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Is this a smokehouse?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

It's a big empty cinderblock building with a metal door and a metal chimney out one side. I can't imagine what else it could be, but like I say, it's empty... no container for a wood fire (or any kind of fire), and no racks or hangers or anything. If it DOES seem to be a smokehouse, what is required to make it operational?  Thanks for any input.

post #2 of 23

does it look like a fire may have been in a corner or the middle of the room? it looks like it could be

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

I haven't cleared the floor yet--there is a lot of trash (mainly feed sacks) on it. There is a deer stand and feeder nearby and it looks like maybe deer corn was stored inside and empty bags, too. I'll clear that up this weekend and have a look at the floor. The main reason I'm thinking smokehouse is for lack of imagination on my part at thinking of anything ELSE it could possibly be. If it is a smokehouse, it seems HUGE to me. You could hang several hogs in there!

post #4 of 23

I'll say it has never been used as a smoke house.  No build up on the interior.  Not sure I'd use cinder blocks as my first choice of materials available to build a smoke house, either.  Not the best insulating properties.  Perhaps someone had plans of building one but never finished it?  I'm sure others who know a heck of a lot more than I do will chime in shortly!

post #5 of 23
thinking they had a wood stove hooked up to the chimney... If you had your profile filled out so we know where it is, that would help... they might of used it as a hunting camp... If your in a cold climate I would venture to say that's what was...
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

Sorry about that-- I'm in central Arkansas (gardening zone 7b). Definitely not cold. We have years without even a hard frost here sometimes. The deer stand and feeder are literally in my backyard. Wouldn't make sense to have a "camp house" 30 yards from a real house.  You can see why this is such a mystery to me!

post #7 of 23

My guess, a storm shelter.



post #8 of 23
That was most likely a fruit cellar. For food storage canning use to be huge in ar .
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hmm... It would be far less safe than the full, finished basement under the house, 30 yards away...plus the property is down in a holler, has never seen any tornadic activity. The thing has me baffled, I'll admit. I appreciate the responses. I'll take another photo when I've cleared the floor, and I'll look for any signs of fire or a stove or anything.

I can't imagine it storing food, because it gets far too hot here... and again, there is a basement, which is underground and would be more suitable for that purpose. 'Course, that doesn't mean someone didn't BUILD it for one of these purposes, even if it was a bad idea. It was already there when the guy who owned the house before me bought the place, and he didn't know what it was, but also guessed "smokehouse." I'm stymied.

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

In the second photo, you can see how close the house is.

post #11 of 23


Edited by Black - 10/16/13 at 6:18pm
post #12 of 23


Edited by Black - 10/16/13 at 6:18pm
post #13 of 23

It seems like the best answer is it was a smoke house. Why would you have a stove pipe for such a small building. To bad the previous owners didn't leave the smoker that was in it. At least that is what I would do with it.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

So what would come next, if I wanted to repurpose it for that, regardless of how it was/wasn't used before? I have a friend who could fill the whole thing with his organic peppers that he smokes every year and would love to do so. I also buy meat by the whole animal and get lots of hunted meat for my freezer, etc. Could be fun, and I'm not afraid of hard work.

post #15 of 23
myself.. I would clean it out... then get a water hose in it and scrub it with some soap and water... then i would check the roof and do any repairs to make it leak proof... then a put a ceiling in it (insulated).. then think about what to use for heat and smoke... After's all said and done.. it would be a smoke house...
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

Like a ceiling with insulation in the space between ceiling and roof? Regular insulation?

post #17 of 23

I would build a smoker out of a stainless or aluminum cabinet. Something like a food cart hospitals use to cart food trays around. You can get bent-up ones reasonable and they come quite large. They have racks built in and convert quite easy.

post #18 of 23
a new ceiling... put rafters across the top.. on top of the block... so your ceiling would be just like a house ceiling.. 8' high.. or however high the blocks are... maybe use 1/4" cement board up there (more heat resistant than plywood, since heat rises)... put your insulation on top of the cement board before screwing it to the rafter...
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

Gotcha--thanks all!

post #20 of 23

If you are thinking of cold smoking, a tin roof without insulation would allow heat to escape.  It appears to be shaded and on somewhat of an incline.  You could bury drainage tile to a fire pit for your cold smoke, length would be up to you, as long as you are going down hill, it could always be extended.  Smoke entrance could be either in the floor or in the bottom row of blocks.



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