Homebuilt Ceramic Smoker?

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navionjim

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Apr 16, 2007
684
14
Houston Texas
OK I've gone and gotten myself all worked up! Too many ideas are flying around my head. I have a old 1952 Frigidaire in my garage and I've been waiting years for it to die so I could make a big-assed smokehouse out of it for my (colder smoked) sausage, ham, jerky etc.

For my day to day normal smoking, briskets, ribs and the like, I have a New Braunfels Hondo which has stood me well for the past five years.
But I recently met a new friend who has a Kamado, which is all ceramic and works very well (lust lust), but isn't really big enough and it costs a first born male child to purchase one of those things!

I was reading here about the "Alton Brown Flower Pot Smoker" somebody on here built, and because another of my hobbies is working with brick, rock and tile, I got the great idea of buying one of these humongous Mexican pots they sell here in Texas and a bunch of mosaic tile, some high-temp thin set, and going to town on a huge flower pot "Kamado look alike" style smoker.

Then I though why do that? Who needs the big pot? I could just as easily (and cheaper) get some 18 inch square tiles or even fire bricks, build it any shape I want! I could even tile the outside to make it "Kamado looking" if I wanted to for just a few extra bucks. It could be rectangular instead of round so it could hold more racks, have a front opening door instead of a top opening lid etc.

Then I got this weird (and admittedly cheap-assed) idea. I could line the inside of my old fridge (which did finally die!) with inch thick tiles and even stick some mosaic on the outside and have the most well insulated, ceramic lined smoker possible. It seams like that could be as efficient as a Kamado and have the same heat retention but with the larger capacity I want. The discount tile stores down here have some killer deals on large tiles, (especially if you don't care how ugly it is) and high temp thin set should work to stick it, wouldn't it? Sort of a super-insulated brick oven that could handle some higher temps as well as the lower temp I'd need for a smokehouse. I was thinking of putting a small propane burner and cast iron pan of wood chips in an attached offset firebox for the smokehouse operations, (I do that now with my New Braunfels when I cool smoke salmon or jerky) and use a charcoal and stick-fed fire when I want to smoke-cook briskets and ribs. I might even steel the firebox off the New Braunfels for that matter.

I'm not sure if this idea is even viable, hell maybe I'm reinventing the wheel and should just build an old style brick oven with smoker capabilities. But I already have a bunch of useful parts and materials if it can be done. With all the fantastic home made steel smokers I see on this website, is there anyone out there who has built their own larger smoker by going the ceramic route? Brick, Tile, or stone? Something larger than the way cute, but too small "Flower Pot"?

I'd appreciate anyone else's experience here before jumping in and buying a bunch of mortar and rock.
Navionjim.
 
I was seriously considering making a brick oven mounted on a 1/2 steel plate with wheels and two doors. I have more ideas than time or money to build them!

Not t mention at least 5 or 6 half done projects!
 
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