Getting ready to take the plunge and build it

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by ballagh, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    I have been planning this and thinking about this for about two years now, and with extra time on my hands now and plenty of construction ecperience, I think it is time to quit making American girl houses and campers and move on to my project :)

    I have some questions on things, and feel free to input on anything,

    Here is my idea.....

    Building a custom smokehouse in my backyard.

    Measurements are 3'x3'x6' front x5' back

    Triple heat source...Propane, Wood, and Electric Hot Plates. There would be a modular terracotta floor in it that would be able to change the hole size or eliminate the hole pending on which heat source I need to use.

    Side Steel Heatbox 2'x3'x2' with a piece of 4" steel leading to the smokehouse with a damper in it.

    My plan right now is to build the inside of the box with 12 or 14 gauge steel inside, with mesh racks, hooks welded to the ceiling, and ten rows or angle iron welded to the sides for adjusting the racks for whatever i put in there. Every seam to be welded air tight. Then build the outside around it.

    Here is my problem. Iowa weather. Thinking steel inside, then a layer or half inch plywood, then a layer of insulation between 2x4's. Screwing the steel to the studs through the plywood. Then another layer of 1/2" plywood, wrap it with leftover tyvek from the house remodel, and finish the outside with culutred stone 3' up, then hardi plank and paint to match the house. Metal roof, dampers on the top sides and on the bottom.

    My concern is the insulation. Is it worth the trouble? Will it work? I see alot of plywood smoke house on here. Anyone having trouble with cresote buildup? What is the combustion point of plywood? 400 degrees? I plan on being able to smoke anything in here. Temp range 100 - 250 degrees year round.

    Thoughts and input please......

  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow, big project!  I've got a 6' x 3' x 3' plain ol' plywood smokehouse I built in the spring and it does well (see the threads in my sig line).  Here in Texas you don't need insulation, it never gets that cold.  I've run it at 35° - 40° degrees with no temp problems.  My burner is actually 3 in one so I can vary the amount of btu output easily.

    The inside is definitely smoked a dark brown but no creosote hanging off the walls.  When I get to build another one I'll probably chop up this one and use it for a few smokes, it'd have the benefit of hickory and mesquite seasoning, lol!

    The size is about right; I've not filled it but what I've smoked has come out beautifully and I have the capacity to do a lot more.  Come next Christmas my sons and I are probably going to do a lot of pickled and smoked turkeys if we can find the right prices at Thanksgiving so it will get a capacity check then, for sure!

    I've had it up to 285° with no problems at all.  The outside of the box gets warm but not to fire stage by any means.  I did some spares for Memorial day and they came out great.. going to have to double them for 4th of July!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like a great project be sure to take lots of pics.
  4. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds great,  steel has some advantages,   I have always wondered about the glue that makes plywood, but the guys around here have made some good looking rigs with it.

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