Hey alblancher, thanks for the reply. The biggest thing I am concerned with right now is cold smoking. I raise hogs in the summer and I have to drive almost an hour to drop off my meat, and the price seems to have gone up more than I want to pay. I have wanted to make a smoker for a while, and now I have some motivation. I will hot smoke to cook eventually, but I'm not quite there yet. Although, i was thinking of building a whole hog hot smoker, so I figure I should be able to use that for hot smoking, but due to the size of the smoker, I figure it will be very inefficient. I need to smoke my hams, bacons, and the odd loin.
Cheese and sausage, I love cheese, but I have never had smoked cheese before, so it will have to happen. As for the sausage, I don't eat very much of it, but I have made pepperoni before using liquid smoke (I hope I won't get kicked off here for using the liquid smoke). I know I cheated, but I didn't have the means to do it properly.
I have about 5 acres, and I am not worried about neighbours, I only have one, but I can't even see their house in the summer. My wood situation isn't so good. I can get my hands on maple, birch, maybe some apple, that's about it. I would prefer some mesquite and hickory. I will primarily use maple, and I will also buy wood chunks from the store.
I was originally going to go with a cinder block smokehouse, but after pricing it last summer, I decided against it. I am on a very tight budget, and it was just too much.
I am not too worried, like I say, about hot smoking right now, but I need to learn to smoke bacons and hams, because in about nine months I will need to smoke my first ham. I was half thinking of trying to cure and smoke a store bought ham, that way I don't mess up my own pork. I keep 6-10 hogs on half an acre, but I found ten was too many for that size paddock. Next year I am cutting back a by few hogs, we're thinking 7 or 8. Its so rewarding eating pork that has been raised at home with plenty of room to play, and even though they are like pets to us, even the kids love eating them.