I want to build my first smoker

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by savannahgabbq, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Short story:

    I began smoking meats in high school so that my friends and I could escape from our parents, drink, and smoke in the comfort of the backyard. I learned to love the art of smoking and began selling pulled pork out of my apartment in college years later.

    Here I am, stil using the smoker I bought at Wal-Mart years ago and I'm ready to step into the big leagues with a smoker I can say I built (maybe the minor leagues, for now). 

    I'm still a student so on the cheap is my goal, but not to cut corners.

    I have a friend in a machine shop trying to get two steel 55 drums, and I am leaning towards a horizontal smoker, smoke box below, grates ontop.

    I have experience in soldering, but an acetalyne torch might as well be a magic wand to me. 

    Cheers, thank you guys for replies, or frowny face for not helping the rookie
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2013
  2. clearchris

    clearchris Newbie

    Fabricating a smoker isnt a trivial task, especially if you arent familiar with metalwork. I woulnt suggest oxyacetalyne, I use it only for brazing. I'd pick up a cheap flux core wire welder used off craigslist. Or even better, know anyone who has one?

    You will also need an angle grinder, eye and ear protection, and a welding hood and gloves.

    If you dont have any of this, its nit going to be cheap.

    Id pick up a used smoker off craigslist for 20-30$.  By the time you sand it, seal it up, season it (woohoo, oil and heat to 400-500f, its done when the smoke stops) you will almost feel like you built it.
  3. Agree with above...projects get cheaper when you've accumulated tools and excess materials from previous jobs...otherwise it's pretty much never ending and lots of compromises if you're looking for "cheap".
    Vogelzang has a Kit for a double barrel smoker, but even that is more than shopping for a used unit, and you still need firebrick and some tools. I built one and wasn't completely happy, so it's sold. You might want to look at UDS style if you can find a friend to help...I think that's about as simple as it gets for DIY.
    Remember, it's more about the cook than the cooker at the end of the day!
  4. bamafan

    bamafan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I made that same smoker years ago and sold it to a friend that still cooks with. I made it with a cut off wheel, pop rivets, and a few other cheap parts like the latches. The best advice I can give you on that on is to put some fire bricks in the bottom burn barrel. I mounted it on a stand with heavy duty casters. Cooked great. Good luck and happy smoking!

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