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Makeshift smoker ideas???

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I got drafted to be on kitchen staff and go to Mackinac Island as part of the Boy Scout Honor Guard this summer. I want to do something smoked while we are up there. Not sure what they will have, but assume everything will be inside the kitchen. I can't haul my gosm up there on the ferry. So, what ideas do you have for a makeshift smoker?

I know I can do something if they have a gas or charcoal grill. Plan to bring wood chips in my backpack. I've done turkey in a box. I've worked in dutch ovens forever. But, I have never had to build a smoker out of nothing. Any ideas?

I am going to try to get an idea what equipment they have up there in the next week. Just thought I would see what everyone thinks so I can ask if they have specific items that might help.


post #2 of 17
You could do an underground pit...

They work great for whole turkeys, briskets, leg of venison, etc....
you just make the pit as big as you want.
post #3 of 17
I agree with the underground pit, you may also ask them if they have any

spare 55 gallon drums laying around and make you a makeshift UDS
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've done that also. Each November the scouts in our troop do a Thanksgiving dinner for their families. We do one or two turkeys in a wooden box with charcoal, and one or two salt encrusted turkeys in a pit. Very similar to what you did. I was really after some ideas on smokers that can be built on site.

I know it's a tough question. Since I don't even know what I have available to me.

But thanks for the reminder of the pit. those salt turkeys were the best I have ever had.
post #5 of 17
just curious....why can't you haul the gosm on the ferry?
post #6 of 17
An ECB might not be too bad to try and haul up there.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just too big. We are pretty limited in what we can take. But I will check to see how much they would charge extra.
post #8 of 17
Just an idea, but what about a cheapo Little or Big chief? That is if they have electricity available. Its lightweight and you could load the inside with some gear or clothing if your limited to weight restrictions. Just my 2 cents...
post #9 of 17

Clay pot

I have seen a smoker made from a clay pot.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
The Chief is a good idea. I had forgotten about those. Will those collapse down by chance? And a clay pot would be ok too. I suppose just about any box big enough would work. May have to just see what I can find to work with. I would have to feed about 40 - 50 people with it for a meal.

Thanks for the ideas.
post #11 of 17
OOooo. 40-50 people. Well then I'd say you would have to go with the Big Chief if you had to pick between the two. I have the big chief and no, it does not collapse. If interested, here are the dimension on the big one. 18x12x24. Then again, you can always take the worlds smallest smoker with ya. "Liquid Smoke"biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif Hope something works out for ya.
post #12 of 17
metal garbage can with a lid. but some bolts through the sides to hold up a rack and build a fire in the bottom. you could make a rack out of sticks if you really had to.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
I like the trash can idea. That may work very well! I'll talk it over with the head "chef" and we'll give something a try.
post #14 of 17
A garbage can is as big as a ECB. Sounds to me like you need to get to diggin that hole in the ground. 40 or 50 people...... a pretty big hole.
post #15 of 17
Okay, I have your solution. Its called a Pyromid. Its a grill, oven and smoker all in one and colapses to a very small package (less then two inches thick with oven, smoker attachment). I carry one in my truck all the time and use it to cook steaks when up skiing, smoke anytime and grill on the flash. You can find it at : or just google Pyromid. Not cheap, but well worth it!! Reek
post #16 of 17
Not sure how involved you are with scouts. This maybe a little pricey for what you want. But Bradley Smokers has a portable smoker style. As a thought . Is maybe get the scouts to work on a fund raiser to make this purchase. Here is the Sears page its on.

My wife was involved in cub scouts and they went to Sams club and bought candy bars and sold them. These was the same candy bars you get in stores not the fund raiser kind. They made better money off them that way. This way it can stay with scouts and they to can learn the fine art of smoking.
post #17 of 17

You WON'T be allowed to dig a hole in the ground on Mackinaw island! PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif

Seriously??? Cooking in a GALVANIZED garbage can? eek.gif

How about pre-cooking at home and just warming up there?

Good luck and have fun with the Scouts! cool.gif
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