looking for a set of plans to build a smoker

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Original poster
Nov 5, 2005
Hi I'm looking for plans to build a BBQ Smoker. I'm trying to locate the big_smokey.pdf file, it's supposed to be in the "Files" section. Sorry I don't seem to be able to find it anywhere, anyone have a suggestion.

I'd like to use a 55 gal barrel and wood box attached to the side. But I'm open to all suggestions Any info would be apprecitated. Sg.
ss383nova, Welcome to the best forum in our smokey little world!

In answer to your request, please check the"New Smoker" thread in "Messages for all Guests and Members".

tulsajeff has posted a set of plans for "Big Smokey" that uses two 55 gallon barrels. These plans are in .pdf format.

Hope this helps and if you have any questions about smoking meats, just give us a shout and we will gladly help you out.
Thanks for the welcome, This looks like a great resource for good info. I'm off to check it out now!
Just made my own smoker out of an old weber charcoal grill! used a hot plate and put wood chips in a pie plate and smoked salmon.. It was delicious! and the only cost was the hot plate and the wood chips and of course the salmon!
Nova did you ever find the plans for what you had in mind?

Smokemom, you can set your weber for indirect heat, and add wood. you will turn out good quality smoked meat, and the techinues will carry over to any other style smoker you purchase, or make in later days.
I saw where someone used a metal trash can with an element from what looked like an indoor grill, it has a temp adjust knob on it which would be nice , the guy had a temp gauge mounted in the lid, I would add a damper.the only expense would be the element and the racks(I'm assuming they were just replacement racks from round bbq grills. I think I'm gonna build me one.
i just built a smoker out of a 55-gallon drum (barrel).
i cut my door out with a plasma cutter. i welded flat stock (2" wide) along the top and bottom of the door opening (wire-feed). i then made my food rack by welding a frame out of 1" angle iron, and welding expanded metal in it for the rack itself (arc welded). i used 1" square tubing for legs, with the same for front to back leg support (wire-feed). i welded the legs to 4" square flat iron pieces (wire-feed) and used 2 SS 5/16" allen head bolts (with stainless washers and nuts) to hold each one the the drum. i used 2" angle iron to make my firebox support. i bought a firebox from lowe's ($55, Char-griller brand). i made a cover for the hole in the firebox (where it mounts to the char-griller grill) and welded (wire-feed) 2- 3" diameterx4" length pipes on it. i used the plasma cutter to cut the plate from inside the holes. i welded (wire-feed) the pipes to the end of the drum, cutting out from inside the pipes again (plasma cutter). that is how the heat and smoke gets in the food chamber. i used a sawzall <sp?> to cut a 4" diameter hole on top for the smokestack. i bought a 4"x24" "pipe" from lowe's, along with a 4" rain shanty- that is my smoke-stack. it is not heavy pipe. galvanized vent pipe type stuff. i bought a thermometer from academy for $8- old smokey brand; 2 1/2" diameter. i robbed the handle off my old char-broil lp grill. i already had the hinges for the door. i used the same kind of ss bolts/washers/nuts for the hinges that i used on the legs. i replaced all visible bolts on the firebox with the same kind. (i am ocd, and anal about all bolts and such matching if at all possible.)
i am going to add a shelf to the front as soon as feasible. i am going to put a heat deflector on the firebox end if it needs it.
simple, i have $80 in it (the firebox, smoke-stack, thermometer). i got all the metal, and drum, from work. i will get another drum when i can and make a burn barrel (for my wood). for the burn barrel, see this link: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=661

i will post pics in the charcoal section, in my thread on making it, as soon as the camera gets back home.
Chris, thanks for the play by play on how you built your smoker. Nice idea about using the 55 gal drum and adding a prefabbed firebox to it.
In regards to the 55 gal drum...

What if a guy was able to find a drum that wasn't food service, it had petroleum oil or the like in it and has been thouroughly cleaned...caould a guy use that, or do I keep checking for a "clean" drum? Could a guy season it at 400* for awhile to clean it out??
i wouldn't use a drum that had contained oil. mine had had steel shot in it. it washes out. i have read, i think, that you will never get the toxins out of a drum that had oil in it. do a search here. i read on this forum. you should be able to find drums locally. maybe put an ad in your local classifieds.
hey geigs...elevator company's now use vegetable oil instead of hydralic fluid...I got 4 55 gallon barrels for free with straight vegetable oil in them for free (oil was gone)you might check out a new building or elevator company out...later buddy b...
ok, i modded my smoker a bit. i moved the smokestack to the end (opposite the firebox). i used a 4" metal holesaw i a 18v dewalt cordless drill to make the hole. i made a cover plate and screwed it down over the original hole on top for the smokestack. put the orange high-heat rtv silicone as a gasket under the plate. put same rtv around smokestack as it comes out of the cooker. made a new rack. i simply cut the expanded metal out, and used the same stuff i made my front shelf out of. i made a deflector plate out of 1/8" diamond plate metal. i added another thermometer to the lid, on the opposite side.
I think if you burn it out at a high temp ,then maybe pressure wash it in and out ,why couldn't you use it ,whatever type of enclosure it may be ,I would .
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