Author Topic: DIY Smoker  (Read 1349 times)

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Offline RBLusthaus

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DIY Smoker
« on: November 28, 2017, 08:55:29 am »
Hi guys

Looking to make some jerky, lots of jerky.  I am looking for some advise on what to build in the yard, smoke house wise.  I am thinking electric, for the set and forget benefits, and would like it to be mobile, so I can put it away when not in use. 

I could build a wood box with doors and vents, with a heating element in the bottom, but am worried about the box catching fire.  As temps for jerking meat range between 150-180 degrees F, I am not worried about fire when making jerky.  That said, if I go to all this trouble, I might as well make a box capable of really smoking meats, and at the higher temps required, I am worried about the wood box and the possibility of fire. 

Anybody built there own smoker?  Anybody have some tips for making jerkey?  Should I give up on the idea of building out of wood?  All advice welcome.  Thanks.

Russ


   

Offline Stoker

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 11:07:30 am »
I've built a few.. I would suggest gutting a freezer or fridge and using a hot plate.. A double burner is best one small one big (Walmart)...
I got a bunch of fridge racks from a repair guy that was just recycling.. A meat probe for a temp gauge in the door..
Here's mine I built a few years ago..
It's built on a 4x4 wood pellet.. Portable if you got a forklift.. almost 7' high.. 3 5/8 metal studs R-12 insulation 5/8 drywall.. outside is 3/8 plywood.. sided and roof is shingled..  Steel door and frame...  Best thing all scavenged from the dumpster at different jobsites..
The heat.. Propane fired.. A gravity furnace out of a old truck camper.. Great thing about this is temperature regulated.. Also installed a fan for air circulation.. No hot spots.. CHEAPEST bath fan you can buy.. Controlled by a dimmer switch for ultimate temperature control..
The pics
Bacon is food DUCT tape - Cipriano

Offline Stoker

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 11:10:15 am »
Some more....

Can be scaled down.. You get the idea......
Thanks Leroy
Bacon is food DUCT tape - Cipriano

Offline Ed Brooks

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 06:20:23 am »
here is a look at the one I built. I use a fire in it. i have a foundation under the 2 1/2 block and then extend it up about 6 more feet.
It's in my blood...

Centralia WA,

Offline Stoker

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 08:41:43 am »
That looks awesome Ed.. I miss my brick one I built at my last place..
Thanks Leroy
Bacon is food DUCT tape - Cipriano

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 08:49:52 am »
Ed, now that's a smoke house!!  Old style!  I remember seeing those on almost every farm when I was a kid.  There was one on a place near here, but I think the new owners tore it down a few years ago, dang it.  Change is constant, progress is optional!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline RBLusthaus

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 12:06:46 pm »
They both look awesome, although not very mobile.

Ed, are you not ever worried about the whole house catching fire?

Leroy - drywall lined???  Can you keep it clean?  I assume no paint or anything, right?  Is there no fire danger with drywall?  What an interesting idea.  Just so I understand, the propane fed furnace in the bottom of the house is temp controlled, and the bath fan and dimmer help keep the temp even throughout the box, or is the temp control achieved by fiddling the fan and opening and closing vents?  Do you have the fan exhausting air out the top, or just directing the air flow to swirl around inside the box?  I also assume vents both top and bottom to adjust airflow?

Thanks for the pics and tips.

Russ   

Offline Stoker

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 01:23:38 pm »
Hi Russ.. If portability is a concern I would build one out of a old fridge, one of the metal lined ones.. I used the pics of mine to show concept of what's happening..
Heat - I need propane because of the heat I need to generate to cook pepperoni or salami .. I can also use a hot plate for cold smoking..           depending on outside temps either could be used for jerky...
Air circulation - 2 vents  4x10 floor register adjustable vents.. 1 at bottom right of door side. 1 top left of door side.. The old cross vent trick..
The fan dead center top 3'' venting pipe that goes down in a corner, don't matter which one stopping about a foot from the floor.. Yes it is hooked up to the dimmer switch to control speed.. Opening and closing of vent or vents will control amount of smoke and air flow.. A learned skill.. Hence the reason for the temp gauge in the door at cooking height.. That's why they make beer...
Drywall - Well that's what I had.. 5/8 type X fireguard.. It gets smoked but my meat doesn't touch the sides.. I plan on replacing it with sheet metal one day..
Any more questions I'd be happy to answer them..
Thanks Leroy
Bacon is food DUCT tape - Cipriano

Offline Ed Brooks

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 07:16:46 am »
Thank you commenting on my ol smoker.
Russ, fire is always on the back of my mind every time I use it. I try to keep the fire down low so it's more smoke than flames. but it is a cedar house, so maybe one day it will just be a foundation. I built it a long way from the houses for that reason. Ed
It's in my blood...

Centralia WA,

Offline lebhuntfish

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 08:25:55 am »
A buddy of mine built one out of 2 heavy duty file cabinets stack on top of each other.  Fish cooker burner in the bottom for heat.  He cut the draw front off and hinged them then cut the bottom out of the draws, put a vent in the top..  Works slick,  just open the door and slide out the racks. I think he found it online.  Two wheel dolly and its rolling!

Patrick
Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout!

Missouri, where all the best wood is! Well maybe not the straightest!

Building a bow has been the most rewarding, peaceful, and frustrating things I have ever made with my own two hands!

Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 12:06:01 pm »
A buddy of mine built one out of 2 heavy duty file cabinets stack on top of each other.  Fish cooker burner in the bottom for heat.  He cut the draw front off and hinged them then cut the bottom out of the draws, put a vent in the top..  Works slick,  just open the door and slide out the racks. I think he found it online.  Two wheel dolly and its rolling!

Patrick

Aren't they painted?
Home of heat-treating, Corbeil, On.  Canada

Marc@Ironwoodbowyer.com

Offline Pat B

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2017, 01:31:37 pm »
That just adds extra flavor, Marc.   ;)
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline lebhuntfish

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2017, 07:31:42 am »
A buddy of mine built one out of 2 heavy duty file cabinets stack on top of each other.  Fish cooker burner in the bottom for heat.  He cut the draw front off and hinged them then cut the bottom out of the draws, put a vent in the top..  Works slick,  just open the door and slide out the racks. I think he found it online.  Two wheel dolly and its rolling!

Patrick

Aren't they painted?

Yep, they are,  but we burnt off all the paint and oil after it was asembled.  We turned the heat up all the way,  it got to just shy of 800 degrees,  let it burn for about 8 hours.  Believe it or not, the outside is still nice and cream colored.  But the inside was all slicked off.  My buddy has been using it all summer,  Ive even smoked a few beer can chickens in it.  They came out awesome!

Patrick
Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout!

Missouri, where all the best wood is! Well maybe not the straightest!

Building a bow has been the most rewarding, peaceful, and frustrating things I have ever made with my own two hands!

Offline archeryrob

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Re: DIY Smoker
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2018, 05:11:34 am »
I would suggest some reading on here. There is a lot of safety stuff posted on here about special burners to use if you get propane as several people have blown themselves up.
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forums/smoke-houses.200/

I use wood fired and attached a first day of spring picture of it.  ;D
"If you can't have fun doing it, it ain't worth doing, or you're just doing it wrong."