Smoking meat is a long process and one that requires a lot of care and patience through the preparation and cooking stages.
The end result is why so many people bother with this style of cooking, as the meat and other foods take on a unique and smoky flavor that simply can’t be recreated anywhere else, but buying a brand new smoker can be expesnive.
Is it possible to build a DIY smoker then and save yourself some money in the process?
There are a few methods you can use to create your own homemade smoker and depending on your skill set and available materials, they could be worth doing. Creating a homemade smoker will take time though, and the task is better left to someone with some existing knowhow for DIY projects.
This guide can you show every step you need to take to make a DIY smoker, the tools and materials you’ll need, and what other options are out there when you consider this project.
With your own smoker, you’ll open up a world of flavorsome choices for your next cookout and be able to wow friends and family with your handy DIY skills.
Can You Build a DIY Smoker?
It is possible to build a DIY smoker at home, provided you have the tools and know-how available.
Before starting any project like this though it’s important to weigh up the cost and effort of buying a store-bought product and making it for yourself.
When it’s easier to just buy one brand new, this is always the best approach.
Some people enjoy the challenge of a DIY project and regardless of the material costs or time it will take, they’re still willing to give it a go.
Thankfully, there are many variations of methods for making smokers so you have plenty of options to try.
However, for your first attempt, something straightforward and non-technical is best.
With that in mind, we’re going to show you how to make a drum smoker which is the cheapest, and easiest of all of the homemade smoker projects.
This is an easy project that you can create at home and hopefully get some use out of, which might push you to upgrade one day and purchase a professional smoker for even better results.
Making your own smoker does come with some concerns though, mainly because it will be used to cook and prepare food.
Most importantly, you need to make sure that the drum you’re using has been thoroughly cleaned and was not used to store chemicals, otherwise, you can purchase one brand new that’s never been filled.
Drum Smoker DIY: Materials and Tools
Before you start any DIY project, you need to assemble all of your tools and materials to make sure you have everything prepared.
To make a drum smoker, there’s surprisingly little that you’ll need, so here are the essentials and what purpose they’ll serve for this project.
The Step by Step Guide to Making a DIY Drum Smoker
Assemble your tools and materials to prepare for making your DIY smoker.
This project can be completed in just a few hours and will be ready to use as soon as the primer and paint have dried the next day.
Follow these simple steps to make your own DIY drum smoker from scratch.
Using Your Homemade Smoker
With your DIY smoker complete, you can get started right away using it to cook.
There are a few things to think about when making smoker recipes and it’s a method that requires preparation and patience regardless of what meat you plan on cooking.
Other Types of Homemade Smokers
The internet is full of projects for people who want to experiment with DIY smokers.
The key to a good DIY project is one that will cost less than purchasing the item brand new and can hopefully be done with materials you have handy at home.
With that in mind, here are some other options for a homemade smoker that can be made relatively easily at home.
A smokehouse can be built using old pallets in conjunction with a barrel or drum.
They can range up to 3 feet in size and are ideal for people who want to smoke large animals or excess amounts of meat at once.
Just like a drum smoker discussed earlier but harder and more expensive to make, these require welding and additional materials.
A barrel smoker has the meat and wood fire separate which means greater control of the temperature, but a lot more work.
Filing cabinet smoker
One bizarre item you might have at home that could be fashioned into a smoker is an old filing cabinet.
The drawers can be used to place the meat and with some adjustments, you can add a fire box, but good luck trying to regulate the temperature on them.
Clay pot smoker
If you happen to have some large terracotta pots at home they could be repositioned on top of each to create a smoker.
You’ll need to install a grate on the inside to place the meat and insert a heating element in the bottom so that the wood chips can get heated to the ideal temperature.
Almost like making a brick house, these smokers require a little more effort and know-how.
A brick smoker usually comprises of two parts; a grill and a smoker to the side, but you can make just the smoker if you wish.
You’ll need some sort of burner in the back and a wood chip tray, as well as adequate space inside the brick house for your meat.
Nothing compares to the flavor of smoked meat and this flavor alone is what draws so many people to invest in or make their own DIY smoker.
These are some frequently asked questions and answers about smoked meats to give you some insight into this traditional delicacy.
How Much Does a Meat Smoker Cost?
There are many different styles of smokers on the market today and a quality one can range in cost from $150 and easily into the thousands.
Depending on their size, materials, and the manufacturer, this price can vary quite a bit.
Making your own DIY smoker can be done for under $200 if you have some tools available to start with.
Can You Smoke Food Other Than Meat With a Smoker?
The most common way to use a smoker is for meat but you have other options for how to cook with it.
Cheeses, bread, tomatoes, oysters, nuts, and fish are just some things you can smoke for the unique flavor that this style of cooking offers.
What Is Cold Smoked Meat?
Cold smoked meat is where the meat goes through a curing process first to dry it out and prevent bacteria from growing.
It does not essentially cook the meat like it does with a hot smoking session and is not ideal for all types of meats and seafood.
The temperature remains between 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking times generally take a few days to complete.