how to make a smoker

How to Make a smoker | homemade smoker Plans

Grilling is a pleasurable activity you can do outdoors or in your yard. Nothing is more enjoyable than eating a smokey-flavored beef brisket with your loved ones. Unfortunately, a smoker is not an inexpensive cooking gear out there. If you are there, I say you want to know how to make a smoker at home, right? Do not worry, as I came up with easy plans for homemade smokers, so you can cherish an excellent BBQ night without burdening your pocket.

How To Make A Smoker At Home? 

You can quickly build an affordable and durable smoker at your home out of these DIY smoker plans. Let’s have a look.

1. Create Ugly Drum Smoker

how to make a smoker ugly-drum-smoker-
Ugly Drum Smoker

An ugly drum smoker is as simple to make as it sounds. Following my plan, you can easily convert a 55-gallon food drum into a working smoker. You have to put in the minimal effort for a few hours (no welding). Arrange a food drum to get started. The following are two options for you in this regard:

  1. A brand new 55-gallon drum will cost you around $150.
  2. Or you can buy a used drum for approximately $20.

When you buy the drum, ensure that it is not coated with epoxy to prevent rusting. Epoxy is a toxic chemical that will yield fumes on heating. I am sure you do not want these harmful fumes in your smoked meal. 

After getting the drum, all you need is to scrub it properly and clean it from the inside using sandpaper. The rest of the work is as pretty simple as you have to attach 4 air intakes using the plumbing equipment available at home, fix a handle to its lid, and create a fire basket out of extended metal mesh. 

Once you have all the parts and supplies ready, you have to make a homemade smoker by the easy-to-do assembly. Interestingly, you do not have to perform welding in this DIY backyard smoker plan. You only have to burn a few hours to create your homemade smoker.

Materials Required

The following materials are needed: 

  • 55-gallon food-grade epoxy-free drum along with a lid 
  • Fine Sandpaper
  • Various fittings
  • Four 24″ long and 0.75″ threaded pipes 
  • 0.75″ threaded 90° elbow joints
  • 12″ by 48″ expanded metal mesh 

Tools Required

The following tools are required: 

  • Cutting Table 
  • Wrench 
  • Vise 
  • Drill 
  • Angle Grinder 

Skill Needed: You do not need to know any skill to create an ugly drum smoker, but if you know sanding and angle grinding, then it will be beneficial.

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2. DIY Flowerpot Smoker

ugly-drum-smoker-3
Flowerpot Smoker

Yes, you got it right. No worries if you are craving smoked food but a smoker is unavailable. You are only a step away from creating a DIY backyard smoker from a couple of flowerpots you can buy from any nursery garden. 

It can be an effortless project for you, and it does not need much at all. Drill in the clay flower pots to create airflow holes. To ensure that you do not crack the planters start with a tiny drill bit and then take them up to the appropriate size.

You can trim the wine corks, so they can be put into the holes to control the flow of air in the flower pots. Join the two flower pots using a standard BBQ gasket so you do not have a lot of air leakage. Put the brick in the middle of the bottom pot and place expanded metal mesh for holding coals. It will act as a charcoal holder.

After cooking, you need to remove the top pot to enjoy the delicious smoked meal. Due to the hot coals burning inside the bottom pot, both flowerpots will become extremely hot, making it difficult for you to remove the top pot. To counter this problem, you can install any regular u-bolt on the top planter by drilling holes in the bottom. 

Put coals in the extended metal mesh and add wood chips in it as well. Now, place the uncooked food over the mesh on a standard circular barbeque grill grate and seal this DIY Flowerpot Smoker with the top pot. Once you have done this all, you are ready to go.

Materials Required

The following materials are needed: 

  • 2 clay flower pots
  • Small barbeque charcoal plate 
  • Basic circular grill plate 
  • Wine corks 
  • BBQ gasket 
  • U-bolt along with nuts and washers 

Tools Required

The following tools are required: 

  • Drill 
  • Wrench

Skills Needed: You can create this simple clay flower planter smoker at home without any skill, but if you have drilling knowledge, then it will help you.

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3. DIY Smokehouse With Pellets 

In contrast, it is a large project unlike other diy smoker plans on the list, and it can be made entirely from wood. You will be able to make it thanks to its simple built part. You have to demolish the wooden pellets to source the raw material necessary to create an outhouse design then you have to connect it with heavy-duty aluminum foil for building a wooden smoker.

