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Any ideas for a low cost, wood burning smoker?

 
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We would like to do smoked garlic and shallots this year; and, need a smoker. We would like a smoker that is large enough to also handle smoking meats (not planning on whole pigs or sides of beef; only smaller items like roasts). The prices new are outrageous, so we thought there may be plans out there for building on the cheap. We are not limited to a specific type or site of our property location; so we would be open to everything out there. Also, any cross over plans (wood smoker / solar dehydrator) would be of interest. Thanks!
 
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Location: The Netherlands
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Old propane tanks are popular for diy smokers.
 
gardener
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Where I grew up on the Yukon River, everybody had a smokehouse -- a square building the size of a tiny outhouse, built for free from scrap lumber.

Fire pit (old wash tub or cut off 55gal steel tub) goes in the bottom. Food goes on racks (usually made from willow sticks and chicken wire) stacked vertically. Smoke escapes through the eves. Biggest risk is making sure your smoke-smoulder (always burning alder because we had no hardwoods that far north) doesn't get too big and burn down your smokehouse, causing much hilarity among your neighbors. (This is right up there on the rural comedy scale with falling into an old outhouse hole that you should have covered properly but didn't.)
 
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Yep, Alton Brown's flowerpot smoker:

http://lifehacker.com/5350455/build-a-bbq-smoker-for-under-50

The basic idea is, use the biggest clay flowerpot you can get your hands on (18" mouth, if I recall), put a grill on top and an electric heating element (from a hotpot) in the bottom. A pie pan of woodchips goes on the heating element, and pow, you're smoking garlic.

Caveat: There's some timing involved. I tried to build one of these for my wife's birthday last February. The big-box stores don't HAVE terra cotta in February. That stuff ships in later in the year.
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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Now we're cook'n! LOL


Thanks guys for the good suggestions! Three different approaches, all with possibilities. I like the clay pot for the garlic; the smokehouse would be good for curring venison. For those doing a pig, the propane tank sounds good.

We may end up building more than one!
 
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I have seen repurposed freezers used,aalways wondered about the plastic....
Matt Walker has a rocket stove smoker/grill that is on YouTube under the the name Broudio (?)
 
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Cortland Satsuma wrote:We would like to do smoked garlic and shallots this year; and, need a smoker. We would like a smoker that is large enough to also handle smoking meats (not planning on whole pigs or sides of beef; only smaller items like roasts). The prices new are outrageous, so we thought there may be plans out there for building on the cheap. We are not limited to a specific type or site of our property location; so we would be open to everything out there. Also, any cross over plans (wood smoker / solar dehydrator) would be of interest. Thanks!



Smokers don't have to be complicated. Here's one that is best described as a hole in the ground covered with old roofing tin

There are a lot of ideas here, as well Select 'Smoke Houses" at the top right menu
 
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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Here's our simple smoker. It's a brick firebox and an old metal drum as the meat cabinet. I've smoked hundreds of pounds of ham and bacon in this thing.



 
Cortland Satsuma
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@ Abe...

That looks like a great meat smoker! Thank you for both sharing and posting a great picture.
 
Abe Connally
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Cortland Satsuma wrote:@ Abe...

That looks like a great meat smoker! Thank you for both sharing and posting a great picture.



If you like that, just look at what comes out of the smoker:



More of those photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/velacreations/sets/72157626288045233/with/13046006733/

I just smoked about 60 lbs of bacon and ham last week in that smoker. I use apple and oak to do it, and it comes out great.
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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@ Abe...
Yum, Yum, Yum! My great danes would have loved those pig ears! Unfortunately, my spouse is not keen on the raising of pigs...I plan to show your wonderful pictures...maybe there will be a change of heart!
 
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