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Featured In Need Of Some Guidance On A Build!


Joined Feb 19, 2020
I am relatively new to forums in general, but I cam across this one when I was looking for cold smoker plans. I am currently a high school senior in rural Montana who is an avid fisher and hunter. I enjoy cooking as it has always been my passion and wanted to explore the world of smoking b building a smoker in my shop class. My wishes for this smoker is for it to be made out of wood and small enough to throw in the back of my truck with a few friends and go camping. Where I am unsure of myself is that I don't know proper dimensions or ventilation systems to make a successful cold smoker. My heating element plan was to use charcoal for which I am not sure is efficient or correct for cold smoking since I am still new to this community. I am looking for any help that I can get and appreciate all the help I can get. Thank you!

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 28, 2018
One of the keys to cold smoking is to keep the fire out of the smoke box. Most cold smoker designs I have seen use a firebox that is lower than the smoking cabinet and set apart from the smoke box.

Think of it like this. You build a fire in front of a pipe that rises diagonally into the smoke box.

Natural draw through the smoke box will pull smoke from the fire up and through the box.

If the heat gets too much, move the fire away from the pipe opening.

That is the simplest concept of cold smoking.

Now, that design works great but takes up a lot of space and would need to be put together every time you wanted to use it.

I have found that in my smoker, the lit pellet tube is enough to keep my box at cold smoke temperatures most of the time.

For cold smoking, you won't need a lot of fuel so charcoal and wood pellets or chunks should work fine.

It really comes down to what works for you.

Make sure you take into consideration what kinds of things you want to smoke in there.

Will your box need bars, hooks, etc. Are the bars/hooks removable? Will it need to be a certain length to accommodate hanging sausages? Will you also want to use this box for hot smoking? If so, how do you plan on controlling the temperature?

As far as opening size, I would go with 4" input and exhaust to start with. You can always add more inlets if needed. Control air flow through the cabinet via dampers.

Just a few thoughts. Hope this was helpful.

Looking forward to see what you come up with.

JC :emoji_cat:

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