Cedar and cinder block smokehouse build

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Original poster
Nov 22, 2016
Conroe, Texas
Merry Christmas Y'all!

After many moons of trying to convince my darlin Bride that I needed a new offset smoker, she asked my why I didn't just build one. The truth is, I hadn't even thought about it until then. I've built most of the furniture in our house, yet never even considered building my own smokehouse.  I began searching the internet for ideas and plans when I came across SMF and it didn't take long for me to decide exactly what I wanted. I found the thread from atcnick and  borrowed from his design (by borrowed I mean shamelessly copied).

I began the build by laying out my first run of cinder blocks. Having never done any sort of masonry work, it was a little bit disconcerting at first, but after the first run I began to get more and more comfortable. 

After the third run, I used 4x4x8 blocks to cap off the fire box portion. I used 1/8th" angle iron to support the caps across the expanse, then mortar to seal the open spaces. 

I ordered a custom steel door from Wilke's Badass Pits in Conroe, TX for the fire box, and went pretty basic on it. The door measured 16"x16" to perfectly fit the opening, with a 1" trim that completely seals the firebox if needed.  

I used two 8x8x8 block turned on their side to allow the smoke to move from the fire box to the cook space. 

Once the mortar dried, I started framing the cook space with cedar 2x4's. 

After a long day, the framing was complete...

The door is built with 1/8th" clearance all the way around, then trimmed to seal completely. No smoke leaks there! (You can see I have my little helper out there with me...)

This is a shot of the interior of the cook space. It measures 30"x 35"x 60" (24" of cinder block bottom, 36" cedar top). The black piece you see in the upper left corner is a 6" stovepipe purchased at Tractor Supply. 

Interior view of the opening between the fire box and cook space. There is a 9" concrete block overhang between the opening and the cedar to reduce the chance of ash and to deflect some of the direct heat from the dried cedar...

I put a 6" cast iron damper in the stovepipe to control my airflow on this end.

Here is the rest of the chimney..

After the build was complete, I burned oak in the firebox to help eliminate any remaining cedar scent inside the cook space. I let it set for a day after that, then smoked two spatchcocked chickens as a test run. Once I figured out the correct airflow, it maintained 200-225 degree temps with little fuss. 

Dinner in the making. The cooking grates were also custom manufactured at Wilkes Badass Pits for about $35 each. Much cheaper than building them myself, not to mention better constructed!

Finished smokehouse....Despite the fact it appears the Good Lord is giving it His blessing, I was working on our Thanksgiving bird when this pic was taken.

Thank you for taking the time to look it over, and I look forward to learning more from everyone here!
Looks great! I am in Conroe as well and just yesterday poured a slab for my smokehouse build. I have a couple of questions:

1 - What did that firebox door cost you? 

2 - Where did you get the untreated cedar lumber? 

Looks great! I am in Conroe as well and just yesterday poured a slab for my smokehouse build. I have a couple of questions:

1 - What did that firebox door cost you? 
2 - Where did you get the untreated cedar lumber? 


The door was around $75 at Wilkes Badass Pits in Conroe proper. The untreated lumber came from Home Depot. There's a place in Willis off FM 830 (Near Thompson) that sells only cedar. I've never priced them, but I've heard good things about their lomber
  Looks great, I am looking at building something very similar to that. Have you done any cold smoking in it yet? That is one thing I am trying to work out to be able to do with a smoke house as well as doing sausage 50+ lbs at a time, pork, brisket, hams, bacon, and probably Jerky. There is a ton of things to learn and think about. Great looking set up. 
Thank you all! Sorry for the delayed reply, but our upper administration changed at work and we've been busy!

I do want to do some cold smoking, that's for sure. My wish list includes sausage, cheeses, and once I get the hang of it...a slab of bacon.
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