Cinder Block Smoker in Mexico

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by justthetipmx, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. justthetipmx

    justthetipmx Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    I am looking to build a smoker from cinderblock as that is the material that is most abundantly available to me here in Mexico. My father in law happens to have a LOT of it laying around on a property that I am using to get a business up and running, along with a few doors. The idea is essentially to build a smoker somewhere in the 6 foot by 6 foot range with a 3 foot wide door in the front. 

    My primary focus is on cold smoking for things like bacon and cheeses, but I would like to occasionally be able to do some hot smoking in there as well--hence the 6 foot length, which I am hoping would allow me to do a full hog or several suckling pigs at a time. I will initially be doing bacon and cheese because with cheese, I can get it cheaply and have a place to sell it. With bacon, a restaurant that is buying sausage from me has already asked if I can do bacon.

    Id like to consider to start...

    How big a "duct" do I need to have for the smoke to flow from the firebox to the "smokehouse"? I am figuring on a distance of 6 feet horizontal for the smoke before it enters the area where the meat will be. Would you recommend permanent shelves (made from something like a diamond weave) and hooks (for hanging sausages), or simply leaving something like racks to slide trays/pans onto? Hopefully tonight I can post a simple mockup from sketchup of what I am thinking so you can put me on the right path!

    -Just the Tip
  2. justthetipmx

    justthetipmx Newbie

    Hey I am back with an initial mock up. Right now I am looking at something that would be 5 and a half feet by 5 and a half feet with a metal door (using what I have).

    For cold smoking, it seems that removing the firebox from the actual smokehouse is recommended, and as I will principally use this for smoking cheeses and bacon, I have given myself about 6 feet of "duct" using the inside hollow of the block.

    I would appreciate your thoughts.

  3. To start off with, I really like the ideal of building one of these. You can't beat free material! I think that you should use removable shelves for sure, otherwise cleaning it every once in a while will take too much effort. Just put long L brackets on the walls and you can slide in a shelf or rest rods to smoke sausages across it. As for the blocks, I don't know if they will make cooking easier or harder. If you have a really hot fire and they hold the heat it might be too much for cold smoking, but I could also see them help regulate the heat better. I don't really know the science of working with those materials. Maybe the duct will be long enough to cool the smoke either way? I'm sure it will work out fine no matter what, and hope to hear how wverything goes!
  4. justthetipmx

    justthetipmx Newbie

    I am hoping the offset of the fire from the actual "house" will give the smoke the chance to cool down. I figure we dont want too much fire, just the ability to get the chamber nice and smoky for 4-5 hours for cheeses and 12 to 24 hours for bacon--though I have read bacon and hams can take multiple days.

    For the shelving the idea was to use expanded sheet metal, probably a 10 or 12 guage as it is relatively inexpensive here. I figure six shelves at 1.5 meters wide and 45 centimeters (basically 5ft x 18") gives me 4.5 square meters or 45 square feet. That seems like enough to do a lot of bellies or cheeses.

    I have been trying to figure out if I can put a firebox on each side so that I can have one for hot smoking with perhaps a larger exhaust into the house and little-to-no separation so I can maintain hot temperatures. The idea there would be to do a few whole hogs or 6-10 lechones (suckling pigs) here at Christmas. 

    Apart from the main exhaust pipe (which I think I will do with either 6" or 4" pipe, do I need other vents?

    What would be an appropriate setup for a drip pan?

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