Starting the Smokehouse

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Nov 30, 2013
Hampton, Va
I'll start off by saying ATCNick and his cedar smokehouse was my inspiration on this build. As stated before I am new to smoking and an amateur in regards to carpentry but just peeled it back layer by layer. Pictures to follow.
The plot...hey it's a start.

The first dig. I placed my cinder block foundation on the ground and measured a 1 foot buffer around the entire plot. Used fluorescent orange contractors paint to mark the outline.

Once I had the plot dug out (approx. 3-4 inches) I went down to the local Stone Mart and purchased a ton of crusher run and laid it out evenly. Use a level to ensure this. I made the side in which the cook chamber will actually sit on higher than the side the SFB will be on to allow my 8 inch stove pipe to angle up into the CC.

Once I laid the crusher run down I used a hand tamp to level it out. Just beat the heck out of it. I recommend bribing friends with beer or future smoked goods to help you with this step as it will take a lot out of you.

Well baby is crying so more to follow later.
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The gravel looks like it packs like concrete... that should be a good base..... From the looks of the Oak leaves, good smokin' wood is no problem....

Haha yea although it may be tricky as the area behind there is owned by the school. A few trees may have to accidently come down haha. The base packs pretty tight. I live in Virginia near the water so the soil is very shallow, soft, and wet almost always so had I done it straight to soil it would have been leaning in no time. I am hoping to pick up some quikcrete and 24" rebar sections today and continue.
Alright rainy day here so not much going on. Doing a little bit of research for my SFB construction. Dave found a really awesome video illustrating the use of building an internal wooden frame to cover in refractory mixture and then once you have your shaped/cured box you can just burn out the frame and will have a solid one piece firebox. Reinforced with perelite and rebar mesh I think it should be alright...see any catastrophic drawbacks?

Alright got some good weather and laid the foundation. I added one more layer and also poured concrete in every other hole. That in addition to installing anchor bolts so I can remove the cook chamber is a must around these parts as I am in a hurricane zone
Ok we had some good weather and the wife's grandmother was watching the baby so I got done with the foundation.

Finished the foundation 3 levels high and used Quickrete in every other hole. This is probably not necessary but in a hurricane zone it gives me peace of mind.

Mixed up some Mortar and laid down some 4x8x16 solid block toppers just to get an even surface. Using enough mortar was key as it allowed to further get the level surface needed before constructing the CC.


Finally had some extra mortar so I added more water to get the mortar to get really thin so I could use a coarse paint brush to paint on a thick layer of it around the entire base.

Will hopefully get cracking on the cook chamber after Christmas.
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Had some time to work on it so I framed it up. Used regular ole untreated whitewood 2'x4's and will coat with deck paint on outside. For the inside unfaced fiberglass insulation and durock. I layed a base of 2"x4"s and have 4 bolts running up so I can remove the whole cook chamber if need be. I used a .22 cal nail gun to fasten to the cinder blocks.

Used T&G 1"x6" notched panelboard for the sides.

3 Sides are up.

If you look at the black areas those are my bolts so I can remove the cook chamber if need be. All 4 bolts I sprayed with some high temp grill paint. Rated up to 1200 degrees F.
Sorry about the delay everyone (or anyone whom is actually following this lol). Had some really crappy weather on top of my 11 week old daughter being admitted with a kidney infection. She's out of the hospital now doing fine so hopefully the weather cooperates.
You're looking good. Look forward to watching your progress. At this point, I'd say you  are in the process of becoming the proud owner of a fine functional smoke house. Thanks for the post.
Like I said before 95% of this was ideas off the internet. 5% from me being naturally OCD haha. Thanks everyone for the wishes for my daughter. Hopefully I can get out on MLK day and get to it. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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