Building/buying a smoker - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Building/buying a smoker

I spent $450 on snack sticks and jerky last year. My little girl loves the pepperoni sticks so it may be time to build or buy my own. My only concern with buying is I've been reading they may not hold their temps outside in cold weather, which is when I'd do the majority of my smoking. Not sure if there is any truth to that.

To build one, I was thinking of a small cedar house on cement blocks, a pipe maybe two, connecting to a pit made of brick, for the wood and seasoned chips.


Any recommendations? I like the idea of building my own but field and stream have a "grill-like" one that is about $180.

I'm looking to do it right and make good meats, with some practice of course. Any +\- to building/buying in terms of quality meat?


Hope this thread is in the correct place,

Thanks!

It's a good spot. Just not today.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 10:17 AM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

I've been smoking for about 5 years now, so I'm by no means a seasoned expert. If you're going to purchase one, do a lot of research and find reviews that comment on how airtight it is. The heat loss coupled with the cold temps will do you in. One thing I've seen used is just a simple piece of sheet metal with bends in it. The metal is just simply wrapped around the smoker like a sleeve, but there's about a 3 inch gap all the way around. It basically stops the heat from escaping away from the smoker as fast.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 10:41 AM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

How big of a smoker do you want and how much are you going to use it? You can build them out of almost anything from garbage cans and 55 gallon drums to double door metal cabinets and even filing cabinets that people have lying around. Or go old school and build a shack. Do a search for homemade smoker and you'll find a lot of info.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 02:56 PM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

An old stand up freezer works great if you want to make your own. I converted a freezer to a smoker a few years ago. You need a couple 120V heating elements from a stove top range. If you want to get fancy, you can buy a rheostat, or a PID controller to keep the temps stable. I was able to smoke all winter long with all the self contained insulation.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 03:27 PM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

Stand up, glass door soda coolers with blown compressors can also be used. And you can see the smoking process.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 03:44 PM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

I built mine over 30 years ago. 4x4 square building looks just like an old out house. Fire on floor and racks above. Can smoke up to 150 lbs. of baloney, down to one turkey if I want. If I had to do over, I would do as you said...build a block firehouse off to the side with a damper on a smoke stack to control heat a little better. I have never had a problem with the outside temperature...no matter what time of year. I control heat several ways, but mainly by...amount of wood on the fire, distance of rack from the fire. Ventilation is just the cracks between joints of the frame. From outside it looks exactly like an outhouse. Got the idea from a friend who used his farm's converted outhouse as a smokehouse.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

On average I'd say 2-4 deer a year. Most of the deer will be smoked. Probably in 10-30 pound increments.

I do have an old refrig I could use I suppose. I use it to hang meat though.

Thanks for all the ideas. I was leaning toward a cedar house but there is a lot to consider.

It's a good spot. Just not today.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 11:21 PM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

I started building one out of a freezer and didn't like the way it was turning out soI bought a propane one from Sams Club. I believe it is a smoke hollow. It is perfect for me and I think I got it on sale for $150. I have used it on very cold days with no problem holding temp. I mainly do snack stick and summer sausage and I can do 30# at a time. It comes with several racks and hooks to hang meat. I'm very happy with it.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 08:37 PM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

I've been at it for only 4 years, but my Camp chef propane smoker does everything I need it to do-

Here's a tip-when you spend 4 hours prepping snack sticks, don't decide to cut the grass "quick"......

"FREEDOM ISN'T FREE"

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 11:17 AM
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Re: Building/buying a smoker

I built 1 for free loosely based on this design

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/smok...okehouse-block


I took some pics. I got block for free from a craigslist ad the barrel hood was my idea too also free. I've since punched a hole in the barrel hood and riveted in a length of stove pipe and thermometer. The only thing I actually bought was a quart of high temp grill paint. I made the fire pit 2 blocks deep and 2 blocks long. I don't have a good pic of the fire box
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