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What kind of wood is a smokehouse?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've been giving a lot of thought towards building myself a modest sized smokehouse for cold smoking and hanging. My current smoker is a horizontal and I aspire to hang some salmon, sausage, birds, bacon (man do I wanna do some belly!). So now that the wife and I have gone rural and have the space I thought maybe I could put something together. I've seen several articles demonstrating a block wall structure, which I like because it seems easier to build. But I love the look of the wooden smokehouses and am wondering what type of wood to use for the framing and exterior. Does the exterior get sealed like a deck or is it just let be to be what it is?
I googled "smokehouse plans" and low and behold, the second article was from the SMF! It was a good example, and I'm certain I can build the structure, but I am wondering how important the wood type is.

Any support would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 16
I made a small electric smokehouse out of some extra cedar siding I had. I used some scrap 1x2 as framing and plywood for a roof and door.

Cowgirl has a beauty of a smokehouse made out of what looks like rough cut pine in a board and batt pattern, If I was building a permanent one thats the one I would copy.

I think the sealing/painting of the exterior would be a personal preference. pine exposed to the elements won't last forever, but it will weather nicely and give you that rustic look. Cedar and redwood will last close to forever without protection.
post #3 of 16
If you are cold smoking any type of standard structural lumber should be fine. I used 2x4 and T 111 siding on a 3/4 inch plywood base. I built my fire box out of poured concrete panels held together by a poured top. You may want to use a heavier type siding because I noticed the T111 warping a bit after a long smoke

I also built it away from any structures on the property just in case.
post #4 of 16
Al do you have any pictures of your concrete fire box?
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 


What about placement of the s.h? I mean should I take prevailing wind directions into consideration, or is it not that big-a-deal?

post #6 of 16

Hi Dave

Here is sum pictures of my attempt. I used dimentional lumber, plenty of fiberglass Insulation and t-111. The stone work was done by my Dad in 1942, I lined my door with sum aluminum flashing that my brother had. If you are going to do any hot smoking i.e. as turkeys or ham, you may want to consider doing your lower half in cement block or stone. That way you wouldn't have to worry too much about your smoke house burning down.
Just my opinion. There are a couple of books you might want to read. May I suggest Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design by Stanley, Adam and Robert Marianski. Also Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas.
Although I am far from being an expert feel free to ask I will be happy to help
post #7 of 16
Hounds51 thats an awesome smokehouse I'm very interested in how your producing the heat and smoke do you have and pictures of that set up you can share with us?
post #8 of 16

Smokehouse, heating.

Hi Here are some more pictures of my Smokehouse and Smokeguns. I am sorry that the racks are sideways, just tilt your head to the left and it will straighten out Ha Ha. I strongly believe in these smokeguns, as I have smoked cheese in 80 degree weather. Also the reason I use the small propane bottle in the house in that my Smokehouse is opposite of the prevailing winds so I need a little heat to give draft. Couldn't help it as there already was a base there and design wasn't possible to reverse. But I did find out that a 5 degree differance is all it takes to draft. I really need to do a how to build Smokegun using my design, as mine does not need any external air or electrical supply. I am really considering patent my design, as I have some local Lebanon Balogna companies who may be interested in my design.
Also Piney I liked your Bacon. I think the next time I make mine I will cold smoke for about 10 hours as it is already cured. Whats your thoughts on that?
post #9 of 16
Looks like a great set up for your smoke and heat.
I did my bacon between 9 and 10 hours and I liked the results
post #10 of 16
post #11 of 16
Hey Piney? Hoe did your bacon get? I had to give mine 3, 1hour water soaks to get the excess salt out before I smked it, but now all my family members want some of grandpa's homemade bacon. It sure is nice to know that we are not totally dependent on the worlds woes!
post #12 of 16
I used the Hi Mountain Buckboard Bacon kit and I ended up not having to soak it. The bacon seems to be very in demand with everybody that tastes it. Next batch will be much larger. Did you take Qview for us???????
post #13 of 16
Yea here it is
post #14 of 16
That looks great I only see one problem You didn't make enough biggrin.gif
post #15 of 16

Great Looking Bacon

Looks like you got a great smokehouse and good looking bacon. I have found with the bacon cure that I use that when the plastic bucket fills up to the level of the top slab of bacon if I take it out and rinse and smoke within one day it is just right as far as saltiness.
post #16 of 16
I used untreated lumber for mine but put a weather sealer on the outside.
Also used a separate firebox for the heat/smoke source, with a pipe running to the house.
Here is a link to how I built it.


It's been working out great for me. When I butcher pigs, I can get two pigs worth of bacon or ham in there at a time.
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