Do you love smoked salmon? If yes, I am very sure you want to learn how to build your own smokehouse. Easy and fun, this project will you help to get the healthier meal every day! In this post, you can find 5 tips that will help you to easily understand how to build a smokehouse. Your best bet is to find some DIY smokehouse plans on the web and see how others made it work. However, there’s no guarantee the parts they used will be available or affordable for you.
This guide will keep everything general. The idea was to build as cheaply as possible a BBQ smoker. You will learn the standard procedures required to shape up a functional smokehouse. From there, you can use your imagination a bit — and take into consideration what supplies you have on hand or at stores near you. Healthy food and fun!
#1 – Start with a Brick Encasement
Have you ever seen concrete block foundation for a home or similar structure? These blocks have openings that look like squares on each side, with concrete running down the middle. A more common name for them is “cinder block,” and according to HomeAdvisor.com, costs run anywhere from $1 to $3 per block. Use these blocks to encase your smokehouse BBQ. It’s the perfect foundation, plus its cheap and easy to find in any city or country. You will need roughly two dozen cinder blocks which means you might spend upward of $72 for the foundation of your smokehouse. Before placing them, create a cement surface layer that’s two to three inches deeper. This layer will help prevent frost heaving, which will increase the longevity and sustainability of your smokehouse structure. Now, you just need to shape the cinder blocks into a square structure. But, you must leave an opening on one side at ground level for the smokehouse pipe (aka, the flue pipe). This pipe attaches to the fire pit and is the feeder tube that transfers smoke in from the fire pit. From there, the cinder block structure serves like a chimney as smoke heads upward.
#2 – Build the Hot Box Next, you need to build the hot box.
You can choose from many different materials. A popular option is cedar, because its oils are resistant to rotting. Some people will use untreated lumber with a weather-protected seal over top. Others might go with basic structural lumber. It is a matter of budget and preference mostly, but always research the material you plan to use before you invest. Think of the hot box as a tall dog house that will sit on the cinder block foundation. You can enhance the design of your smokehouse by building it with a longer roof. This addition makes it so that you can store your firewood under the roof instead of keeping it in a location that’s further away. Just extend the roof on one side, not both. At the roof of the hot box, you want to install an actual chimney. This little component can be built by making a birdhouse that’s encased within the hot box, with a small opening for the smoke to escape through.
#3 – Build the Fire Box
Build up a fire box with your lumber and encase it with bricks. Make sure it’s connected to the flue pipe that runs from the hot box. Build or install a door onto the lumber box before you encase it. That way, it’s possible to keep the fire box enclosed fully when it’s in operation. Again, just like with the hot box, you should create a cement foundation layer, under the fire box, that’s two to three inches deep.
#4 – Make Your Smoke House Look Awesome
Now is time for the finishing touches. You’ll have to finish off attaching all the lumber to your hot box and to the extended roof that will cover your firewood. You can build a small deck above the brick fire box to set the wood on and connect it to the wooden posts that hold up the roof. Next, build or install a basic door onto your hot box — you can get hinges, a handle and a basic metal slide lock for cheap. Here you will find different types of smokehouses and smokehouse plans.
#5 – Install a Hanging Rack System Lastly
You want to improve the smokehouse’s functionality by installing poles horizontally near the ceiling to hang your meats. The number of poles that you should put in will depend on the size of your hot box.
Depending on how much smoking you want to accomplish, you may construct your own smokehouse or purchase a commercial unit. Because smokehouses are generally located outdoors, you should check if any local ordinances or fire codes apply before you begin construction of any new structures.
For most basic DIY smokehouses, you will be able to set up racks at two different height levels. This means you can hang meat from near the top of the hot box and also from around its middle area. You can get a little fancy with how you set up your hanging racks, instead of just fixing the poles in place. This extra step is recommended as you might want to change the distance between poles based on the meats you smoke. Run a piece of lumber from front to back and carve out trenches to sit your wooden poles inside. You can easily make room for half a dozen or more poles. If you hang thinner meat like bacon you might want to use more polls, while thicker meat like steak could take up more space and result in fewer poles used.
Tip: Use Mortar as Your Sealer Some steps of this project require you to use a sealant. For instance, the empty spots in your cinder blocks should be filled up with mortar. On average, mortar runs between $5 and $7 per square foot. This sealant can be used to make sure the flue pipe sits flush at both sides — where it connects to the brick fire box and the cinder block hot box. Tip: Budget Accordingly The cost estimates provided in this guide are very vague. The actual cost of building your own smokehouse will vary depending on the materials you use and the cost of these materials where you live. On average, Americans report that building their own smokehouse cost them anywhere from $150 to $250 but with fancier demands, this cost could easily double.
Learning how to build a smokehouse is not very difficult. It’s a DIY project that you could do with your teenage child. In fact, even a housewife could pull it off over a weekend without much hassle. This would really make a great gift too — don’t be scared, one weekend of hard work will pay off every single summer!