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cedar vs pine smokehouse


Joined Jan 27, 2014
So I have broken ground on the new smokehouse and need to make a decision.  The house will be board and batten style, located in Central Texas, build on a side hill with a separate firebox and a buried 6" stove pipe running slightly uphill to the house.  I plan to both hot and cold smoke....I will start to frame it this week but have not yet purchased my materials for the walls and ceiling.

My buddy at the lumberyard can get me a good deal on Western Red Cedar fence slats.  The wood is really aromatic but I assume that will fade rather quickly,,, especially after seasoning the house a few times.  Does anyone have any experience using cedar fencing material for a smokehouse? I like the idea of a cedar house and the longevity of the wood.  My other choice is to go with 8" pine but it will be pricey that way. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks - Ryan


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Nov 12, 2010
Cedar will work well.... given time and use, the aromatics will be gone... everything I have read and experienced, the more use and the older the smoker, .... the better the food gets...

Board and batten smokehouse will breathe really well and provide some great smoked meats...

The board and batten design will probably not need an exhaust... Try a test smoke without an exhaust.... You may be pleasantly surprised....

Take pics so we can follow along....



Epic Pitmaster
Joined Oct 7, 2012
I agree with Dave. I look forward to seeing some pics.
Happy smoken.


Thread starter
Joined Jan 27, 2014
Thanks Fellas!! I was thinking cedar would be ok but sure is nice to bounce ideas off others with experience. Good idea on not venting the house. I had purchased two foundation vents with a sliding damper that I was planning to install... Will be an easy enough to install them if needed later.  I will post pictures as it starts to take shape.  Right now I'm just preparing the site and busting through limestone with a rock bar. Fun Stuff. 


Joined Jan 15, 2014
Dave hit the nail right on the head-I've been smoking in a cedar house for several years and it gets better every time I use it. And, as Dave suggests, you will probably not need vents, mine was pretty tight for the first couple of smokes but as the wood drew up it vents perfectly on it's own-I doubt if you could get a stale smoke in it if you tried. It will hold the heat well also, I run mine regularly at 225°-250° and did run it up to 350° to see if I could (stand by with the hose!). Mine is fired with double LP burners in a concrete block base.

Good luck-


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