Homemade Smoker

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by dennyman100, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I have been a long time griller, but I wanted to get into smoking especially for the holidays coming up.  I made a smoker after reading trough the forums here and getting a general idea (I thought) about making one.  After I made it, I was so excited the next day I threw in some coals and some logs to try and season it and see if I could get it to work.  After that spectacular disaster I decided to ask some questions.  I have a brick base (I'll attach photos of the inside) where my coals/logs will rest and heat with my racks directly positioned directly above them.  is this a good idea or should I move the racks towards the back of the house so the meat is offset from the heat?  There will be pan between the heat and the meat so it should absorb and direct initial heat away.  Secondly, for heating up the box, should I use coals and allow it to come close to temp and then introduce the logs for the smoking?  I have read conflicting arguments for both.  Lastly, I am using a small air regulator to provide minimum amounts of oxygen to the logs so that way I get smoke and no flames, but I wanted to boost the temp from 180 to 225 and see if it would maintain.  To do this i opened my bottom door ~1 inch, then went to grab some water.  When I returned my logs were ablaze coating the inside with soot.  Should I try and clean this off the sides of the box or will that be ok.  I know this is a trial by fire and I will need to learn how to control the heat better but any advice will be great!




    The left side of the box will be for briskets and pork while I want the right side to be for large birds such as chickens, turkeys, and if I get pheasants. I have not finished the right side yet as I ran out of bricks completing the left side.
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Some more pictures would be helpful.

    Have you considered a tube smoker from a-maz-n smokers instead of using logs? 
  3. These are all of the photos that I have at this time. We are having some bad weather so I do not want to take it out from the covering.  As for the tube smokers I have seen some at one store we have here that uses something like small hockey pucks but I did not know how I would integrate that into my box.  So I went for the small brick bottom for logs.


  4. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Define logs...  A fire made with wood that would be declared a log would be a fire hazard with your setup.

    You're box will be fine for cold smoking and possibly warm smoking, but I wouldn't take it up to 225°.  Also, what style of bricks are you using?  If they are the normal bricks used for home construction, they may not like the direct heat.

    The tubes and/or trays found on the web site listed by bmaddox would be your best bet for this situation.
  6. I have several cords of dried oak that I did not split cut down to ~6 inches in total length.  I placed them on the side of the coals for the smoke generally 2 at a time.  The bricks are just home building bricks but the coals are not in direct contact.  I have the bricks there to catch any coals that may fall through the bottom of my heating grate.  
  7. trippy

    trippy Smoke Blower

    Being that its a wood box and you have not put a insulating barrier between the heat and wood. You would be strongly advised not to get the inside temp very hot. The heat will delaminate the plywood glue, it could also add fumes to your cooking area that you do not want.  Insulation is only good for a while. Its a known fact that all insulation will eventually transmit the heat through to the outer surface. It will only hold back heat for a period of time. The other factor controling that is how much that surface can disapate the heat from the insulation. This term is called heat soak.

    You have a box that can do fish and cheese.  If you have plans to do briskets and other big cooks needing temps 225+ you should look at a different smoker material type. I would not have that near any building with a fire in it. You would be just looking for trouble.  To say you have only coals is the same as having fire.  The dangers are way beyond what I would risk in a wooden box.
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As has been mentioned above, what you have there would be a good cold/warm smoker but I would be reluctant to try hot smoking in it. As a cold smoker you could use either the AMNTS (mentioned above) or also an AMNPS. I have both and prefer the AMNPS for generating smoke.

    Do you have a flue or holes in the top to allow air/smoke to circulate and escape?

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