New to cold smoking. Helping my dad with his smoke house.

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Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
Like the title states, I finally have the opportunity to be a part of my families tradition of all thinks pork related. In my younger days I just enjoyed eating the fruits of their labors. After moving away and growing up a bit, my inner cook has came out and I now have the opportunity to learn the traditions my dad and uncles have done for many years.
I'll try and keep this short. My dads health has been on the down fall the last few years, heart attack etc.. I decided to move back home to be closer to my parents and help out when/where I can. This fall/winter our annual hog killing started and I've done anything I can to help with the process. We've raised, with the help of a close neighbor friend who has the property and facilities, around 14-15 hogs and have just recently finished up with the last few.
My dad has been over joyed for me to get involved. He's very smart but very old fashion, never used a computer a day in his life. I'm polar opposite, big techie and love to learn and research things. My only experience I could bring to the table was some basic understanding of hot smoking your normal meats; ribs, butts, loins, chops etc.
He mentioned how he would love to have a nice offset firebox for the smoke house to be able to cold smoke sides, hams, and sausage. My dad asked My bro-in-law and myself if we could figure out how to do it, and get it done for the last round of smoking. He recently had a complete tear in his achillies tendon and is not able walk for 8-10 weeks.

We took on the task and this is what we've came up with, using things available to use to keep cost down.

We started with this old big boy stove for a fire box. It was in the back of my Dad's shop for many years. We went over it with a wire brush and seasoned it with bacon grease to keep it from rusting up again.

Next we dug a 40"x40"x2' pit for the fire box and cut in a 6" pipe hooked to a 4x12 register in the floor.

We used 6" black stove pipe for the exterior piping. The stove has 12"s of rise from start to finish to help with draft.

Here's a quick inside shot with the last round of sides, hams, and sausage. You can see the register we cut in underneath the sides.

Here's a diffuser box I built to help control the smoke and heat.

Lastly, here's a quick video from our first cold smoke today.


We used a hickory and a small amount and apple wood to smoke with. Our temps were very steady once we dialed in everything to factor in 30-40mph winds. I used my maverick et72 to watch my smoke temp and internal temps on the sides. I also had a temp gauge in the room to watch ambient rooms temps. With the cold temps today we started around 30°f. After 5.5hrs of smoke the room temp only came up about 6-7°. The sides started and 43° and came up to about 50°. I know will have a lot to learn but it was a lot of fun and look forward to learning more.

Any thoughts on our setup? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks for reading!

Last edited:
THAT is one nice set up!! I've got an off-set fire box, too, but don't have a smoke/heat diffuser like you--but I WILL now that I've seen yours! It really seems to distribute and spread the smoke like you'd need to when you've got full racks.

Question:  do you have Prague powder in the salt that's in the salt box?

 I know your dad is proud of you...hope his leg heals up soon. Keep on keepin on-really enjoyed the video! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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