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Smoker Design Help

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Going to be starting my smoker soon.


I plan on building a wood smoker. I will build the initial racks from wood, but the size will be so that I can buy some nice ceramic coated oven racks later on to replace them.


Dimensions - It will be around 6' tall, I'm thinking 28" wide and maybe 20" deep. The Meat Chamber will be about 4.5' tall, I want it big enough that I can smoke a Venison Leg in it with no problems.


I plan on insulating the Meat chamber with some good insulation board in between the inner and outer walls. And of course sealing everything up with Hi-Temp food grade silicon.


In the Heat Chamber I'm thinking of using Duroc, but I do have some fireboard that is used on the floor/walls when you install a wood stove in a house. Not sure how it will do once its cut though, they are in 4' x 4' sizes.


As for a Heat Source, I plan on using a small charcoal grill in the firebox until I can get all of the material rounded up to install a double electric burner and a PID. I plan to build it so that I can switch heat sources depending on what I am smoking.


I have also toyed with the idea of setting up my own controls through the PID to operate some small servos you can get at the hobby store for RC cars to manage the upper and lower vents while using Charcoal instead of Electric Heat.


I will close in the top of the smoker, and then put a small peaked roof on it, that I can have overhand the sides and front, in case I try to smoke when it might be raining, to at least try and shed the cool rain away from the smoker.


Any Helpful tips, and/or Ideas are more than welcomed, I have looked at tons of smokers built here on this site and others, just kind of trying to make this one my own. I don't have an unlimited budget though.


Also one of my major questions is about the doors, I was thinking of making the Meat Chamber with two doors, like a set of cabinets, so that the doors wouldn't be overly heavy, and I could just open one side at a time, I had also tossed the idea of making a removable partition, so I could smoke Fish on one side with vents open, and say beef on the other side with vents closed at the same time.


I may be getting a bit ambitious with my first build, but I think I've gotta go for what I want, the wife won't let me keep making build after build to get it right... 

post #2 of 4

Hello and Welcome to our addiction.  A word of warning: There is no 12 step program for this one!  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  Your build ideas sound GREAT!  I am a build it once kinda guy and I LIKE options.  Single dorr or double door should work well.  I see why you say double doors, less weight and slightly less heat loss to "take a peek".  IMHO! I think you went a step too far with the partition.  I don't think you can control the heat in that way.  I could be wrong!  Have been MANY times before.  Some drawings or pictures may help understand your thinking.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #3 of 4

I can see 2 doors 1 for the meat compartment and 1 for the heat.How heavy can a door be when your smokehouse is 28 in wide.If you do decide to split your meat compartment for fish and meat you need to double your width 14inch meat smoker will be too small for your bigger or longer meats.I am with Danny splitting your compartments you will need to split your heat source.Trying to use the same heat source for both sides your partician wall will only go down 1/2 way so it dont catch fire so your fish oils,juices and smell  still going into your meat side.


Just some ideas from what you posted.Alot of great smokehouse designs are on this site will be nice to see yours in there with them.



post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Had pretty much scrapped the partition Idea, it was just one of those passing thoughts.


When I mentioned 2 doors though, I meant to make the upper meat cabinet have 2 vertical doors that open from the middle out, instead of just one big swinging door. I plan to insulate the doors, as well as extra framing for the temperature gauge and was tempted to find a piece of tempered glass from a toaster oven to put in one side, so that I can take a peek without looking, the upper doors will be roughly 14" wide and a little over 4' tall if I split them. Otherwise the door will be 28"x4' and when I open it, I will lose all of the heat/smoke just to mop or check on the meat.


As for the lower heat chamber, haven't decided yet, but for aesthetic purposes I'll probably match it to whatever I decide for the upper door. Or at least make some framing on it, to make it look like the upper door, even though It may just be a one piece swinging door, although I had been tossing around making the lower door a slider, except I'm not 100% sure how to seal off the slider opening, would probably have to put a 1x3 with a gasket on hinges on the side over the slider opening, and open that prior to sliding the door open, seems a bit cumbersome for that idea, although having the door to the side, out of the way while working with the heat would reduce the risk of spilling/dropping stuff. Maybe a bottom hinge for the lower door, so its down out of the way... I dunno, I've got my lumber and I'm gonna start building the frame this afternoon... will see how many changes I make between now and then...

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