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Smokehouse Galore!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hey guys... New to the forum, been reading a bunch mostly.  I live in Northern Ontario, and am building my first smokehouse, and had a  couple quick questions.


I only plan to cold smoke meat, and where I am from it is mostly slabs of beef, and ground beef sausages.  We usually brine the slabs for 2-3 weeks, and smoke it every 2-3 days for another 2 weeks.  


My smokehouse dimensions are 6feet x 5 feet x  11 feet high.   And I have a old stove for a firebox that I wanted to use that is about 30" x 20" wide and 30" high. There is a hole in the back of the firebox that is to the centre 24" off the ground.


My first question would be; would it be ok to put a elbow pointed downward to the ground and then run a straight pipe upward to the smokehouse.  Would there be enough draft this way?  The reason I want to do this is the hole on the back of my stove (firebox) is 24" above the ground and the floor of the smokehouse is 13" off the ground, and I would like to run the pipe underneath the floor in the centre of the smokehouse. Would this work?


Second question; what distance do you guys think I need to keep the firebox away from the smokehouse..?


Thirdly, in the fourth picture down, I was going to make another very small door 20" x 6" in case I needed extra ventilation.  Is this necessary or should I have it just in case.  My rafters are all open and will be covered with fine mesh at the soffit to keep the bugs out..?


Here are some new pics of the project in progress.  I started the porch section today and added the posts.  I will post more pictures as I finish. 










Let me know what you guys think?!!

post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

Last question, hopefully;  I have access to a lot of cedar wood, so I was going to do all the siding with rough 2x6 cedar boards.  I don't have machines to mill profiles on them so I will just butt them all together vertically and screw them in.  Should I get some firestop caulking and put a bead of caulking between the two 2x6's..?  Is it safe to use this?

post #3 of 20

I'm not a builder, but all I can say is I can't wait to see this guy in action.



post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

I can't wait either, Al..!!!

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

So today I finally had some time to finish up the sides and start the roof.  I was going to get some cedar shakes, but ended up finding some damaged (cheap) steel roofing pieces at the local hardware store, that I will use instead.


I am beginning to not like the chimney I put up, so I was thinking of making vents in the gables instead. Do you guys think this will be an adequate exhaust?  Or should I just leave the chimney I already made?



post #6 of 20
Looks good
post #7 of 20
I like venting in the gables because you could get condensation dripping from one in the center.

As for draft, I have seen designs thathat have exhaust pipes into a smoke house going down first and I'm sure you could get it working but you maybe playing with it everything trying to pre-warm the smoke house or use fans... I would try to either raise the smoke house more or bury the fire box a little.

As far as length, I think that's kind of preference... my grandfather's was maybe over 20' but it was in a hill, the smoke house was near the house and the stove near the barn so convenience could have played a lot there... I see people going very short frequently without complaints, but you are talking about real old school cold smoking where people smoked things for weeks to a month so the colder the better id say which means the longer the run the better id think.

As far as the gaps, why not use stripping to cover them? But your unfinished edges together then cover those edges with another board. Getting a smoke house nice and tight isn't important... my grandfather's had gaps up to 1/4" from boards shrinking and he kept using it like that
post #8 of 20
I'm with Al,not a builder! I like the looks of what you got going so far! Hopefully someone with an answer will be by soon.
post #9 of 20
I want to add... I'm no builder either... but I have looked into building one quite a bit and remember my grandfather using his
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys..!!


So basically, if I am correct in your understanding, it is just a  matter of preference to either have a chimney or vents in the gables?  I think it would do the same thing, plus like you said there would be no chance of condensation dripping in the centre. 


I am going to try the stove first and see what happens.  I am going to put the elbow downward on the stove, and then run the length to the smokehouse.  If that doesn't work out well, I will run the pipe straight from the stove into the smokehouse and then drop it down, and see what happens (like you mentioned, uzika).  And if that doesn't work out, then I will probably just scrap the whole stove idea, and build a small fire pit.    


I actually used a vice grip to push the boards together.  They are second grade cedar, so I had to play with it a bit, but it came out with absolutely no gaps!


Ill post up tomorrows progress, and let you know guys know how it goes.

post #11 of 20
I think it is absolutely preference for venting, but I like the idea of gable vents... I have had offset smokers that have exhausts that vent over the grates and have had condensation problems.

You likely have much more experience than me from just building this... it looks great. It's also great to have the mindset that you will just change what you don't like so you aren't scared of possible mistakes... my grandfather's was what seems like you are going for... an old stove and a wooden smoke house and he would smoke things pretty much over night and on the weekends without really watching it much and it all came out great
Edited by uzikaduzi - 9/22/16 at 6:25pm
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Yes, exactly!  All my family from generations back used to smoke the old way.  My great grandfather used to hang the meat up 15-20 in the barn and make a fire right on the ground, and he was the best at smoking tasty meat.  The rest of family did it the same way, and I used to do it the same way way back when.  


Today though, I don't have a barn, and I am in enough trouble with the building inspectors in my small community, so I have a limit how big I can build this.  I have never done it with a firebox on the outside, but am confident it shouldn't be a problem. 

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

So I finally finished roof part.  I ripped the first chimney down, and was going to put the vents on the side but I don't have enough space, so I thought long and hard and came up with a sleeker design.  I think it looks good now, I just hope it doesn't drip.  I also finished building the porch.  I also installed the rods inside.  A couple small little details tomorrow and she should be done soon!







post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

One more kid of of ridiculous question:  The openings on the right and left where the rafters drop down at the soffit, is this supposed to be open or blocked off?

post #15 of 20
Hold it.. it's perfect for my mother in law!!!!she always wants her own place...
All kidding aside. A beautiful piece of work.. points to you
post #16 of 20
I'd imagine you either want them blocked off or meshed for birds and squirrels... as far as how it effects how well the smoke house works, it could make it harder to get it to draft right since you might have draft problems to begin with with your downward exhaust off the wood stove... I'm obviously not sure, but I incision it kind of working like soffit vents in a house pulling air in and exiting on the peek.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

I finished the door and the handmade wood lock for the door.  Super snug fit, came out real nice!  I am going to order some steel roofing, what color do you guys think I should put?




post #18 of 20
I think you have 3 real choices... silver, red, or green. Silver only seems cool if it's corrugated and has some old surface rust. Green and red are a toss up, but I'd still pic red. Lol.

Honestly it looks great and any color would be cool... I did hear they recommend screwing through the valley portions instead of the ridges... I've never done that and was told and put on a few only going through the ridges
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

I ordered the steel today. It should be here in the next couple of days. I was going to get the bright red one, but decided against it, and chose a maroons coloured red.  Cant wait!! 


Ive done some steel before, and I was always told to screw it in the ridges, and have always don't it that way.  But lately, I noticed the steel manufacturers always recommending to screw it in the valley part, which is weird. And looks funny as well.


Until the steel comes, I going to finish the cedar walkway and the stove and all the pipes, and finally light her up for her first smoke!  

post #20 of 20
I'm doing my back patio roof a maroon too... I haven't decided on screwing in the valleys or ridges... I feel odd going against the manufacturer recommendations, but I've had it beat into me that you screw through the ridges to avoid leaks.

Great choice!
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