I am from VA and have done some small scale smoking in a small brinkmann charcoal smoker in the past but have had the itch to be able to cook quantity as well as do some cold smoking. So about a month or so ago I started drawing up the plans for a smoker and over the past two weeks have made it a reality. Of course with anything that you build you learn and find things that you would change on the next one to make it better.
I have over 60 pictures of the smokehouse that I have built from two piles of wood to the first seasoning of the smokehouse.
Basic construction is whitewood 2x4's and oak T&G boards that use to be the floor in an old house.
The whole inside is lined with aluminum sheet metal.
As you can see from the pics it has wooden dowels in the top. Has enough slots for 13 dowels to hang sausage or whatevel else you might want to put on a hook. Currently only have two cooking racks but will be adding enough brackets to hold up to 7 with a 6" space between each.
Currently using a small charcoal grill in the bottom for the heat source. Cast iron skillet for the wood chips, and two aluminum pans for the water pans and drip trays. It will eventually have the ability to heat with electric hot plates or a propane burner depending on what I want to smoke or cook inside.
Seasoning for the first time. It got up to 200 degrees on the bottom thermometer within 1 min and up to 200 on the top within 3 mins with the small 17" charcoal grill with just one layer of charcoal in the bottom. It maxed out at around 270 at the hotest point. I still have to learn how much I need to have the vent opened or close to regulate the temp a little better to hold it around 200 or so. It held the temp in the 200 - 250 range for about 2 hours but I was opening and closing both the top and bottom doors just to check on things since it was the first time it had heat in it. I plan to season again this week.
I look forward to chatting about my experiances with smoking in this smokehouse as well as learning from everyone here what works best and what just doesn't work.