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concepts for homemade smoker, your thoughts

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have been giving some thought to making my own smoker. I currently have a chargriller w/ SFB. I have owned it long enough to see where mass production comes before quality. So, I want to build my own smoker. I know how to weld and I have access to a lot of metal fabrication tools. My problem is that I don't know what design would be the best.

That's where your thoughts and ideas come into play. If you were to build a smoker, or have one built for you, what would it be like? Namely, would it have a side fire box, or be vertical? What kind of materials would it be made out of? I have thought about making it with a double wall and insulation technique.

My only real requirements are that it will be portable, i.e. can wheel it around the patio, put it in the back of a pick up truck. Also, it most likely should be charcoal powered.

So, feel free to post your ideas, suggestions, pictures, sources for plans, or whatever. Maybe between us all, we can turn out one bad mutha smoker.
post #2 of 13
if i had the means and the tools.......this one impressed me.........this link is from another smoker looking to buy...........

it has the best of both werlds...........horz and a vert.

post #3 of 13
I am more of a offset fan, i like the one Dude linked you to because of the fire box, it is loaded from the side, not the top. most offsets can be loaded from the end if you mod the coal basket to do so.
post #4 of 13
One question....do you have a size of cook area your shooting for?

The drum smokers that alot are building here seem to be a great smoker, depending on what you need for cook area...........I have also seen on here someone that added a vert box to there char-griller with sfb. It looked alot like the one that WD linked to........If I think of any more ideas I will pass them on........
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's a good question. I like the size of my chargriller. So far, the most I have smoked at one time was two butts. However, I suppose once I get better at it, I would like to feed more people. So, I think at least beig enough for 4-5 butts ought to be adequate for my needs.

What are the advantages of a verticle vs. horizontal smoker? Certainly I could incorporate the two into one smoker.

One thing I sort of mentioned earlier was being able to maintain temps. I live in Idaho where it is frequently chilly and almost always windy. Also, the temp swings drastically during the day. For example, in the summer, it can easily get over a 100* in the afternoon, but at night it will still drop into the 50s. So, I always have trouble maintaining the correct temp. I think a unit with double wall construction and insulation between the walls would help a lot. Right now the wind just sucks the heat right out of my chargriller.
post #6 of 13
Verts I think are nice because you can hang sausage, also you can get more cooking space in minimon footprint..(racks are stacked not spread out)...Alot of is just a matter of preferance....Just like some like electric over charcoal or over gas and vice versa...I have have an electric just because it was cheap and its easy to use, but its small. Now I have the char-griller gas grill with sfb. I want the gas grill to replace my old grill that was wornout and I thought the sfb feature was nice to make it a two in one unit and I have never done any charcoal smoking, so this way if I don't like using charcoal I am only out the cost of the sfb not a whole unit... If they would have had the Duo here I might have gotten that one instead, but all I found was either the one I got or the charcoal version...Since you were talking about the cold temps and wind being a factor and you wanted something with insulation, maybe you want to just build a fridge smoker, they would be insulated and they are vertical so lots of space and you can either do one in gas or electric or charcoal/wood.... Lots of options just depends on your time and on your budget and preperances and on what you want to use the smoker mainly for, like I said verts are nice for hanging sausage and they work for most and thing....Horizontals are nice because most can be used for grilling also, but you already have one, so I am not sure if you want to add on to the one you have or if you want to make a totaly seperate smoker.....As far as the wind goes with your char-griller that you have now, make a wind break, they help alot..........Hope this helps, feel free to ask more, I am not saying I know eveything, I am always learning something new everytime I come here..............
post #7 of 13
I don't know that I'd mess with insulation, but a double wall on the smoking chamber is a capital idea! As long as the wind ain't hitting the chamber directly is probably all that's needed. A built-in wind break!
post #8 of 13
I'd suggest checking the stickied thread on pit manufacturers and check to see what closely meets your needs. You might find a few and combine the best attribute of a them.
post #9 of 13
If I was going to build something for the patio that could be moved around....it would be a smaller Stumps style.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
That stumps design was interesting. I don't know much about the different designs. What keeps the whole stack of lump from burning at once? It did look like it was well insulated and I like the front door access vs a top door. I was thinking of something similar to this: http://www.smokinjoejones.com/site/1...uct/83-6080927
post #11 of 13
ok this is kiss and works great i have 40$ in it tank was free grates heat source and temp meter out of pocket small portable and room enough for your needs at present just an air comp tank needs good cleaning bead blaster what i used heres some pics.oh hinges were free and latchs were to just had to give up a couple of bacon burger dogs for them

post #12 of 13
I am also in the thought of building a smoker but not for me. I am really restricted to size. So I don't think an offset vertical will work in this application. Probably build similar to a gosm for this situation (but wood burning no propane). I have alot of thoughts flowing through that one brain cell of mine. PM me some time and maybe we can exchange ideas....
Hope this helps..
post #13 of 13
While I could say something mundane and ordanary like....do some research theres plenty of info out there......Ill say, Do what fits your needs.

How much meat you want to smoke was a great question. The bigger the cooking chamber, the bigger the firebox, cause ya need more heat.....from there, now ya need to distribute it and theres a lot ways to do that.

Airflow into your firebox to create heat is limited to your imagination and ill add, can be quite extensive.

I for 1 am an offset fan for indirect heat. I personally like au natural, meaning wood/preburn.

While I can ramble on all night about ideas of convieniece, Ill leave my .02 cents in saying I like "insulated" smokers for containing heat. I dont know what factorys "insulate" smokers with but Im sure its cheap and fast like a........Well, I wont say that herebiggrin.gif.

One day I want to make panels of ceramic refractory mortar. Im thinking you could build a jig of plywood and line it with hardware cloth to reinforce the panel. Than, pour the mix and screte it off to make smooth on top. Let it dry and pop out and install.

Hope this helps
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