Homemade Smokers

Discussion in 'OGF Kitchen' started by FlyFishRich, May 17, 2018.

  1. Ok guys I see all the great food your making on your smokers so now I want to build my own smoker/grill and any tips would be appreciated. Also anyone know where to get a 30 gallon steel barrel around Warren area ? Thanks again...Rich
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  2. Are you planing a vertical or horizontal smoker? Do you want to only use coal/wood or do you want to be able to cook with pure wood also?
    Craigslist works for me. I've bought/built around 20 drum smokers from the drums I get.
    If you are only cooking for 2-3 folks, a mini WSM (weber smokey mountain) can be built for around $60. They are awesome little cookers. Very frugal. Easy to refuel if/when required. They run upto 6 hrs at 275* on one load. (coffee can amount of coal).
    A couple I've built/have.
    UDS (ugly drum smoker) Mine will smoke 17 hrs on one load at 275*. Cook upto 750*+ (pizza, sear meat). All my drums have 2-22.5" grates for food and one more for a drip pan. 3 total.
    Stubby UDS. Cut down 55 gal drum. Much easier to move, load coal etc than full size drum. Only thing stubby won't do is be able to hang 12 to 16 full racks of BB at one time.


    My stubby. Runs on coal/wood or, with fire wood door access for when I want to burn pure wood.
    Horizontal drum with offset firebox. Use as offset burning pure wood. Or use coal/wood with the coal being inside the drum.
    This is porkbelly and the removed skin for pork cracklins.
    Or are you thinking like a PBC https://www.pitbarrelcooker.com/
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 5:22 AM
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  3. I'm thinking about the horizontal smoker with sidebox.... Thanks for the pics ...Rich
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  4. Go to smokingmeatforums. they can give you plenty of advice on builds. I'm bluewhisper there.
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  5. I would suggest you use a 55 gal drum. Not the smaller 30 gal. You would have a tough time getting 2 full cooking grates in that smaller dia drum. Any questions, measurements, photos just ask.
    I'm on bbq brethren, same screen name.
  6. What did I just get my self into lol. I have 300+++ ideas going through my head now. Thanks again guys....Rich
  7. You are where I was some years ago. Just another addiction. ;)
    I haven't been able to stop building/modifying to see what works the best for me. Some of my requirements: easy stable temp control, NO electronics!! At least 12hrs worth of cooking on one load of coal/wood. Easy access to the food.
    The mini wsm is easy to reload after every 6 hrs and keep on cooking as long as you want/need.
    I have a $$ vertical cabinet that does not have any of the above requirements. Just not my bag. Don't like it at all. Expensive mistake.
  8. Doboy

    Doboy HeWhoDiesWithTheMostToysWins

    Well, I gotta add $.02. I love to build 'stuff',,,, & your kinda close by.
    I'd go with the side load 55,,,, I can't stand taking stuff out of a 2-3 shelf top loader!

    I have one or two extra 55's here if you like.?

    & IF you have some room in a corner, & a 220 welder/ air compressor outlet in your garage, THE EASIEST 'build' is an old electric oven! Everything is already there. top-bottom elements, racks, top vent, TIMER & HEAT settings,,,, even AUTO CLEAN!
    (You can get away with 110 input if you know how to separate the heating coil circuits . )

    I pick up discarded BBQ grills,,,, (trashday) The aluminum 'grill' housing itself would make a great side fire box, like in ebijack's picture.
    I might have 5 'EXTRA' grills, sitting out back.
    Plus hundreds of pounds of angle iron, pipe, SS sheeting,,,,,,,,,,(waiting for the scrap yard.)
    If your interested.
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  9. Doboy you might become my best friend or my girlfriends worst enemy lol but I'm in lol. Will get a hold of you after the holiday to get my idea going. Thanks...Rich
  10. The only reason I keep my vertical is for larger cooks. Like mentioned, pia to rotate grates of food for even cooking. Like these 8 porkbutts. I can not fit 8 butts on any other cooker I have.
    I pulled these out this morning (went all night) 12 hrs/250*. 12 hrs is max for the vertical. Ash build up mandates removal/dumping for further cooking. I finished burning pure wood out to 15 hrs. Resting now for a couple hours, then pulled/served for some Veterans out in Ann Arbor ( we cook for them 3 times/yr no charge)
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  11. Thank you ebijack for taking care of our veterans the way you do. It really means a lot to me. God bless my brother...Rich
  12. This is what I'm working with right now but dam those pork steaks were awesome.....Rich

    Attached Files:

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  13. I will note. To burn wood splits takes alot of time and money, effort, storage. Alot more than just buying chunks of wood like when using with charcoal. And in cold weather is a pia. So I only burn pure wood in the warmer months and when time permits. I go thru a cord each year. Actually I switch to coal/wood when the cord is gone.
  14. bobk


    Lots of good looking work here. You guys make me feel lazy. I plug my smoker into 110volts.
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  15. Alrighty then.... looks like im making a mini out of the smokey joe and steam pot.
    Any suggestions before i start?
    Love the idea of having something i can take on vacation. Or fire up if its just the wife an i.....
  16. Look for 32 qt aluminum tamale pot. This one fits perfect using the lid flipped upside down. And cheap! And easy to cut the bottom out and lid with sabersaw, tin snips etc.
    Easy to find in most any walmart that has alot of mexican folks living around. Not in other walmarts that I have been able to find.
    Anywhere else they are $65 and up.
    You will need another 13" grate for a drip pan grate. And another if you want 2 cooking levels.
    A temp gauge for the lid.
    1/4 X 1" X 20 bolts nuts. 6 ea.
    Not required, but makes it easier to use and or move.
    2 side handles (cheap ones are good). They allow you to lift/move the complete cooker much easier. And using those extra handles and bungie cords. You can put your coal/wood, gloves, tongs, spatula etc inside and move all together. If that makes sense.
    4" long 1/4x20, 2 nuts for intake handle. 3" tall expanded metal to make the coal grate into a basket.
    You have to decide what if anything you want to do with/for intake. If you stick with only the bottom intake. You will need a cat food can with holes around the sides turned upside down to keep ash from choking out the coals.
    Any questions, just ask. I've built at least 6. When I find a tamale pot I stash it cause I know someone else will want a mini.
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  17. They sound like wonder full xmas presents...
    Thanks again! Im sure ill come up with questions