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Thread Starter 

I have been wanting to build a smoke house for some time now and I am in the planning/design stages to do it this summer.  I have some ideas but want some good input and advice on size, etc, and what mistakes I may be making.


Here are my random thoughts, please comment and tell me I'm stupid if it needs saying.  I want to do it right!


Location is western oregon, winters are wet, average temp in winter is 45 degrees? and summers average are 75 degrees?  with humidity usually fairly mid to low.


My goal is to build a smoke house to be used for either hot OR cold smoking


Common smokes will be (in order of priority):


Sausage (up to 200 or 250 pounds, or maybe I need to look at 100 lbs at a time?)  This is an extended family affair

Salmon/fish (20-30 pounds max)

Jerky/meat sticks



Possibly ribs, shoulders, and briskets  (currently done in a Traeger)

Cheese and Nuts


I am not set on the building materials, but it will either be framed with 2x4, insulated with foam and covered with concrete backer board on the inside, or I will build a CMU block smoker.


Cold smoking will be performed with a wood stove/fire box located about 7-10 feet from smoker with standard flue to start fire and then a tee with a shutoff to direct smoke underground through a sealed vent pipe and up into the center of the concrete floor


Hot smoking will be performed with a fire in the bottom of the smokehouse, and a small door will be cut in the side, or the main door will be split so I can open the bottom only to tend the fire.  Possible baffle to stop flames and direct heat as required


I am thinking approx 7'-6" tall, gable roof, vents at each end, and at bottom for air, footprint of 4'x4' minimum, possibly up to 6'x6' while being concerned about getting too large and not being able to succesfully hot smoke/cook?  This is the area I am not familiar with.  Can I get to 225 to finish a pulled pork or brisket in a 6'x6' smoke house? 


more thoughts?