Starting the Design phase of a smokehouse.

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by lostleader, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. A little back ground of what I do and what I have.

    I started with a cheap Brinkman bullet smoker that I modified and used to do ribs (mainly) along with some roast and chicken. I have since upgraded(kind of) to a Masterbuilt gas smoker. I stick to pork butts, ribs, chickens that we butcher, and venison. Ok, so I am far from a expert, but I have a large interest in building a smoke house. My master built is not exactly great, and I am sure I can build something far superior and cheaper.

    So this is my dilemma.

    Ive spent the last week searching the smokehouse forum and see that a lot of guys put the house up on block and do more of a cold smoke. I have basically zero experience of cold smoking, but something I would like to learn. I do however like the idea of putting a propane burner into the bottom and using a AMPNS to produce the smoke needed.

    So not officially ruling out the brick, but I prefer to have something that I can move around a bit if needed.

    So guys with the propane burners, help me out please. 

    1. What did you line the inside of the smoke house with?

    2. How high can you safely get the temperature? (I like to smoke chicken and turkey at around 325, maybe thats to hot. Maybe there is a better way of doing things?)

    3. Racks, talk to me about racks and rods. I can't find out much on these.

    Ok guys thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Hey thanks guys!
  3. kenn1320

    kenn1320 Fire Starter

    Welcome to the forum. I'm new myself, can't really field your questions with any confidence. I can tell you I'm currently building a smoke house and I lined the bottom 18" with 1/4" cement board. I'm using the northern tool (3) burner that many on here use. I'm not sure on max temps. As for portable, mine is designed to attach to my tractor via 3pnt like an implement. My build is Michigan insulated smoke house.
  4. Hey kenn thanks.

    I am still researching on this subject and cooking with my Masterbuilt gas smoker. However its gave me fits for the last year that I owned it. Thats the reason why I'm looking to build my own.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  6. Thanks dave for the response. Like I said I am just starting to toy with the idea. I am continuing on with my Master-built gasser for now, but will be building something bigger soon enough.
  7. kenn1320

    kenn1320 Fire Starter

    I looked at the masterbuilt smoker at cabelas yesterday, not sure which model. It had about 8 racks and looked very nice for $250. I haven't added my receipts, but bet. Have $500+ into mine. I could have done a lot of smoking in that masterbuilt for half the price. I enjoyed my build, but in today's society, they are trying to dumb down America. You can buy a nice product from another country cheaper than you can buy materials. What's sad is some of those foreign products are using American materials. Not to rant to much, but I needed expandable metal screen for an opening i cut in my car bumper for an intercooler. I couldn't get the screen cheaper than $75 plus shipping. I went to Walmart and bought a trash can made in china or somewhere for around $10. I cut the rim and folded it flat and cut out the screen I needed. Its another example of being able to buy a product cheaper than you can buy the raw material. Its sad my wife can buy my daughter 3 dresses cheaper than she can buy the material to make her one dress. Rant over, just giving you a heads up on cost of materials.
  8. Thats the cost of doing business. I would gladly spend the $500 and know it was done right, no reason to give into the dumbing down of america. However the more I read and search, what I want to build I don't think is out there or at least not safe. Maybe just need to keep using the master built and look at making a cold smoker or sausage and such.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  9. Lostleader,

    I don't have any lining inside my smokehouse, I smoke between 225* and 250*. I have used wood dowels and aluminum rods for holding my racks.

  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My two cents on the subject. I plan on building a smoke shack (house) at our next property. It will be a permanent structure with the capabilities to hot smoke but it will be primarily for cold smoking. I have multiple smokers and the reason I do is that there really isn't one perfect smoker out there. If there was we'd all own one.

    Since you want mobility and if you are stuck on using propane, I'd be looking for any sort of metal cabinet you can find that is the size you want and build off that. I have seen several failures where people have lined their smokers with cement board and used propane. Dave brings up a good point about the safety. You can purchase lownpressurenand flame out shutoffs for the propane. It is also wise to hard pipe the propane on the interior of the smoker as the rubber supply lines are not high temp rated.

    Racks and rods are easy. Take a 1x4 and drill holes down the middle at whatever spacing you desire. Rip that board in half and you have two shelf supports with half circle rod sopports. If you leave a few wood dowels in you can use expanded metal cut to fit for racks. Use wood dowels for hanging.

    As far as safe temps it all depends on your setup where the burner is. I have a fried who's shack has 3 courses of CMU block then plywood that is 6'-0" tall on top of that. She fires it up to 350 all the time. Note that they have all the safety equip installed for the propane burner and it is hard plumbed into the shack.
  11. I built this for under $300.00
  12. Thanks for the feed back guys. Dirt Sailor, you make a good point about not having 1 perfect smoker. Definitely something to think about. Its Rather cold and snowy here so Ill have more time to research.

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