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Question about different types of smokers.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I was looking into making my own smoker out of concrete. After scouring through this site I discovered smokehouses and other smokers. Im not looking into buying a metal or gallon drum smoker as they are out of my price range but I am interested in building a smokehouse. 


My question is are there any benefits of perhaps an off set smoker/grill , upright smokers, vs a smokehouse? I notice almost everybody smokes using a metal smoker whatever it may be. Negatives I can think of if I build a smokehouse are that a smokehouse is big and thus would take longer and require more wood to heat up. But Cant I make a smaller smokehouse that would fit my needs (a smokebox per say), or perhaps the smaller frame increases the chances of it catching on fire? Just wondering if there are benefits that id be missing out on if I decide to go the smokehouse way. From what I understand it shouldnt be too hard to make the smokehouse a hot smoker. 


Since I am looking into building my own obviously buying wood would save me more money than buying and welding metal (which Id have to pay someone to do).  Just wanted to get you alls input. Thanks.

post #2 of 4
Wuzoo.. Welcome to your new addiction.. the forums....

90% of wood smokehouse builds were/are built for low temp items as such... smoking sausages, snack sticks, bacon, etc. ...

Some do hot smoke (225` or above) in their wood smokehouses...

obviously you would need a concrete or steel firebox if you plan on it being wood fired ...

As for differences in smokers... Horizontals offer longer grating to allow for full length ribs or briskets and the such... good size foot print needed..

Verticals (cabinet style) offer many gratings (shelves..) pending the size you may have to cut ribs and briskets in half... these
units take up a smaller foot print than the horizontal ...

Smokehouses ... (they are not portable as the other two are)... these can accommodate any and all size of meats... have
many shelves ...
As for sizes... what ever fit's you will work... small large or indifferent

These are just a couple of observations of the three.. others will be along and add to the list...

there are other questions that will be asked of you.. What are you planning on cooking ? where are you geographically ( please fill in location on your profile).. this helps with problem solving sometimes.. when you ask a question where elevation is could come into play .. the person wanting to help doesn't have to ask where your location is and then have to wait on you to answer ...

Again.. welcome to the forums..
post #3 of 4

Concrete takes forever to heat up and consumes a lot of wood during that process...  It's difficult at best to cold smoke, using a concrete smoker...

What do you want to smoke ???  How much at one time ???   Do you have an endless supply of free wood ???  Are you wanting to cold smoke ???  


There are probably 25 different categories of smokers...   maybe more...   One smoker design will not work well for all types of smoking...  Personally, I have 5 different smokers, I think ??   Each does certain things very well...


An UDS, (ugly drum smoker) is probably the most versatile and inexpensive smoker there is, if you build it yourself...   Folks have won smoking competitions using them...


All smokers have a fairly steep learning curve to make excellent smoked foods...  except maybe an electric...  using an AMNPS smoke generator...  and they produce some awesome food....

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Did some updates to my location.


Primarily my main interest in smoking is brisket.  A full packer when possible. What build route would you recommend for a brisket smoker? (Im assuming anything that will smoke a great brisket will also smoke some great pork butts). 


For now I guess my needs are at most say 2 briskets in one go. Which from what Ive been seeing can easily be accomplished in a uds.

I just think a wooden build would be easier to create and easier to customize for my needs. But I am liking this uds. Is it possible to use a metal drum that carried chemicals or oil in it? Not sure if burning would get rid of all the nasties and I dont wanna smoke some hazardous brisket.


No unlimited wood supply. Just a great supply of mesquite due to location but as I understand there are better tasting woods out there that Id have to buy and order. (Still wanna give the good old mesquite a try)

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