Looking for ideas for a DIY smokehouse

Arcticmanak

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
189
Location
Alaska
I am wanting to build a smokehouse for hot/cold smoking of game meat and fish. I have an older small wood stove I could use, and I'm thinking of building a box or cabinet and running the stovepipe up into the bottom of it. What is the best material to use for the smoker box for both longevity and function? Block, wood, metal (what kind?), repurposed outhouse? :) Is pallet wood a good source, or has that often been chemically treated? I'm looking for ideas, do's and don'ts.
Thanks.
 

Wapiti1

WKR
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,577
Location
Indiana
So, you're basically looking at building an offset smoker. Steel is the standard material for the smoke box. You could do wood, but I would do a double wall, overlapping board to make it as air tight as possible. Wood limits you to 400F MAX temp. Not a problem if smoking is your goal.

Steel doesn't care. For steel, old propane tanks work well, or you can fab a box out of 3/16-1/4 steel. The door needs to seal in some fashion. Like a rope gasket, or silicon gasket. And you need a damper on the stack and air inlet to the firebox. Temp control is PARAMOUNT.

If I had a stove as a fire box, I'd build a vertical box about 3'X3' and 4 to 6 feet tall. Load it through a front door. I'd duct the firebox chimney into it at the bottom with double wall flue pipe and put a simple slide damper on top of the smoke box. If I wanted to smoke in the winter, I'd double wall the smoke box as well with fiber insulation, unless it was wood, then I wouldn't worry about it. However, in warm weather, keeping the heat down would be a challenge with a big firebox.

Jeremy
 

49ereric

WKR
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Jun 21, 2022
Messages
852
Just don’t use block neighbor did when I was a kid and it didn’t work.
old frig was the best but those metal frigs are long gone.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
971
I have a maytag dishwasher that was a pita as as dishwasher that I am planning on making into a smoker . I pulled the pump and guts out of it . It is stainless steel and actually the racks slide in and out quite nicely. Meat hooks will hang on them as well . It's life as a smoker may be better than a dishwasher as it was junk . Hard to fine old metal fridges these days . Good luck
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
969
We always use plywood. If you want you can insulate with 1.5” or 2” foam. Then another outer layer of plywood.

I think the main thing to start with is the racks. Unless you tig weld or similar.
It always seems the racks are the difficult part to source.
So I tend to buy the racks first. Then build a smoker box to fit the racks.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
51
Location
SW Idaho
I've been contemplating something like this, but built with sheet metal, situated over my existing fire pit.

 

WoodBow

WKR
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
1,769
I built a small one out of cedar fence pickets from a buddies fence he tore down. It is about 6 feet tall and 2.5' X 2/5'. I put my turkey fryer burner in the bottom with the stand removed. I put a piece of 16 gauge steel on top of it to distribute the heat a bit more evenly. I put wood pellet directly on the steel plate for smoke. Last time I used it I found that I could just place a piece of hickory wood right on there and it worked great. Obviously the pellets burn up after a bit and have to be replenished. A solid piece of wood lasts a long time. I thought about welding a little frame to hold a piece of wood vertically. It would lasts a long time like that. Produces plenty of smoke. I adjust the burner to adjust temp. I have only used this for sausage and jerky so far.
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NRA4LIFE

WKR
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
washington
If you can find an old, old fridge with the latching door, that is money. I built mine 20+ years ago (an old Hotpoint I got free) and it is still a smokin just like day one. Just be aware that many of those old ones used corrugated cardboard for wall insulation. You will want to replace that with some heat proof soft glass insulation. I have an electric burner for heat and several different types of A-Maz-In smoke gadgets. If I run just the smoke part I can keep the smoker at 75-80 deg. for cheese.
 
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