Smokehouse build question

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by ericf517, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. ericf517

    ericf517 Fire Starter

    Ok well I am looking to build my first smoke house.  So far I am looking for a 5'6" tall and built to fit oven grates that I will use for my grates.  Planning on plywood interior with aluminum lining.  Also planning on insulating the smokehouse with either pallet wood, or barn wood stained exterior.  The smoke house will be a temporary set up as we just moved back to MI and have yet to find our permanent home yet.  So I am planning on building it to come with me!  (Maybe)

    Here comes my question.  I would like to do charcoal and wood, not electric, or propane.  How could I build the box to be able to take the heat so to speak.  Later when it becomes a permanent place there will be an exterior firebox piped in.  Just wondering if you guys have any ideas on how to make this work out.

    Been looking and thinking.  What about if I were to make the bottom a steel box inside (1/8" or so), with a steel lid as well.  The steel lid for the firebox I would drill out 1/2" holes to make it like swiss cheese to allow smoke and heat to go through?  Or maybe use some lava rock to cover the holes?  Do you guys think it would be a good idea to that, or build a totally separate firebox and use double wall pipe and pipe the smoke in.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Trying to control heat inside a small smokehouse, like you are speaking, using a fire would be almost impossible... Insulated and all, electric would be a good choice.... then there's charcoal.....

    You could set that inside for smoke and heat...

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  3. It is going to have a volume of only about 40 to 50 cubic feet. That means when you open the door you spill all of the heat. Even a small smoke vent hole will pass the entire volume of air in just a few minutes. I believe that propane and an oven burner and control would be much better for temperature control. It is also valid to do the smoking and the cooking in different places.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dave's idea is probably the safest bet for running charcoal. I would still make sure that the lower portion of your shack is fireproof. I'm not sure how hot you'll be able to get your shack though using this method.
  5. ericf517

    ericf517 Fire Starter

    Well based on everyone's comments, and more thinking and looking at some steel, I am going to skip the smokehouse build for now.  Just going to do a UDS instead with the ammo can cold smoker.  Once I find a full time cop job here in MI I will build it at my new place.  

    Plan will be to use the UDS as a form for a fire brick enclosure with brick on the outside, or stone.  Double wall pipe to the smokehouse.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A single wall, wood stove pipe, will lose more heat to the atmosphere and provide a cooler smoke.... "True" cold smoking is done between 50-90 deg F depending on the meat..... Below is a good description of "Cold Smoking".....
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  7. ericf517

    ericf517 Fire Starter

    Dave, planning on 2 fire boxes when I get a permanent home for it. One close with double wall to do warm stuff, and one a ways away to do cold.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a plan..... Thumbs Up
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

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