want to look at it so I was thinking of building a wooden box and a separate steel smoker chamber. I'm still looking for cheap metal racks which will determine the size of my smoker

    Initially I thought of just buying a commercial unit but they have such limited capacity. It's a long process I just want to do big batches and be done. Looking at mainly fish, jerky, and a run of sausage. When I was young we had a 8x8 cmu smoker with a separate smoke room. My family would do 1-2 thousand pounds of sausage over 4 days, it was a pretty big production, complete with bringing your own hog or steer to the party. Great memories and something they still do

    Anyway back to the point, I'm tired of the food dehydrator and don't like the size of the commercial units. So thinking of a 2 by 2 by 6 smoking shack with a converted BBQ for smoke production

    So how about it, tips, advise, or show off your handy work.

  • #2
    smokers- Next is a Scotch Smoke

    I've created about a half dozen smokers of various designs; the heaviest weighed a few tons but was designed to be lifted by forklift....

    But the easiest trick to adapt to your setup there is just the deal where I put my best hot-smoker down below, and the crummiest yet with good racks smoker up above, and routed the smoke up through the flexible aluminum dryer vents sold at Fred Meyer for cheap.

    Because the vent is expando, you can vary the distance between the two which regulates the heat in the far/cold smoker.

    Cheap to build and operate.

    My next batch will be a by-the-book Scotch Smoke, which is by far the most complicated and labor-intensive smoking process ever invented. The book I'm going by states that Outside in a 5 star restaurant if you order "smoked salmon" on the menu, it is a 98% chance it has been Scotch Smoked.

    Should be interesting.


    • #3
      Hot smoke or cold smoke? I built this smoker several years back and it worked well, until hornets set up house and wouldn't leave I was trying to build it on the cheap, so wanted to use a single sheet of plywood. ripping the ply in 1/2 and then cutting those 2' strips into two 3' and one 2' lengths produced a 3' tall 2' square box. The smoke box was an old cheap bbq that I used a holesaw to cut a 4" hole in the top, then fit a 4" flexible heater duct. Through a friend I got some 1/2" mesh stainless screen material that I cut and bent to make the 2' sq racks out of. The 4 racks will hold approximately 30 pounds of salmon strips. I would caution against using galvanized steel screen as I'd be concerned that the salted fish would react with the zinc and foul the fish.

      The fan is only used to dry the fish before and after smoking. You need to let the fish form a pellicle before smoking. Running the fan overnight seems to form a good pellicle. On my first batches I'd smoke the fish for several days to dry them out, but they were over smoked and had a nasty metalic taste. So now I only smoke a few hours, however long it takes my alder logs to smolder down, then when the fire is out the fan goes back in for a few days.

      A few notes, get your brining and smoking process down on small batches. You can dry brine and freeze fillets, then thaw them and cut into strips for future smoking. If you cold smoke in ambient temps in the 70's or higher the oils in the fish will go rancid. It's better to smoke in cooler temps.
      Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

      If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


      • #4


        • #5
          All good stuff, I do like the the one diagramed out in the pdf, and the idea of using stainless steel mesh for racks is great

          I'll start piecing together some parts, anyother ideas


          • #6
            Hey, great thread. Been thinking about this subject myself. I have a Brinkman gas smoker that has been great. Only problem is it has 2 racks, so I can fit about 3 fish total in there. But when I do a batch of fish or make up a bunch of jerky, I tend to do big batches at once. So with my limited rack space, it becomes an all day job (and then some). I've been thinking about making an extension to make my smoker taller, but I'm likely the ideas presented above better. I've also been wondering about cold smoking, thanks for the ideas guys!



            • #7
              i just this weekend made one guys out of my old big chief (which in my house moving got bent but the heating unit still works took a plywood crate the movers made for my standing black bear and put my unit in the bottom and racks up top works great gonna do some smoking this weekend.... i might buy a second heating unit for it if tempatures dont reach what i want them too... i'll let you know how it works.... i also took another larger crate and made a greenhouse already got my plants started!!!
              God Created Man Samuel Colt Made Them Equal


              • #8
                back yard smokers

                I built a lot of backyard smokers but I`m done with that now. For christmas I got a Skomin Tex 1400

                on sale at Sportsman`s for $400.
                It has 5 racks everything is SS,insulated with a 750 watt themostat controled element and it takes any chips. Will hold seven sockey on the racks. replacement parts and extra racks are easy to get
                I will never build another


                • #9
                  Pauls box is like one I built.
                  I used SS wood screws instead of wood blocks to hold the racks.
                  Go to a restaurant supply house get some SS doughnut racks 2x3, mine holds 15 racks, then I found a SS tray return box 6 foot tall and the racks slide in.


