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New Smokehouse

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, I'm a new member,


My name is Frank, I go by Chet, and I have been smoking venison/pork sausage for over 20 years.  My old smoker, a converted refrigerator/freezer combination finally gave out to the elements so I built what I thought would be my ultimate smokehouse.

My smokehouse base is a  3 feet by 3 feet concrete slab and is 6 feet tall at the front, and 7 feet tall at the rear.  It is double walled with R-13 insulation between the inside and outside walls. Outside walls are made of “SMART SIDING” and the interior with 3/8” plywood.  I added a 4” smokestack with a damper and a draft on the lower part of the door for air circulation etc.

I use a main electric 1500-Watt element that I took out of my Brinkman Water Smoker, with an additional 1100-Watt hot plate for my smoke pot, a 2-quart Dutch oven with numerous holes drilled in the lid.  My smokehouse probably has more electrical wiring and outlets then most summer cabins, LOL

I smoked a brisket two weeks ago and it was the best I have ever done, about 15 hours of smoke and heat that did not exceed 212 deg. F for 15 hours, that is when the internal temperature of the brisket was 185 Deg., plus a little.

My only problem was that there was no smoke ring, a very nice smoky flavor but no smoke ring.  Since that time I have done more research and discovered why, but you all probably know that already.

My old smoker was used exclusively for sausage and the cure did all the deep red coloring and my hotplates generated the heat and smoke etc., I always cooked my briskets on a Hondo type smoker.  By the way, my get-a-way 20 acres is in the Texas Hill Country, North of Hondo Texas and that is I do most of my smoking.

I use a JOHNSON CONTROLS A-419 temperature controller to regulate the main heat source with addition switched for interior and exterior lights, smoke pot hot plate, additional interior electric receptacle for misc. uses and exterior power receptacles for anything I want to use it for.

I also have access ports in the walls for temperature probes with my Maverick thermometers (I use corks to plug the access ports) and I added a 12” x 12” door on the bottom of one side for access to my smoke pot for adding wood chips.

I use to soak my wood chips and wrap them in foil prior to using my Dutch oven smoke pot, I read that why soak the chips as they will not burn properly until they dry out anyway (maybe that contributed to my lack of a smoke ring).

The interior has numerous levels for hanging sausage on wooden dowels, hanging turkeys in stockinet as well as a pair of oven racks for smoking ribs and brisket, and whatever else I desire.

When I was breaking in my smokehouse using heavy smoke to season the interior I smoked a few racks of babyback ribs, chicken legs and another time chicken thighs, everything was “fall of the bone” tender with a perfect smoke flavor.

I could go on for hours about my smokehouse and the many hours designing it but I don’t want to bore anybody further about my project.

I’m looking forward to low and slow smoking a 10 pound turkey next week as well as using Morton’s Tender Quick to develop a smoke ring on my future briskets, just for presentation of course.


post #2 of 19

Welcome Chet!  Great description of your smokehouse, now we're gonna need to see some pics of this beauty!  I'm especially interested because I've been working on my design for my smokehouse build and it sounds like you've already implemented some of the ideas I had so please share!

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Attached are a few pictures I have on my computer, hope this works. I'm am 72 years old and used to Kodak Box Camera's LOLSorry, it appears I don't have permission to send attachments.

My e-mail address is if you would like a private message and attachments

post #4 of 19

PM sent.  Thanks

post #5 of 19

Welcome Chet.  Once you get a few more posts your pics will appear when you send them.   

post #6 of 19
Deleted by SausageBoy!
Edited by SausageBoy - 3/10/12 at 10:01am
post #7 of 19

Hello Chet 

Go ahead and post the pictures and either Al or I will approve the post for you right away 

Glad to have you here 

post #8 of 19

Welcome to SMF Chet!

post #9 of 19
post #10 of 19


post #11 of 19


First off welcome to SMF there Chet. You'll like this place cause there are a lot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. You will also find alot of good recipes and technique here also. So go out now and grab something to smoke and if you have any questions just ask here and we will answer it for you pretty darn quick.So with that all said:


Welcome To Your New Addiction

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

320Smoke area.jpgDoor open.jpgSmoke stack.jpgThighs.jpg        Smokeplate door.jpgsmoker.jpgContrl Box.jpgSMOKEHOUSE CONTROL PANEL.jpg

post #13 of 19

Hello and welcome to SMF!

post #14 of 19

Chet, morning and welcome.... Very nice tutorial about your smoker.... I'm looking forward to your pictures....   Dave

post #15 of 19

Chet-I just approved your post of you smoker photos.  I would like to see a schematic of your wiring/control layout.


Great pics, btw!

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

schematic 1schematic 2Dutch

I have been in electronics all my live so I do not usually draw out schematics for small projects, BUT I did this time.  The scratched out drawing is at my (let's say small ranch) in a folder with my A-419 instructions.  Fortunately, my son lives out there and took a couple of pictures with his phone.  Not the best, but ut may give you an idea.

If you are really serious about I did, and how I wired everything, I will send better pictures in a few weeks wnen I go out there to cook (sorry, smoke) a 10 pound turkey.

The bottom circuit was intended for future use but It ended up being my outside outlet and flood lights over the front door.

I am really proud of my smokehouse so will furnish any additional information that anyone wants.

I had an old light pole near the area where I built the smokehouse with 240V service so I just relocated the wiring to the newly installed 70 amp 4 circuitbreaker outside circuit breaker panel located on the rear of the smokehouse.

Now, I would like some suggestions on slow cmoking a 10 pound turkey.  My main idea when building the smokehouse was sausage, so my temp. controller only goes to 212 deg.F

I have read "THE SAUSAGE MAKER" cover to cover several times and recently purchased the latest edition.  I'd probably hanfg it in a stockinette and brine it with instructions from that book, however I also have read Mortons "HOME MEAT CURING GUIDE" BUT THEY SMOKE AT A HIGHER TEMPERATURE, actuaslly baking the turkey rather than smow smoking it.

I have the Tender Quick, instant Cure # 1 and #2, and am leaning towards The Sausage Makers recipe,, my concern is the large amount od the cure.

Is there an experiounced Low and Slow Turkey Smoking member on this sight?


Let me know if you would like any additional schmetaic information, or a better copy.  The A-419 controller is a little more complex, but I think we could talk through it, I also installed a micro toggle switch on the controller to take advantage of an optional Binary Offset feature which allows for a second temperature setting at the flick of the switch (for instance 130 deg. and 160 deg.)


Sorry to get to lengthy, and thanks for editing my first post.



post #17 of 19

Welcome aboard Chet, nice smokehouse!


Good luck and good smoking.

post #18 of 19

Chet, that is one Beautiful Smoke House! As far as your up coming Turkey Smoke, this info from Pops may be a benefit and he is one of the go to guys for Brine Curing. Send him PM if you have additional questions...JJ

post #19 of 19

welcome1.gif to SMF. You have come to the right place for smoking info. This site is loaded with great info just use the search bar at top of page to find what you are looking for. If you can't locate the answer just ask folks here are willing to share there knowledge.

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