DIY-Smokehouse-With-Pellets-
Smokehouse With Pellets

To formulate shelves, you need wooden pellets and an aluminum screen door where you can put the food for cooking. The aluminum flashing should be utilized to create the bottom, which will eventually act as a firebox. For this project, you can get used wood pellets, but it is possible to get them for free. These home made wood smokers will cost $100 to smoke an entire animal carcass.

Materials Required

The following materials are needed:

  • 3 Hinges 
  • Handle for the door 
  • Aluminum Screen Roll 
  • Tin Foil (heavy-duty)
  • Corrugated Tin Roof 4 by 3 feet (Non-galvanized)
  • 1½ inch screws 
  • 2½ inch screws 
  • 20 to 30 deconstructed pellets

Tools Required

The following tools are required: 

  • Work gloves 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Staple gun 
  • Table saw 
  • Professional grade knife 
  • Metal or Tin snips 
  • Measuring Tape 
  • Drill bit ⅛ bit along with a countersink bit 
  • Drill gun (cordless is preferable)
  • Reciprocal saw along with a bimetal blade

Skills Needed: Drilling and woodworking are required to create this DIY smokehouse using pellets.

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4. Trash Can Smoker – Easiest Smoker to make

You can easily turn out an aluminum trash can and commercially available hot plate into a functional DIY electric smoker at home. Make a hole in your aluminum trash can on the side to allow the hot plate to go somewhere. After that, fix the hot plate in the rear end of the trash can and put the wooden chip box over it.

trash-can-smoker-easy-smoker-to-make
Trash Can Smoker

The circular barbecue grill grate above the aluminum trash can holds the meal. You can put the lid on when the wood chips start to smoke. For smoke to reach every area of your food, you should create a hole in the lid along with a side hole for the temperature gauge. In only 30 minutes and less than $50, you can build a home made electric smoker.

Materials Required

The following materials are needed:

  • Temperature gauge 
  • Wood chip box 
  • Grating 
  • Electric hot plate 
  • Trash can with closing lid

Tools Required

The following tools are required:

  • Drill along with the metal nib

Skills Needed: Drilling is what you should know for creating a DIY electric smoker.

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5. DIY File Cabinet Smoker for BBQ

If I compare a DIY file cabinet smoker with a DIY old gas tank smoker, then you will find it easy to build because the required equipment is readily available. You only need a fair amount of time, a drill, and any old metal filing cabinet.

Try to get the unpainted file cabinet because I have explained in the homemade ugly drum smoker part that epoxy paint produces toxic flames on heating and will contaminate and flavor your food. 

file cabinet smoker
File Cabinet Smoker

Materials Required

The following materials are needed:

  • Heat resistant paint 
  • 2 Temperature gauges 
  • Barbecue racks 
  • Unpainted metal file cabinet

Tools Required

The following tools are required:

  • A drilling machine

You have two options to get the metal cabinet: 

  • A brand new filing cabinet costs you around $110. 
  • Or you can opt for a second-hand filing cabinet for $60.

After your source file cabinet, apply a coating of barbecue-resistant paint on it. 

Adjust two temperature gauges in this newly built homemade smoker on the sides at the middle and the top. Now, drill holes through the bottom of the drawers and in the cabinet’s top. The lowest drawers will work as a firebox in this project. 

Whereas the other drawers can be used for holding food by putting regular BBQ racks. If everything goes well, you will quickly build this superb DIY file cabinet smoker in half an hour.

Skills Needed: Little bit of drilling understanding is what you need to carry out this task.

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6. Wood And Cinderblock Smokehouse

Wood And Cinderblock Smokehouse
Wood And Cinderblock Smokehouse

If you are looking for a reliable and durable DIY smoker plan to smoke your food, the ones listed above then, you can build a wood and cinder block smokehouse. Without exceeding your budget, you can get a significant size smoking area in these DIY smoker grills. The smoker design constitutes a cinder block foundation with a wooden cabinet for smoking over it. 

The key benefit of building a wood and cinder block smokehouse is it is easy and does not take much time. You can smoke meat from the smoke coming from the firebox made up of lined bricks that are separate from the smoking cabinet. Moreover, you can smoke a full animal carcass because it offers an ample space for this purpose.

Materials Required

The following materials are needed:

  • Temperature gauge 
  • Wood chip box 
  • Grating 
  • Electric hot plate
  • Trash can with closing lid

Tools Required

The following tools are required:

  • Metal Mesh 
  • 3x 16 gauge steel plates 
  • Wood screw 
  • 2½-inch deck screw 
  • Bolt lock 
  • Doorknob 
  • Door hinges 
  • Bolts 
  • Fire clay mortar 
  • Fire bricks 
  • Clay bricks 
  • Concrete blocks 
  • Stove door 
  • Black stove pipe 
  • 2 by 4 Cedarwood

Skills Needed: Woodworking and bricklaying how-know will come in handy.

