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Build Your Own Smoker in a Few Easy Steps

Posted on Apr 12, 2014 in Electric Smokers

Smoking meat and other foods is a great way of preparing them, and nowadays, thanks to the technology of electric smokers, the task is easier than ever. Nevertheless, an electric smoker can cost from a few hundred dollars to a few thousands, depending on the model and so on; since not everyone can afford that, the remaining option is to build your own smoker. You could choose between a smoke house and a smoker, but the first would require more than carpentry skills, and the endeavor could be too large. On the other hand, building your own electric smoker is not, especially if you’re handy and skilled with things like these. So if you’re interested in this, keep reading for more details.

Smokers are based on a few quite simple principles, and once you understand them it will be much easier to build your own smoker; the first thing you have to know is that a smoker is generally split into two compartments: one of them holds the heat and smoke, and the other is a place to hold the meat or foods in a controlled environment, at stable temperatures and with proper air flow that helps circulate the smoke. Thus, first you have to choose the object you’ll be turning into a smoker; its size depends on your needs or what you’re trying to achieve. Some great containers that will do for a smoker are barrels, trash cans made from metal alloys, or even two large ceramic pots that fit together, mouth to mouth. Two of these examples can be observed in the pictures featured here, and you can also get an idea of what other objects you will need in order to complete the task.

That being said, you should know that stone and brick are the best materials for a smoker, because they hold the heat better, so it is easier for you to control temperatures. In that respect, the home-made smoker from ceramic pots was probably very successful, and didn’t require too much effort either; moreover, the pots already come with built-in vents, which you can cover with some corks when you don’t need to use them. As for other types of containers, just make sure that when you build fire in there, the materials don’t catch fire, or release unpleasant smells with the smoke.  So when you want to build your own smoker, also make sure you can compartmentalize it.

Build the fire in the lower compartment, and add the wood chips and shavings that provide that much-needed flavor and aroma; you will have to find a kind of grill that sits well inside the container, and which can be easily removed mid-smoking as well, because you’ll probably have to kindle the fire from time to time. You should also invest in a meat thermometer, since your homemade contraption isn’t as accurate as store-bought electric smokers. If you’re not sure you can build your own smoker very well, test it with a smaller piece of meat in the beginning, to see where there are glitches you could fix. Finally, as a small tip, if you can’t seem to seal the two parts of your smoker, or your smoker’s lid properly, make some flour dough and use it as sealant around the edges. You will remove it easily afterwards, and you can always make more for future uses.