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Cedar smokehouse construction

brodowb

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Joined Feb 5, 2020
To answer TXDVR. I am a newbe at smoking, but not at at construction techniques as I have over 50 years experience as Civil/ Structural Engineering Designer.

Structurally you need to support your smokehouse on a proper foundation if it is a permanent structure, similar to the one being discussed in this thread. A slab foundation is OK but will increase the height of the smoke house if the slab is at grade. A better approach is to build concrete footers and and masonry walls, filling the interior space of the foundation with a concrete floor. This design can lower the structure into the ground keeping the height more reasonable.

In my opinion, if you are creating in effect and "oven" it needs to be insulated or all the heat escapes. I good choice for insulation is a foil faced hard foam board 1" thick or more. The insulation also protects the wood construction from any concerns from excessive heat creating a fire risk. Once the smoke house is used a few times the smoke will cover all of the interior surfaces with a coating of creosote forming a protective barrier in itself, so I can not see any advantage to using expensive wood such as cedar other than for exterior appearance and weather durability. Sheet material, such as primed T1-11 will work just as well, but will need to be painted.

And of course, you need airflow control both in and out. From what I can determine, a chimney damper is not a must, but I opted to use a commercial smoker accessory supplier steel pipe chimney with a slide plate that can close the outlet. This does two things: 1. provides some degree of Temp control and 2. prevents, when completly closed,any chance of rain or creatures from entering the smoke house.

Not an answer to any question but just a note. I found the more difficult problem to solve was how to keep the smoke from seeping out around the smoke house door and the firebox door. Even expensive gasket materials doesn't seem to do the job. I have minimized leakage but have not been able to eliminate it.
How are you guys bolting the foundation 2x4's to the concrete blocks. I have my foundation built But the holes of the concrete block go all the way down to the concrete slab. I don't see any anchor bolts in the pictures.
 

archeryrob

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Joined Oct 26, 2015
I set bolts in the cinder block when I filled them and then drilled holes in the panel walls I build when setting them and used a washer and nut to hold them.
 

brodowb

Newbie
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Joined Feb 5, 2020
I set bolts in the cinder block when I filled them and then drilled holes in the panel walls I build when setting them and used a washer and nut to hold them.
So my holes go four cinder blocks deep. Did you fill your holes 3 blocks deep? Thx for replying.
 

archeryrob

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Joined Oct 26, 2015
I filled them with rocks, brick and anything hard and left over mortar and cement on top. Set the bolts down in and wiggle them up and down and let set to harden in. Just make sure the bolt is not wear or close to where a stud will sit, or you'll fit with it later on. 5" in the the ends and 2" off the side
 

SmokinEdge

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Nice build. Very straight forward.
 

SmokinEdge

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Can you hot smoke in your house? What temp can you consistently hold, high side.
 

archeryrob

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Joined Oct 26, 2015
Yes, this is more of a hot smoker. its will easy to get to 200° with the fire box door cracked.

This is also not my build, I was just showing one person how to bolt down the house.
 

UrbanCowgill

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Joined Apr 18, 2020
Hi atcnick!
Thank you for all your ideas and detailed pictures of your smokehouse. They say that imitation is a form of flattery. I hope you take it that way. Your design was so inspiring I built my own "look alike". I had been searching the internet for years to find the right look and when I first ran across yours I knew it was the right one. I do admit to borrowing your look but I claim total design and build on my version. It may be similar in look but it is different.

I started at the firebox and poured a slab, then footings with rebar and anchor bolts up thru the cinder block for the smokehouse itself (we live in a high wind area). I also used clay chimney flue for the connecting pipe as well as the port above for the pellet feeder. Additionally, I installed a drain from the concrete floor of the smokehouse for scrubbing / cleaning.

From the start my goal had been aimed at briskets, therefore low and slow was the plan. I loved the idea of a firebox but lacked the time to watch it every couple of hours. This light it and leave it concept has long been used by bbq experts in bbq contests. So from the start the plan included a 35lb pellet feeder to assist with temperature control. I've never seen a smoker that had this "dual fuel" feature and to date it has performed admirably being able to hold the temperature within +\- 5 degrees for hours and hours.

Construction is all cedar except for internal bracing where I used white pine. The wood storage is pt with ample air space above the firebox to allow for drying. The roof is cedar decking with cedar shake... get out the platinum card.

I'd love comments or criticisms from you or any members...... Theres a link to my google photo album below.

Once again, thanks to you and all the other members!

Smokehouse Construction - Urban Cowgill
 

brodowb

Newbie
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Joined Feb 5, 2020
20200308_183302[1].jpg

I finished mine from spare panels I repurposed from other projects. I have it set up as a cold and hot smoker. Have done cold smoke cheese and hot smoked chicken to 165 degrees internal. External temp at 325. I have a turkey roaster propane grill in the bottom of the smoke house. The side hot box has a repurposed propane grill and is also set up for an old electric skillet.
 

atcnick

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jan 1, 2010
Its overwhelming the response I've gotten from this build. If you've messaged me over the last few years and I havent responded I appologize. I havent been getting the notifications as Im not very active on this forum any more.

To update on the smokehouse.... I've sold my house in 2017 where the smokehouse was located. I decided to demo and salvage what I could, the buyers werent interested in having it there. We live on some land now and the smokehouse, or whats left of it, is sitting in a pile. I'm hoping to restore it to its former glory! In the mean time, I'll be looking at you guys' builds to give me some ideas of making things better, specifically, the firebox. Also, I'll be looking to buy a new firebox door. Merry Christmas everybody!
 

archeryrob

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Oct 26, 2015
I'll be looking at you guys' builds to give me some ideas of making things better, specifically, the firebox. Also, I'll be looking to buy a new firebox door. Merry Christmas everybody!
I don't know if I am doing this idea this summer or later. But I want to rebuild the fire box to be a double layer vaulted oven.

The bottom is for runing the smokehouse. and can exhaust into the top oven and out its chimney.

The top will be an oven. The hole to the bottom and have a 1/4" plate to slide over it to act as a damper when running the smoke house and pulled out when using the oven, maybe? Build a fire in the oven to cook a pizza, chicken or anything else. push the coals down into the lower oven and still smoke from there??
 

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