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7. Budget DIY Smoker 

Some home made smoker grills on this list are cost-effective, and you can quickly build them. If you are on a tight budget, then this low-cost DIY smoker will cost you around $10, and you can make it ready for smoking food in less than 5 minutes.

You need heavy-duty aluminum foil, bulldog clips, wood pellets, cooling racks (stainless steel), and 2x aluminum foil baking pans to create this cost-effective DIT smoker instantly. 

The structure of this smoker consists of 2x aluminum foil baking pans placed over each other and fixed tightly using bulldog clips. You need to put cooling racks (stainless steel) in the aluminum pans. Until you get the pellet burrito, wrap the wooden pellets in the aluminum foils. 

Make two holes in the pans, one on the side of the lower pan and the other on the top of the upper pan. Set the pellet burrito on fire using a blow torch and put it inside the lower pan near the airhole. Place the food on the steel racks, hold the pans together, and that is it. 

budget smoker diy plan
Budget DIY Smoker 

Materials Required

The following materials are needed:

  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil 
  • Hickory pellets 
  • Bulldog clips 
  • Bricks (optional)
  • Searing grates or cooling rack (stainless steel)
  • 2x aluminum foil baking pans

Tools Required

The following tools are required:

  • Utility knife

Skills Needed: No skills are needed to create this DIY smoker on a budget.

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8. DIY Offset Smoker Using A Useless Gas Tank

offset smoker using old gas tanks
offset smoker using old gas tanks

An offset smoker is really expensive to have, but you can make it yourself with a bit of skill and equipment because it is a little complicated to create. The cooking chamber of this pit smoker BBQ build consists of an old gas tank. You can make it by adding the DIY frame and firebox. 

Please note that unlike flower pot smokers and ugly drum smokers, it is hard to DIY as it demands a significant amount of time, special gear, and skillset by cutting and welding together steel tubes to create a chimney, steel plate to create a firebox, steel box parts to make a frame. 

You need to perform the tough metal work as well to attach every component together. While doing this, ensure that there are no leakages, so air can adequately smoke in the cooking area. If you love to take on challenges and have the patience to go through any complicated process, then you can build your own smoker kit.

Materials Required

The following materials are needed:

  • Steel pipe 
  • Steel sheeting 
  • An old gas tank
  • Steel box sections

Tools Required

The following tools are required:

  • Vise 
  • Pivot drill 
  • Welding light 
  • Lathe 
  • Angle grinder 

Skills Needed: To rightly do the job, you must have metalwork, drilling, and welding how-know along with lathe use. 

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9. Making A Smoker Using Propane Tank

With a 100 pounds propane tank, you can create a DIY smoker that looks like a bigger version of the famous Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker. Add some water through the valve inside the propane tank to avoid an ignition due to any leftover propane in the tank. 

You do not have to put in too much water. It should be the amount that stays in the tank when you are drilling. Make a hole in the bottom of the tank using a drill and then fill it with water through the valve to eliminate any residual propane. 

Cut the top of the propane tank along with the valve with the help of an angle grinder. After that, you must protract two doors, one for the meat shelves and the other for the firebox.

Making A Smoker Using Propane Tank
Making A Smoker Using Propane Tank

Only the hinges of the cut-out parts will need to be welded, and then the doors should be reassembled as usual. An air intake needs to be cut in front of the firebox door, and a steel pipe chimney needs to be installed to replace the valve at the top of the tank.

You need barbecue grates to place the food on. Find the one with the right size, but it is going to be challenging to get the grates that fit rightly on the meat shelves. If you can not find the standard BBQ grates, then make them using expanded metal mesh. Cut the hole for the temperature gauge, and all is good.

Materials Required

The following materials are needed:

  • Temperature gauge 
  • Heat resistant handles 
  • Hinges expanded metal mesh 
  • Steel pipe 
  • Old propane tank

Tools Required

The following tools are required:

  • Drill 
  • Angle grinder 
  • Spot welder

Skills Needed: You should have woodworking and welding skills to make these DIY smoker grills using a propane tank.

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Final Words

How To Make A Smoker? From the above-given list, you can understand that creating a DIY smoker using old and expired stuff can save you from spending tons of money to buy a brand-new smoker. You just need a little bit of creativity and time for DIY meat smoker plans out of flower pots, trash cans, and even gas tanks.

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