                  • #10
                    Used to work for a bakery doing delivers. They used transits to put trays of pastry for dlv. to their other stores. They had one the door fel off and was gonna throw it away and boss said I could have it. Got 6 perferated racks and one solid one. Got a door off another transit that got crushed and put an hot plate in the bottom. Havant had a chance to use it yet but got plans for jerky and smoked fish as soon as I can. This transit stands 6ft tall 18in wide and 2ft deep. Ought to be able to get a lot of stuff in it.

                    Gun Runner


                    • #11
                      I have played and expermented with this for a while. Needed something for both fish and sausage. Need the ability to cook at vaying temperatures with control. Finally landed on one that works to my satisfaction.

                      Box - Built from all scraps we had laying around - took left over tongue and groove cedar and covered a box made of plywood with it. Lined the burner portion of the box with aluminum. Made the rack holders of 1x2 lumber. Dual doors so I can attend to the burners without opening the box. Not too unsightly.

                      Racks - lumber with metal screen

                      Continued -


                      • #12

                        Ventilation - Intake on the bottom and exhaust out the top back - 4 inch pipe with dampers on both.

                        Burner - 1st try was propane - burned up an old refridgerator full of sausage - not good. 2nd try was 110 volt burners - burned up several trying to get something to stand up to hours of burning at various temps - Not successful in the long run.
                        3rd try - an old stove from the recycle lot - 220 volt burner, wiring, and switch all mounted in a sheetmetal box - This provides the burner for chip burning and will heat the smoker to about 110 with the dampers closed at 0 degrees. Added a separately wired 110 volt oven burner on a thermostat to provide heating of high temperatures needed for finishing sausage.

                        Other - Thermometer for easy read, rods for sausage hanging, fan for circulation as needed


                        • #13
                          Standup Freezer

                          I converted an old standup freezer into a smoker. I used a hole saw and drilled a hole in the top and one in the side at the bottom. Bought a $40 1200 watt electric frying pan and placed it on the bottom for an ajustable constant heat source. I set old soup cans with vent holes around the base filled with wood chips on the elec pan for smoke. I left the middle rack in place and removed the upper rack. I installed two sets of rod supports on the sides and used some scrap rebar to hang the meat from.

                          I placed about 60lbs of summer sausage, rings, and pepper sticks in the smoker. Set the temp to 250 degrees and had the inlet and exhaust holes wide open for the first few hours. I added the burning wood chips in the soup cans over the next few hours, closed down the outlet holes to about 1/4, and increased the temp to 350 degrees. The last six hours I closed down the inlet and exhaust holes completely and increased the temp control to 450 degrees.

                          The outside temp was in the teens and then fell to -20. The internal meat temp was rising about 2-5 degrees/hr for a majority of the process. In the end at -20 I was only able to get the summer sausage to 131 degrees and had to finish it in the oven for a few minutes to get it to 155-160.

                          Worked pretty good for the first run. Plan on improving the smoke source so I don't have to open the door and add a small fan to help drying process and for better smoke circulation so I dont have to open the door and rotate the around. Some of my meat turned a nice red and some didn't.


                          • #14
                            Smoker Ideas......

                            After years of making smokers of every size, shape and heat source, a couple of years ago I came across the following book which is entitled, "Putting Up Fish On The Kenai", by Hazel J. Felton, ISBN 0-938227-06-8. This book tells it all, along with pictures, recipes and much more. Golly, you'd think I'm trying to sell books! Actually it's the best $20 you'll ever spend with regards to smoking. Your local library might even carry this book or I'm sure if you ask them to add it to the library they probably will. Now that said I wanted to add they pre-Hazel J. Felton book I made a super smoker from a discarded donut proofing oven I found at a garage sale in Eagle River which has been an excellent smoker for my purposes. I can smoke up to 30 reds at a time, it has a built in thermostat and fan. I have a heck of a time trying to post pictures but if you would like you can email me at ejsuazo@ptialaska.net and I'll be more than happy to send you pictures of the donut proofer and my other smokers. Have fun.


                            • #15
                              Super smoker!!!


                              Footer Adsense